Frocking with Caroline Frers
(Photos by Austin Caine)
To walk up to the restored house on Central is like a walk back in time. You can’t miss this stunning Victorian style house built in the 1900’s. As I found out from the proprietor, it was built in 1902 and owned by a Charles C Parker who also owned a local music store, but the current story is so much more interesting.
A lovely lady, whom you might mistake as being from another era, greets you enthusiastically as you open the door of this unique establishment. Caroline Cook Frers, beautiful, with classic good looks and a flair for all things vintage and timeless, loves her house and her vocation. Why? Because it’s her passion. She is the owner of the Frock Shop, a timeless resale shop in the heart of one of the up and coming neighborhoods of Charlotte; Plaza Midwood.
Antiques and fabulous clothes line the walls and adorn this historic house. As if in a time machine, they will take you back to an age of superior craftsmanship. Artwork from local artists draw your attention around the rooms. You take a step back, taking it all in, and think, “I wish I could live here!”
But wait, we did say clothes, and that is her specialty. Self-proclaimed picker and thrifter, Caroline started by going to check out clothing store close outs and antique sales as a hobby, realizing that even though she loved certain pieces they all weren't for her. However being the collector of “all that is fashion”, she found a use for the vintage, chic, trendy and classic garments, thus the inception of the Frock Shop trunk shows. She set off on her mission, by setting up her very unique, well organized, branded events at local businesses. Naturally they became very popular; name brand clothes from reputable designers, vintage and new, for reasonable prices.
Soon businesses would approach her to bring her event to their locations. It was great cross promotion which is one of the things Caroline is passionate about. Supporting local businesses, especially those owned by women is high on her list.
Even though all these trunk shows were a hugely positive experience, it was getting immense and the “Frock babe” needed a space.
The first space was a small nook in a corner building on Hawthorne and Central. It was short lived because of some changes in management, but this was not discouraging for Caroline. She starting selling her wares online and kept her eyes peeled for the next venue to call home.
Find it, she did! She confides that when she walked in the front door of the location of 901 Central Ave. her heart skipped a beat. The house had all the accoutrements she was looking for; French doors, fireplaces, high ceilings Victorian details, ah the details…
Caroline and her husband, Adam Frers, mulled over the possible arrangement. He is her rock, her partner and her confidant. During their seven years of marriage they have made all their important decisions together and Adam has the responsibility of keeping her grounded.
Well we know how it turned out, because Caroline has made this blissful space her long term home, where in her very fluid venue she throws huge soirees and hosts grand art openings and jewelry bazaars; the last being the Diane Hughes “Hitchcock” series. After each of these she will passionately proclaim, “It was a rager”.
Even with all this success, Caroline is still down to earth and keeps her philosophy simple, “They don’t make it like they used to”. And with that she reminds us that the next time you need something for your house or an outfit for the evening, “think local”. Think twice before you head to the big box stores. We should all try to recycle and stay green and Caroline does a wonderful job “upcycling” her goods. She lives her philosophy. If you ask her what her favorite pieces are from her own closet, she exclaims without a pause, “my tall hunter green rain boots”, which she found thrifting, and a worn-in pair of cowboy boots. She took her time to find both of these and they turned out to be her “perfect pair”. She confesses, “some things are worth waiting for” and I agree. Thank you, Caroline, for bringing us a clothing, furnishing and lifestyle store worth anticipating.
You can follow her on Facebook at @frockshoprevival or on instagram and twitter @frockrevival, but I’d suggest taking a step into the venue at 901 Central Ave., Charlotte, NC 28204.
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