Adelaide’s best kept secret.
Owner and founder, Natalina Ilic, opened Pinup early 2011. Nat started off as a casual, working fashion retail after school and on weekends and worked her way through the retail ladder. In her 7 years in retail Nat managed several high end fashion boutiques before breaking out on her own.
When the space became available, Nat decided to take the plunge and go into business for herself; signing the lease to the shop before she had stockers, an ABN or even a name. “I just told myself if I’m going to have something, if I want something that badly, I’m going to have it, whatever it takes I’ll make it.”
At the time Nat was managing another boutique store, “the day I found out I had the shop, I quit.” While Nat had a lot of experience, going into business always has risks, however “at the end of the day I wanted to do it for myself, what have I got to lose, I’m still young.” Nat, as a young local girl has an edge in business as a peer to her customers. With her years of retail experience, spot on taste and a good understanding of her girls (what she calls her customers) she is able to provide a more personal shopping experience.
Mawson Lakes is still a new, up and coming area in the northern suburbs and it was Nat’s first choice for Pinup. Nat was surprised by the opening’s success as she had done very little formal advertising, “basically by word of mouth, I have a really strong clientele from where I’ve worked before. My customers are quite loyal, and a lot of them were as excited as I was.”
Nat describes her store as for the everyday girl and everything in the store is based on costing less than $100. Admitting that “I still want you girls to still be able to afford drinks on a Saturday night.” When choosing her stock Nat looks at quality for your money and versatility “not everything is so dressy, you can wear dress it down and wear it again but I know my girls can be quite fussy and once something’s been seen and the picture goes on Facebook it won’t get worn again”. Still, Nat urges you if you wear them don’t throw away your clothes, you can always bring them back next season and team them with new accessories.
We go by reputation, people wear our dresses hopefully get some compliments, compared to other stores we hardly ever get exchanges or returns. Their aim is to make you look as good as possible and if you don’t look good in something they will tell you. “Everyone is beautiful, finding the right thing to flatter what you’ve got, which comes down to the cut and the fabric of the clothes.” Nat and her staff will never put any pressure on you to buy anything and won’t let you buy it if you aren’t going to wear it. Nat feels like she has a good idea of what her girls want and that they can depend on Pinup to have something in stock for them that “if you don’t find anything this time, guaranteed next time.”
The daughter of strict parents, Nat was always a bit of a rebel and always dreamed of having a motorcycle, complete with the silhouette of the naked girl on the back and Pinup number plate. When naming her store Nat decided to call it Pinup after this and from the name the design fell into place including the store’s vintage candy stripe look.