Gracie Collier, long time seller of second hand & vintage clothing, both online and at flea markets, is fulfilling her dream and setting up a bricks and mortar shop in the heart of Clonakilty.
After her postgrad in marketing and a string of unfulfilling jobs in Dublin, the call of the ocean drew her to West Cork. According to Gracie, “Once I got to West Cork, I knew I was somewhere special, a place where the sense of community is strong and creativity is celebrated, my gut was telling me I had to move here.”
With no particular plan, she took the plunge and packed her bags, to do as many people do: to live the life she loved. Little did she know, this adventure inspired her to do something that was staring her in the face. Gracie simply combined her love for fashion with prior experience in retail.
“The thing about West Cork is that people have such a strong sense of community, they love something different, word of mouth is rampant and people love to see others pursue something new, something bold. A bundle of qualities that I struggled to find when I lived in Dublin.” Through making friends and connections whilst working locally in the town for a bakery, Gracie quickly saw a niche in Clonakilty for a Vintage Clothing shop that promoted unique vintage and preloved clothing, at a reasonable price, with a strong focus on sustainability.
Gracie said “The locals that I’ve spoken to seem to recognise the importants of sustainable clothing, recycling, reusing old clothing, shopping in charity shops etc.” Consequently, she believes that the niche created itself.
“I want to provide a shop for the fashion forward of West Cork, the ones with not a massive budget to spend on “fast fashion” on the high street,a place where they can come, express their creativity through clothing, get one off pieces, socialise and feel comfortable without having to drive an hour to Cork city.” Gracie originally founded SPICE for Festival wear alone as a business idea, making one off headpieces, clothing and costumes for the young festival goers (which she will be making and stocking in her shop too.)
“Overall, I am really excited about the opening of SPICE,(Special People In Creative Energy) even though it is a pop up, I am hoping that the success of the shop would lead me to having a more permanent home in Clonakilty.”
SPICE opens in Spillers Lane, Clonakilty, on Friday 21st of July, 10am- 6pm, with a special 10% off on the day to all customers. Follow them on Facebook as Spice Vintage West Cork or Instagram @SPICE.