As many of you know we decided to start our new adventure in La Conner, Washington.
With this being a new adventure,. We were not too sure how we should be doing anything really. So we thought the best thing to do was to conduct a Soft Opening. We essentially opened our doors to customers, but didn't tell anyone. This way we could get a feel for what it is like to operate an actual boutique and to figure out the style the local community of La Conner Washington wants. Which thankfully was a fantastic success.
There are a few very valuable piece of information that we learned during our first week. I thought it would be fun and helpful to share what I learned with any of you who want to start your own boutique/business.
Know Your Payment System!
This is an absolute must I wish we would have spent more time practicing before opening the doors to our little shop. All I can say is that the community here in La Connor WA is very kind and patient. In the days leading up to our first day, I was just so confident that it wouldn't be that hard to figure out. I was wrong. I should have practiced before hand. Even now we have been open for about a week and I still feel slightly uncomfortable with the system. I recommend that you practice until it becomes second nature to you.
Learning Your Customer Base.
I knew when we decided to open our first location that are online market may not transfer over to our physical location. That was one of the reasons why I decided on the Soft Opening. Even though I feel like we are still in the early stages of a startup we have been in business for over a year. The styles of clothing that we sell online. We have now figure out do not do so well in La Connor. In essence we have to start from scratch in order to build a loyal customer base here. If you ever find yourself in the same position like us. From trying to move an online boutique to a physical location boutique. Make sure to take the time to figure out the general style of your local community. This will help you stock your racks with things you know they are going to like and want.
Fashion Style Changes!
I doesn't matter what high fashions says or what is considered trendy. You should wear what you want to. Fashion is decided within the community you live in. Think about the typical Washingtonian. Now think about the style of clothes someone in Texas would wear. I have lived in both places and trust me. They are completely different. During our Soft Opening we were able to learn what the community of La Connor, Washington wanted. Our store will still carry the same things we were carrying before. However if you are able to stop by both. You will notice that the style of clothing you can find in our La Connor store is fairly different from what we carry online. We just want the community t o feel comfortable walking into our store and know that they can always find something they like.
Know How To Read Your Sales!
The sales you make during a soft opening have quite a bit of information in them. Each transaction tells you a bit about your potential loyal customer base. Which is why you should know what information to look for. For Thavin & Marcob we looked at a few different things
1) Which brands were moving.
2) What price point attracted the most positive attention.
3) Styles that were most favored.
4) Where our shoppers were from, Local or Tourists.
Those four questions were answered with every sale we made and helped to created an amazing amount of useful information. We were able to take that information and use it to help us grow into the store front we want to be.
Thavin & Marcob is a place where you are celebrated for being you!