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WAHM > Stay at Home Mom Work Ideas > Traditional Product > Lingerie Business from Home

Start a Lingerie Business

What you will be doing.  Women love to wear lingerie.  The problem is that it can be quite expensive.  As the owner of a lingerie business, you will be in charge of providing women and to some degree, men, with apparel that feels as good as it looks. 

Lingerie includes nightgowns, pajamas, underclothing, and robes.  Men like to wear silk pajamas with or without a robe.  The discerning lingerie wearer will be looking for fine silk and satin, all good quality items that will last. 

How to start.  A lingerie business can be started as part of a franchise.  There are lingerie merchandisers that have independent representatives that host parties and work on commission.  If you want to sample the business to see if that is what you want to do, this is a good option.   

There will be an initial investment that pays for your merchandise.  The more parties that you book, the more money you will make.  If a potential customer doesn’t want to have a party at their home, they can have a catalogue party.   

If you want to go into business for yourself in a more permanent setup, you will need a business license and a permit to sell at other venues like flea markets and trade shows.  The business license allows you to purchase your merchandise from a wholesale dealer.

The permit enables you to rent a booth to sell your merchandise elsewhere besides from your home.  Direct sales will be a good part of your business.  Getting out and meeting people will increase your network of business contacts. 

Starting costs.  Starting a lingerie business will require an inventory of merchandise in various sizes if you plan to sell locally.  If you plan to sell on the Internet as well, the items that you advertise for sale can be drop shipped from your supplier directly to the customer.  Plan on spending anywhere from $500 to $1,000 depending how much inventory you plan to carry, advertising, and equipment. 

Your home office should be outfitted with a computer, printer, fax machine, telephone, and equipment to house and ship apparel to customers.  For flea markets, you will need the items required to setup your booth.  This could be as simple as a large table and chairs or a clothing rack complete with size markers for customers to peruse.  I have seen booth spaces that looked like mini storefronts. 

Skills needed.  People skills are a must.  You will be dealing with the public and customer service is important.  Some people are shy about purchasing personal apparel like lingerie.  They need a bit more help deciding what to buy.  Be eager to make the sale, but give customers your honest opinion so that they feel good about their purchase.   

Marketing.  Lingerie can sell itself if the items are new and interesting.  Know your customers.  If the lot is more conservative, you won’t be selling them anything risqué.  Selling on eBay or other online auctions as well as your own website store will bring in customers that have varied tastes.  Locally, that may not be the case. 

Showcase your apparel at bridal showers, friendly get-togethers, and other functions.  Give out flyers and business cards to all that attend so they know how to contact you for more items and information.  If you are into fashion designing, your own line of lingerie is a way to expand the business. 

Lingerie makes the wearer feel beautiful.  In this business, you have a chance to make money and make a difference in someone’s appearance.

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