Kerrie is aiming to help people dress to impress in South Tyneside

Empire, pre-loved ladies wear.
Owner Kerrie Katopodis and staff Nila Brown (R)

Empire, pre-loved ladies wear. Owner Kerrie Katopodis and staff Nila Brown (R)

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A business owner with a wardrobe of occasion wear and ball-gowns has gone on to launch her own pre-loved dress shop.

Kerrie Katopodis, like many others who buy outfits for special events, is often left with dresses that they may never wear again.

Empire, pre-loved ladies wear.
Owner Kerrie Katopodis

Empire, pre-loved ladies wear. Owner Kerrie Katopodis

But instead of them lying dormant in a wardrobe, Kerri decided to provide a place for people to sell their unwanted dresses.

The doors to Empire Pre-Loved Dress Agency in Wharton Street, South Shields, opened on December 1.

She said: “I had attended lots of balls and events, and had friends who were the same, we’d go out buy a dress for that occasion and only wear it that one night.

“And when you are attending a number of events, you soon end up with a collection of dresses you won’t wear again.

When you are attending a number of events, you soon end up with a collection of dresses you won’t wear again.

Kerrie Katopodis

“The shop also gives girls the chance to buy dresses they wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford, in particular prom dresses.

“When I had the wedding shop, it was soul destroying when girls used to come in and just couldn’t afford a prom dress and some would miss out.

“Now they can come in and the pre-loved dresses are more affordable and they’ve only been work once - some of our items haven’t been worn at all. And all are professionally cleaned.”

As well as pre-loved items which range from casual wear to occasion wear, evening gowns to wedding dresses, the store also stocks new and designer items - including Ted Baker, Versace and Calvin Klein.

They have also received clothes from the cast at Geordie Shore.

Kerrie added: “Previously owning a bridal shop has really helped, especially when it comes to the wedding gowns. If I know what people are looking for, as soon as something comes in I’ll contact them and most of the time it’s sold before I even get a price tag on.

“We have a range of clothing and dresses and sizes from size 0 to size 22. It’s definitely worth a look if you are looking for something special.”

The store is open Tuesday to Saturday from 11am until 5pm. Out of hours appointments are available.

For a sneak peek at some of the dresses available visit Empire Preloved dress agency on Facebook.