Customer Spotlight - Frocks and Frills Vintage
Customer Spotlight

Great Tips from Successful Retailers

My name is Lindsay Jirasek and I opened Frocks and Frills Vintage in Wheaton, IL in 2012. Before opening Frocks and Frills Vintage, I was selling in an antique store, and that was closing so I need to start my own business. My background is in education, I have a bachelor’s degree from Ben U in English Language and Literature with a minor in Education. Part of the reason I opened the shop was that I needed an income after graduation and when I couldn’t land a job teaching full time, I decided to make my own occupation.

SSS: 1. Describe your proudest moment as a business owner?

Frocks and Frills Vintage: Making customers feel their best is always a proud moment. I often have customers come in feeling depressed or desperate to find something for an event and time is running out. Once we put an outfit together, not only do they feel relieved, but they look and feel like a million bucks. They walk out of my store with their heads held high. It's a complete transformation, and I'm always proud to be part of that process.


SSS: 2. What are the new/existing challenges you are facing as a retailer/business owner?

Frocks and Frills Vintage: Re-educating people is definitely one of my biggest challenges. Often times Hollywood gives us a skewed and inaccurate view of the past and it warps people's perceptions of what was really worn. At least 3 - 4 times a week I get requests for "Gatsby" attire and when I show people authentic 1920s clothing they say, "oh, no! Not like THAT!" It's safe to say that I put my teaching experience to good use on a daily basis.


SSS: 3. What is the long term vision for your store?

Frocks and Frills Vintage: My long-term goal is to ultimately have enough space to create a "VIP" back room for my most serious buyers and dealer friends.

SSS: 4. What type of marketing works best for you?

Frocks and Frills Vintage: It's always a guessing game! Even after 6 years, you continuously learn more about your demographic. Social media definitely helps but as vintage lovers, my customers tend to be less technologically geared.

SSS: 5. When it comes to customer service, how do you keep your customers happy?

Frocks and Frills Vintage: I give all of my customer's one-on-one personalized attention; the kind you can't find in today's big box stores. Since I have a very strong memory, I remember every repeat customer and their taste preferences/style choices. This makes it much easier to make suggestions and help them pick out items in the shop.

SSS: 6. What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned since launching your business?

Frocks and Frills Vintage: There are so many things I've learned, I could go on forever! I never realized how much damage could be taken from people merely browsing. Having strong, reliable fixtures such as industrial shopping racks is an important asset. With cheaper, non-commercial racks I found that the clothing would get snarled and hangers would break as the whole rack would move and even on the verge of collapse! After I replaced my racks the items stay stationary and now when people browse through the garments the whole rack doesn't move back and forth.

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SSS: 7. What solution/problem are you solving with our products and why? What was the result?

Frocks and Frills Vintage: Merchandising is always a huge challenge, especially in a shop like mine where all of the items for sale are one of a kind! Store displays like wire grids with hat stands, flocked velvet jewelry displays, and matching clothing racks give the store a sense of uniformity and order. That makes shopping a variety of different items much less intimidating. They can focus on the products rather than a confusing array of mismatched fixtures.


SSS: 8. What is your favorite things you order from SSS and how has it helped your business?

Frocks and Frills Vintage: Recently I ordered (fancier) new shopping bags in different sizes. It's amazing how much of an impact something like that makes! When you put their purchase into a pretty bag with tissue paper and pretty boxes, it turns their purchase into a gift. Every time I pull out my leopard printed bags and pink tissue it puts a huge smile on their faces.


Frocks and Frills Vintage is located at
203 S Hale St
Wheaton, Illinois 60187

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