So, I wrote a previous post on the 5 First Steps to Opening Your Clothing Boutique. In Step 4, I talk a little bit about researching what brands you want to carry in your boutique.
Today, I’m going to go a little bit more in depth on how to contact the brands you want and what information they will need from you.
First things first, by this point you should have your Seller’s Permit and your Business License. The process of obtaining these vary state to state, so check on your own state’s government website for information. After you have your Seller’s Permit and Business License, make a list of brands that you would like to carry. Remember, you may not be able to get every brand that you want.
Depending on what type of boutique you are opening – for example – Junior’s clothing, Contemporary clothing, etc., will make the difference on how fast or easy it is to get certain brands.
If you choose to do Junior’s clothing, shoes, or accessories it will be fairly simple to acquire those junior brands that you want. Most junior brands I have worked with have only required me to provide my Seller’s Permit number, if even that.If you are in Los Angeles, a good place to start for Junior’s Clothing is the San Pedro Mart. The minimum to buy is usually 6 pieces for tops and dresses and 12 pieces for jeans or pants. Here, you will only need your Seller’s Permit number.
If you are more specific on what brands you want for Junior’s clothing, go to that brand’s website, find their wholesale contact information, and send them an e-mail or give them a call to set up an appointment to visit the showroom.
For example, I decide I want to carry the line Pretty Rebellious. I google “Pretty Rebellious” to find their website, click on Contact Information, and there I find the Sales Rep and L.A. and N.Y. Showroom contact information. And don’t worry if you are not in Los Angeles or New York where the showrooms are – once you get in contact with a Sales Rep, they can send you photos of their current line and you can place orders through e-mail.
Now, say you want to carry a more Contemporary brand like Seven For All Mankind. When you contact their Sales Rep, they will have you fill out a questionnaire and you will most likely have to provide pictures of your store (if your store is already open).
Here are the types of questions that they might ask:
- How many years in have you been in business?
- What is the size of your store?
- What percentage of your store is Women’s?/Men’s?
- What other denim brands are carried in your store?
- What other clothing lines do you have in your store?
- What stores in your area are considered competition for your store?
They will also have you fill out a credit application. Once they have reviewed all your information, they will either approve you and you can start ordering, or they can also deny your application.
There are also brands that you will not be able to carry at all. For example, the Kardashian Kollection was designed ONLY for Sears. It is not made available to anyone else to carry. You must go to Sears to buy that brand.
So, I hope that this post has been helpful and as always, leave me a comment if you have any other questions I didn’t answer. 🙂
So, it’s one thing to explain what a Technical Designer’s job description is, but I figured it would be more interesting (maybe?) to go into detail on what I do on a daily basis. Below I wrote down what I did yesterday at work, which is what a typical day is like for me.
9:15 AM :
I arrive at the office and check my email to see if the shit hit the fan since the previous day. 🙂
I am an Import Technical Designer and all of our factories and vendors are in China. So, with the time difference, they start replying to emails once we’re done for the day.
9:15 – 10:00 AM:
I answer emails and make a few urgent revisions to my tech packs.
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM:
I begin working on my tech packs, giving priority to those with a tight delivery.
Starting on a tech pack, I check over the sketch done by design and check it against the sample and the information that was given to me by my Technical Design Associate.
My first few tech packs that I was working on, the sketch didn’t match the pattern card or the sample, so I had to call design to figure out which was correct.
After I’ve made the revisions to the sketch, I move on and do my Sewing Details page in Illustrator. I call out all stitching and sewing information. You can see a sample Sewing Details page here.
We use WebPDM which makes doing tech packs WAY faster and easier. I upload my Sewing Details in WebPDM, and add label and hangtag information and placements to the tech pack.
The last page I work on is the BOM page. I list all of the fabrics along with the yields, trims, and packaging items and quantities. This is so the Coster knows everything this garment will need in production and get a cost on it.
After I have my completed tech pack, I generate the final product and email it out to production.
12:00 – 1:00 PM:
I have lunch at this yummy mexican restaurant that has really great lunch specials! 2 hard shell chicken tacos with rice and beans for $5.95 please! 🙂
1:00 – 4:00 PM:
Revisions, revisions, revisions. My revisions had been piling up, mainly due to the fact that they decided to change the fly stitching on a pair of jeans from a cross-over stitch to a regular double needle stitch. It was too difficult for the factory to execute in production which gave me a good 20 styles to revise. So, this is what I spent most of my afternoon doing.
4:00 – 6:00PM:
Back to my tech packs. I spend the rest of my day finishing up the rest of my tech packs and emailing them out. I get emailed a new list of buys, so I know that it starts all over again tomorrow morning! 🙂
So, there you have it! A typical day for me. If you would like me to go into further detail on anything, leave me a comment!
So, you’re passion is fashion design?
And now you’re wondering – what is the salary of a fashion designer?
A Fashion Designer’s salary is mainly based on three different factors – location, education/experience, and the type of company you are working for.
The location of your new Fashion Design position makes all the difference in your salary. In the United States, most jobs in the fashion industry are going to be located in New York City or Los Angeles. Jobs in NYC usually pay more than in L.A., but it also costs significantly more to live in NYC. There are also jobs scattered throughout cities like Seattle, Dallas, Chicago, and Miami. Sometimes jobs in these areas can pay more than in Los Angeles or New York simply because its harder to recruit candidates to those locations. Based on my experience, the average Fashion Designer’s salary in Los Angeles is about $70,000. This doesn’t include any bonuses that a designer may receive in addition to their base salary because that number can vary greatly.
Education & Experience
Your education and experience in the industry also will influence your salary. The feeling I get in the industry in L.A. is that experience is given more importance over education. Most employers don’t really care whether you did a 2 year, 4 year, or dropped out before you finished your program, IF you have the experience. But, when exploring jobs in other areas such as NYC or Dallas, or the Midwest, I found that they were still very interested in the education I had received no matter how much experience I had. Starting out as an entry-level Fashion Designer (you will most likely be an assistant), your average salary will be about $30,000-$40,000. Once you have a few years experience and reach mid-level, you’re salary will be about $40,000 – $60,000. After you have over 7 years of experience, on average a Fashion Designer can make anywhere from $60,000 – $120,000. It is possible to make even more than that as well depending on the company you’re working for.
Type of Company
The type of company you work for will directly impact your salary. If you work at a smaller start-up company, your salary will be a lot less than if you work for an already established corporate company. Also, you may choose to freelance and work with many different companies. Freelancers usually charge more, but it usually evens out since the work is not always steady and you will have to pay for your own benefits.
What have you discovered about Fashion Designer salaries?