How to Start Your Own Vintage Clothing Store
Do you have a passion for fashion and want to start your own vintage clothing store? Read our guide to find out how you can achieve your dream.
Vintage clothing is becoming increasingly popular among millennials. People want unique and quirky clothing that differs from the mainstream options. Starting your own vintage clothing store can be an exciting yet daunting task. However, it doesn’t have to be difficult. Read our guide to find out how to start your own vintage clothing store.
Develop a Business Plan
As with any business, a strong business plan is key. If starting your own vintage clothing store is just an idea in conception, creating a business plan is a great place to start. Your business plan should set out what kind of clothing items you would like to sell and how much you are willing to spend on inventory. You should also consider other expenses such as staffing, shipping, photography equipment, models, insurance, marketing and accounting and legal fees.
Source Your Clothing
In the fashion industry, the most important objective is for people to like and want to buy your clothes. Hence, sourcing the right clothing is imperative. You may choose to start small and acquire clothing from thrift shops, eBay, garage sales and antique stores. Once you start developing clientele, you may decide to expand your order volumes and purchase stock from wholesalers. However, be careful when doing this as you don’t want to turn your store into mainstream clothing.
Establish the Store
So you’ve sourced your clothing – now it’s time to establish your store. This will involve deciding whether you would like a physical shopfront or an online store. To start out, it is recommended to begin online as this has substantially lower set up costs. This is particularly beneficial for the fashion industry as there has been huge growth in ecommerce. In 2018, Australians spent a whopping of $28.6 billion on online shopping. If you decide to go online, you can operate your online store under websites such as Etsy, Shopify or Depop.
Once you have chosen a selling medium, you will need to decide on a business structure. You may choose to operate as a sole trader, partnership, company or trust. If you aren’t sure which one is right for you, check our our quiz on determining ‘What Business Structure is Right For You?’. As a business operating in Australia, you will also need to register for an Australian Business Number (ABN).
Market Your Store
To take your store to the next level, you will need to establish marketing strategies to gain consumer traction. Start by taking high quality, professional photographs of all garments. These can be posted to your website and social media platforms for consumers to browse through. If it is within your budget, hire models to photograph the clothes on as this will look more professional and increase sales.
Utilise social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook to market your vintage store. You can use tools such as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to increase your website traffic.
While it may seem like a tricky endeavour, starting your own vintage clothing store can be extremely rewarding. By following our quick guide, you will be well on your way to a successful and profitable business. If you are unsure where to start or whether you are complying with the legalities, consult a business lawyer.
Laura is a Legal Intern at Lawpath. She is studying a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Business Administration at Macquarie University. Laura is interested in Intellectual Property Law and how technology can assist in improving access to justice.