How to Find the Right Stores to Sell Your Fashion Line

Sell your fashion line
Image credit: RFD by Rachel Frank

I talk to dozens of emerging designers every month. One of the main questions I seem to get over and over is, “how do I actually find the stores where I want to sell my line?

Here are 4 things to consider that will help you find the right retail stores to sell your fashion line.

Know Who You Hang With

When you know who your line “hangs with”, meaning what other brands you would like to see hanging next to yours in a boutique, things get easier. You can usually go to these other companies’ websites and see a list of which boutiques carry them.  And this doesn’t always mean your competition. Sometimes it’s a jewelry line that you know attracts the same customer as your clothing line.

Ask For Help

You can send out a simple survey to your friends and family asking for suggestions of boutiques that may be a fit. A client of mine (she makes accessories) recently did this and got 45 responses! She explained her product and then had an easy format for people to recommend retailers in their hometown.

Try Yelp

Now I have a love/hate relationship with Yelp (that’s a whole different story) but I do find it helpful for certain things. My advice is to search the city you want, read some reviews, then go to the store’s Facebook Page first.

I find that Facebook tends to have the most recent pictures of what the store’s really like, news about the store and other brands they carry. You can see if it looks like a fit for your line in about 5 seconds. Of course, check the website too but Facebook tends to be more up to date for most Indie boutiques.

StartUp FASHION Community

The Startup FASHION Community has a listing of over 400 retails boutiques that sell the work of emerging and independent designers. Members of the Community are given access to this list along with contact information.

Which one of these 4 ideas have you tried? What worked for you? Please let me know in the comments below.

Jane Hamill

Jane Hamill is the founder of Fashion Brain Academy and the creator of several online trainings for apparel and accessories designers, including “20 Up” Marketing Course for Designers and “How to Start a Fashion Business: New Designer Program”.

  1. Steve

    As a practicing fashion lawyer, I’m excited to see discussion on this topic. Please do recognize that when you deal with boutiques, you always need to have a tightly written contract so each of you will know what your rights are and what is expected of you.

    just my two cents………Steve

    (by the way, this is NOT intended to be legal advice as none of you are my clients. A legal relationship can only be established with an engagement agreement and consideration. Therefore, this is just my opinion about what you might need in this circumstance. My strong advice is to see a great lawyer in your town or city before you enter any type of relationship with a boutique.)

  2. Leslie Robertson

    One thing we used as well was utilizing all of our relationships and asking them for referrals. Our pattern drafter, sample sewer, consultant, industry friends, fabric suppliers, sewing contractors, etc. They have all been able to give us valuable referrals to not only shops, but other people in the industry who can help os develop in other ways as well.

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