So if you’ve been reading this blog for any period of time, you’d know that my absolute favorite store is Pieces Boutique in Brooklyn:
Filled with lovely one of a kind fashions, boutique owners Colin and Latisha Daring have an eye for unique style and offer unquestionably chic, quality items.
So when reader Tyi wrote in saying, “I’m a 25-year-old mother of two who plans on opening up a fashion boutique in Arizona–can you give me any startup advice?” I knew Latisha would be the person to ask!
Latisha, who got her start by holding shopping cocktail parties in her spare time, has been in retail since the young age of fourteen. As she said in an interview with Style Chile, ” I decided to open my own boutique when I realized that working for another retailer did not allow me to react to customer’s wants and needs fast enough.” And thus Pieces was born:
To all aspiring boutique owners she says, “Be clear on who you are as a brand and who your customer is. The rest will follow. You should have an opening budget that includes everything: rent, product, and move in or construction costs.”
She adds, “Financial structure is the key to growing an effective business, but first ask yourself the following questions: What other boutiques exist? Who are their customers? How can I compete? What is missing from what already exists? How am I going to offer something completely different? “
Now on to the nitty gritty. We all know we’re in a recession. Is it a good time to become an entrepreneur? “We’re not in a complete depression, but these times are not supportive of businesses with no experience in the industry,” she says, “Have a recession plan. You have to know how to ride things out, maximize the overall opportunity, and survive.”
In closing, she says, “Owning a boutique is a complete labor of love and major sacrifice–you rarely have a lot of time for yourself! However, having an amazing clientele of diverse backgrounds has been the most rewarding for me. I draw inspiration from my clients and thrive on their excitement from season to season. Oh yes the fact that I am my own boss is great as well.” Love it!
Keep up with Pieces on their blog, www.piecesofbklyn.blogspot.com, shop with them online here starting April 1st, and if you’re in New York, check out their boutique at 671 Vanderbilt Avenue at Park Place (2,3 to Grand Army Plaza, B, Q to 7th Avenue).
Reminisce with my Boutique Spotlight on Pieces from May ’07.