Courtney O’Brien left college in the hope of finding a job, but like many people she became disheartened by the constant knock backs from employers.
The 17-year-old, from Gateford, sent off dozens of applications but none were accepted.
Seeing how hard his daughter was trying, but with little success, Courtney’s dad Patrick O’Brien came up with a business plan.
“We saw this empty shop for sale and dad suggested he could buy it for me,” said Courtney, who went to Portland School. “I’ve always loved fashion, especially vintage and retro clothes, so it’s like a dream come true to be able to open a fashion boutique.”
Courtney Vintage opened just before Christmas on Hardy Street in Worksop, across from Worksop’s bus depot.
It took months of hard graft to get the shop looking bright, crisp and modern after its previous incarnation as a newsagents.
“Me and dad worked really long hours, knocking down walls, plastering and painting,” she said. “But we’re really pleased with the end result. Now we want people to come and see what we’ve got to offer.”
Courtney has filled her boutique with a colourful array of garments, which have a distinctly retro look.
From polka dot tea dresses to 50s-style full skirts and faux fur leopard print coats, Courtney Vintage is the destination for Worksop’s discerning dressers.
“I’ve tried to source items that are individual and different - you won’t see anyone else wearing these clothes,” said Courtney.
She even has a rail of second hand vintage items toward the back of the shop. And everything is very reasonably priced.
“There’s something for all ages and sizes. We stock clothes in sizes 8 to 16 and you can always try things on in our dressing room.”
“I want customers to feel like they can browse the shop and try things on with no pressure.”
And if you’re looking for something specific, Courtney will try to source it from her suppliers.
The personal service extends upstairs, where Patrick’s partner Tai Duggan runs Orachon - a ladies’ only Thai therapy suite.
It is hoped customers will come for the whole shopping and pamper experience, with hand, foot, neck and head massages available.
Courtney said: “Tai is an experienced Thai therapist who managed her own salon in Thailand.”
She has also brought over some beautiful Thai orchid hair accessories, which are on sale in the shop. “A few people have said they didn’t realise the shop was here, and that’s what we want to change,” said Courtney.
“We’re doing something a bit different to most places in Worksop, so I hope people will come and see what we’re all about.”
Courtney Vintage is open 9.30am - 5.30pm Monday to Saturday.