How Much Do Boutique Owners Make?

Boutique owner making a sale


Opening your own clothing boutique is so rewarding! You'll be your own boss, and you'll set each day's agenda. It is your opportunity to showcase your unique eye for fashion and craft your own take on empowering others through the clothing they wear. You can genuinely be the change you wish to see in the fashion world, whatever that means to you. Perhaps you want greater inclusivity of body shape or complexion. Maybe you have an extraordinary ability to combine colors and patterns. As a boutique owner, you can showcase what you love. All of these rewards and more, you know. But you're also likely wondering how much do boutique owners make? That's what we'll discuss today.

Boutique Owner's Salary

With owning your own boutique, the "salary" depends, of course, on how much you sell, what your markup is, what your costs are, and what you decide to pay yourself. The niche you choose will also affect your income. Whether you specialize in high-ticket luxury items that are highly seasonal or in more affordable pieces that sell year-round also plays a role in how much your online boutique will make. Are you choosing quality wholesale boutique clothing and adding a conservative markup? Or are you hand-embellishing used clothing to create one-of-a-kind vintage fashion with a much higher margin? All of these considerations affect your shop's income. Then, there's the question of your costs. All the bills must get paid before you do.

How Much Do Boutique Owners Make?

With the understanding that many variables affect how much online boutiques make, there are some hard figures that can give you a place to start. According to Payscale, as of June 2021, small businesses, on average, make about $67,919 per year. The range is between $30,000 to $130,000. Of course, these numbers depend upon many different factors. Remember, there is no set boutique owner salary, but this gives you an idea of what you can realistically aim for. 

Remember that, depending upon your sales model and your niche, your sales may fluctuate a great deal with the seasons. For example, you may have big sales of summer swimsuits that help to carry your boutique over a slumping August or September. Take a close look at both the high points and the lows in your sales throughout the year. Then, look for new ways and new products to boost sales during the slower times.

Often, your first year's boutique owner salary gets put right back into your boutique as you purchase new inventory, invest in marketing, and upgrade some of the shoe-string options you opened with. So if you made trade-offs between your goals and the expenses in starting a boutique, you might decide to use your shop's income to bring about those goals. 

Boutique Success Rate

Of course, it's only fair to state that there is no guarantee that you'll ever get your boutique owner's salary. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20% of all new businesses fail within the first two years of opening. After five years, it is about 45% that close. Further, the standard estimate for a new business to turn a profit is usually 2-3 years. Opening your own boutique is a high-risk, high-reward proposition. 

This doesn't mean that only the wealthy can have success starting a boutique. But it does mean that you should fully understand the financial risks before you take them. Consider maintaining your regular job and income while you launch your boutique online. There is far less expense involved in opening an online boutique, and you can always open a brick-and-mortar storefront down the road. You might be surprised to learn that online boutiques can make as much as traditional storefronts but with less money invested.

A successful boutique will take a lot of work and careful planning. If you keep the security of your day job, you'll be better positioned to put the long-term time and effort into your boutique to build it into a success. You won't be forced to make decisions based on paying the mortgage this month; instead, you can take the long view and do what's best for your boutique's future. 

How much money do boutique owners make is an open-ended question whose answer relies on your hard work, business planning, fashion sense, and some good luck. Recognize the risks involved, and plan for them. Remember, success here is a marathon, not a sprint. Most importantly, plan to support yourself through the lean times that will occur. That way, you'll be best prepared to turn your vision into a thriving boutique!

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