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Boutique Owner - Career Profile

Written by FS StaffJuly 11, 2011

Did You Know.... Academy of Art University’s School of Fashion offers BFA's in Fashion, Fashion Merchandising, Textile Design, Fashion Marketing, Fashion Styling, Costume Design, and Fashion Product Development. Learn more.

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Also called: Specialty Store Owner, Owner

Job Description

Successful boutique owners are very entrepreneurial-minded and driven people who use a combination of savvy business skills and in-depth knowledge of the fashion retail industry to make a profit. Their stores often target a specific customer profile and often carry a specific mix of clothing and/or apparel designers that appeal to this demographic. Boutique owners must be jacks or jills of all trades as they typically oversee all aspects of a boutiques operations from planning and purchasing their inventory, setting up the in-store displays and managing employees. You could start a fashion boutique in one of the following areas: sportswear, beachwear, novelty items, vintage, T-shirts, dresses, tuxedos, shoes, handbags, accessories, lingerie, watches, sunglasses, and more.

Salary Range

 $0 to $100,000+
*Losses are expected in the first few years of operations due to initial investments and expenditures. Once stabilized, boutiques can become a good source of income for its owner as well as an alternative to working very hard for someone else.


 Being a small business owner is a dream for many people, and the value of being one's own boss cannot be underestimated. Setting up a boutique usually requires obtaining a bank loan or drawing from personal savings to cover initial investments. Often, successful owners are those who can attract investors with a solid business plan and operational structure. Once the store is profitable, owners can go on to open additional stores, or if they have created a strong enough brand, sell franchises for subsequent locations.

Programs to Consider:


Education - A bachelor's degree in Business Management or Fashion Retailing/Merchandising/Marketing is common. An MBA is a plus in attracting investors. Experience - Extensive experience in the fashion retail industry in a variety of positions usually starting at the level of retail sales associate or stock clerk and with some experience as a retail store manager.
Personal Characteristics/Skills - entrepreneurial and risk-taking personality; solid business background in fields such as Marketing, Accounting, Sales and Management; in-depth and up-to-date knowledge of the fashion retail marketplace, including trends and forecasts; flexible; multi-tasking capabilities; excellent time management and communication skills.

Career Path: Retail Sales Associate > Buyer > Retail Manager > Boutique Owner