G. Mark’s Answer
The important thing in starting any business or any project whatsoever is to start with first principles. That is to do your "homework", and for a business this involves creating a business plan. You need to first decide what problem you're solving or what need you're addressing. For your particular effort -- a boutique -- you must study the market and get advice from folks who are familiar with the market segment you're trying to appeal to. Having a business plan is essential to getting input from experts who can help you evolve it and add details. You might also be aiming at a moving target, so to speak. So you'll want to monitor your target demographics for changing tastes. This would require you to keep an ongoing refinement of your business plan. This sort of evolving planning is an excellent way of ensuring your business is appropriately designed to appeal to your market. It also could provide some surprises and cause you to rethink some aspects of your business. The bottom line here is that passion for a business is essential. But it is not sufficient. A thorough business plan is a great device to not only organize your thoughts, but also to explain your project to others to get outside funding and to attract the best employees. You may want to start an exploratory effort such as selling your creations through other outlets and established businesses first. This will also help you get contacts in related businesses and possibly form some advantageous alliances. Remember that 70 percent of startups have been started by folks who were originally employees of other similar businesses where they learned their craft or got their inspiration.