With most fashion boutiques dotted around Albury’s traditional shopping strips, Chic to Chic boutique fashion has bucked the trend, finding a classy home in Albury’s southern CBD fringe in Townsend Street.
For Simone Eldridge, her beautiful boutique evolved as a side-line to her main work as a receptionist and legal secretary.
“I have some family in the rag trade in Melbourne and a cousin who sells at one of the markets as well and I just started collecting clothes and saw an opportunity,” Simone said.
“I had a rack of about 20 pieces of clothing and invited some friends around, put some nibbles and drinks on and by the end of the night, the whole rack was gone.”
From there, she grew her collection and hit the markets. Growing popularity and demand for the ‘one off’ pieces she has a knack for collecting, saw her establish her Chic to Chic store.
“I pick up the different, the unusual and I love colour,” Simone said.
“It’s just what people want. I try not to double up.
“I went to the races once and paid three or four hundred dollars for a beautiful dress and there was a lady sitting at the table with exactly the same dress. After that I swore and declared I would never buy off a rack that had three or more dresses on it.”
Many of the clothes on the racks at Chic to Chic boutique fashion are designer pieces, on consignment from more than 200 clients.
“People are very much into recycling and vintage clothing and are conscious of someone else trying to get some use out of clothing they no longer wear.
“I have a lot of clients who are businesswomen, who buy beautiful things and go to lots of functions, and when they don’t need it anymore, they bring it to me. If it can go to someone else and if they can make some money out of it, why not?”
Simone’s family connections in Melbourne also means she can access designer pieces, practically brand new.
“I can go and hand-pick clothes that have been used in photo shoots or on the cat walk,” Simone said.
“They can’t go back into the store, because they’re classed as seconds.”
While Chic to Chic is technically ‘off the beaten fashion track’ in Townsend Street, Simone says the location adds to the shop’s appeal.
“Visitors just can’t believe it,” Simone said.
“Some of the comments on my Facebook Page are ‘this is such as little gem, why haven’t I known about this before?’
“That’s why I’m down here in South Albury, it’s a good little growing hub of Albury with lots of new businesses popping up.”
For more on Chic to Chic fashion boutique visit their Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Chictochicclothing/
Produced by Border Cafe in partnership with AlburyCBD