As a former boutique owner myself, I have been there, trudging through what seems is an endless amount of online vendors that either don't have the styles your looking for, the low prices or the quick shipping you will need to run a strong boutique business.
Even google, who usually does a great job will populate half of its search results with business that aren't even located in the USA (common google, get your stuff together.)
Fortunately you've landed at the right spot and below I am going to curate a list of clothing boutique vendors that will provide you with the most important tool to be a successful boutique, great clothes.
Terminology To Help You Understand the Market
There are several suppliers that offer clothing and those include: wholesale distributors, manufacturers, drop shippers and wholesale showrooms.
Let's go through each
- Wholesale Distributor: Distributors provide clothing sourced from other manufacturers. Distributors could be referred to as middle men. You might think these companies simply get a cut of the action by offering higher price goods, but this isn't always the case. Distributors offer unique benefits, like consolidating multiple brands in one shipment and offering cheaper clothing that they liquidate from clothing vendors. Only these sites seem to be the companies offering these unique lucrative deals.
- Manufacturers: Manufacturers or brands are the businesses that design and produce clothing.
- Drop Shippers: Drop Shippers are specialized companies that purchase from brands a large amount of inventory and then ship these individually to your customers. Drop shipping has come a long way in the last ten years and offers an incredible opportunity to build a boutique with little to no capital.
- Wholesale Showrooms: Have you ever attended a clothing show and walked the long aisles of brands soliciting their newest designs? Well that's what a wholesale showroom is but virtually. These companies and sites offer a place for boutique owners to view and purchase directly from all of their favorite vendors on one site.
Let's get started with my top ten picks
Bloom Wholesale is hidden gem. I friend told me about this site years ago as a place to find really great deals. Not only do they have some great finds but they ship fast and their shipping is capped at $9.95 for all shipments and orders.
Bloom is interesting in that they are one of only a couple companies that provide closeout deals. The bulk closeouts prices can be as low as $7.00.
Drop shipping is another service they provide, with drop shipping you can grab their pictures, sell the items and have Bloom ship them out.
Mio falls under the classification as a Distributor. Mio has been around for over a decade and their successful longevity speaks volumes to their great service.
The things I like about Mio Wholesale is you can get a lot of great brands and consolidate the shipping in one order, this will save you a lot of money and time. They only work with quality boutique brands and have great customer service.
Price is moderate and discount codes are not offered. You get what you pay for with Mio and if you want to be sure to have a quality product for your boutique this is a great vendor.
Judson & Company is family run manufacturer out of Alabama. They have been around since 1989 and they might hold the crown for the older manufacturer in our boutique industry.
I love Judson, they concentrate on all things accessories from hats, jewelry, scarfs, kimonos, bracelets, screen prints to some clothing. If your a boutique not maximizing sales with accessories then you aren't doing it right.
Their warehouse is in Alabama, so that central location means they can deliver wholesale items to your boutique sometimes within 1- 2 days!
If you plan on brining in accessories to your boutique definitely give Judson a look.
Wishlist Apparel is a young women’s contemporary manufacturer that specializes in staple classics.
If there is a league of boutique brands, Wishlist might just reign supreme. They are one of the top brands in the boutique market and you can chalk this up to two reasons, quality and price.
Wishlist makes the top 10 list as the only wholesale brand not because of special discounts, amazing customer service or any other perk but solely because their quality and trends are top notch.
Katydid landed the last top five spot because they are an easy-to-work-with company that delivers great quality boutique clothing.
Hear from them in their own words
"The apparel we offer is made for beautiful women who love to live life to the fullest. With so many styles at Katydid Wholesale, there’s something for everyone! We have the best women’s clothing for retail stores and boutiques of all sizes. Our women’s clothes and accessories are the perfect addition to help your customers fall in love with your store!"
FashionGo is likely the first virtual wholesale showroom to exist.
FashionGo is a marketplace that hosts thousands of individual wholesale vendors, brand and distributors.
Since FashionGo is a one stop shop for everything what would be a reason not to shop with them?
Prices can be higher shopping through FashionGo rather then going direct because of the commission fee's Fashiongo charges its vendors to use the website. Unless you go direct, there will always be a middle man :)
7. LA Showroom
Like, LA Showroom is a wholesale marketplace that specializes in offering a huge assortment of wholesale clothing and accessories.
They claim to also be one of the first wholesale marketplaces, so if anything we have them to thank for helping to radically transform the wholesale boutique industry.
If you would like to register with any wholesale showroom is worth noting that you will need a business license, sellers permit and previous invoices with brands.
Once you have all of that in place you can scroll through the endless pages of wholesale clothing vendors and distributors that will supply your boutique with more then enough goods to stock your shop.
Like Fashiongo, LA Showroom has commission fees charges to its vendors.
The new girl on the block is Faire. This company is making waves in the wholesale boutique clothing marketplace by being the first site to offer 60 day terms.
Their goal is to give the small boutique owner all of the same competitive advantages that a big box store like Walmart and Ross has.
Sounds great! But Faire has yet to convince and migrate a majority of the top USA wholesale brands and distributors to use its platform.
The reason is simple, high commission fees.
Faire has a high vendor commission fee. The cost of providing those wonderful benefits like 60 day terms for the boutique means the vendors have to raise their prices and thus you will pay more for the same clothing found on other platforms like Bloom or FashionGo.
As it stands Faire has a large selection of wholesale clothing vendors and time will tell if their bet on 60 day terms is one that boutiques desire.
At Buywholesaleclothing my list of vendors and distributors is curated and condensed but if you're ever curious to see the whole list of wholesale vendors, Wholesalecentral has that for you.
Wholesalecentral likely has every wholesale clothing and accessories provider in the world. Not only can you browse the endless lists of wholesale suppliers but they do a great job of listing all minor and major fashion gatherings in the USA.
In their words "Wholesale Central provides premium sourcing tools that help wholesale buyers ﬁnd wholesale suppliers and products."
Orangeshine is another great wholesale showroom on the market. It does everything right from attracting wholesale vendors and distributors with low commission fee's and provides an easy-to-use layout for easy boutique purchasing.
There was a time when Orangeshine was my go-to wholesale marketplace because of its consolidated shipping. This was a great perk that only they offered but have since discontinued this great resource.
Why might you choose Orangeshine over FashionGo and others? This is their pitch.
"From an online marketplace with exponentially growing number of registered users, new users and purchases to professionally photographed product images while providing full customer service and order processing for buyers, we have everything you need to get your foot into the booming online business with minimal effort and costs."
Advice on utilizing online wholesale boutique sites
There was a time not too long ago when everyone did their purchasing at fashion shows like Magic and the Off Price Show. These shows still exist today but the advent of online wholesale shopping has made them somewhat obsolete for many. With that said I always implore my ladies to go to at least one clothing expo a year and here is why.
Attending a fashion show isn't really about purchasing clothing and perhaps it never was, its more about building connections and establishing relationships with not only the brands but also other boutique owners.
These invaluable relationships offer the support and advice you will need if you want to make it in this business.