High fashion at low prices is the secret of Sarah Ball’s success at Eco in Savile Street, Hull.
As the only clothes agency in the city - and one of only a handful in the area – Eco is proving a hit with customers who, as owner Sarah Ball puts it, “want to look a million dollars without spending a fortune.”
The store opened in Hessle in 2008 and made its name as an outlet for quality, pre-owned high street and designer clothes and accessories.
A move to Savile Street during 2010 boosted business further and provided the platform for expansion in terms of premises and stock.
The beginning of 2011 was marked with a re-fit, there are plans to extend to the second floor of the building and Sarah also aims to add brand new items to her stock range.
“Everything we sell is pre-owned but in immaculate condition,” said Sarah.
“We offer Gucci, Prada and all the other designer labels that people just can’t buy in Hull. We buy in from London, Manchester, wherever we can find what we think our customers want.
“We had a good customer base in Hessle and a lot of them have followed us here. Savile Street is great for our type of business. It’s full of shops that are a little bit different.”
Sarah’s knowledge of the fashion scene has enabled her to build up her own network for sourcing stock. She pays commission on everything she buys in but is still able to make savings that can be passed on to her customers.
“We’ve got some designer bags here that are about £1,500 new, still from this season, and we’re selling for about £600,” she said.
Sarah’s own background is in business – she worked as a personal assistant before having children.
“A friend of mine asked me to help with her charity shop. I loved it and realised there was a market for top quality clothes,” she said.
“With times being as they are people want to wear designer clothes but struggle to pay the full price. With a lot of our stock people don’t realise it’s pre-owned until we tell them – and of course some people do buy things that they never wear.”