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21-01-2006
  46
scenester
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Gender: femme
Posts: 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lena
glad to hear you are optimistic about your project kellylove.. dont give up
Thank you Lena, I won't, gonna remain positive

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21-01-2006
  47
scenester
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Gender: femme
Posts: 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by cassavetes
Hi,belladawn, thanks for sharing the knowledge. How did you fund your store? As far as I know, for a normal store in Soho, it will cost half a mil for merchandise, $ 30,000 for rent, and god knows how much for staff. So if someone has not inherited some mils, how to get the money?
cassavetes, Soho is Soho you definately need the big bucks there different naturally than the suburbs. investors perhaps, kind of ot, but when friends of mine went into the restaurant business, it was like 1/2 loans and 1/2 investors of family, friends, various other professional investors so to speak

I hope your business is a smash!!!!

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21-01-2006
  48
rising star
 
belladawn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: New Jersey
Gender: femme
Posts: 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by morenoj
belladawn - i love your boutique! i was thinking about starting an online boutique within the next year..soon as i get business license and account. i was wondering how did you go about get a wholesale lists? im planning on going to the up and coming seattle trend show in the next couple months... but what exactly do you do there? i've never been to one. what do you bring, do you buy the stuff there / have it delivered, what quantities, how much on average should one spend at each booth, is dropshipping available. any info would help.. thanks
Thanks...The online is a great way to start because there is not much over head...I e-mailed companies I liked told them I had a boutique and I would like to receive some wholesale info. As for the trade shows they are a great way to get started..I go to the ones in NYC because they are close...there are hundreds of booths so unless you go all 2 or 3 days that they have it you won't make it to all of them..and pretty much you are going to look for the items that go with your store and customer...To start I think you have to bring a business card and tax id # they will let you know exactly what you need. As for going to the booths some of the main questions you are going to want to ask is about their minimums(how much you have to spend with them) the delivery dates...and reorder...most of the time you do not buy the items there(cash and carry they call that) I don't set an exact amount I want to spend when I go but I go buy what type of inventory I need..I just went to one and only spend about 2,000 but then thier are always shows to go to so... I basically stick to the minimum unless i really see something I like and know it will sell quick I will get more...hope that is a little helpful

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21-01-2006
  49
front row
 
morenoj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: seattle
Gender: femme
Posts: 305
thank you belladawn!

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22-01-2006
  50
windowshopping
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: vancouver
Gender: homme
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by belladawn
I started with about 10 up and coming designers..
was there any particular reason why you started with up and coming brands, instead of more well known brands? i'm guessing there minimums are lower? and the well known brands are probably harder to get accounts with? i like the idea of supporting new brands, but as a new store id be scared of not being able to sell the items because no one really knows of the brands i'm selling.

also, popular streetwear brands like supreme, stussy, bape and such will be almost impossible to get, but what about mainstream brands like, diesel, seven, earnest sewn, lacoste? would i have problems getting accounts with them? or would my main problem be with their high mins?

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22-01-2006
  51
windowshopping
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Gender: homme
Posts: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by CHADiLer
was there any particular reason why you started with up and coming brands, instead of more well known brands? i'm guessing there minimums are lower? and the well known brands are probably harder to get accounts with? i like the idea of supporting new brands, but as a new store id be scared of not being able to sell the items because no one really knows of the brands i'm selling.

also, popular streetwear brands like supreme, stussy, bape and such will be almost impossible to get, but what about mainstream brands like, diesel, seven, earnest sewn, lacoste? would i have problems getting accounts with them? or would my main problem be with their high mins?
none of the brands you have mentioned have high minimums well it depends as to what you call high, we stock prada,jil sander , raf simons ect and id say anything from any prada owned lable or anything owned by the gucci group have the highest minimums ie 50,000 euros a season plus you have to spend so much on footwear, accessories ect. the brands you have listed ie seven,lacoste diesel do not have high minimums you could probably get away with a few thousand for each. the only problem you face when approaching new brands is that they have to approve your store to sell there items that is with high end anyway the cant do this if you are new. also you will find that if you are in an area with a store that sells this allready you have no chance. the hardest thing is starting out the shop i work for has to shops a website which opens next month and a womens store coming this year and it was very hard for my boss when they started out he had to take on lesser known brands aswell as a few big ones he was lucky enough to get and then once you are open agents tend to approach you, as you drop your lesser quality labels and pick up new ones you become more powerfull when it comes to picking and choosing your stock.

i wish you the best of luck as after a few months of struggle at getting info on opening my new store i have been promoted at work and have decided to stay there, to put it simple (be prepared to lose a lot of money when you first start make sure you have enough money to last you a couple of years if it doesnt go that well,)

ps if you have never worked in retail before think long and hard about trying to open a store its not as glamorous as you think.

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22-01-2006
  52
windowshopping
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Gender: femme
Posts: 8
hi, i just joined like 2mins ago, but i also wanted to put my 2 cents in and just add to the great advice the others have given you. i also own a boutique in nj. when we opened about a year and half ago people walked in and were like...what are these brands??? because we focused on harder to find labels. we were nervous, but now most of our lines that were tiny when we opened like la rok, 2bfree, rachel pally, etc. are huge. and because we have gained credibility within our community people are willing to buy whatever we sell because they trust our style. this was huge for us considering we are in a juicy/sevens kind of town . but i honestly believe the best way to start is to just jump head first into it. lemme know if you need anything!

