Business ‘booming’ for vintage fashion store at Belper shopping arcade
A new vintage fashion store has proved so popular with customers that it has moved into a bigger unit just months after opening at a Derbyshire shopping arcade. The Find, in Belper, quickly outgrew the Corn Exchange premises it originally opened in November 2022.
Just four months later, the pre-loved designer womenswear and menswear shop had moved into a larger unit vacated by stationery specialist The Paper Collective. The Find is run by Caroline Cox and Shena Lawrence, two friends in their 60s who both live locally.
Well-known vintage fashion author Caroline says her local independent business, which stocks some items for just £5 and 1970s maxi dresses from £24, has been “booming” ever since making the move in March. She said: “We outgrew our old unit very quickly – in fact we had people queuing to get in on Saturdays!
“In March, we moved into the old Paper Collective unit which is three times the size of our old unit as we are doing so well. It’s going great and business is booming. Belper loves vintage because of its sustainability and the fact that you can always find individual, well-made pieces at a reasonable price.”
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It is safe to say the pair have a wealth of experience in the vintage fashion industry. Caroline grew up in Allestree and her first job was teaching fashion history at the University of Derby in the early 1980s.
She went on to become a well-known author, penning 18 books including her best-seller How to be Adored. Her successful writing career led her to move to London and appear on TV and radio shows like the Today Programme and Woman’s Hour.
Caroline, who is back living in the Amber Valley village of Alderwasley, has been selling vintage clothes as CC Vintage since the early 1980s and had one of the first vintage stores in Nottingham. Shena previously worked at the Belper Antiques Centre, in the De Bradelei Mill, where she had been successfully selling pre-loved fashion.
Caroline went on to detail what customers can expect when they visit her store at the King Street shopping arcade. She said: “The stock dates from the 1890s to the present day and is sourced and curated from all over the UK and beyond! It takes an enormous amount of hard work to keep the standard high.
“Prices range from £5 upwards with the average price for a vintage dress being £24. We have a fantastic range of 1970s maxi dresses at the moment that start at that price and are perfect for summer.
“I find that people love the history we can give them about each item of clothing. We’re really knowledgeable about our stock and as a fashion historian I love talking vintage fashion.”
The Find has been featured as part of the Derbyshire Live campaign called Love Your Local. Over the past year, we have shone a light on independent retail and hospitality businesses across the county to help people to appreciate their local shops, restaurants, cafes and bars.
The Corn Exchange facility consists of nine shop units, five offices, drumming and recording studios, two dance studios, and a café featuring indoor and outdoor eating areas. The building was originally a corn exchange and has since been used as a gym and a nightclub under the names Harvey’s, Hacketts, and most recently, the Corn Exchange.
There is also the 1924 Building in Campbell Street, which first opened in October 2020.
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