7 TIPS TO SET-UP BOUTIQUE SUCCESSFULLY

I think one of the most fascinating careers in today's times is fashion designing and every second phone call that I receive, wants to know - how fast a fashion boutique can be profitably set up.

You'll agree that fashion is being a magnet and everyone who wishes to set up a fashion boutique thinks that this road is led by learning stitching / sewing, then fashion designing and voila! You are a famous name!!! 

  • What is a boutique business
  • What is a fashion boutique

Generally speaking, people refer to a BOUTIQUE as a Fashion Boutique.

Though, a boutique is a French word, which means "shop". A boutique is a small firm that provides a limited range of specialized goods or services, often at a premium price.

In Greek, boutique means "storehouse"

How to grow a successful business?​

boutique

boutique

7 THINGS YOU MUST KNOW BEFORE SETTING-UP A BOUTIQUE

HOLA!

First of all SHOUTOUTS to all the beautiful ladies out there (and of course gentlemen), who set their minds up for becoming independent and open their own fashion boutiques.

Its time to party yeee! (or so it seems!)

I hope you did party hard, sweetie!

Opening a boutique may seem like ribbon cutting, cheering up, high time, socializing and all that, but running a boutique is altogether different ball game.
That's REAL WORK!

Now its time to get some work done. Tie your hairs up, go get a cup of coffee (I like less sugar :P) comment below what would you like. And now get a notebook and of course a pen.

1. Boutique is not about tailoring ALONE.

YES! You heard it right but don’t get heart-broken, its almost 50% tailoring and 50% other ingredients which will add up to your success.

But if you emphasized on learning everything about stitching and set your heart to be a master creator; don't lose heart.

Smile:)  because you almost done half of the work by knowing tailoring.

How to learn tailoring as a beginner.​

Remember, making dresses for yourself and your family is diff​erent than making dresses for the world. You CAN NOT do everything yourself. If you are starting with a work from home boutique or limited budget, all work by yourself kind; then you can start and continue for some time. 

But later on, you will have to hire some expert hands to specialize on different processes of dress making and gain speed of work.​

Boutique Disasters & How to Overcome Them.​

2. You must know different Materials.

In a boutique, you would be required to work on different materials. It could be fabric, metals, paper, even chocolates to name a few of them.

Here, for the general public, we would be discussing fabric only.​

There is a huge heap of fabrics available for your creativity to flow. You have COTTON, LINEN, SILK, PINNA FABRIC, RAYON, POLYESTER, BROCADE, CHANDERI….and the list goes on. 

Now imagine, what it would be like if some customer walks in your boutique and wants a high fashion-end garment but you don’t have any clue what fabric he/she talking about.

 ALAS!! You missed the opportunity. Why would they pay you if you have no knowledge about what they want. So keep your eyes on every fabric.

​The best way to gain understanding on fabrics / different materials is to feel the texture. Use your senses.
See, Touch, Feel, Know the name and Remember. Repeat.

We already discussed the two main pillars of our business, yet there are so many more things to learn (and stick with your aim, we want Starbucks coffee every morning :p , right?) don’t just give up.

Universe is ready to help you, all you have to do is keep reminding yourself why you thought to be independent. That’s it we are ready to dive in.

Know the fabrics and which fabric to buy for what type of dress.

​What's the best sewing machine to buy?

3. It's all about design.

Raise your hands up if you love h&m , zara , forever21 etc. (I like forever21 the most. ) comment below your favorite brands. So the point here is why they attract a massive amount of audience? If your answer is design then welcome to always right group.

Design is the key factor in making of any garment - whether it would be formal, casual, party wear, ethnics etc. you have to keep in your mind what your customer really wants, what's her expectation from the piece of fabric , how she visualize herself is what you aims to offer.

Think about this way, when we go for a shopping, and can't find anything that matches our expectation and at last comes up home with a bag full of frustration. How bad it feels, even there were some times when I started crying (literally crying)

there is some basic elements of design that generate pattern

Ø Lines :- vertical , horizontal , diagonal.

