Opening & Operating a Retail Store / Boutique (Brick & Mortar or On-Line) - Page 19 - the Fashion Spot
 
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21-04-2009
  271
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adore dior View Post
hi.
i was thinking about starting a web store kinda like http://www.tobi.com/, http://www.farfetch.com/ and, http://www.matchesfashion.com/ . of course i wouldn't start off with that big of an invatory but i wanted to start selling a few designer stuff.
i was wondering how do i get high end designer clothes and accessories to sell on a web site? who should i contact. would i have to pay full price for each item to sell or would i get a a retailers discount?

desingers i was looking into were Martin Margiela, Rick Owens, and so on.

i wasn;t thinking of selling current collection items but maybe items maybe 1 or 2 seasons old. i am not looking to be a seller of vintage but to get into resale of clothes. i guess it would be like Marshalls or TJmax but high end and online.

i actually contacted a ebay seller whom was always finding a tone of high end designes to sell, she told me that she had a supplier she contacted from time to time and ordered things from them. she wouldn;t share her info with me but maybe one of you guys can tell me how to do the same.

i hope i mad enough sence
Were you able to get any information on this? I am interested in something like this as well.

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27-05-2009
  272
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Quote:
Originally Posted by go_extreme View Post
You can do it, but make sure you get you research done before hand on how to drive traffic to your website.
This way you can respond to emails and ship your orders when you get home and only take time off work for your buying trips.
It is possible but you can get very stressed. When I opened up my online vintage boutique I was also working at a real estate office and juggling both got a bit difficult.

I still run AV part time (as I'm a wife/mom) but I work 5 days a week about 5-10 hrs a day (depending on the family schedule). You can't let it take over, but that's just my preference, family first, work second.

Just be really organized and take deep breaths LOL!

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01-07-2009
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I'll be opening a store some time in the future (not so much designer brands, but more trendy and affordable) and I was just wondering where in the world gojane.com got their shoes... does anyone know? They have amazing knockoffs for like 18-24 dollars!
Really curious where they bought their shoes because I would love to implement some trendy shoes in my store as well...

Hope someone replies


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16-10-2009
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Funds for an online store
I'll tell my little story & then i would really appreciate some help!

I want to open my own online fashion store, selling brands not high fashion just American brands such as Lauren Moshi etc, which are not widely available in England. I see that there is a market for this type of store in England.

I now have contacts who want to sell brands to me which is excellent.

BUT i just dont know how to get the funds together to buy my merchandise.
I understand to be an online store i will need to quite alot of products to start with, which will mean spending alot to buy it all.

I do have a credit card but it does not have that high of an amount to buy a good amount of items for my store.
I dont think i can apply for a personal loan as i am still a student in university and i am constantly living in my overdraft. So i know the bank will probably deny me.
With the current economic climate i doubt i would be eligable for a business loan, especially since this is my first business venture.

I just need to know HOW do people start their own online stores?
Where can i get a large amount of funding?

Thanks

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19-10-2009
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I really want to open an online boutique next summer or early fall (I always thought a boutique would be fun but my local economy is horrible and 2 clothing stores have closed this year so it's not the right time for that) but I am kind of confused about how to start. I've taken business/management classes and quite a few fashion classes as I used to be a fashion major, but I still feel like I haven't the slightest idea how to go about starting. Is it too early to start contacting brand reps? How difficult is it to get a brand in your store (especially online) when you're brand new?

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20-10-2009
  276
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@Nicolerichienews, the traditional sources of funding for this kind of venture are small business loans (which you think you couldn't get), personal capital, ie your savings (which don't exist) and friends/family who might be willing to loan you funds. It sounds, though, like you should get some experience in retail before you try this.

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20-10-2009
  277
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^^^^^ most people start with a small business loan from their bank. Unfortunately because of your bank history this isn't really an option at the moment (you could still try and see though).
Wht you need to do is get an investor in your business and to do that it is going to be HARD. What you need to do is write up a detailed business plan specifying every minor detail, how you expect to make a profit, what periods you clothing changeover is, balance sheets, prepare income statements, get together accurate figures made up by an accountant. It is really hard in any economic climate but it is doable if you don't mind having to share the profits with the investor(s).

It is all about networking and you might find investment by contacting horizontal businesses (in allignment with you so other clothing shops etc). Perhaps you could get initial investment from the actual clothing design companies you are selling?

Good luck, investment in businesses is how people become rich.

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21-10-2009
  278
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I miss this thread, glad it got bumped. I'm moving my online store into a brick and mortar space in a couple of weeks, so excited! And a lot of the stuff posted here helped when I was opening last year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by couturecouture View Post
I really want to open an online boutique next summer or early fall (I always thought a boutique would be fun but my local economy is horrible and 2 clothing stores have closed this year so it's not the right time for that) but I am kind of confused about how to start. I've taken business/management classes and quite a few fashion classes as I used to be a fashion major, but I still feel like I haven't the slightest idea how to go about starting. Is it too early to start contacting brand reps? How difficult is it to get a brand in your store (especially online) when you're brand new?
The spring markets are happening right now (the one in LA was this past weekend) which means they'll start showing Summer soon and then Fall will show at MAGIC in February. It's recommended that you start with Fall though, since you'll have back to school and back friday right off the bat.

It may or may not be hard to get lines, it really just depends on what type of lines you're interested in. Which lines are you looking at? A lot of lines are going to want info about your store, such as where it's located and possibly square footage. You'll also need your business license and wholesale license (and you'll probably need other things like zoning and fictitious business name, etc) to buy so those are things to definitely start working on now.

