2 Years of Business
Posted on June 18 2023
Where has time gone? It seems like yesterday I was just scoping out locations for a store, not 2 years ago! I have always dreamed and thought about where my business and career would be a few years into opening the store. Now I am prepping for my 2 year anniversary! So what have I learned so far and what are my plans for the future? Great question!
2 years ago I was hauling my products around to markets and vendor events. I found an amazing brick and mortar location and could not pass up the opportunity. I was a college dropout and desperately wanted to build a career with my small business. Did I know what I was doing? Absolutely not. What I did know was the lack of size inclusive clothing boutiques in the world. I knew this would be my upper hand and help my business stand out. I set school aside and focused wholeheartedly on my business.
Here's the crazy part. I did all of this during a global pandemic. Covid was definitely the main factor for me dropping out. Online classes were not my thing and I was not going to pay the same tuition for them as in-person classes. There was no way I was going back to my hometown in Ohio so I stayed in Savannah. I created a business plan, did tons of research, and finally felt ready enough to go for it. I was able to secure the location I wanted and knew it was meant to be. I worked with tons of vendors, contractors, and other business owners to open my store. I soon realized I was learning more in a few short months than I ever would have in college.
The months before July 1st, 2021 were busy to say the least. I got the call in December of 2020 that the corner spot of 1813 Bull St was mine if I wanted it. I would say that was a pretty awesome Christmas gift. By the time I got that call, I was already designing my website for my new business. I was planning to launch my website January 1st, 2021 whether I had a physical location or not. I knew it would be better to start with a website and have a smaller inventory of clothing to get the hang of things. I registered for my sellers permit, found wholesale websites and brands, and started to find my first collection of clothing!
All the new inventory was shipped to my small apartment. I turned one of the rooms into an office to run my online store and ship out orders from. I also had a semi successful Etsy shop to run. I ordered business cards, poly mailers, mannequins, a tag gun, hang tags, hangers, racks, bins, storage shelves, a scale, a label printer, tissue paper, and probably even more supplies. It was a lot, and I got things as I needed them. I bought what I could in bulk to save in the long run. And all this was just for my online store. I launched my website on time and started to plan for the physical location.
The brick and mortar location was getting a complete makeover. The building was built in 1920 and was falling apart. I was able to work with the contractors to design a fitting room and storage closet. I also picked out the tile and interior paint colors. It was extremely nice to be able to design and choose colors that fit my business best. The buildout took a few months. During this process I got all and any certification/permits I needed. I slowly started to order pieces for the store like furniture, mannequins, racks, hangers, bags, and literally anything you could think of. My apartment was located directly behind the shop, so I was constantly checking on its progress. Packages and supplies started to buildup at my apartment and I was getting close to moving everything over to the shop. The buildout seemed like it took forever, but that gave me plenty of time to learn more about what I was getting myself into.
I finally got the keys and it was go time. It took a little less than a month for me to completely get things together to open the doors. I put together the racks, tables, bookcases, mannequins, and even painted our back table. I hung the shelving displays and racks and put up any decor. The trickiest part was setting up all the technology. I researched and got a POS system with a receipt printer, barcode scanner, and card terminal. I slowly started to hang clothing and put the final pieces together like window decals, hang signs, and barcoding products. This took tons of work, but was totally worth it on opening day.
I am about to go into my third year of business and I could not be more grateful! The feedback and response to my store has been incredible. Two years under my belt and I definitely have ideas for the future. Every city needs a size inclusive boutique and I hope to one day bring Delaney Rose Boutique to many other cities. It definitely took some time to get things situated and in order, but now the hard parts are out of the way. My future plans are to open more stores and it should be easier now that I kind of know what I am doing! I can't wait to see where my boutique takes me and where I will end up in the future. There is so much room to learn and grow, the possibilities are endless. That's why I love being a boutique owner! Thank you for the endless love and support.