Supplied Customers Give Advice to New Boutique Owners
Here at Supplied, we’ve made it our mission to empower business owners to achieve their dreams. We’ve worked with thousands of business owners like you in all stages of business… people who are just about to open their boutique for the first time, seasoned business owners who’ve been doing this for a long time, scrappy entrepreneurs who made the hard decision to pivot their business during the pandemic, and so much more. We’ve seen orders of 5 items and orders of 500 items.
Supplied isn’t just a company – it’s a community. All of our customers are business owners like you who have big goals and even bigger dreams. And there’s so much we can all learn from each other!
We’ve asked a few successful boutique owners to share their best advice for someone who’s interested in starting a boutique of their own. Here’s what they had to say – take notes!
#1: Follow your passion
“Do something you are passionate about! I love the items I sell and I use most of them myself, which makes them so much easier to sell.”
– Michelle Torres of Fab Finds by Mimi
“Do what you love and love what you do. Sell what you love, represent what you are passionate about, and do it at your pace [...] Hustle even on the hard days, but don’t forget to take care of yourself so you can truly enjoy the journey.”
– Sandy Thorpe of Sandy’s Boutique
“Don’t wait for all the lights to be green to start what you are passionate about because they never will be. At times, you will be standing alone and you have to be okay with that. Be your own biggest supporter, even when no one else believes in your dream but you.”
– Reyna Lacey of Reyna Lacey Collection
#2: Set your business up for success
“The best advice I have for a person thinking of starting a boutique is to know the laws in their state for registrations and taxes. It's important to get set up properly. Do not be afraid to ask an expert for help. You don't have to have it all together to start, but you must be willing to learn along the way. Invest in yourself.”
– Angie Greene-Hicks of Hidden Jewels
“Don't wait for the perfect time because, to be honest, there is no perfect time to open up your business! Just make sure to look up taxes and legal information for your state. Also, the IRS will never charge you to create an EIN for your business, doesn't matter what state you are in! The most important thing you can do is start!”
– Tiffany Tito of Le Rêve Fort Boutique
#3: Money matters
“Set up a game plan for how you will pay yourself. A percentage of your sales needs to be set aside for taxes, another percentage set aside to pay off investment loans (if needed), and don’t forget to include a percentage to purchase more inventory. Don’t put all of your “profit” into your pocket!”
– Jackie Virgil of Shopping With Jackie
“As far as inventory goes, keep it simple. You don’t need to spend thousands on products to open a store, you don’t have to launch with 50 products. Limit yourself to what you can do and then sell that. As your business grows, you can add more stuff. But opening with too much inventory just puts undue pressure on yourself.”
– Tiffany Tito of Le Rêve Fort Boutique
#4: Seize opportunities
“Never be afraid of starting something new. Even if you feel like you’re failing at it or not getting accomplished with it, just keep at it and it will happen for you. And once that opportunity hits you that you can take advantage of, take it and run with it. Even in a bad situation like the pandemic, things can still turn out for the best – when life gives you lemons, make lemonade!”
– Brent Murphy of Jewels Unlimited
#5: Get creative
“The best piece of advice if you’re thinking of starting your own boutique is creativity. You have to create an ambiance that attracts your shoppers. Though all shoppers are different, think about how each item can be shown or displayed to catch that shopper’s eye. I use a lot of inexpensive props to show off the merchandise. I always start with a blank palette. I add large-scale items first and balance out the height and then fill in last with the actual merch. It shows the potential buyer just how special those pieces are and adding creativity helps to create an ambiance and a fun shopping experience. I always say, ‘If you create the ambiance, they will come.’”
– Hollie Olsen of Golden Ladder Interiors
#6: Start now!
“My advice is: be authentic, be different, and just do it. Don’t be afraid – you’ll find your people, and they’ll find you, too.”
– Lisa Banwell of Queenie & Pearl
“Just do it. You’re probably thinking about money, time, whether it’s even possible for you to do it right now, all of those things. But just do it. Doubt comes in a lot in my life, too. I’m constantly wondering how I’ll make the time. But it’s something you have to keep pushing to do, and if I can do it, you can too. Sure, you might fail – but you also might succeed, and you’ll never know until you just get started!”
– Jada Hernandez of Peachy Boutique
“Do it! It’s so easy to come up with a hundred reasons not to do something, or to convince yourself now isn’t the right time. But if you’re passionate about fashion and opening a boutique is your dream, you’ve got to just go for it and trust that you’ll figure things out along the way. As a Black southern belle from a small town with BIG dreams, I can’t imagine doing anything else. Being a boutique owner is hard work, but it’s so worth it!”
– Pennie Bailey of The Sophisticated Lifestyle Boutique
Interested in networking with more business owners like you? Join the Supplied Family Facebook group!