Fearless Friday: Corri McFadden
Corri has been an unstoppable force in the fashion community for years. Her story has inspired young women and fellow entrepreneurs including myself. Not only has her brand, eDrop-off, withstood multiple economy shifts but it continues to thrive. She's a knock-out, a rocker, a momma, a #bossbabe, a fashionista, a creative and more. Check out what makes Corri such a fan favorite in the Chicago community!
Tell us a little about e-DropOff and the mission of your brand. How did you come up with the idea and how hard was it to get started?
I founded eDrop-off over 12 years ago. It's just insane how much it's grown in that time! When I was in college I studied Fashion Design and I created the business plan for eDrop-off as my graduation portfolio project. I could see that there was a void in the consignment market, and I knew I could find a innovative and creative way to fill it. While I was sure of my idea, my program director was not. Once I get on a path though you can't deter me, I pushed ahead in full force.
I skipped my graduation to attend eBay LIVE! to find the software I needed to run my business, against the advice of my director. eDrop-off opened up three months after I graduated. 12 years later we pioneered the way of luxury consignment and the way women will forever look and value their closets.
1. What was the moment you knew you wanted to be an entrepreneur(s) let alone in the fashion/accessory industry?
I don't think a true entrepreneur knows they want to "be" an entrepreneur, it's something you are born as and it's in your blood. When I look back on my childhood, I was very innovative, always brainstorming new ideas and looking to fill a demand. For example when I was in 7th grade they took the vending machines out of the cafeteria. So I decided to start selling candy on the bus ride home. Knowing I needed a wholesale source I contacted the wholesaling company the drill team used for their fundraisers, with my smooth talking 12 year old self I convinced him to give me the candy on a net 90 day payback period. Let's just say I became the "candy queen" and made enough money to go to Mexico that summer!
2. What one e-DropOff moment are you the most proud of and why?
eDrop-off's 10th Anniversary. I recently read an article that said 96% of small businesses fail within the first ten years, and the fact that we've surpassed that milestone is a huge deal. We had an amazing celebration and I was thrilled to celebrate with a joint party celebrating the fragrance launch of my BFF Christian it was definitely a night to remember.
3. How do you describe your personal aesthetic?
Rocker Chic. I swore the day would never come when you wouldn't see me in heels, but when you have a toddler who behaves like she has six older brothers, you have to be in something comfy that you can move quickly in. I've seriously stepped up my collection of sneakers and boots so I can chase after her in style!
4. What individuals, tastemakers, celebrities, entrepreneurs, public figures inspire you?
Sai De Silva and London Scout: This mother daughter duo seamlessly tackle NYC on the daily, and look good doing it. Say also recently announced that she is expecting, and I can't wait to see her tribe grow!
Jessica Alba: She's the ultimate mom boss. She's built a billion dollar empire since becoming a mother, which is no small feat!
Martha Stewart: She's been a trailblazer from the beginning, and continues to do so with each project she takes on. You never know what to expect from her, and I love someone who gives us the unexpected! Her new show with Snoop Dog is amazing!
5. If you weren't in the fashion/accessory industry...and could be anything else...what would it be?
I would probably go into some type of creative consulting work. I love brainstorming with other entrepreneurs to come up with fresh ideas, and it would let me use my experience to help others.
6. It's creative time...what's on your Spotify? What inspires you?
Being home with a toddler, your Spotify becomes very censored. Right now we have Kids Bop 33 and Disney Tunes! In the morning Zelda and I love rocking out to Beyonce, girl has some moves!
I seek a lot of inspiration from my Instagram feed. I make a conscious effort to keep it curated and motivational, rather than a time suck. We all know that social media addiction is real, so I like to know that mine is at least serving a purpose. My daughter Zelda is also a huge driver in my life, always inspiring me to be the best I can be each and everyday. You can take a peek into my mom life and Zelda's impeccable style at Glitter and Bubbles!
7. Favorite restaurant on a Friday night + why?
If it's a date night, Maple & Ash. Their pastry chef Aya Fukai has just been named Pastry Chef of the Year by Eater, which is HUGE! I'm a sucker for their ice cream sundae, sometimes I skip dinner and just go straight for dessert!
If it's family night, Zelda and I are all about Mei's Corner! They have the best Chinese food, Zelda loves it and has even claimed the table we always sit at as hers!
8. Wine or classic cocktail?
My favorite drink is actually very simple but you will kind of sound like an asshole when you order it, but it's worth it because it's so good! It's a spicy margarita with muddled jalapeño made with silver tequila, then shaken very well until it froths. Serve in a short glass with a little bit of ice and extra salt. Maple & Ash has mastered it for me, it's perfection!
9. Favorite weekend getaway destination?
The American Club in Kohler, Wisconsin. It is the perfect place to escape when you need to get out of the city, and just under a three hour drive from Chicago. It has a AAA Five Diamond rating and don't even get me started on how insanely nice the people who live in Kohler are!
10. 5 must-have apps that you need in your life to function?
Skype: my partner travels a lot and those data costs can get out of control very quickly!
Lifeline: this is a security app that everyone should download, especially living in Chicago
Uber/Uber Eats: just take my money!
Farfetch: the ultimate shopping app!
Follow Corri on Instagram!
Photography by Kirsten Miccoli for the Sun Times