Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Prospectus: Seaside Vintage Clothiers

I usually don’t get million dollar ideas, but on the way back from our Destin vacation I passed the time dreaming about opening a T-shirt shop in fashionable Seaside Florida. There are already several similar stores in the vacation hot spot, but with my imagination I think I could come up with creative designs that shoppers would gobble up. I’m sure Seaside commercial real estate is at a premium, even though housing prices in the area are greatly reduced (but still not reasonable).

Earlier in the week Anna purchased a prized Seaside T-shirt from the ice cream trailer that fronts on highway 30A. Haley’s store of choice is a more upscale shop across the street, that sells variations of a brown Seaside T-shirt. While I could start with a cart, my perfect scenario would be to have at least a small store with an upstairs living area. I’m not certain such an arrangement exists, but it would be great.

For a name, I like either Seaside Vintage Clothiers or the Seaside Trading Company. In addition to new, plain Seaside T-shirts, I foresee also selling sweatshirts and long sleeve T’s. Anna purchased a tank top, so those could be an option. Since other shops sell shirts with outrageous markups, I would hope to sell mine at slightly lower prices. Seaside caps would also sell, and also shorts. If permitted, I could also sell cold water bottles and Coke products.   

In addition to plain Seaside shirts, and shirts with my store’s name on them, I would continuously be creating unique Seaside-themed T-shirts. These would be what really sets me apart from my competition. Shoppers would love them. Some would be sold for only a short time period, like if they played off a hit movie (like The Seaside Games, in the Hunger Games font). Other shirts would come in college colors, like a garnet and gold Florida Seaside University shirt. If this were to fly, I’d have to become a copyright expert. If we had on-site screen-printing, fewer shirts would have to be stocked, but more options would be available. I’d stick to basic colors: white, grey, and navy (with some exceptions).   

I could also sell used (“vintage”) tees that I’d pick up at thrift stores…college T’s or other interesting, unique T’s that I’d happen across. These would be on separate, lower-priced racks. Similarly, I could sell other thrift-store “finds”…some at higher prices. Jerseys, helmets, unique golf clubs, toys, stuffed animals, and books. I’d be sure to not let the store become a dump.

The store would be heavily marketed through social media: Twitter, Pinerest, Facebook, Instagram, etc, Like many other businesses in the area, we’d have our own stickers, and sell the popular blue 30A stickers. The 30A sticker could sell at the market rate (if not slightly cheaper), but our sticker would be cheaper (50 cents or a dollar), if not free. Perhaps a white oval SVC sticker would work.

If the store became a success, perhaps similar stores could be opened in other trendy, upscale areas. Destin and Panama City are nearby, and could be possibilities. Atlanta options include Phipps Plaza, Perimeter Mall, Lenox Square, or North Point Mall. Also Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle, Pauley’s Island, or the Birmingham Galleria.

Here’s a list of possible T-shirt designs:
Seaside Vintage Clothiers
Seaside Trading Company
Roll Seaside (burgundy & white)
War Seaside (navy & orange)
Between the Seaside (red & black)
Florida Seaside University (garnet & gold)
Rocky Seaside (orange & white)
Abe Lincoln, Seaside Hunter
Seaside High
Seaside College
Seaside University
Hook’Em Seaside (burnt orange & white)
Geaux Seaside (purple & yellow)
Louisiana Seaside University (Purple & Yellow)
30A (blue circle)
Santa Rosa/Grayton/Watercolor/Seaside/Seagrove/Alys/Rosemary
The Seaside Games
Harry Seaside (Harry Potter)
Seaside Idol (white with blue oval)
Seaside Tigers (navy & orange)
Seaside Bulldogs (red & black and maroon & white)
Seaside Gators (royal & orange)
Fighting Seaside (navy & gold)
Seaside Longhorns (burnt orange)
Seaside Braves (navy & red)
Diary of a Watercolor Kid
Got Seaside? (black with white lettering)

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