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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Trendy Kids and Boutique Tips

I was asked some great business question the other day and I wanted to address one or two today.
The 1st one that was asked was "How do you keep with the styles and trends?"
Great question, this one had me thinking for a few days. See I'm a "I don't stick with trends, I create trends" kinda person. 
Okay so more or less I'm a hipster/southern seamstress. But not everyone has such a free spirited mind and go-with-the-flow attitude as I do. And some people are really into whats trending. So lets discuss.

I had a good clue what was trending this summer but when in doubt call upon Pinterest!
So what are the trends in kids wear this summer? 


Here are just a few adorable trendy 2013 colorways 

And here are a few trendy outfits that stopped me in my tracks!

*(to find the original source of all the photos used in today's blog check out my pinterest board)

Now I know what your thinking...Yes but where do I find some fabric to fit with the trend and how much do I buy? 

Well that's another great question. So lets 1st address the "where" part of that question.
a quick search on etsy for any of the trends will bring pages and pages of fabric. 
Neon, and tribal were the easy ones with some killer fabrics right off the bat. here were some that got my creative juices flowing.

And I'm not sure why but the bold and pastels were a bit harder to come by. Maybe its because I'm not a huge fan of these trends but needless to say i still found a few.

Now on two the second part of that compelling question, The "how" part. How much fabric do I order. Well it depends on how big or little your boutique is, and how many outfits you think you can reasonably sell before the next trend hits. 

So my rules of thumb from owning my own boutique, was actually quite simple. 

1. If you don't have a plan, don't even think about it!! 
I cant tell  you how many times i found a fabric that I loved bought 6 yards of it and then didn't touch it for years!

2. Make a plan! Design away, but do it on paper! Decide if this fabric will stand alone in a design or will it need a few friends. Decide on which part of the design this fabric will be. Because lets me honest, buying 5 yards and then deciding its going to be straps is just a bad business move!

3. Know your numbers! Once you have the design planned out, its time for some good old math. Decide on how many of the dresses you can reasonably sell in a two month period. Remember trends don't last long and before you know you could find your self eyeing the total opposite!

So for example, lets say I plan to use 3 fabrics (A,B and C) to create six Anna's Sweetheart Halters.

So the 1st thing I would need to do is decide on the on the fabric layout in the design. 

Okay done! Lets say fabric A for the bodice, fabric B for the skirt and fabric C for the straps and ruffles.
Next I need to take a look at my sells. What sizes do I sell the most of and witch do I not sell at all? For myself I sold 3's and 5's 97% of the time. 

So lets use these two sizes for my example, I know that I can reasonably sell 6 dresses (3 size 3 and 3 size 5) in the next 2 months. 

Now after a little math I know I need 
2 yards of fabric A
4 and 1/3 yards of fabric B 
5 yards of fabric C 

I then always like adding a yard of each for a custom order or just for myself. I hope this gives you all a good idea how to figure how much fabric your boutique may need. 
I really do hope that this at least helps a few of you boutique owners to think about your fabric buying process  And Id love to hear more business related questions that you would like answered.

Happy Sewing Y'all

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