Laura and Megan Golden, Fashion Merchandising Management ’13, have dreamed of opening a boutique since their days at FIT. But the costs of a brick-and-mortar shop were prohibitive, so in April they hung their shingle online. Golden Closet features feminine, bohemian women’s apparel and accessories at a price point that screams impulse buy.
Here’s how they did it.
- The two of them do everything themselves, from buying to updating the website to filling orders. Megan models all the clothing and Laura does the photography.
- They pay attention to their branding. Considering their utterly perfect last name, all the hangtags and tissue paper are gold-colored. “We want to put our Golden touch on everything we do,” Laura says.
- They started small, finding vendors with low minimums that didn’t leave them with a ton of inventory when particular items didn’t sell.
- They took their time, letting potential customers sign up for their mailing list and making sure all the kinks were ironed out before they launched. (This advice came from Small Store Fashion Retailing, a course they loved at FIT, taught by Ann Cantrell, adjunct instructor of Fashion Merchandising Management and owner of Annie’s Blue Ribbon General Store in Brooklyn. Cantrell also advised them to save enough money to cover six months of operating costs at all times.)
- “The main challenge has been getting our name out there,” Laura says. “We’re not a brick-and-mortar shop where you can walk by and buy something. You have to know we exist.” Almost every day, they post on Instagram, comment on style blogs, and update their own style blog, which shows off looks they sell and offers tips to customers on how to mix and match. They also send pieces to bloggers, who wear them and promote it on their blogs.