small business in costa rica

Entrepreneur Costa Rica: Big Brand or Small Boutique?  I’ve been trying so hard in my local fashion business to survive against big brands. It helps to remind myself of the answer to this question: what makes a small boutique special and competitive?

On the other side of the coin is what makes the big fashion brands NOT so special? Did you know that Zara, Pull and Bear, Bershka and Stradivarius are owned by the same company?  Imagine this scenario: You go into any one of these stores, you buy this beautiful dress at an amazing price, then you travel 10,000 miles to Europe and there you see 20 other women wearing the very same dress. That opened my eyes.

The only way to make a small boutique
special is to make YOU feel special by shopping there.

The only way to make a small boutique special is to make YOU feel special by shopping there. That means knowing it would be very unlikely to see anybody else wearing the same dress as yours anywhere around town, and that the jewelry you are wearing is handmade and one of a kind. It means you receive personalized attention from sales staff, with emphasis on your needs, preferences and body type. It means follow-up customer service when we place a special order for a product not in stock, and keeping our inventory fresh, original and appealing to everyone in your family.

On a related note, many small boutiques have in common the added special appeal of a local shopping experience. Customers have another reason to feel good about selecting merchandise that is not widely available, if at all, anywhere else in the world. They recognize the importance of shopping locally, especially in a small country like Costa Rica, because it supports and stimulates the local economy.

I love it when people come back to my store at night, dressed in their brand new outfit, with makeup and hairdo, all ready to go out. They have become what they envisioned that morning with salty bodies and crazy hair.

I love helping people in the store get dressed for a family photo session, preparing them with a harmonized look for lovely sunset pictures.

I love hearing about that special event you are shopping for, then seeing you leave the store with the perfect complete outfit, including accessories and shoes.

In conclusion, for a business like mine to survive and thrive in the face of big brand competition, I have to love what I do. My boutique has a face and a heart, and that is what makes it special.