§ Vertical lines :- formal look ,slim look

§ Horizontal lines:- casual look , wider look

§ Diagonal lines:-sophisticated look

Ø Dots :- create visual effects

Ø Shapes :- generates interest

I doesn’t go much in detail just give you an overview how things work to create your favorite patterns. There are a few more things about creating your favorite Pattern which comes under principles of design. But don’t worry I am not gonna bore you, we will talk about them later.

Ok who needs a break 😀 , no one? That’s great!

4. Productivity - Welcome to Zero Patience Zone.

Productivity is a measure by which we know - what best output we can generate by putting our available efforts and resources. 

A boutique job is hard work but we don’t always need to work hard. On a regular basis, CONSISTENT PLANNED WORK is required. 

The reason is that continuous hard work leads to burnout. Our body, mind and soul is exhausted so much that we stop deriving pleasure from the passion, that we once enjoyed.​ 

We start hating everything. We are continuously stressed and all this stress passes on to our employees, customers and business. ​So, what we need to do is to create a system of doing things, whereby every process (manufacturing, finishing, delivery, or whatsoever it is.) is streamlined. Well scheduled, planned work makes us run a business smoothly.

PRODUCTIVITY DOESN’T MEAN COMPROMISING THE QUALITY.

5. Coordination : Everybody's your boss here.

A business grows when you have a healthy relations and good coordination with your employees, vendors, artisans and almost everyone whosoever comes in the work chain, which produces the final outcome.

Every business is based on team work but especially here in boutique business, every screw in the machinery of work process is so important that everything goes haywire, if one person is out of sync.

Everyone, who is remotely associated with fashion and tailoring industry, knows that artisans and workers leave for their villages during festive seasons or they are overpriced at the time of work. That's the time, when you get bulk orders, promising fortunes and you sulk in a corner to get your work done.

That time, if a single worker is upset, on leave, sick - then you are doomed! Foresightedness, planning and outsourcing play a big role in times of emergency.​

Coordination is not limited to employees it also involves coordination between you and your working space, your tools , fabric; in fact, everything.

Is it good to run a fashion boutique in partnership?​

If you don’t respect your tools or what we call the medium by which you earn, they never gonna pay you back.

6. Manage Men Tactfully (women,in particular).

Running a boutique would not only keep you on your toes to coordinate internally with your employees, vendors, workers etc. but also the most important part of your existence - your customers.

It's all about public relations. No matter how much you spend on your advertising, marketing, social networking etc. if customers do not build a rapport with you; if they are not inspired by what you do. Forget everything. Your work will not last long!

To run a boutique successfully, it's essential that you know how to manage women tactfully because in reality, women run the show (on stage or off stage). About 98% men can not buy anything for themselves without consulting their mother, sister, girlfriend, wife or daughter.

You have to have management skills or abilities, without them how you handle so many customers at one time? Therefore its high time to work on your management skills.

7. Belief - Believe it, to make it happen.

You need to believe in yourself, in your abilities, in your dreams.

Starting is somewhat easier. You gather the funds or borrow, rent a place, buy some machines and materials, hire some workers and professionals and next day you are proud owner of a boutique.

Holding on to a dream is somewhat tedious. What you imagine a fashion designer's job - name, fame, money - that doesn't come easy. It takes years and years of unstoppable energy and a spirit which never accepts closing down shutters.

Yes, it's never been easy but I believe it's worth taking the steps. Never get upset if you don’t get much attention, keep doing your best and customers will eventually notice you.

If you are still reading then congratulations! You are much more determined then you thought, you would be successful one day.

And now there is no need to worry, I know you CAN definitely make it happen.

Because if you visualize something you have the capability of achieving.

Now go and plan out your ideal boutique.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR :

Ms. Shrishty Sharma pursuing fashion degree (2nd Semester) with Apparel Training & Design Centre (ATDC), Gurgaon. 

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