Christine Woodbine, owner of Crosswynds Traders, understands the plight of the fashionista. We caught up with her to see how her mix of designer trends and low prices has become a fashion destination.
How did you get started in the fashion retail business?
I’ve been in business for 23 years and the store itself has been open for 21 years. I started by setting up booths in the student unions at URI, Brown, PC and RIC. After a few years of traveling around to the various schools to sell my clothing, I decided to open up a store to see if I could get the students to come to me instead. And I’m grateful that for 21 years they have.
You’ve certainly seen styles come and go. What’s one trend we should know about this season?This spring we’re going to see clothing and jewelry combine textures, prints and patterns. For example, a necklace that mixes gold-plated metal with brightly colored stones has a thick nautical rope woven throughout it. I’m seeing shirts that combine stripes on one side and gingham print on the shoulders.
You have a great selection of comfortable, cozy clothes. Any tips on how to wear loungewear without looking sloppy?
The secret is to not wear it oversized. One of my favorite collections is by Alternative Apparel, and the key with this brand for both men and women is the fit. The style is actually for men to wear the sweatpants with a button down shirt. It’s almost like dressy sweat clothes.
You’re known for carrying great designers at very discounted prices. Which are the favorites?I’ve been fortunate to carry a number of different well-liked designers. I just recently started carrying the closeouts and past season stock from Anthropologie and Free People. Both brands offer some really interesting and creative pieces that are very popular by women of all ages. Customers who know what their full prices are love that I am carrying these brands now… my prices are less than half of the retail price.
Retail trends can be so fickle, yet you’ve survived two decades. What’s your secret?While we’ve added newer boutique labels for those who want a higher-end product, we’ve always kept our discounted staples of jeans, sweatshirts and tees. I pride myself in the fact that my jeans have stayed the same price – $16! – since the day I opened. I still run my “$2 Sale” twice a year that not only helps me clear out of seasonal inventory, but more importantly helps the community.
1175 Boston Neck Road, Narragansett