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25-01-2006
  53
windowshopping
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Gender: femme
Posts: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by tricotineacetat
Sorry, I must have overseen this topic in a while... there were some issues here regarding sales licenses for brands like YSL, Balenciaga etc. and then as well questions about the ability to actually sell less-known designer brands. I must admit that it really depends on the designers themselves, if the fit is rather forgiving not, if different types of people (and ages) can relate to the product or if the price policy is reasonable.

We have had constant success with Stephan Schneider since the prices were very reasonable, also because the clothes were interesting and wearable, and that even though there is absolutely zero press in our local fashion magazines. Generally speaking, I am working in an environment where most of my customers are unaware of the aesthetic of a lot of designers, they will probably know the big names á la Prada and Dolce & Gabbana but then it really decreases abruptly with some being known to the more established Belgians and Japanese and even less with emerging designers. So, yes this means that you have got certain limitations in your buying habits, you are probably not in the situation to take the really out-there items but probably something that is a little safer since the market is not as progressive as, say, in London or any other major fashion capital. I donīt know about Copenhagenīs fashion scene but can imagine that even there it is not so easy to sell brands like Undercover since their aesthetic is not really accessible for a wider audience, the same probably goes to even more "elitist" brands like Carpe Diem, Carol Christian Poell or whatever else comes from this pool of artisanal deconstruction.

As far as the major players (á la Chloé, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga etc.) are concerned, it is common habit that they are asking for VERY high minimum orders. I would not advise you take them all from the very beginning if you donīt have a well-funded customer base ready that are going to snatch up your merchandise. There might be waiting lists for highly-coveted must have handbags in major department stores as Selfridges, Barneys or Harvey Nichols, but that doesnīt necessarily mean that they will be as easily sold out in your store if you are likely to just build up your customer base slowly.

Generally, unless you are not fully aware of your customerīs needs and demands, donīt put too much budget into a single collection, you could still order from them in further seasons.

As far as retail prices are concerned, I would also play it a little safe from the start, most of the pieces that you find in the better-known magazines are often show items that cost a fortune, itīs a tough job selling such expensive, particular couture items as a hand-beaded 2500€ YSL tulip skirt or a full-on Chloe dress. Itīs perfectly fine if you have just one item as some eyecandy for your window, and even then you will need to have a customer that is willing to pay as much as that on a single item.
Hi, I guess you work in a retail store, can I ask which one you prefer if you do high-end women's wear : openning your own or working for already-established well-known boutiques ( Barney's, Colette, 10 Corso Como, etc.) By the way, can you recommend some super-stylish boutiques in Germany?

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25-01-2006
  54
windowshopping
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: vancouver
Gender: homme
Posts: 13
wow, thanks for all the help everybody! though, i'm really nowhere near ready to start a boutique of my own. but it is my ultimate goal...

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31-01-2006
  55
rising star
 
adle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Gender: femme
Posts: 139
wow, i have read through this thread and am all of a sudden so very overwhelmed with my dream of opening my own place. i'm not sure my dream is at all attainable

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02-02-2006
  56
windowshopping
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Gender: femme
Posts: 36
dumb question
how do you find out about the trade shows and how does one get to go? do you have to be invited. Can I find one online? I live in Ca and hoping their might be one here, but need to know on where to find the info. please help if anyone knows. thanks

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19-02-2006
  57
windowshopping
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 11
belladawn, you gave some fantastic advice. I just recently started up my own online store (http://www.shopchiffon.com) and I am waiting for my merchandise to come. I found that it is very difficult to have a lot of brands right from the get go (on a budget at least!). I have ordered from about 10 brands but it will take some time for all of them to get there. It's hard when you want to order from so many more brands but each brand has you order for a March, April, and May delivery date.

fyi if anyone wants to know I will be getting in free people, development, mblem, harkham, etc within coming weeks hehe

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19-02-2006
  58
rising star
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Gender: femme
Posts: 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claudette
how do you find out about the trade shows and how does one get to go? do you have to be invited. Can I find one online? I live in Ca and hoping their might be one here, but need to know on where to find the info. please help if anyone knows. thanks
you need to register...you need to show some type of proof that you have a related business...or be a guest

d&a occurs few times year at the california market in downtown l.a. in california www.californiamarketcenter.com

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19-02-2006
  59
rising star
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Gender: femme
Posts: 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by cassavetes
Hi, Annabel Lee, as you said it is very difficult to do high-end stuff off the bat, I believe so but I'm also always wondering how Kirna Zabete(in Soho) did it? A store opened by two women, carrying Balenciaga and Chloe just from the beginning? Do you happen to have any idea?
i know some people who has all the best lines out there and i know they were able to get it because they hired an amazing pr person.

it's very important to have an amazing press kit...send it fed-ex...and call when you know the receipient wont be busy and dont pester them..and always be NICE...and also it's always nice to be a bit personal with why you think your store should carry their line(s).

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24-02-2006
  60
windowshopping
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Gender: femme
Posts: 5
Opening a shoe boutique
I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this forum. The info here has been extremely helpful.

I live in a market where the only place to buy decent shoes in Nordstroms. I fill there is a huge demand for quality fashionable shoes. I don't think our market would support the prices of D&G, YSL, Prada, etc. I was thinking of starting with a few trusted name brands for the classics (i.e. businesswear) and some lesser know brands for the more trendy shoes. Is this a good strategy?

Also, I still find it a mystery on how to contact the designers direct. I've did research on the internet, buy I feel I always come to a deadend.

Also, how hard would it be to get a line, for instance, like Kenneth Cole to sell to a boutique? Would the minimum be too high?

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