Located in the Hamlin Shopping Center, Needles & Fins debuted in February of this year and provides unique vintage clothing, records and surf gear to the Corpus community. Partnering to bring their interests and passions toward one goal, Corpus native Rachael Chaney and Austinite Erich Fraustro launched Needles & Fins to provide retro finds, quality records and most importantly, a welcoming environment.
Since she was 14, Chaney had the idea to own a record store and a surf shop in her hometown. Fraustro, a touring musician, worked at a record store for 10 years in Austin while writing and recording his own music. The two met and began selling vintage wholesale to high-end boutiques that didn’t carry vintage clothing.
Having always seen herself eventually moving back home, Chaney said she knew she wanted to take the experience and knowledge gained over the years and pour it into a shop here in the Coastal Bend. The duo moved to Corpus about three years ago, and said the community has been supportive of their ideas and ventures since.
“I worked in the fashion world, and I loved it, but it was really wasteful. That was really hard for me to be a part of, especially being a surfer,” Chaney said. Selling vintage to high-end boutiques was an innovative way to try and reframe the way people thought about vintage, especially those who were unfamiliar with it. This remains her motivation in opening Needles & Fins: to present a sustainable, vintage shopping experience in a fresh, new way.
Reflecting on their time in Corpus, Fraustro said it’s been fun meeting new people and that his experience in the music industry has aided in opening the new shop. Having written and recorded music and toured the U.S. and Australia, Fraustro’s culmination of past passion projects now aids in being a business owner.
Chaney and Fraustro have curated a selection of products reflective of their shared interests and experience in the music, fashion and surf industries. With a focus on Texas-based designers and women-led teams, the apparel options range from vintage 1950s to Y2k fashion from small, independent designers. In addition to its array of clothing and accessories, the shop’s selection of vinyl – ranging from classic rock and ’80s pop to punk and independent Texas record labels – offers something for everyone.
“We just want to have this vessel to show these cool brands off, introduce them to our friends and bring them down to the beach,” Chaney said. Stop by Needles & Fins the next time you are looking for a sustainable, friendly shopping experience that encapsulates the persona of South Texas.
4034 Weber Rd, Corpus Christi, TX 78411