How To Start A Bridal Boutique
Even during a slow economy, people are always going to be getting married.
This isn’t really a market that comes and goes. People get married every day, and there will always be a lot of potential customers no matter where you set up shop.
You should decide what segment of the bridal business you’d like to take part in.
For example, you may want to become a retailer, selling and tailoring dresses for brides to be, or you may want to put your design and sewing skills to use and create wedding dresses. There is a wealth of opportunity in the bridal industry.
When selecting dresses for your stock, keep an eye on fashion trends. (As of the time of this writing, strapless wedding dresses seem to be in vogue, but don’t count on that remaining true by the time you read this!) Keep up to date in the bridal world.
Working in the bridal industry requires a bit of a passion for fashion, but keep a wide variety in stock so that your selection can appeal to a wide variety of customers.
If you’re talented enough to create wedding dresses from scratch, you’re looking at cutting your startup costs for your inventory in half. The bare materials of a wedding dress can cost literally hundreds of dollars less than the completed dress.
You will, of course, have to be willing to invest more time than you would if you simply bought your stock from bridal gown distributors, but really, this can be the true profit.
Something that’s been in vogue lately, and looks like it’s here to stay, is the custom bridal dress industry. There are billions of women in the world, and every bride has her own idea of the ideal wedding dress. If you have the imagination and skill to pull it off, custom wedding dresses might be perfect for you.
- Ability to work with nervous people
- Patience and ability to create strict deadlines and reschedule when necessary
- Helpful, easy-going nature is desirable
- High attention to detail, organization, prioritizing skills
- The ability to work under pressure
- Meet strict deadlines
- Common Business Skills
Employee and Job Consideration During The Start-Up Phase or In The Future:
- General Assistant
- Wedding gown seamstress
- Sales People
- Common staff positions needed to run some businesses
Approximate Daily Hours Needed:
If you have a retail shop, you will hold general retail hours; however, if you have a home business or operate online, your hours will fluctuate according to tasks.
Equipment, Supplies, & Services During Start-up OR In The Future:
- Fitting room equipped with a large area for viewing the bride as she tries on dresses
- Photo studio
- Essential Office Equipment
- List of General Retail Equipment
Monthly Expenses and Operating Costs To Consider:
In addition to our list of common business expenses, your bridal boutique will require a budget for the ongoing cost of acquiring dresses and accessories.
Approximate Minimum Startup Cost:
Bare essential – The startup costs for setting up a small shop depends greatly from location to location and depending on your goals, but you probably won’t need much more than a modestly sized location to start (you can upgrade later) and a decent collection of dresses and other items.
Your startup cost will depend on the cost of your location and the inventory you plan to start with.
Tips and Considerations:
- Constantly keep your knowledge of wedding trends and etiquette up-to-date. Read magazines and visit wedding blogs and online groups to keep you up to date on various trends in the wedding industry.
- You also need to learn about wedding and reception decorations, starting with flowers. Catch up on the latest trends in wedding attire.
- Take time to attend other weddings in order to learn other great ideas that you can use in your business, as well as the big mistakes and fiascoes that you need to avoid. Attending bridal shows is also useful. Be sure to collect your ideas and record them.
- If you want to deal in retail, selling online can be great, but bridal business customers often prefer to be able to try things on and talk one-on-one with the retailer.
Pros and Cons:
- It is an exciting and lucrative business
- Extremely easy to expand into other bridal industry niches
- Can be worked in cooperation with wedding planners, florists, and banquet services
- Has a tendency to be seasonal
- You deal with people with fluctuating emotions
- Can be highly competitive
Day In The Life of A Bridal Boutique Owner
A Day in the Life of a Bridal Consultant | Savvy Bridal
Day in the Life of a Bridal Sales Rep | The Budget Fashionista
Day in the life of Rachel Attwell | Luella’s Bridal
A Day in the Life of Soliloquy Bridal Couture | Soliloquy Bridal
Bridal Boutique Owner Interviews
Starting Your Business
Important Steps You Must Consider When Starting A Business – Take a couple of minutes to go over this list of issues to consider when starting a business.
Questions To Consider Before Starting A Business – 10 key issues to look at before starting a business. Starting a new venture blindly is asking for headaches! Know what to expect before you start!
Become A Bridal Salon Owner | FabJob.com
What Do You Need To Open A Bridal Shop? | Chron.com
Setting Up Shop | Bridalbuyer.com
Q & A: Wedding Gown Boutique Owner Megan Bubalo Becomes | Tampabay.com
Bridal Fashion–Starting A Bridal Fashion Business | Entrepreneur.com
Get That Life: How I Opened My Own Bridal Boutique | Cosmopolitan.com
How To Start A Bridal Boutique Business | Ehow.com
How To Start A Bridal Gown Rental Business | Gaebler.com
Live Q&A: How Do You Start A Wedding Business? | Theguardian.com
Starting A Bridal Shop | Startupbizhub.com
You & Your Wedding | Wedding Forum
Wedding Forums | Project Wedding Forums
Wedding Planning Forum | Weddingbee Boards
Wedding Forum & Vendor Directory | BridalTweet
Wedding Niche Ideas:
Startup Wedding Planners Explore Niche Markets to Stand Out | Entrepreneur.com
Why You Need To Be Clear On Your Wedding Business Niche | Bookmorebrides.com
Weddings, Wedding Venues | WeddingWire.com
Wedding Planning, Wedding Websites, Registries & Ideas | mywedding.com
Team Wedding Blog | Top Wedding sites.com
Altar your thinking with Offbeat Bride’s wedding ideas | Offbeat Bride
Your source for wedding advice | BridalGuide
Wedding Ideas, Expert Wedding Advice | WeddingWire
Wedding Planning – Wedding Websites – Wedding Ideas | Wedding.com
The Association of Bridal Consultants | bridalassn.com
Bridal Association of America | Bridal Association of America.com
Assn for Wedding Professionals Int’l | Afwpi.com
Franchise Opportunity | Myweddingmydress.com
Fabulous Frocks | Fabulousfrocksbridal.com
Franchise With Us | Bridal Reloved UK
Bella Franchisees | Bella Bridesmaids
Franchise Opportunities | Bridal Wardrobe
Bridal Shops For Sale:
Bridal Wear Shops For Sale in US | BusinessesForSale.com
Bridal Shops For Sale | MergerNetwork.com
Bridal Shops for Sale | Globalbx.com