Business profile: Carousel ClothingBy David Millward
November 01, 2010
The business: Carousel Clothing. HQ in Caversham Heights but sales are located around the region.
The bosses: Cathryn Bullimore and Sally Moore. The pair have worked together for 10 years as communications consultants and are now putting their love of fashion into this new venture.
What is your business about? “It’s a dress agency selling women’s pre-owned designer and top name high street clothes, shoes and accessories.
"People are invited to bring their good quality pre-owned items which we will sell on their behalf. The seller earns a percentage of the sale price and Carousel Clothing takes its commission. Two per cent of the sale price is donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). Cathryn’s son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 13. He faces a lifetime of injections, restrictions and potential serious health complications. The JDRF is working to get a cure for this form of diabetes which usually strikes children and young adults and is on the rise.”
What products/services do you offer? “We offer pre-owned designer and top high street clothes, shoes and accessories. Currently the stock is autumn/winter wear and party wear. Labels include Armani, Paddy Campbell, Paul Costello, Jasper Conran, Hobbs, Phase Eight, Monsoon, Boden, Linea, L.K. Bennett and White Stuff. We’ve also got some beautiful shoes, scarves, beads and belts.”
How and when did you start your business? “We set up the business a couple of months ago having talked about doing it for a long time.”
Who are your customers? “We are open to anyone looking to buy fashionable top quality women’s clothes and accessories at sensible prices. We also cater for people who have clothes they no longer wear, for whatever reason, and who would like us to sell them on their behalf. They can contact us for an appointment first (see above).”
What sets you apart from the competition? “We are very discerning about the clothes we sell so our customers know they can expect superb fashionable items at a fraction of the real price. We also donate a part of our profits.”
How has the recession affected business? “The business really came into being because of the recession. We weren’t prepared to pay inflated prices for nice clothes or high prices for pretty basic clothes either. However, we still wanted to update our wardrobes on a regular basis.
"It seems from our customer feedback that during the current climate others feel the same. They want to be able to buy great clothes and accessories without feeling guilty about the price tags. During a recession it’s always tempting to look at buying cheaper brands in a bid to save some money.
"At Carousel Clothing you don’t have to do that – you can buy quality names at incredibly reasonable prices – so you’re getting the quality without the big price tag.”
How do you feel about the future? “It’s early days for us but we’ve had great feedback from our existing customers and we hope to welcome many new ones in the near future. We’d be amazed if any of them can walk away from one of our sales empty handed, there really is a great choice on offer.”
When are your next sales? “We will be holding sales at venues around the Reading area. There will be updates of sales on our website or ring us. The next sale is on Saturday, November 6, at 26 Harrogate Road, Caversham Heights, RG4 7PN, from 10am to 4pm.
"There’s one on Saturday, December 4, and another on Saturday, January 22 – all at the above address.”