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Byline: Kavita Daswani
With a saturation of stores in most major metropolitan areas and consumers still cautious about spending, opening a fashion boutique these days is about as solid an investment as playing the blackjack tables.
In fact, the U.S. Small Business Administration reports that more than half of small businesses fail in the first year, and 95 percent fail within five years.
However, some entrepreneurs are hoping to beat the odds.
In the first installment of a two-part series, WWD checked in with four such entrepreneurs from across the country. These business founders -- all of whom are novices to the world of fashion retailing -- said getting started meant overcoming many hurdles, but all are betting a savvy mix of merchandise, ambience and accessible price points might just make their investments pay off. We'll follow up with all of them a year from now to see if they were right.
The Next Generation
Samantha, 64 East Walton Street, 1st Floor, Chicago
For Samantha Mittelman, one of the biggest hurdles to opening her eponymous boutique was getting people to take her seriously.
A few months after opening for business in mid-August, Mittelman said she's starting to prove the naysayers wrong.
"I'm 24, but when I first went to bankers to talk about getting a loan and was starting to build my team, people thought I was an idiot," she said.
Nonetheless, she has done better than she thought she would, she said. "Business is good, and our plans are right on target."