How to Start a Fashion Clothing Store the Proper Way

Published: 05th September 2008
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When we talk about fashion, the first thing that'll come into our minds are clothes, right? Well this is because of those fashion shows happening on some major events or on some reality game shows. The fashion industry has grown so much that it's taken over all aspects of our lifestyle, especially the way we choose our clothes.

Speaking of industry, the fashion clothing industry has truly boomed. Every where we look, left or right, and even up or down, there's a clothing store standing there selling fashionable clothing lines such as those Sean John Clothing or House of Dereon to eager customers. Fashion didn't only bring fashionable clothes and accessories, but also opportunities for businessmen and women to take advantage on, like making a profit out of it.

Like I said, anywhere you look; there's a clothing store ready to provide what their customers wants. Which is why, competition is very high in this arena. There are just too many competitions. But remember: There is always room for some "Jello". All you have to do is to have that kind of "Edge" over your competition if you ever wanted to start a fashion clothing store.

Getting Started

Now before you open your own retail fashion clothing store or fashion boutique, you should first decide on what kind of clothing store are you going to start, or shall we say the "Theme" of your clothing store. There's a lot of them if you really open up your eyes. There are those that specialize in wedding or bridal gowns, some business clothing boutiques, casual wears or street wears stores, children's wear shops, some formal attire boutiques, lingerie, maternity store, men's wear boutique, special size boutiques, sports wear / active wear, teen gear, women's wear boutique, and many more.

Remember this, because of you being the owner of your business, your creativity, your skill, your expertise, and your capacity to manage a business will constantly be challenged. Attention to detail in window presentation, store lighting, rack displays and even that touch of personal service will all come into account when you open your fashion clothing store. I say this not to frighten you, but to give you a head-start of what you'll face when you open those doors, and start the life as the owner of a retail fashion clothing shop or boutique.

Now I've talking about retail fashion clothing stores and fashion clothing boutiques for a while now. So let me tell you the difference retail fashion between a clothing store and a fashion clothing boutique.

Retail fashion clothing stores specializes in selling new clothing products created by fashion designers themselves which may or may not be dictated by celebrity trends. Some retail fashion stores have gone to such specialized extent that they only offer the works of their in-house designers. Others have a number of brand names and designer names offered in one roof such as Sean John, House of Dereon, and Rocawear, which are great for some customers.

Fashion boutiques, on the other hand, are more chic or upscale. Personalized service, cozy ambience and unique merchandise are offered here. And patrons of such places usually expect nothing less.

So before you start your retail fashion clothing store or fashion clothing boutique, you should first decide on what kind of specialization you want your business to have. Because is very hard to get back once you've started your business.

Steps to Take Before Opening a Retail Fashion Clothing Store or Fashion Clothing Boutique

Now that you know what kind of fashion clothing shop you're trying to start. Let's now go through some steps before embarking on your business.

Step 1: Get All The Necessary Things In Line

The first step to take is to get all the necessary things in line, such as establishing your line of business, the license for your business, and the name of your store.

Determining your business is also important. Do you want to run your business a sole proprietor or owner? Or do you want your business a Partnership or Corporation? If you want, you could start a business with a friend or family, and you share everything 50/50. Then you can gradually move on to create a Limited Liability Corporation as your company gets bigger.

Business permit or license is also important, if you don't want to run your business in a prison. Before starting your fashion clothing store, you should first check with your local business bureau and find out what the requirements are needed to start your urban clothing store. Prepare to meet those requirements such as business permits and other taxation paperwork.

The name of your store is also very important. You would obviously want your patrons to remember your store, but you also want them to associate the name of the store with your merchandise. Make sure to pick a name that is hip, meaning avoid formalities.

Step 2: Get Your Business and Financial Plans In Order

Planning a business from the start can go a long way, especially if you plan about your business processes and financial capacities. The use of Excel can really help in managing your business and accounting. Some software is also available for the use of businessmen and women or you to easily manage your fashion clothing store.

You should also include your start-up cost such as the rent for your shop, the money needed for your opening day, salaries and wages for your employees (if any), taxes, insurances, and other business miscellaneous.

Your business plan should also show where you plan to set up your business, the demographics, your goals and your projected revenue. You may want to indicate where you will get your funding or investment capital, would it be from loan or from your own savings account.

It would also be appropriate for you to include all your start-up expenditures, for much of the assets would be coming from your personal funds or savings and how much were loaned or borrowed. These things should be cleared out before opening your fashion clothing shop to minimize the chance for you to encounter such problems.

Step 3: Get A Proper Location

Another huge factor about launching your own fashion clothing store is where your store is located. Malls are popular places for such stores, but the space is very expensive, and competitions are abundant. Stores that sell outside such establishments may have less rental expenses but may also have lesser exposure or traffic.

