Meet Christine Colbert of Dress, Prestbury’s designer dress agency
PUBLISHED: 17:34 15 October 2020 | UPDATED: 17:34 15 October 2020
Christine Colbert is the owner of Dress, in Prestbury. Here she tells us how she built her successful business
Tell us what you do: I own and run Dress, a boutique dress agency in Prestbury village selling high-end preloved designer clothes, shoes, handbags and accessories. We also sell online throughout the UK, too.
Where did you get the inspiration? My love of luxury branded labels and the desire to recycle and reuse goes back over 20 years. I was also sure there were lots of people who, like me, could not afford to buy the items they desired so much as the price tag is so out of reach. So finding and buying preloved fashion has been something I have done for a long time - I have filled my wardrobe with some amazing pieces for a lot less than people think.
More recently I have noticed the impact the fashion industry is having on the planet through fast and throwaway fashion, which has bothered me , plus there is so much in people’s wardrobes that’s just not being worn.
I could not find any ’second hand’ shops that provided a luxury brand retail experience either where you get a very personal service in a lovely environment, plus I knew lots of people had items they no longer needed that were too good to go to a charity shop, so this gave me the idea to launch Dress. I call it ‘making the adorable, affordable’.
Who are your customers? Our customers are definitely likeminded people who appreciate quality items that stand the test of time, and know what they wear makes them look good and feel great. We have a very loyal customer base who come into the shop, buy online and follow our social posts frequently. They love the thrill of finding that one item that is no longer available to buy elsewhere, and they also get it for an amazing price too as its preloved. Some of our customers buy from us, some sell with us, and many do both! Our customers are a community of savvy shoppers for sure and they have become our friends too. Age-wise our customers vary from late 20s to early 70s! There is no age when it comes to looking good.. just pure style and good taste!
Who in your life has been your greatest inspiration? I don’t think I can name an individual, as I have been inspired in many ways by lots of people. I don’t see success as money, I see it as being happy with what you have and who you are, so those who are relaxed about what they have inspire me greatly and find I find myself wanting to be more like them.
What is your top tip for anybody starting out in business? Stick to what you know and follow your gut. If you can invest in anything make sure it’s your brand and your marketing. If you get those right the rest will fall into place. People buy from people they believe in and trust, so think of your business as a person and make sure the marketing reflects that personality and the values that come with it.