A Cheat Sheet for: What to Buy When Starting an Online Boutique
Here is a list of products that I bought to help me start up my boutique. Now obviously some of these things are 100% necessary & starting a small business can be costly. So take what I say and make it your own.
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For me, I wanted to create my brand from the very beginning & that meant a lot of up front cost. If you want to go without or can’t afford them right now that is totally fine! These are things that just for my own experience helped so much!
So here we go...
1. Polybags — different sizes
I’m sure it comes as no surprise that this is the first one that came to mind! Polybags are what you use to ship your products in. I use these polybags that come from Amazon. They are super cute & have a couple different patterns. As well as they come in MULTIPLE sizes. This is so important. Having multiple different sizes if you are selling clothes is a must. It will save money on shipping. Most of the time a sweater is going to need a bigger bag than a skirt, just makes sense!
2. Small Scale
This one is so important. When it comes to shipping your items your website or shipping company is going to ask you how much it weighs. In order to give them an accurate number for shipping your items you need to be able to give it in ounces and pounds. This also will save you time. Most post offices have a place where you can simply walk up and drop off your package. If you don’t have this & you aren’t using shipping through your website, you’ll have to stand in line at the post office, have them weigh it & nobody’s got time for that! Here’s the small scale that I bought!
3. Measuring tape
This one goes along with the scale. Most shipping companies are going to ask the dimensions of the package. So having a measuring tape handy over a ruler saves time and is much more accurate.
This one isn’t as crucial but I didn’t think about it until later & it made a long day of organizing for me. When you get your wholesale purchases made they are going to send you all the product with a recipe. KEEP THE RECEIPTS! I made the mistake of throwing away a couple of them, & yes they are online. But some wholesale companies like to see your receipts to prove that you are a boutique worth giving business too. So make sure to keep them so you can scan them in or bring them to a wholesale market. It just makes you look that much more legit.
Stickers can be fun & they go along with the next couple. But it’s all about the product and the presentation to your customer. As someone who buys from boutiques fairly often I can say that one of the best parts of boutiques are all the specific decorations and presentations they give to the customer. I bought these stickers from Amazon. They are SO cute & I use them to close up the tissue paper. It seems pointless but in the end it’s about giving your customer an experience when opening their package that makes them feel it's personalized. It's a big draw for the customer, because as adults we miss getting presents & boutiques can fill that gap haha!
6. Tissue paper
Tissue paper is simply to wrap up the clothes in. I love doing this because again it makes it an experience. They will remember my boutique the more unique of an experience I can give them. It’s also like giving a little present in a way. Gift giving is one of my favorite things to do & giving a small little gift in tissue paper is a fun way of saying this was wrapped just for you! Here’s the tissue paper that I buy off of amazon that is super cheap compared to most others I have found!
7. Business cards
I always stick a business card in my packages. Not only are they handy to remind them where the package is coming from but they are super cute! I love to hand them out to people. I wear my boutique’s clothes around a lot & getting told that my shirt is super cute is so much fun, but it’s even better when I can say “it’s from my boutique here’s a little card, go check it out!”
True, I know, true, not super necessary but helpful to make the conversation with them flow a little easier out of the mouth! I styled mine on Vistaprint. They usually have amazing discounts & their software is super user friendly.
8. Thank you notes
I love our thank you notes! This is another fantastic reminder that the package you bought is helping out a small business. I think it’s absolutely amazing that we can create a business almost out of nothing but it wouldn’t be possible without our customers. So I love saying a small little thank you!
Our cards say that our customers look so cute in their clothes and a small reminder to tag us so that we can see their clothes and repost them on social media! I made both our business cards & thank you notes on vistaprint. They are by far the easiest company I have found to use & they often have many fun prints that make it easy to come back and reprint.
Tags are a great way to mark your clothes. They another cute way to remind the customer where there clothes come from. They also help build your brand. A lot of times clothing for boutiques are bought wholesale & the clothing tag says something completely different. So being able to look and see a tag that has the company they bought it from is reassuring. & again it’s another way to promote your business and get your customer to recognize your brand.
If you take anything from this, it’s about getting your brand remembered & recognized. The best feeling is when you recognize a customer who keeps coming back to your site! I made these also at vistaprint!
10. Rope & pins
The twine & pins go along with the tags. You are going to need some way to attach the tags. I think twine looks cute & these cute pins just add a nice touch. For me & building my brand, that’s what I wanted. I wanted to create a brand that feels nice. Creating a brand that is cheap just doesn’t make sense. You want to be the best, not the brand that is second best. Here’s links to the rope & pins that I got!
11. Printer/ Tape & print on paper
There are two ways to go about this. One way is less expensive but much more time consuming & the other is more expensive but saves time.
At the beginning I didn’t want to buy a label printer because it is an investment in money. So I opted to just print the labels from home & cut them out and tape them onto the polybags. But let me tell you, the difference in time that it made to just print them out with the label printer was so worth it. At the beginning when you aren’t selling as many products it’s okay to be spending that extra time printing them out, cutting them, and taping them on the bags. But when you get more orders and you are trying to keep them all straight being able to connect this label printer to the computer and just pop them all out is a LIFE saver!
Steamers are so important. I thought buying one wouldn’t be as necessary as it turned out to be. When you do product shoots & you are creating images to use on your website & your social media it is important that your products look their best. This is so hard to do already but having the steamer to get rid of creases is so important. I learned this the hard way. Any product that I didn’t steam you can see in the photos, and I can honestly say they didn’t sell as well.
People buy off of what they see & instinct. Even if they don’t really notice that it’s wrinkled they do. Plus if you hire a photographer, their camera is for sure going to catch that. Here’s the little steamer I have. It’s not huge & it’s super cheap, but it works great for getting all the products I need steamed!
13. Hangers/ Hanging rod
Having cute hangers & a hanging rod isn’t absolutely a must, but it is if you want cute pictures of your hangers on your social media. &&& if you want to be organized. I have most of my clothes in bins. BUT I keep out the clothes that I am currently marketing and working on selling. I have the clothes all hanging nicely so that if I want I can take a picture of them and market!
This also helps to keep them nice and straight and not wrinkled. Some of my products wrinkle so easily, & having somewhere to keep them is so nice. I recommend these hangers. I have loved using them. They are a great price & cute! This is rod I have used for the past year. Not super cute but it does the job & at a great price for keeping clothes from being wrinkled!
The mirror. So not important but I put it in here because why not! I have loved this mirror from IKEA. It’s so nice to have a full body mirror for taking selfies in the mirror! I know, selfies. But hey when you are marketing to a social media following having a mirror with great lighting makes you want to market your clothes. So call it what you want, not necessary, but having a full body mirror is a must for me!
Go get it!!
&&& there you have it. A bunch of things to help your boutique launch be successful! If you have any more questions or suggestions on what I should write about next email me! Click down below to subscribe to my email list where I send out notifications about my blog!