So you should ensure that the location is located in a high-traffic area and close to places such as schools, hip clubs and restaurants. Put your store inside a mall (if you have the budget for it), but avoid placing it next to another retail fashion clothing store or fashion clothing boutique. Otherwise, you would be competing with veteran fashion clothing store owners.

In order to assess competitiveness and presence, you would need to perform a market research in order to look at the demographics in the location you plan to put up your fashion clothing store. See what other fashion clothing store can provide and what they cannot provide. Example, if your competitor has a large collection of House of Dereon jeans and skirts but lesser with Sean John Clothing T-shirts and hoodies, then you should sell those Sean John Clothing T-shirts and hoodies rather than selling those House of Dereon jeans and skirts.

Also, take into account the accessibility of your location, foot traffic, visibility from the streets, safety of customers or nearby other conveniences so that shop hoppers would put your store as one of those they would visit when they go for shopping sprees.

Step 4: Get Your Collections Lined Up

So here is the most important part, what you're going to sell. If you're running a store that provides clothing that caters to all ages and sizes, then you must be able to provide what they want, and how they wanted it.

It is also important that you can provide some of the most popular branded clothing lines, such as Sean John Clothing, House of Dereon, Rocawear, or Apple Bottoms. You can buy this directly from the manufacturers, but you could also buy it from a distributor such as Ebay. But apart from Ebay, other online clothing shops or wholesale clothing shops can provide such things such as Streetzwear and Seven Wholesale.

Here is a short list of what you should include in your collections:

• The Sean John Clothing

o Sean John has become a usual suspect at the prestigious award ceremony for the Council of Fashion Designers of America or the CFDA held annually in New York. For five consecutive years since 2000, Sean John has been nominated for its excellence in design.

Visit Streetzwear to learn more about the Sean John Clothing and its collection of fashionable urban and hip hop clothing lines.

• Apple Bottoms Jeans

o Apple Bottom jeans were also featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show as one of Oprah's Favorite Things. Oprah also featured the jeans in her magazine, O, The Oprah Magazine.

Jeans in the Apple Bottoms collection are designed for accentuating women's shapely figures with signature details like apple-shaped back pockets.

Visit Streetzwear to learn more about the Sean John Clothing and its collection of fashionable urban and hip hop clothing lines.

• House of Dereon

o House of dereon is a prêt-à-porter or ready-to-wear fashion line introduced by singer Beyoncé Knowles and her mother/stylist Tina Knowles.The fashion line was also first introduced on The Oprah Winfrey Show, and was also featured on The Tyra Banks Show.

Visit Streetzwear to learn more about the Sean John Clothing and its collection of fashionable urban and hip hop clothing lines.

• Akademiks

o Akademiks was popularized in 2001 by Brooklyn rapper Fabolous whose lyrical content advertised the brand. He also wore an akademik velour on the inside cover of his debut album Ghetto Fabolous.

Visit Streetzwear to learn more about the Sean John Clothing and its collection of fashionable urban and hip hop clothing lines.

• Rocawear

o Rocawear is an urban clothing label created in 1999 by Jay-Z and Damon Dash. Jay-Z is the head of the hip hop label Roc-a-Fella Records in which the rocawear got its name.

The fame of rocawear among the urban community has brought an annual sale of over $1 billion US dollars to the infamous clothing line.



These are only some of the list that you should include in your collection. But it's entirely up to you to include this or not.

Step 5: Get Known

Before opening your doors, it's important that people around you know that you're opening your fashion clothing store at this day and at this time. This can be done by advertising your store. Weeks or months prior to your opening day, ensure that you have mailed or distributed fliers, set up ads in the advertising section of your local newspaper, post bill-boards and flashy signs at a corner near your store. If you could, you could hire people to distribute fliers to passing people, or just seek some help from your families and friends.

Step 6: Get Ready For Your Grand Opening

Set up your display and be ready for before the opening day. Stock up on clothes, make sure shirts are neatly folded on shelves or display tables. Hang them neatly on racks. Dress the mannequins and display them by the window to attract customers. Put the price tags clearly on each section or each clothing.

And don't forget the posters. These posters will let your customers know where the clothes are coming from and from what brand.

By the time you open up your store, make sure that you and your sales people (if there is any) are ready to take in the customers.

Put on a big smile, but not that big. And always assist every customer that has a question about your collections. Never let your customers unattended, make sure that they are getting what they want and how they wanted it.

Some Helpful Tips to Get Your Business Up And Running

Always do your studies. Make a research on what people are currently wearing. Check the authenticity of your supplier (if your buying your stock from a distributor). Check if they have the necessary papers to sell the stocks to you.

Lastly, avoid buying and selling fake designer clothing. Be wary of people claiming to sell you authentic clothing when in fact they are reproductions or imitations only. Contact the manufacturers directly to ensure you are getting the originals. You could visit Streetzwear to find our what's in and what's the hottest trends in fashion clothing without the worry of buying unauthenticated clothing lines.



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