Starting a boutique is more than just selecting a prime location that you can afford or picking the perfect (but not too hipster) name. The interior of your boutique can make or break your business. Shoppers have come to expect an experience when they ‘shop small.’ Gone are the days when you can throw some paint on the walls, purchase clothing racks and grab a few mirrors from Target for your dressing rooms. Today it is all about the details. Below are 5 tips for developing your boutique’s ‘look.’
- Use the space you have…all of it. Your clothing should be featured in a variety of ways. Hang some of your favorite styles on the walls with a textured background. Order isn’t always best. Strategically spread out your racks and displays in a random (though of course not really random) way.
- Go untraditional. Brass and silver racks/shelving are out. Think wood in combinations with darker, heavy medals. If you are on a budget enlist your friends to help you custom make some pieces for your shop. All you need is a Home Depot. Wood stain and spray metal finish are your friends.
- Decorate. Yes, your clothes are the most important thing in your store. But you want your boutique to be cozy and a place where customers enjoy spending their time. Local art work, oversized custom mirrors, a unique check out counter, and one of a kind display cases (for accessories) make your customers feel like they are in the right place.
- Use the architecture. Are you in an older building? Ask your landlord if there are beams underneath your building’s ceiling. Nothing warms up a shop like exposed beams. Also, don’t settle for standard lighting. It is worth an afternoon of grunt work to install some hanging light fixtures to your ceilings. Remember…you are creating ambiance here!
- Offer variety. Customers want to be able to look through many different styles, colors and brands. Highlight those pieces you know are showstoppers but style them with some basics too so that your customers are inspired to turn that one piece into an entire outfit.
Remember…starting a boutique is about creating an experience. Yes, you need the right clothes, but you also need to be a place that people want to spend time in. Take the time to develop your boutique’s unique ‘look.’