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Old 06-05-2009, 10:01 PM
 
Location: Virginia
71 posts, read 323,890 times
Reputation: 29

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I have been thinking for awhile of starting up a little boutique in the Hampton Roads area and I wanted to get some feedback and advice. I recently graduated from VCU in May of 08 so I have a sizeable amount of student loan debt. That being said, it will be many years before this is something I can actually move forward with. Because of that, I want to take this time and do as much research as possible. I want it to focus mainly on accessories (jewelry, shoes, handbags) but also have clothing. I have always been a budget shopper and therefore would not want to have an expensive store. I was thinking along the lines of part consignment shop and part local designer's (affordable) pieces. What is the demand for that in this area, if any? I imagine VA Beach would be the best spot, but what do you think? I would be so greatful to any advice!!
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Old 06-06-2009, 05:06 AM
 
Location: Va Beach
3,506 posts, read 12,744,592 times
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We have consignment shops here, one on VA beach blvd. if you want to check it out and get a feel for it. I miss the privately owned shops in general. There are so many franchise clothing stores, that everything is a repeat. There was a small women's clothing store I grew up with. Good quality clothing, decent price for the item and you didn't see someone else wearing what you just bought at a public function
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Old 06-06-2009, 10:50 AM
 
88 posts, read 289,913 times
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In this economy, i'm not sure that would be the greatest idea. I know there are several small shops that have closed recently in Virginia Beach. I know Cage closed recently after 39 years of being open. I'll include the article link below.

Virginia Beach clothing shop is closing after 39 years | HamptonRoads.com | PilotOnline.com
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Old 06-06-2009, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Williamsburg
1,184 posts, read 3,687,187 times
Reputation: 405
Well there is definitely a much higher population in Va Beach as well as a lower average age. There are numerous consignment stores in Williamsburg. They always seem to do better in a down economy. None seem to be as nice as the ones I remember back in Washington DC. Having a wife who isn't that into fashion ( Thank you Lord !) doesn't allow me to give you much advice. I will poll the many women I work with to see their response. I'm with Town Center Gal on opening in this enviroment. If you are determined to go ointo business what about finding an existing store and see if you can become a partner and buy them out eventually.
I just had my hair cut at a lower priced hair cuttery in town. They said their business is down 25%. I wasn't thinking people would go without haircuts but apparently I was wrong.
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Old 06-07-2009, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Virginia
71 posts, read 323,890 times
Reputation: 29
Thanks so far for everyone who's replied. It is sad to see what the economy has done to locally run stores, but I'm really hoping that in a few years when I'm actually more financially stable and have some loans paid off the economy will be more forgiving. That being said, how hard is it to get small business loans. How is store-front realty in VA Beach??
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Old 06-08-2009, 12:08 AM
 
17 posts, read 46,744 times
Reputation: 20
Williamsburg is a tourist area, but nothing goes on at all after early fall until spring. Most restaurants, motels, etc. have to lay off employees and there are almost no jobs or tourists then.

I would go to Tidewater first. Location, loation, location! I think a business does better if it can attract both locals and tourists.

Good luck.

lindal
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Old 06-09-2009, 09:30 AM
 
520 posts, read 1,523,470 times
Reputation: 86
A few just closed near me.

Indebted Americans shouldn't be spending money on junk, they should be paying their debts!
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