It all started with a little product line called Rachel’s Plan Bee on consignment in my massage/acupuncture office. My friend Rachel convinced me to do an account with her which was scary and exciting at the same time. She gave me the courage to step out and try something I had never thought of. Creating a boutique within an already functioning business can be suicide, thankfully I have wonderful customers. My focus is the personal experience clients and staff have, adding a boutique to the mix has been a thrill for me. This is my boutique journey and words of wisdom.
A Boutique is Born!
Wrestle the craziness in the head and brand that baby! Branding took a while I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. What shaped my boutique was wellness, I already had a business focused on helping clients heal, so what products spoke that language? My next HUGE addition was a skin care line to back up Facials, this was easier than you think. Skin care companies courted us and I ended up picking the one that smelled the best and got me carded again at 33 years old. It wasn’t long before I realized the full potential of having products to sell. I even went back to school to get my esthetician license so I could better understand the skin care products I quickly fell in love with.
DON’T DO RETAIL JUST FOR THE MONEY! You will go broke in the retail world if you do it just for money. IMAGE is the skin care line I started with and still carry because I love it! IMAGE has radically improved the skin of my friends, family, staff, and clients which makes me feel less like a saleswoman and more like “Hey I have access to some of the best skin care products on the planet why not bring them live to my community!”
It’s a boutique so no I can’t always beat prices found online. What I can tell you is there is not a single item in my Boutique that isn’t priced at the suggested retail price, my staff or myself hand picked every single item, and I love it or I wouldn’t have it.
Variety is good within reason. There are so many products I love but they don’t always fit in with what we are going for. Some of my greatest products don’t sell because they are misfits to what the boutique is about and have to be moved out to make room for the ones that do!
Time is crucial….. Make a decision to carry something and give it time. Sometimes it just needs a little time and presentation. I have wanted to carry cosmetics since I started my BOUTIQUE ADVENTURE and I finally found a company I love. Osmosis Skin Care makes a great mineral make-up line that is Oncology approved! I love it because there is nothing worse than spending money on great skin care products just to undo it with poor cosmetics. That being said Cosmetics is something new to us and we don’t have 15 brands to choose from so we have to earn customers faith that we will keep that line and the color variety. Tick Tock!
Be Unique! I like to carry things that I think are hard to figure out on your own. I take the worry and stress out of shopping for skin care products, essential oils, cosmetics, and body products. Sometimes I lay in bed and smile at the 4 an 5 stars the products I carry are getting online that let’s me know I am picking the good stuff.
Go to TRADE SHOWS, but don’t sign the contract until 2-3 days later, after the hype. Sometimes I wait 3 months before I make the big plunge of purchasing from vendors that require large purchases. I take notes at trade shows and I try everything before I carry it in my shop. Trade Shows and Magazines in your industry will teach you so much about what is trending and keep you bringing in the latest, greatest items.
Open Doors….. You have to have set store hours and keep them consistent for months on end to sell retail. It’s hard for one person to always open and close, life is much better if you have shifts and people rotating.
Eyes on the prize…. I rearrange my retail often so that clients can gain a different perspective and maybe see something they missed before, it is, however important to keep items grouped our human brain needs this.
Come see my Boutique and be a part of my adventure!