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July 15, 2024

Corrie’s Frock Shop safe in family hands

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Handing over the banner and the fashion, Corrie van Dommele’s Frock shop in Ballina is in safe hands with niece Jodi Corrie van Dommele. Photo Tree Faerie

Fifty-four years is a long time to be in the workforce let alone in the one business in the one town, but that is how Corrie van Dommele has spent most of her adult life – at Corrie’s Frock Shop in Ballina, but now she is about to call it quits.

Corrie van Dommele will still be involved in the Frock Shop. Photo Tree Faerie.

van Dommele, who was born in Holland, was just 19-years-old when her family convinced her that the best way to enjoy her fascination for fashion was to open her own shop.

‘I was brought up in a business oriented family (Vado’s) and they established a business across the road. One day this shop came up for sale and they encouraged me to start my own business. I had absolutely no experience. I used to get upset when on Sundays I  couldn’t go to work. I loved it so much.’

COVID was tough

Corrie says COVID was tough. ‘We had a shop full of stock and had to close it. That was a nightmare. But my ‘landlord’ Ballina Council was wonderful. I also used to get help from my daughter who lives in Queensland but during the border closure she couldn’t get down.

‘Do you know, I had people offering to work for me for nothing so I could keep the doors open?’

Time to hang up her hangers

New owner Jodi Corrie van Dommele’s daughters Stormy and Zee will also be on deck to lend a hand. Photo Tree Faerie.

Corrie decided a few months ago that it was time to retire and had planned to close the Frock Shop doors when a family member had a great idea.

Corrie’s nephew and his wife Jodi van Dommele saw it as a perfect opportunity to keep it in the family.

Jodi has been a school teacher for many years but has decided that a new direction is as good as a holiday and she will carry the family’s banner forward. ’Yes, I’m hanging up the chalk. I’ve always been interested in fashion and retail. I think it’s going to be a lovely change.’

And for Corrie, the change will mean a ‘soft-release’ as she will help Jodi over the changeover. ‘We’ll go overseas together on some buying trips,’ says Jodi. ‘Corrie knows the door is always open for her to pop-in.’a

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