Corri McFadden’s social media pages are vivid with colorful pictures of fashion, smiling children and luxurious vacations, but it’s the stark commentary that stops you.
Between a smiling Instagram photo of daughter Zelda and a picture of a fringed purse, these words pop up: “They. Fired. A. Gun. Into. A. Car. With. A. Child. In. The. Back. Seat.”
That jarring juxtaposition is even more pronounced on Facebook, where McFadden posts stories about shootings, murders, robberies, rapes and a sundry of violence.
McFadden isn’t an activist in the traditional sense. She’s a businesswoman who founded eDrop-Off, an online auction house for luxury goods.
When McFadden isn’t analyzing Chanel purses and Louboutin shoes, she posts news and links about crime, pulling information from sites like Heyjackass.com for crime statistics.
McFadden also takes lawmakers and the judicial system to task. “Anyone of these bullets could have hit us or our children,” she wrote after a recent shooting near Clark and Division streets. “Dear Rahm, do your job.”
She cuts the mayor some slack during an interview, saying, “I know one person can’t fix everything. People need to step up. I want to do more than have a good Facebook feed.”
“I know this isn’t what they see in their feeds. So I put it in mine,” she says. “My friends tell me they wouldn’t know otherwise.”
Entrepreneur Jason Erkes is a regular reader. “Corri’s approach on social media should be what more people do — here’s my kid’s birthday party, here’s something going on with my business and here’s an awful epidemic of crime that as a community we should all be concerned about,” he says.
Kristine Farra, CEO of Gold Coast Exclusive Real Estate, calls McFadden posts “a much needed jolt of awareness.”
And Marci Holzer, who sits on the Chicago History Museum’s Costume Council, calls her a helpful “crime stopper” for her insights and tips about staying safe in the city.
McFadden grew up in Kansas and dreamed of working for the FBI before switching her college studies to fashion. She won’t identify the school as professors thumbed their noses at her senior project: an online auction house for glitzy goods.
The idea became eDrop-Off. Its Lincoln Park offices include a high-end consignment boutique and a bustling work room where staffers authenticate Louis Vuitton bags and photograph items for online auctions. Clients are fashionistas looking to sell their gently used designer clothes and accessories.
The glamour of working with high-end customers made McFadden a perfect subject for VH1’s “House of Consignment” reality show a few years ago.
Her business also has been hit by crime, which in part fuels McFadden’s interest.
“We’re in a sensitive state. I worry about my daughter’s safety, about my safety and about the women who work in my business,” says McFadden, whose fiance is Centaur Construction Co. CEO Spiro Tsaparas.
McFadden has done her own sleuthing to help uncover credit-card fraud that hit her company. And when her shop was robbed last year, she “chased the guy” in heels and grabbed him.
“I realize now that with gun violence the way it is I can’t do that,” she says.
McFadden knocked on the doors of nearby businesses hoping to find an external camera that might help identify the getaway car. But no luck. Why not a tax break for retailers that install cameras to document crime? she asks. “There are ways to benefit the city and benefit the business.”
Gates, Johnson Rice to be honored at Hyde Park Art Center gala
Chicago artist Theaster Gates and Chicago businesswoman Linda Johnson Rice are honorees at the upcoming Hyde Park Art Center gala.
The two were chosen for their commitment to cultivating the artistic community.
Gates, who also directs arts programming at University of Chicago, a few years ago took ownership of a dilapidated bank on Stony Island Avenue and turned it into an art center. Stony Island Arts Bank, as it’s now called, houses the library of Rice’s late father, John Johnson, who founded Ebony and Jet magazines. Rice now chairs Johnson Publishing and is chairman emeritus of Ebony Media Operations.
The art center says it will also make note that night of its new five-year strategic plan.
Tickets to the Nov. 12 gala range from $500 to $1,000 and include art, food, music, dancing and artist interventions — like performance art.
Read more from Shia Kapos at shiakapos.com.