When Cori and I had lunch recently to discuss logo design for Zoe, I told her "I know a lot of things I like about boutiques and a whole lot of things I don't like!" But I'd never found a good list of questions to ask yourself about the whole boutique experience. Until yesterday.
Another one of my reference books "FabJob Guide to Become a Boutique Owner" includes a CD-ROM with exactly those types of questions, with key categories on Accessibility, Outside Appearance, Inside Look and Feel, The Staff, Merchandise, Fitting Rooms, and Purchase/Exit. Talk about putting learning into immediate action - Jim and I had our anniversary dinner in Old Town last night and as we walked around afterward, I gave a verbal dissertation on why different locations did and didn't work - pointing out stores I liked, stores I didn't, and stores that had gone out of business and why. Just as I know more about the manufacturing of plastics than I ever thought I would, he's going to know more about boutique ownership than he ever wanted to know!
In all seriousness, the questionnaire is great and I'm going to keep it with me every step of the way to make sure I can answer all of the questions in a satisfactory manner with regard to Zoe. FabJob has a great website - http://www.fabjob.com/ that contains information on a variety of different careers.
I spent the rest of the afternoon focused on researching the fashion brands for my store. I've found several that I like so far that seem to fit in the style and price range that I envision. I think this means I should buy more fashion magazines as part of my business development. One of my favorites is LiaMolly - www.liamolly.com - I definitely want to carry their line in Zoe.