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08-07-2007
  121
rising star
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Wow! Gorgeous store! Congratulations. I lot of people dream (including me) of opening a store, but it's so hard to get it to happen. All the best!

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10-07-2007
  122
V.I.P.
 
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^^annabel_lee!!!
Your store looks amazing!!!
congrats to you!!!!

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29-07-2007
  123
scenester
 
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Hello..I am looking into opening a boutique in Toronto, can anyone give me some ideas on what is the best way to do your research on 'what people want'. I know only a few lines that I would like to carry, but how do I know if the people would like them. Also, where is the best trade show for eco frendly clothing?

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29-07-2007
  124
windowshopping
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by go_extreme View Post
Hello..I am looking into opening a boutique in Toronto, can anyone give me some ideas on what is the best way to do your research on 'what people want'. I know only a few lines that I would like to carry, but how do I know if the people would like them. Also, where is the best trade show for eco frendly clothing?
I'm also from Toronto and I'd be interested in knowing as well.

I currently have a small eBay business on the side in additional to being a full-time university student. I plan on opening up my own online business in the next few months. I'd like to open up my own boutique in downtown Toronto within five years.

Just a few questions:

How important is it to have a business degree/MBA?

Would it be better to move up in a corporate store (think Gap) to get managing experience, or to work as an SA at a local boutique to learn the ins and outs of a small business?

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09-08-2007
  125
trendsetter
 
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Designer Boutique
I have always wondered how people open designer boutiques, and offer high end designer clothes(ex. Alberta Feretti,3.1 Phillip Lim, etc.) who do you contact? the corp.? and are there special qualifications? does anyone know?

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10-08-2007
  126
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^ Merged with existing thread.

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10-08-2007
  127
scenester
 
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I have a question for buyers located a distance from NY or LA: do you fly in each season to attend the showrooms or do you just order from linesheets or a catalog? I live in NY myself, but was curious.

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17-08-2007
  128
scenester
 
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Need some advice...

1) Lets say I come acorss a designer on the web and I would like to inquire if they would like to work with me. How do I introduce myself and on top of this tell them that I am not ready yet

2) Is there any resources that can help me with figuring out what to stock and how much of it...so I can give them an idea of what I am looking for?

3) If I visit a trade show...what kind of questions are expected to be asked by the sales people? and again how do I know how much to order?

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09-09-2007
  129
front row
 
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Ive talked to some people I found in this thread and they've been very helpful! But I keep coming up with more and more questions, lol. I'm interested in an online boutique, and im wondering....

-Do you always have to have an appointment at a showroom? Because I'm interested in finding new lines and seeing what's out there. Would going to the New Mart (or one of the other buildings) and just walking in be a no-no?

-For anyone else here who has an online boutique....where do you stock your inventory? Im pretty sure I can stock mine some place in my home, but are there certain areas (based on temperature, etc) that would be better?

-Do you usually leave the inventory stocked in the bags and boxes they come in? Or should you take them out and iron them and hang them or something?

Thats all I can think of for right now. Any help would be appreciated!

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09-09-2007
  130
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I'm not a huge expert at this, but I think that most showrooms want you to have an appointment .... generally don't want people just browsing. And you might have to provide financial information to them, before they will let you buy ... just an educated guess.

No need to remove inventory from individual bags, etc. since you will just be shipping it back out. But you will want to remove everything from the big boxes they are shopped in and set up some sort of shelving system so you can find things quickly and know when it's time to order more. You may also wish to set up a system with your own tags on the individual bags ... since each manufacturer will have something different. You will need to quickly find each style and size ... so it would help if you had your own sitck on labels with that information, so you could see it easily on the shelves.

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Last edited by BetteT; 09-09-2007 at 11:29 PM.
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10-09-2007
  131
front row
 
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Thanks for your help BetteT!

And one more question, if anyone has an answer.....about how much are wholesale pries, usually? 50%? 65%? I just want to be prepared!

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11-09-2007
  132
scenester
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by belladawn View Post
I opened my boutique about a year and a half ago...it has been going pretty good I am glad I made it through the 1st year..that is the hardest...I could help anyone interested in finding wholesalers...and what is really involved. I am in New Jersey but travel to NYC alot for the showrooms and trade shows. You have to really be involved with the designers, I am constantly looking for new products...The hardest part is having new stock always available for the customers. My website will show some of the stuff I sell www.belladawn.com I started small out of my home just to get people to know my name and what I sell..to build a cusotmer mailing list... Once you go to a few trade shows you will know what to buy, the minimums, and the terms such as immediates,cancel dates, delivery. The other thing to think about is your general business info, if you go online set up your business name to get a tax id number, this is something some designers ask for too.
belladawn or anyone that is familiar with the business:

1) When you were selling from home - did you order minimums? and how did you approach designers -since you didn't have a store yet?
2) What is the best way to get a customer list? (not family or friends list)
The reason why I ask is because the area I want to open is about 30 min drive.


Thank you

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17-09-2007
  133
scenester
 
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Buying Products For Boutique
Can anyone help me and explain the following for New retail orders of desinger collection application:

1) FOR CREDIT & AGREEMENT FOR PURCHASES OF MERCHANDISE FOR RESALE
2) IF A CURRENT ACCOUNT APPLYING FOR NEW TERMS
3) IF APPLYING FOR CREDIT CARD TERMS


How important is it to have references, and what if I dont have any?

Thank you

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18-09-2007
  134
front row
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
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It looks like the boutique owners aren't posting here on tFS anymore, which is kind of a shame! I know you asked couple questions in the other thread that didn't get answered yet. I'm starting a boutique in the Spring and I have so many questions too.

I didn't even know about the things your posting about. Is this ONLY for people who are using a credit card?? What label is this for? There's an application?? I'm so confused, lol....

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22-09-2007
  135
scenester
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 74
^^I am currently preparing for my spring debut, so I don't have the answers to all your questions. However, I do suggest that you either have a retail location secured or a website finished before you start contacting designers. My website developers have been extremely flaky and have delayed the finish of my site by several months, causing me to lose potential clients who will not sell to me until I have a finished product to show them.

Do have a logo designed and make business cards. This is important if you go to trade shows or showrooms.

Do have a concise and professional mission statement.

Be prepared to be completely ignored by some sales reps. It is very frustrating. I wonder if the designers know how potential clients are sometimes treated by their reps. I have only been able to obtain about half the designers I originally wanted.

Regarding order minimums, I second your question. I am not personally worried about ordering too little for my store, however I do wonder if the sales reps think I order too little if I just order the minimum. For example, the minimum is usually 4 pieces per style and I will order several styles in the minimum with an order totalling between $1500 and $4000 wholesale, on average. Because having a good relationship with sales reps is very important, I hope someone can elaborate on how many pieces per designer they think is a decent order. I really don't want to be known as the least important client due to ordering small quantities!

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