Build-a-Boutique: Why I Created a Brand With No Product

Why I Created A Brand With No Product

So, if you don’t know I’m building a new online shop! I have a logo, a mood board a business name, a website, an ideal customer profile and social media profiles. But, I have no products.

You’re probably thinking “why are you wasting your time with all that when you don’t even know what you’re going to sell?”, or maybe you’re not thinking that. But for the purpose of this post? Let’s say you are!

Even though I don’t have any products yet, or even concrete ideas for products (I know I’ll be selling fashion accessories and that’s about it), I feel so much more confident taking the next steps towards building my boutique. When I do sit down and start sourcing/making products I’ll know exactly what to say yes to, and what to pass on.

When I ran Shop Lioness I chose to stock anything that even slightly tickled my fancy. Even if it wasn’t my style per-say, I figured “oh it’s cute, someone will like it!”. Basically I was trying to appeal to everyone at once. That probably led to confusion, and people not knowing what to expect from me. Really, for 99% of my shop’s existence the only constant was the fact that my face was plastered all over it.

This photo was taken waayyyyyy back when I first started selling just because I wanted a bit of cash. I made those beanies and they were cool but…..I do NOT dress like that and never have! I just threw this outfit together based on Tumblr photos. I tried to mold my shop into what I thought the masses wanted, but in reality I sold way more when I just started being myself- quirky, a bit awkward and feminine.

shop lioness

And then, in a move that exposed my naivete, I decided that if I was ever going to make it big I’d have to copy other successful shops. I changed everything about the way I presented my brand in an effort to capitalize off of what works for other people, rather than focus on what made me unique.

This time around I don’t want any confusion. As Aurelius Creates says, I want my brand to be “bae”. I want my brand to be so enticing, so alluring and so on point (I couldn’t think of another fancy adjective) that I would run in slow motion through a field of flowers just to interlock fingers with it as we stare into each other’s eyes and reminisce about all the good times we’ve had. Now considering the fact that I’m not a fan of nature, you can see how that’s love right there.

I’m not saying that everyone should work this way (creating the brand first before the products), but branding should be pretty high on your list of to-do’s no matter what you do. Lots of people sell clothing and accessories, so make sure you make it clear why they should buy them from you. I’ve seen people making a living off of selling confetti, glitter, and even poop in a box. Seriously. And they’re able to sell these items successfully because of a strong brand.

This is why branding is one of the first lessons in Build-A-Boutique. Trust me, the lessons in the course come from first hand experience and I rather you guys skip the B.S. I went through and jump right in to creating the online shop of your dreams! So if you’d like to follow along with me, sign up for the course and let’s build these boutiques!

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  • Yay! This is awesome, awesome, awesome. Starting an online business can be exciting from the beginning and wanting to start creating or getting some product. But you’re absolutely right – knowing who your brand/biz is gonna be will definitely help out with what to say yes or no to going forward.

    My 1st week’s homework from Build-A-Boutique definitely had me thinking hard. I thought I knew exactly how I wanted my brand represented but your course showed me I needed to think a little deeper, and I really am so grateful it did.

    Now, I have ideas that I didn’t before…. I could go on and on and I’m only in week 1, so I can only imagine what all I’ll have to say when I’m done.

    You’re the bomb! Thank you!

  • This makes so much sense to me. I just started blogging as a hobby. Sometimes I think about trying to make it more of a business, but want to build my brand first. You are doing an awesome job!

  • Hey BLM Girl! I haven’t ventured into selling a product, but you shared some great advice. I absolutely love the part about your brand/product being your BAE as it should.

  • Good for you! This post was super informative (and got me pumped up to do some digging into the branding of my blog, as well as my photography business), AND I feel like you’re really getting into this and setting yourself up for success. All the things you described here — especially the running slow-motion through the field of flowers thing — resonate.And I hope that when you figure out what you’re selling in your online shop, you see a world of difference between this time and last time!