The wholesale dresses that you would
purchase for your boutique are different
than the dresses that you would purchase for
a regular women's clothing store or website.
What do I mean by that?
Well for starters we need to agree on
what the definition of a dress boutique
Let's agree that a dress boutique is
a retail operation that carries distinct
dresses that are not widely available at
These dresses need to either be exclusive
to the boutique, or otherwise difficult to
find in the market in which the boutique
business is operating in.
The reason why this is true is because
the entire reason why shoppers visit
boutiques, whether they are brick and mortar,
or online businesses, is because shoppers
want a fashion item that cannot easily be
found or is available from mass market
women's clothing retailers.
Customers are looking for a unique
dress in a style that is very fashionable,
by a brand or designer that is
special. And by special I mean
a brand or designer that not everyone
else will be wearing. Meaning that it's
special due to its perceived scarcity.
And to be clear that does not mean
that the boutique cannot carry an internationally
recognizable brand. Nor does it mean
that the boutique cannot carry a dress
that can be bought elsewhere.
The key is that the boutique needs to
carry dresses by brands or designers
that are not widely available in the
market that the retailer is serving.
So if you have a boutique in Nigeria,
and your customers cannot easily
purchase Calvin Klein dresses, then
that would be a great brand to carry clothing
But if your boutique is located in New York
you would want to sell another brand that is
not so widely available. So instead of
carrying Calvin Klein dresses you might
want to carry Voir dresses.
Another important factor is the expectantations
of your customers. You need to ensure that you
have the styles that your customers expect
So if in fact your customers expect to
see dresses by Tahari, then you need to
stock clothing by Tahari, regardless
of the availability of wholesale Tahari clothes
in the marketplace.
The reason why this has to be done,
regardless of the apparent paradox, is
because at the end of the day a
business has to be run according to
the desires of the customers.
Your customers are the
ones that are going to
be making the buying decisions
that will cause your
business to thrive.
One more important tip
that I would like to mention to you
is that the styles that you
carry should match the
styles of your market.
So a boutique located in Nigeria
might need to have different
styles than one in Manhattan.
But keep in mind that with
the popularity of Facebook
both Nigerians and Americans
are being exposed to the same
styles, and therefore might want to
purchase dresses in the same styles.
This can be true for every city in the world
so keep this important concept in mind.
My point is that two customers in two
different cities might still want the
same type of dress.
There is also the reality that every market
can have its own religious and modesty
requirements which you need to adhere to.
There are some boutique owners
that utilize controversy to attract customers.
They will stock their boutique
with cutting edge and super modern
While this strategy can generate a
great deal of publicity for your
business, you definitely need to
think this approach through
to make sure that the
expected result will generate
sales and only create
positive feelings towards your
So now that we have discussed
the type of wholesale dresses that your
boutique needs, how do you find them?
There are wholesalers that specifically
supply wholesale dresses to boutiques.
You can find them by searching online,
or by obtaining a wholesale directory.
You can also make a list of the brands
and designers that you feel your customers
would love, and then contact those brands
and designers directly.
If your customers love Anne Klein dresses,
then you should immediately contact
Anne Klein's wholesale showroom.
It might be possible for you to purchase
directly from them, or they will refer you
to a wholesaler that carries their wholesale merchandise.
Some brands and designers have their own
stores and don't wholesale their fashions,
but it's still worth contacting them
especially if you are located in a country
or city in which they don't have a store.
Think about it, the designer or brand owner
wants to sell as many dresses as possible,
so they should be happy to have you
produce sales for them, unless they
are planning to open up a store in your city or
I would suggest that even if they are
planning on opening up a store in your
market, that you explain to them the
benefits of allowing you to
sell their dresses.
You might have a better understanding
of the local market, customs, buying
preferences, and other factors
that can allow you to sell more
of their clothing than they could.
Let's say Tally Taylor wanted to open
a store in Nigeria, and you are already
a very seasoned and experienced
retailer who has been running a
boutique in Lagos for 15 years.
Could you see how you might be
able to sell more wholesale Tally Taylor
dresses in Nigeria than the brand could
on its own?
Another way to find wholesale boutique
dresses is by contacting dress importers
and specifying the type of wholesale clothing that you
are looking for. This way the importer
can use his or her connections to find the
fashion merchandise that you want.
I would also recommend that you
visit closeout warehouses
and closeout websites.
Closeout businesses can have
very unique items that are not
widely available in the marketplace
because of the nature of the closeout
A closeout business will look to buy up
inventory from a designer that has
closed her or his business, or excess production
from a designer with an ongoing business.
Since that merchandise is limited if you
buy it your boutique will have products
that other retailers do not have.
Remember the key to being successful
in this business is to buy wholesale
dresses that your competitors don't have.
Another approach is to purchase department store
overstock from a closeout warehouse. While the
brand name dresses that you will
receive in an overstock clothing pallet might be also sold
by other retailers, those exact dresses will probably not
be, since they originated from a department store's
previous season selection.
In other words, the department store bought those dresses
from a brand that might have made them specifically for them.
Maybe they had a selection of Lauren By Ralph Lauren wholesale
dresses that were made exclusively for their New York department stores.
The closeout warehouse will have bought the wholesale Lauren By Ralph
Lauren dresses which were overstock. If you purchase them
then you might realistically be the only retailer who has them
in your city.
Can you imagine if you were the only retailer in Kenya or
Trinidad with a selection of wholesale dresses by Calvin Klein?
You might even consider purchasing a lot of wholesale dresses
and then having a designer alter them to make them
unique. The designer, who can be a fashion student or
an experienced industry fashion worker, can add beads,
embroidery, or another item which can make your
wholesale dresses truly unique.
The only limit is your imagination.
Many boutiques carry dresses which the
owners have designed themselves, so
that is definitely another approach that you
You can create your own designs, or
pay someone to create designs for you,
and then have dresses manufactured
for you based on those designs.
Just remember that people
prefer recognizable brand names,
so you might want to also carry
brand name dresses until your
own label gains traction.