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21-10-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicolerichienews View Post
I'll tell my little story & then i would really appreciate some help!

I want to open my own online fashion store, selling brands not high fashion just American brands such as Lauren Moshi etc, which are not widely available in England. I see that there is a market for this type of store in England.

I now have contacts who want to sell brands to me which is excellent.

BUT i just dont know how to get the funds together to buy my merchandise.
I understand to be an online store i will need to quite alot of products to start with, which will mean spending alot to buy it all.

I do have a credit card but it does not have that high of an amount to buy a good amount of items for my store.
I dont think i can apply for a personal loan as i am still a student in university and i am constantly living in my overdraft. So i know the bank will probably deny me.
With the current economic climate i doubt i would be eligable for a business loan, especially since this is my first business venture.

I just need to know HOW do people start their own online stores?
Where can i get a large amount of funding?

Thanks
I didn't start with a lot of merchandise. You certainly dont HAVE to start with a lot when you're online, even more so than brick and mortar because you won't have empty space, you know what I mean? It's always best to start small and not over extend yourself. Keep in mind that when you're online you won't have walk in traffic so it's not garaunteed that people will even see your things. It's a bit harder to sell online then people think.

Your best bet would be to save up as much money as you can and use that, and use credit as well. Or get an investor or have a friend/family loan you some money.

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21-10-2009
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^ Thanks for the info. Are you still going to have the online store when you open up the brick and mortar one?

The brands I'm looking into to start with are BB Dakota, Melie Bianco, Love Quotes, Dogeared, a.v max, Charlotte Tarantola, Velvet, LA Made, Splendid and possibly a shoe and denim line. I've only contacted one rep so far though since I haven't yet filed for my licenses/tax id/etc.

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21-10-2009
  281
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Quote:
Originally Posted by couturecouture View Post
^ Thanks for the info. Are you still going to have the online store when you open up the brick and mortar one?

The brands I'm looking into to start with are BB Dakota, Melie Bianco, Love Quotes, Dogeared, a.v max, Charlotte Tarantola, Velvet, LA Made, Splendid and possibly a shoe and denim line. I've only contacted one rep so far though since I haven't yet filed for my licenses/tax id/etc.

Yup I definitely plan on running both!

To be honest I don't think you'd have much of a problem carrying those lines. The only problem you might run into is oversaturization, since some of those brands have been around for awhile they may have put a cap on online shops, so definitely keep your options open. But for the most part I think you'll be able to do it. When you get one line, especially if it's fairly well known, it will help you get a foot in the door with others. I almost didn't get LQ and Lauren Conrad (both have the same rep here on the WC) but they saw some of my other lines and changed their mind.

And it's good to aim for lines that are around the same price points. One line I was denied on was Black Halo (their sales rep is a major snot and a couple of other names that I'll refrain from using) because my price points were $100 lower and apparently my site wasn't "put together" enough, lol.

So make sure to get a good web designer and make your site look as professional as possible as well. That's another thing designers will look at.

Let me know if I can help you w/ anything else! Best of luck!

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21-10-2009
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Thanks so much! I follow your 'Building The Boutique' blog and have found it very helpful!

I eventually want to carry some higher end labels but I figure it's not even worth it to try and get them at the beginning (and not really in my budget). I'd also love to try and get the Lauren Conrad Collection but I have a feeling she might be done with it since there has been no word about a spring line. That sucks about the Black Halo sales rep, that line is on my list of lines I'd like to eventually apply for if all goes well but maybe I'll cross it off! You must be so excited about opening the store, have you run into any problems with not being able to carry any lines in your brick & mortar store that are already being sold in your area?

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21-10-2009
  283
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@kimberwyn it's interesting you started online and are now doing brick&mortar. I think we'll be seeing that more and more since the barriers to starting a store online are lower.. let us know how it goes?

@Nicolerichienews, I was thinking about your situation and had another idea. Are there any local designers who might work with you on consignment? That lowers the cost of inventory, anyway. Just a thought.

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22-10-2009
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@CoutureCouture - I'm SO glad that you found my blog helpful, it's always great to hear that from other aspiring boutique owners Yeah Laurens line went into Kohls and I really dont think she'll be doing her boutique line anytime soon but I do hope she tries it again someday. I know the line gets a lot of flack but its still the fastest selling line I've carried, and the pieces were cute and fun.

Im not that bummed about not getting Black Halo now because they're still knocking off the same 4 dresses they've been doing for like 3 years (you know the jackie o, the ruffle dress and that 3 color one...zzZZZzz) and their new styles are awful.

All the lines I already buy from, I haven't told the reps yet that I'm starting a brick and mortar store so no lol. But I think only one of the lines I have is carried here in my town and we buy totally different pieces so it wouldn't be a problem. I actually didn't even have problems picking up a couple of lines for Spring that are already carried in town, surprisingly.

@Anjo - Yeah I didnt have anywhere near enough money to start a brick/mortar so I did online. I'm glad really because I learned a lot w/o a big investment. And still, it's not really a full scale boutique; I'll have a few racks, a table and a case inside of a salon. I'm moving in in about a week and I'll post pics when everything is set up!

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26-10-2009
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Are there any boutique owners here that sell (or have tried to get) Alice+Olivia, Elizabeth & James, Milly, Nanette Lepore, Tibi, or Corey Lynn Calter? How difficult are those labels to get when you're starting out?

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