Digger: Can you tell us how Corina Corina came about?
It’s a dream for me. I’ve always been interested in
fashion, in particular vintage and recycled fabric and
garments, and I was in a position with my career where I was
yearning for a change but needed to make the jump. I
worked in marketing and communications for a huge
multinational and hit hard by the recession I was offered a
voluntary redundancy which I jumped at as I was able to use
the time – and some cash! - to set up Corina Corina.
Digger: You have a sourcing service for items and a rental
service for client's garments. Do these extra services set
you apart from other Vintage Clothing suppliers?
Ella: I think so, and although those are the services that I
advertise I offer a personal service to my customers in lots
of different ways, I’ve even hand delivered things in time
for a party. I take pride in my business and I think great
customer service is the one thing every business owner can
and should offer. And it pays off. I have lovely regular
customers who trust my advice, are loyal to the store and
have become friends as well as customers. I even get bought
lunch and flowers on occasion which is just lovely!
We also have a made to measure 1940’s collection which is
pretty unique, and we rescue and re-work vintage items to
create unique, wearable one-off garments with a twist, so I
think all these elements set us apart from a regular vintage
or secondhand store.
Digger: What are your most popular lines?
Ella: At the moment 1950’s day dresses and pretty tea
dresses are really popular, although good quality and
classic styles never really go out of fashion – which is
why so many of us love vintage, I suppose!
Digger: Would you say that Retro is, relatively-speaking,
I honestly don’t think that any market is recession proof,
but I do feel that at a time when it’s almost fashionable
to be a bit more frugal and also to recycle things, then
retro and vintage can enjoy a bit of a revival. Of course,
there always will be real vintage nuts who will buy vintage
no matter the fashion, but yes, it also becoming more
popular with a new market now too for lots of reasons,
Digger: Vintage items are environmentally-friendly,
good-looking and individual, better value than modern
clothes and a good investment too. Have you noticed that
more people are becoming aware of these facts?
Exactly, those are the main factors why vintage aficionados
have and always will buy vintage, and these facts are also
filtering through to the mainstream now too. We
shouldn’t forget the massive impact that celebrity’s
wearing vintage also have on the general public too and
their perception of buying secondhand clothes, it’s
considered pretty cool now in many circles – finally!
Digger: How does The Internet impact on what you do?
Oh massively, lots of vintage sellers are only based on-line
so there’s huge competition there, and of course eBay is
awash with all sorts of items which are about 5 minutes old
being sold as vintage! But on the plus side, there are
realms of wonderful information available and tonnes of
experts and forums to get involved with which is really
useful for learning and researching items. Our next major
task at Corina Corina is to develop our website to enable us
to sell more items online too.
Digger: What gives you most pleasure about what you are
I think just helping someone feel great, perhaps trying
something they never would have thought of wearing and
finding it really suits them, or finding them just the thing
they’ve been searching for or dreaming of for ages. That’s
a real feel-good moment.
Digger: What sort of feedback do you get from customers?
Mainly that people love the shop because it feels like a
treasure trove and people love to find something unique and
interesting. We really go out of our way with customer
service too so we get lots of personal recommendations and
happy customers sending cards and even flowers sometimes!
Where is the Corina Corina business developing in the
Ella: My next step for this year is to expand the website
and get a really cool useable shop up and running online. The
long-term plan is to expand the Corina Corina brand into
‘Cool’ and ‘Classic’ streams to include menswear,
bridal, collectable vintage. And to expand the Re-worked
Vintage range to include and on-sight workshop and studio so
the customer can really get involved in the process if they
Corina - The Midlands' most chic dress agency. Vintage
and pre-loved designer fashion to buy, sell and hire
Vintage . 1940s made-to-measure . Buy . Sell . Hire
We're focused on fashion. Astounding pre-loved
designer garments, extraordinarily well-cared for
footwear and accessories, and unique vintage finds,
available to buy, sell or hire.
Collection - The real deal from 60's shifts to 70's
cheesecloths, 80's cocktail dresses & even
original cowboy boots!
Find-It Service - Looking for something special? Give
us your wish-list and we'll find you the perfect
Flexible Agency Terms - Can't bear to part with your
treasured garments just yet? We'll hire them out for
37 Smith Street
TEL: 01926 400 087