Follow our four part blog series “Growing Your Fashion Business” to get on the path to success with your fashion brand.

Getting your collection into a boutique is awesome, and often time consuming. The upside? Boutique sales can provide valuable testing your brand and product before making larger sales pitches or showroom calls.

These steps will get you on the path to your first stock listing or boutique wholesale order.

1. Understand your consumer

As you start to research boutiques, it’s important to have a clear idea of your customer – this means age, gender, income, habits, aesthetics, and values. The more specific you can be the better in building a customer persona. If you are able to sell into a boutique that matches your profile of current shopper you could see a nice bump in sales. Alternatively, by developing new customer profiles, you may identify other stores in which to test your brand.

2. Compile local city lists to begin targeted outreach

If you’re a Nineteenth Amendment designer, start by using your sales data dashboard to see where there is interest in your brand and sales of your collection. Next, explore websites with city-specific listings like Racked or Refinery to get a free list of stores whose aesthetic may match your own and begin compiling a contact list of stores (include emails, contact names, and phone numbers). Assume only 30% of boutique owners will respond so make a list of at least 100.

3. Look for a brand that you want your brand to hang with

Another way to grow your list is to find a sister brand or a brand you’d like to associate your brand with (this would be a brand with which you share a customer). Look at the stocklist listed on their website and find contact information for those stores. If you REALLY admire a brand (and you are noncompetitive), consider reaching out to ask for advice – you never know who could be a valuable mentor or connection.

4. Find your unique selling proposition

Research boutiques and see if it fills a void. Once you have compiled your list, start going deeper to research brands that sell into boutiques you want to sell with. For each store, add a ‘notes’ section for details that speak to the void your brand fills in that store’s merchandise or selection.

Now you are almost ready to start outreach. Join us for our next blog post, Reaching out to Boutiques and Buyers, and get ready for some sales calls as we help you draft outreach letters, think about strategy, and get the response you’ve been waiting for!