Inspiring founder and owner of EDROP-OFF, pioneer of luxury consignment, Chicago’s go-to style expert, star of VH1’s “House of Consignment” AND mother to beautiful little Zelda, Corri Mcfadden’s done it all – and she’s not stopping there. This driven and ultra-chic entrepreneur has proved that taking a risk can pay off, and she is sharing her success story, tips to owning a business and how she manages to balance it all with us below!
TJ: What were you doing before you launched Edrop-Off and what inspired you to take the step to work for yourself and own your own business?
CM: I started eDrop-Off 10 years ago as of this past October. I went to school for Fashion Design and developed the business plan for eDrop-Off as my graduation portfolio project. I felt there was a void in the consignment market and knew that I could pioneer an innovative way to fill it. Not everyone felt that way, however. My program director thought it was a terrible idea, but I knew I had something and refused to be deterred. So, I skipped my graduation to go to eBay Live in hopes of finding software to help launch my business, and three months after I graduated, I opened the doors to eDrop-Off’s first retail space. Ten years later, here we are as one of the largest luxury consignment companies in the country with over 400,000 luxury items sold to date. We sell approximately 2,000 items per week, so the office is always bustling with new merchandise. I oversee two eDrop-Off locations, which house stylists, copywriters, and photographers, so a staff of 40+ fills my day and keeps me on my toes! Most recently, I extended the brand with our new e-commerce website and retail location, The Collection. We rotate 100% new merchandise in every 2-3 weeks at fixed prices and feature fun collections with fashion icons like Christian Siriano and Costume Designer Janie Bryant. It’s exciting to branch out and create a new outlet for the company that gives our clients an extensive collection of amazing designer merchandise!
TJ: What has been the hardest thing about owning your own business?
CM: There’s been a lot of competition that’s come into this industry over the last 24 months. My motto is “Competition keeps you in condition” and it keeps you innovative and thinking outside the box. My wonderful client base is what has helped me through a lot of these challenges in the ever-changing market. We’ve helped so many clients through difficult times in their lives, whether they’re downsizing or they’re getting a divorce or dealing with a death, it’s fulfilling when you can help someone. We also have relationships with clients who have been with us since the beginning, and that’s really important, there’s a lot of loyalty.
TJ: What has been the best thing?
CM: I would have to say it’s the pleasure I get from watching both my business and brand grow. At the end of the day, this is what keeps me motivated and on track. I wouldn’t be able to survive without my awesome staff on board! It’s also a lot of fun for me and I am constantly meeting new and interesting people and having the craziest experiences. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
TJ: What has been your proudest moment in your career?
CM: I think really just pioneering luxury consignment overall. We started doing this at a time when nobody had heard of it or thought of it. Consignment has been around forever, but we brought the consignment model to current times, and to e-commerce. Really pioneering this industry, and having people look to us for inspiration says a lot, because this is one of the most popular business models in the fashion industry right now, which is crazy. It’s going through a very popular phase, but we started that trend. We’ve been doing this for 10 years, and we can take credit for that and it’s something to really be proud of.
TJ: What advice would you give to others wanting to start or grow their business?
CM: Doing your own thing. Whatever it is you want to do, there’s room for everyone, you just need to find your own niche and how you can differentiate yourself. Look at how many people own dry cleaners, or look at how many people do nails, there’s room for everyone, but there’s a reason why you go back to the same person over and over again. It’s really about honing into your client base, and finding out what’s important to them and catering to that.
TJ: You recently gave birth to adorable Zelda, has mommyhood changed how you view work or life?
CM: You really have to learn how to separate and draw a line between your business and your personal life, which is so important. Otherwise it can over-consume you in a way that you can’t even function. That took me a long time to learn, that balance, and I continue to learn it. I work all the time, but now I’m a mom. If I want to go do something or be somewhere, I have to take into account how it’s going to affect Zelda, and not just myself anymore. It’s hard to find that balance but that little smile of hers’ makes it easier everyday!
TJ: You have fabulous style, has having Zelda changed your style or how you dress?
CM: I define my style as Rocker Chic. I’ve kept with that during my pregnancy, and now as a mother, by incorporating a lot of black including black denim jeans, leather pants and graphic tees. My mission during my pregnancy was not to lose my sense of style during that ever-changing time and now that I am a mother, I am even more determined to rock those studded boots and leather jackets to the playground.
TJ: What’s your favorite accessory for the fall season?
CM: A good pair of heels (I adore my Christian Sirianos!) They finish off any outfit, and add a level of confidence to your stride!
Be sure to check out all things Corri on her personal site, shop EDROP-OFF, and most recently launched e-commerce site The Collection!