How to open your own boutique

Updated February 21, 2017

Many people dream of opening their own business. The freedom to have your own schedule and to do things your own way is very enticing. For fashion lovers, there is nothing more exciting than opening a clothing boutique. While starting a small boutique is relatively easy, keeping it open and making it successful is a bit harder. With proper preparation and a lot of hard work, you can make your dreams of opening a boutique a reality, and improve your chances for success.

Learn everything you can about your industry. The best way to do this is to work in the clothing industry, either at a boutique, a design house or a clothing manufacturing business.

Decide what kind of clothing you'll sell in your boutique. Will you design and manufacture your own clothing, or sell items designed and made by others? If you plan to feature your own designs, begin researching where you will have these items made, and what the manufacturing costs will be.

Choose your location. Make sure you choose an area that will provide the type of traffic you expect to shop in your store. If you plan to sell expensive, designer clothing, you'll want to set up shop in an area that can support this type of store. It's also useful to look for locations that will allow for lots of walk-in traffic, such as in shopping malls or downtown shopping districts.

Secure the financing that you will need for your business. This could involve getting a business loan from a bank, borrowing money from family, or utilising your own savings. If you plan to apply for business loans, you'll need to prepare a business plan with solid financial projections.

Set up your boutique. This will require either making the clothing you will sell or arranging manufacturing by others.

Get any required business licenses from your town or state. This is also a good time to set up sales and income tax accounts.

Open your doors for business. Let all of your friends and family know about your boutique and have them spread the word.


Do not underestimate the need for sufficient capital when you start. Most new businesses fail in the first year, almost always because they run out of money.

Things You'll Need

  • Business plan
  • Start-up capital
  • Storefront (Own or lease)
  • Inventory
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About the Author

Emily Beach works in the commercial construction industry in Maryland. She received her LEED accreditation from the U.S. Green Building Council in 2008 and is in the process of working towards an Architectural Hardware Consultant certification from the Door and Hardware Institute. She received a bachelor's degree in economics and management from Goucher College in Towson, Maryland.