I like many other women had the dream of owning my own business, being successful and being able to provide for my family. People ask your WHY when you start a business, mine was so my family would be financially stable so my husband could cut his hours at work to be home more often.
After seeing the massive success and then downfall of Lularoe consultants, I opted to join Honey and Lace in 2017 when there were less than 400 of us! I saw a bright opportunity with a young growing company and had that Lularoe vision of success goals on my mind. Things started well but soon quickly changed with the new ownership/name change. Suddenly people stopped buying and if they were you better have it discounted or be willing to take a loss on what you paid. This was not the dream i signed up for. I assumed this would pass, but in the meantime I would continue to work my business as best as i can.
Over the winter I found i was falling out of the love with my business and my styles, and the time and effort i was putting in dwindled. But my love of boutique styles peaked my interest. The thought of not only carrying a select number of styles but different prints was exactly what i wanted in my wardrobe. I mean how many of the same style dresses and tops but different prints did i really need. I grew bored of that and found myself shopping more and more outside of the product I sold.
This was when i knew it was time to go. But i had to figure out how to unload what i had without abruptly exiting all while doing my research into TRULY starting my own business. And that is when Meli Chic Boutique came to be my vision
Why im glad I started in direct sales before starting my boutique:
- You have the opportunity to grow your social media presence online and start a customer base
- You learn about how to track and keep inventory records, file taxes and collaborate on sales ideas and trainings with other like minded women
- Typically you can return inventory as you resign minus restocking fees in most scenarios
- Its less risky than jumping head into something you just might not befully prepared for
What I wish I knew before i started my boutique:
For some silly reason I thought the hardest part of this would be setting up my webpage. What i didnt anticipate was all the things that come after the website
- You'll need to find out what licenses your state requires , you are starting a new business and buying wholesale. This may not have been how your direct sales company worked
- Shopify, Woo Commerce, Go Daddy ... who is the best to host your site for your needs!
- Will you make your own graphics or hire someone to do them for you?
- How do you even know who the best suppliers are so you dont get ripped off and receive poor quality items?
- Understand your customers from your Direct Sales base may not be interested in your new items, AND THATS OK!! Its going to happen, dont take it personally. They liked your old brand, and you are now your own brand
- Figure out how you're going to market your products, will it be facebook only, will you sell on instagram, ebay, pinterest?
- If you're serious about getting on google take time to learn Google SEO/Adwords/Google Shopping Merchant this is not an easy task and can cost you alot of money in wasted advertisements if not careful.
- Always keep learning, e-commerce is ever changing. Dont get left behind, look for facebook groups to join, watch you tube videos, subscribe to emails, learn from other business coaches who've been where you are!
To those fellow women with a dream of branching out on their own, i hope this gives you some insight. It can be scary leaving and doing it all on your own! Be open minded, be willing to learn and be motivated to succed