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.