To Market, To Market, To Buy…
A bunch of clothes!
Ok y’all, you obviously know that I spend quite a bit of time working on this blog, and until recently I was a student as well (finally a graduate – yay!!!) and I’ve been a nanny to the same little boys for four years now, and I’m a wife, and Anthony and I try hard to fit in a social life now and then, but the thing in my life that takes up most of my time is I Do Declare Boutique!
My little online boutique is about 9 months old now! Which seems crazy! It is so much work, but also so rewarding. I really love it and my hope is that this will be something I can do as a long term career!
My mom and I own I Do Declare Boutique together, it might sound awful to some people to be in business with their mom, but it works for us! We work well together and have similar taste and style. One of these days I’ll tell you the whole story of how we got everything started, but today I’m going to tell you about just one aspect of being a boutique owner.
I’m going to talk about one of the hardest things we do as well as one of our most favorite things we do…and they are the same thing…going to market!
Y’all it is so much work, and pretty stressful, but also so much fun! Do you love the thrill of the hunt, searching for that one perfect item, discovering a great deal, hitting on a great new trend? Well, I do, and I get to experience all of that in a time-condensed manner when we go to a fashion market.
We typically go to the Dallas Market because we can drive there pretty easily. Dallas is only about 5 hours from my hometown of Little Rock. There are markets in other cities and we have also been to the one in Atlanta which we liked a lot as well, but Dallas has started to feel like our “home” market.
I’ll never forget the first time we went. Oh My Goodness. We were SO nervous. We had no idea where to park, where to enter, where the registration lines were, what the procedures were once we got inside…it was scary! But we spent most of that first visit just learning the ropes and didn’t actually purchase much merchandise. We were much more relaxed on our second visit and now we love it.
The main building of the Dallas Market is 15 stories high and is basically a HUGE square building built around an atrium. There are glass elevators that take you from floor to floor and because of the atrium you don’t feel quite as claustrophobic as you might feel trapped indoors surrounded by booths and clothes and people all day long.
One of the things we love most about market is seeing our vendor friends. We really love some of the vendors and we greet them with hugs and happy words. Our favorite vendor knows exactly what we like and will say, “look at what we just got, this item is SO I Do Declare.” We love her and love that she understands our style so well.
It is exciting when we find a great item at a great price. We will talk about how much our clients will adore this item and how happy they will be to see it. It is also great when we find things that make us exclaim, “I’m buying this myself! This has GOT to be a part of my wardrobe!”
And one of the goals that we set for ourselves at every single market is to find something from a new vendor. It is so fun to seek and find a new or “new to us” brand that we think is a perfect fit for I Do Declare Boutique (or IDD as we affectionately call our store.)
Now for the hard parts.
Here is the truth. We don’t make decisions easily or lightly. We watch other buyers come in and select 30 items in 5 minutes! We are basically in awe of those buyers. My word! That is so not us.
No, we pull our possible selections over to these special racks the vendors have just for that purpose. We look at them and mull them over and discuss how we think this dress will hang or is that blush color really blush or maybe it’s beige and will this shirt be comfortable and will that skirt be too short. Then we go back to the main racks and look again to see items we might have missed. Then we go back to our possibilities and start culling items that don’t look like “us” and then we take photos of every item we select and finally, finally we call the vendor over to ring up our purchase.
Then we go to the next brand and do the whole thing again!
The other thing about going to market is that it is physically and mentally exhausting. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t in the mood to shop. You must shop. It doesn’t matter if your feet are killing you. You must shop. If doesn’t matter if you are needing a bathroom break. You must shop. Ok. Not really on that last one, but you do feel pressured to keep going and to make as much of your time as you possibly can. Your brain starts to feel as if it can’t handle any more information, you start to doubt your own judgement, and when that happens you know it is time for a break. A hot tea break, or if you are really tired, a Prosecco break. But not too much. 😉 Then it’s back to work.
After market is over we drive home and literally discuss our purchases for the entire 5 hour drive! HaHa. We are gluttons for this stuff.
And you want to know the best part of going to market? When the packages start rolling in a month or two later!
Hope you enjoyed this little peek into the life of a boutique owner!
Here are a couple of preview photos of what will be coming to I Do Declare this fall!