Each week during the season on House of Consignment, we’ll be talking to eDrop Off owner and woman whose wardrobe we covet, Corri McFadden, about her take on every episode. Four our first week, we got to know Corri and her business a little bit, as well as talking about her first closet cleanout with Karyn.
You mentioned that your business was built from scratch as a school assignment, where did the idea for eDrop Off come from?
The concept of an eBay store was presented to me and I loved the thought of working for myself. Once I opened the store, I realized how to focus my passion for design and fashion and re-branded myself to be a premier reseller of designer luxury items. Almost 8 years later, over 200,000 luxury items have been sold and I consider myself a pioneer in the market.
Do you still use your design skills from school?
Absolutely, eDrop Off is an innovative business that’s working hard to stay with the trends and ahead of the curve. Learning the importance of construction has helped me keep a keen eye on brand integrity and trademark. School gave me an insight of the fashion industry and stressed the importance of the pressures it creates which relates directly back with running a business.
Do you ever buy things yourself that people drop off?
Rarely, when something comes into the store I look at it as business and numbers. However, I do have a soft spot for Chanel so I manage snatch a few pieces when temptation calls.
How do you define your own style?
Rock and chic. I like a hard edge balanced with a feminine touch.
Do you ever sell your own stuff through EDO?
Yes. You will see a full closet clean out later in the season. My passion for shopping demands seasonal clean-outs, so stay tuned.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
The dynamic staff that I work with and putting our heads together to make us a winning team. I love meeting new people this job has afforded me, and the beautiful clients that I constantly come in contact with.
Have you ever been shocked by the amount that something is worth, or does that just come with the luxury territory?
Surprises come every day, the most exciting auctions to watch are when something sells for over retail.
Do you have an all-time favorite item you’ve sold?
The oversized vintage Birkin Travel bag. I so regret not buying this one for myself.
As far as your first client, Karyn, goes, how does her stuff rate as far as volume and quality of merchandise that you normally deal with in a closet clean out?
Karyn herself is one of those wonderful individuals that the business has connected me to. Her closet is great and when you walk into it you know it’s Karen’s, as it speaks to her personality. Stay tuned and be amazed by the many fabulous closets and finds that this season brings.
What was the best thing about working with Karyn?
She’s so therapeutic, both mentally and physically, being a vegan and wellness expert. Being in her territory meant vita squirts in my water throughout the day, healing lotions massaged into my hands and keeping a constant calming presence. With me this isn’t an easy task and, hey, I’ll take all the vita squirts she wants to give me if I look like this when I’m 65.
She seemed hesitant get rid of things (namely, shoes) — did she end up getting rid of a lot?
It was a successful start for a first time consigner. It’s hard when you have never parted with anything before and she’s not used to “fashion” therapy. Generally a good consigner finds the selling experience to be fun and unpredictable. When they see the check, it gives them reason to go shopping and start cleaning.
How do you get reluctant people to give away more?
I don’t — we only want someone to part with something when they are ready to. Often time, it’s an emotional connection and if they need to hold onto that memory than that’s what they need to do.
Do you have tips or methods to convince people that certain things are worth giving up?
If it’s something that has been sitting in a closet for a few years, than it’s important to evaluate if you should upgrade the item. Recognize that cash is sitting in the closet with no value if it’s not being used no matter what it cost at the time of purchase. Sometimes it’s as simple as talking though the item and trying it on. An unbiased voice of reason such as myself can do wonders in one’s closet.
You mentioned staying true to your Midwest roots — how do you think the business would be different if it was NY or LA-based?
While LA and NY are great, it wouldn’t be any different, and we currently have a presence in these markets. The thing I love about Chicago is the loyalty of my existing clients has helped me grow my business by word of mouth. The Midwest has a very strong work ethic and growing up in Kansas has helped me keep things into a smaller perspective in a bigger city such as Chicago.
What makes Chicago a unique fashion city?
The diversity and unique styles are wonderful. When people think Midwest their perception is not always accurate. Chicago has a taste for all styles and makes for a great and fun shopping experience.