Christine Fronczak has been running her new store, Community Finery, for around two months now, and it’s already becoming a hot place to be in REO Town. At the local marketplace, Fronczak works on hats, clothing, shoes, jewelry, room sprays and tons of other interesting items that fit her vintage style.
“I wouldn’t describe my store as a thrift store,” said Fronczak. “I find the best pieces and improve them. I’ll clean and press them, repair any damage and make improvements if I want.” Her style is not exactly vintage to the letter, but it’s a wonderful mix of vintage with her own twist of personality.
Fronczak doesn’t just work on existing clothing; she creates her own. As a young child, her mother showed her how to weave beautiful cloths to her liking for stellar creations. The lesson always stayed with her, so it naturally grew into a hobby. While living in San Francisco, Calif., Fronczak worked for Stormy Leather, where she learned to work with industrial sowing machines. She stayed at Stormy Leather for quite some time, working her way up from credible seamstress to becoming the head project manager.
On top of clothing, Fronczak makes almost anything she wants. A lifelong learner, a friend showed her how to create jewelry and she simply fell in love.
“I’d been working on clothing for a while, and there’s a lot of work that goes into a piece of clothing: from design to actually sewing. But I loved that after around an hour of work, I had myself a ring,” she explained.
Fronczak also learned how to make shoes and was quick to manifest her own dancing shoes. “I took them to a dance class and got a lot of compliments on them,” said Fronczak. “I was very proud.”
Similar to The Rust Belt Market in Ferndale, Mich., Community Finery is in an indoor multi-vendor space called REO Town Marketplace, meaning Fronczak shares space with many vendors. Instead of all sharing a cashier, the owners spend time in their space helping customers.
“That’s one of the things that is most important to me,” says Fronczak. “The best part of my shop is sharing these pieces of clothing or jewelry with people who are excited about them. It’s always fun for somebody to walk into my store and be amazed at some of the pieces that I have.”
For more information about Community Finery, visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/communityfinery