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

other retailers.

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

to see.

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

can take. 

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.