Your projected opening inventory will be directly tied to the size of the retail space you’re planning on occupying. Even if you don’t know that, make the assumption. If you assume a 1200 s.f. space and say 900 of that will be where your merchandise will be sold…plan the space out. Draw it out on a blank piece of paper. Racks, shelves—whatever you’re using for display, etc.
Then talk to your suppliers (if you’re working with any yet) to see how much inventory should be ordered to initially stock your store. Based on the square footage experienced wholesalers/suppliers will be able to tell you how much beginning inventory you’ll need. If they are more local artist-types, you’ll need to rely on your own judgement. Visit other stores about the same size, sneak pictures and take a mental inventory of how much they’ve got.
Go back to your drawing and count how much stuff it’ll take to fill those shelves and racks. Multiply your count of each item by it’s cost. Add it all up—whala, there’s you’re opening inventory.