There is no better time to start a recycled clothing business than when the economy is stressed. Putting food on the table is much more important than having the latest fashion. Starting a business like this is much easier than starting most retail businesses because you can get your inventory on consignment from many different sources. This means more money for advertising and fixing up the store. Picking a good location is key for any business but especially for this type. People need to drive by and see that you have a quality product that they will want to see.
Find a good location for the store and negotiate a lease. The lease should be for at least a year with a 30-day notice to vacate. This way if the business does not do well, you will not get stuck paying out the lease. Set up a business plan that will show your budget, how you want to advertise and ways to outdo your competition.
Obtain a business operating license. Normally this will entail having the store inspected by the local fire bureau for safety and registering the name of the business.
Start advertising and getting out brochures. Let people know that you will be having a grand opening on a certain date. Let people know that you will take their clothing on consignment or, if the budget allows, buy it outright. When you start getting the clothing, use only the clothes that do not have stains or buttons missing. Keep everything as high-quality as you can and you will get return customers.
Start setting up the store and your bookkeeping system. If you are going to take clothing on consignment, you will need a system in place to keep track of each individual's sales. You can do this using ledgers. Decorate the store for the grand opening and purchase a nice door prize, like a Wii system or something everyone would like.
Try to get a local radio station to cover the grand opening for you. Many times they will come out and set up right at the store. If not, they may advertise it for you on their community notice board and tell everyone that they can win a great door prize for coming into the store that day.
Have your grand opening and hand out two business cards to everyone that comes in. Ask them to pass the second one on to a friend who may be interested in your clothing. If you've hired any help, make sure they are friendly. With a quality product, friendly employees and fair pricing for the clothing you will have a great business.