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As soon as you discover you have a little bundle of joy on the way, you will start to wonder where to begin. What do I need? Where do I start?
We all want to go buy something on the way home from the doctors office. We have a tendency to overbuy and want every cute thing we see because those baby boutique stores have everything that is perfect for your little one. Can we hold off and wait? That is the longest 9 Months in the world. Too bad the first 9 Mo after they are born don’t go that slow.
You will need plenty of them.
Don’t buy too many of the tiny sizes. They do use several but they will outgrow them very fast. Always keep the next size purchased ahead of time and ready. They can outgrow a size almost overnight. Sometimes it is better to wait until you have your showers to see what you got and what you are missing. You can fill in the lack later.
- Diaper Bag & Diaper Rash Cream:
I always had a tube in every area of my house and diaper bags. There is nothing more heart breaking that a baby that has a raw bottom and you have nothing to put on it. There are several small things like this that you will want to pack in your bag. You may want to have a couple of waterproof pads, a “real wash cloth” for emergency situations and ALWAYS carry at least 2 extra outfits when you are going to be gone from several hours. You will need dirty diaper bags that can tie up to prevent the smell from spreading in your diaper bag. You may want a few cotton swabs, and personal cleanliness items like baby shampoo, body wash or a mild soap, infant bath tub, baby nail clips, a soft brush and a digital thermometer.
Baby wipes are the greatest thing since sliced bread. Not only can you use them to with the messy bottoms but they are good to just freshen your baby up, wipe hands or face and especially on toddlers. I recommend purchasing the super duper packs at the big chain stores like Sams’.
- Sleepers & Gowns:
I think a good number for gowns and sleepers is about 12 to 15. I have had my babies mess up 2 or 3 in one night. I wasn’t expecting that and had to do lots of small loads of laundry. You will need about the same amount of bibs and burp cloths. You will need a pack of tee shirts, a few knit hats and 6 or 8 pair of socks and booties.
- Blankets & Swaddles
Blankets and swaddles usually get the same amount of changes as gowns or sleepers so 12 or 15 small blankets or swaddles are practical. You will also need a few larger blankets for different uses. You may want to throw one over the baby carry seat when you take your baby from the house to the car. Also, may want to use to make a pallet in the floor for baby to have his play time and learn to roll over on.
- Baby Carrier – Car Seat
Baby carriers and car seats have come a long way in the last several years. There are carriers available that convert and grow with your child and sometimes this is the best option so you only need to purchase one time and just adjust as they grow.
If you have a thumb-sucker, you won’t be needing these. My first baby would stick her thumb in her mouth and pop the passy across the room. I had 2 thumb suckers and 2 that were not. Pacifiers are calming and comforting to a baby and will help them sleep with the security feeling that they are nursing. Always have a few extra. They get lost very easily.
These are just a few of the basic thing. There is always the nursery furniture, bedding and décor. Such fun for new mom. You are going to be blessed beyond measure!
After 34 years of selling to department stores and children’s boutique stores, I have observed some things that could help you make a good decision. Lots of young mothers have a dream to open a children's boutique store. Understanding the cost of children's clothing, lots of mothers think that if they could just own their own store, they could get their children's clothing for half price. What most young ladies starting this kind of business don't realize is the original cost of starting up a store. There are lots of things to consider in the startup of a store.
You can expect to pay from 1700.00 per month to 4000.00 per month depending on your location for rent. There are also are utilities and employees to pay, unless you plan on doing it by yourself. Some think that they can do it by themselves but on a busy day, that is just almost impossible. Most don't realize that the minimum start-up inventory for a store of about 2500 square feet is between $100,000.00 and $200,000.00. That is money that you may as well consider throwing away. You never get that money back. That initial investment will be placed in your store and will have to be continually replaced. It is not like you buy $100,000.00 in goods and then you sell that inventory and you buy more. It is an absolute necessity that you have that much money to start your store with, that you never expect to see returned to you again. If you don’t think it is worth that to buy your children's clothing wholesale then you may want to reconsider.
As a clothing manufacturer and supplier to Children's Clothing Boutique Stores, I have seen lots of ambitious young women get into financial trouble in a short period of time. If you have the extra money and you decide to go ahead with this venture, let me give you some purchasing advice. Beware of certain sales reps. Some of them will write you a $1,000.00 order in his or her showroom and when it is shipped to you, it has been what we call padded. This means that he will write more styles on your order after you leave his booth and you will get a lot more than you bargained for.
My advice to you would be, never buy a lot or overload on any one clothing line or manufacturer. Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Buy small quantities from several manufacturers until you see what will sell in your area. Just because you think it is cute doesn't mean it will sell. If you love someone's goods and you purchase 1/3 of your merchandise from them, you have no guarantee that they will even produce those goods. You could be left holding an empty bag when it is time to receive your goods for the next season. When you order from several manufacturers, you will get to know each of them individually. You will see how they ship. By that I mean, if they ship to you during the time period that was designated on your order or if they ship the goods at all. If they are hard to deal with, you may want to cut back on their orders and do business with the ones that you enjoy doing business with. I have noticed, as a manufacturer, that new store owners buy loosely. By that I mean they buy much more than necessary to begin with. My sales rep says, if they buy like a drunk, they will pay like a drunk. By this he means that they come into his showroom and order $5,000.00 or $6,000.00 from one manufacturer. When shipping time comes, they don't have the money to take all of that at one time and they don't realize it will all come at once from every manufacturer that they order from.
Different clothing items and gift items sell differently in different regions of the country. We make clothing that only sells in the south and you could not sell it at all in the northern USA. Sales even vary from city to city and certainly from state to state. This is the reason I say, "Don't buy too much from any line until you see how it sells for you". I had a customer tell me that she bought a lot of little girls coats her first year and then when she had a very mild winter, she was trapped with a lot of her money tied up in coats that she couldn't sell. This is a very typical thing that happens with store owners.
Managing your debit cards and credit cards can also cause you great pain. I tried to ship a store a $400.00 order this week and her bank had her debit card set at a limit of $300.00 per day. We went through a week of difficulty and she finally had to go to her bank and sign papers to get this changed. Some credit card companies do the same thing. A lot of manufacturers prefer credit cards now instead of taking a COD shipment because of the fee that is charged for COD shipments. If you will ask, the manufacturer will probably prefer to pay the charge themselves than to take your credit card. Most manufacturers pay about 4% when they take a credit card because you are not there to swipe the card. On a $1,000.00 order, the cost to take a credit card would be $40.00. The $10.00 fee is much better. I even offer this service to my customers who have good credit and I feel that I can take their company check.
Beware new store owner or you who are thinking of opening a Children's Boutique Store. Do a lot of research. I have a on-line Children's Boutique myself that is www.zulikids.org. The only reason for my retail children's store is that I have lots of customers from my Bell Fashions wholesale business (www.bellfashions.org) that order merchandise from me and then when shipping time comes, they don't have the money or lots of them are going out of business. I had no intentions of being in the retail business but because all people are not honest in their dealings, it has forced me to be. If you are considering becoming a retailer, please check out all options in the planning stage and proceed very carefully if this is what you decide to do. Good luck!!