(Closed) opening up a bridal shop

posted 8 years ago in Career
Post # 3
Member
6394 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2011

This doesn’t directly answer your question, but this is an article about a start-up bridal salon from a newspaper I used to intern with. Her start-up costs were $10,000. She says she expects to make about $50k the first year, but from everything I’ve seen, small biz owners are lucky to break even the first year.

Ideally, you’ll have about a year’s worth of income saved up for yourself for living expenses and to help you through the lean times. You should also consider taking classes at your local library about taxes and accounting for small businesses. Good luck if you decide to!

Oh – and you should consider Robin Jillian as a designer! There’s a store in my area that sounds a lot like the one that you’re considering starting (different designs, theirs are all $1,500 or under), and they carry her and Casablanca.

http://www.allbusiness.com/retail/retailers-clothing-accessories-stores-bridal-shops/10602808-1.html

Post # 4
Member
23 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: May 2010

No experience here, but a few comments.

Do you have any experience in retail? or fashion? Just as your clients/employer go to you for advice on graphic design, clients to a bridal boutique will want to know that you have expertise in fashion and/or retail.

Is there someone locally you can mentor? or ask questions of? Doesn’t necessarily have to be in bridal, but retail for sure in case you don’t have any experience in retail.

One of my mother’s friends opened up a bridal store. I know that there is a big expense in starting up, since you have to buy the sample gowns. (And you know those aren’t cheap!) Think about how big of an inventory you want to have. Do you want to carry a lot of gowns or just a select few or a select few designers.

Think about your competition. Research them extensively. Research the lines they carry. Research the designers you are interested in carrying to see if they are carried locally, or if they have exclusivity clauses.

You’ll also want to research what retail space costs locally. Insurance. Who have you networked with locally in the bridal business (vendors like wedding coordinators, photographers, reception venues, etc.). They can probably give you further insight into the local economic landscape.

If you think you have a niche, research it extensively. You are going to need a solid business plan (in writing — not in your head) if you’re going to ask for a loan from a bank or money from investors. You’ll probably also need a good accountant and possibly a lawyer.

Good luck!

Post # 6
Member
6394 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2011

I’m guessing the income does eventually go up, but I think it starts even lower than 50k by the time you pay any employees, buy the samples, pay for promotional material, etc. I think being a small biz owner would be fantastic, but from what I’ve seen, you have to be 100 percent dedicated to it.

Post # 7
Member
23 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: May 2010

@spoonoutmyheart: Keep in mind, too, that the economy varies by geography. The $50k may not be reasonable where you are located — it could be more or it could be less. That’s why I would really get out there and do some extensive research. If this is a dream for the future, you’ve got the time to do your research.

And yes, this is really a 24/7 kind of job. If you’re not working in the store, you’ve still got a lot of responsibilites outside traditional working hours. And, think about managing people, which just about any business owner will tell you is the crappiest part of owning a business. You just have to weigh the pros and cons to see if the yearly income is worth it. If its your passion, and makes you happy, maybe the income is worth it.

If I were you, I would really take the next year or so to do research, talk it out with your FH, family, friends, etc. And, I mean, have serious discussions about it. You’ll be all the better prepared for your next move!

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