Empty Boutique Tour
So I decided to do an empty boutique tour for MPrint Boutique my buildout process is going to take a few months so I wanted to make sure I documented where it all began, as well as provide a few tips for others who are planning to open a brick and mortar location. Making a major leap and taking on the expense of an office or retail store is a huge decision to make, but hopefully my tips can help you along the way.
What is MPRINT?
MPrint Boutique is my Women’s Clothing Store. I began selling products on our website and at Boutique Shows in 2016. During that time I stopped and started again…a lot. I have a “my failure story” coming soon to my YouTube and blog to help other Entrepreneurs not make the same mistakes I did when it comes to starting a business. During the course of the beginning stages of my business a lot went wrong. But I believe those things happened so God could bless me later thus making me more appreciative of my situation.
My store will carry women’s sizes Small-3XL. Our primary goal is to be inclusive of all women and appreciate all body types. The space I am building out is approximately 1400-1500 square feet. It contains plenty of office space for myself and my sister, and we also have room to grow. There is an additional “general space” which is being used for an awesome shopping experience for our customers. One of my visions with this company is to allow women the ultimate work/life balance as mothers and staff. They will be required to come into office 2x a week and then will work remotely the remainder of the week. My sister and I will ofcourse be in office everyday but being the bosses means we also have a lot of flexibility.
I developed this work life balance concept almost 6 years ago when I was pregnant with my last child Amiyah. Eight weeks after having her I had to return to work and I broke down. At the time being a stay at home mom was not an option for us financially so I began working in Intermodal (trains) for my previous employer. This position in Operations allowed me to have 4 days on 4 days off 3 days on 3 days off. My working hours were from 6PM-6AM. Although I had to sacrifice not sleeping with my husband for a few nights, and not being apart of my children’s night time routine, it was worth it. I was able to keep Amiyah out of daycare, pick up and take the other kids to school, and I was collecting a paycheck and helping provide for my family at the same time. From there I decided that if I ever created my own company, what the work/life structure and balance would look like. When creating your own business I would say to start with “Be the change you want to see.” Look for situations within your current work place that are not ideal and decide how you would change them and/or make them better. I believe staying grounded in the change, and your why will do wonders in terms of growth and vision.
3 Things You Should Know Before Opening Your Boutique
The three items I am going to list are for people who are wanting to open a Boutique or Online Shopping space, but can be applicable to other aspiring business owners as well.
- Be clear on your vision and/or mission statement. At MPrint ours are MPACT, MPRESS, and MPOWER. Which is our goal with all of our customers as well as staff.
- When it comes to your office or Boutique space, spend some time in the space before immediately starting the buildout process. It’s important to visualize and even create notes of what you are wanting to create in your space. It’s super exciting getting into your dream space but you don’t want to buildout prematurely. With our store (as you will see in the video) we decided to use sticky notes for the placement of furniture, displays, mannequins, and lighting fixtures.
- Don’t be afraid to negotiate prices with your landlord. Even if you can get 3 months free no rent to offset the buildout costs, that’s still a win!
- I said only 3 but I lied. Here is one of the 2 bonus tips. Don’t give up and don’t be afraid to rebrand your company. A business goes through changes and rebranding is a way to get yourself back out there and acknowledge there are things you could have done better as a business person. Rebranding is not bad or negative, it simply gives you a fresh start.
- Decide what type of business is right for you. Brick and mortar, office space, work from home, warehouse, etc. I have seen a lot of successful boutiques within the last 5 years invest in warehouses that have enough space for their social media content, a store, and online shopping. I feel like the ideal is genius because you can get more bang for your buck than you can by investing in a traditional brick and mortar.
I hope this information was helpful for you when it comes to opening your Boutique and you can take away some tips to apply to your own business. Follow @MPrint_Boutique on instagram and sign up for our Newsletter at www.shopmprint.com so you can be one of the first to know when we are open for our customers again following buildout.
Drop me some comments below of other business tips you can share with readers as well. Thanks for reading!