Once in a while a revolutionary idea comes along and changes the way we run our lives. For some, fashion is fleeting, but to many everyday women, looking good and feeling good is not an option, but a necessity. Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss, Co-Founders of the innovative website Rent the Runway, understand this need.
They met at Harvard Business School in 2007 and instantly clicked. Heading home from school one weekend, Hyman witnessed her sister Becky tearing through a closet full of clothes looking for the perfect dress to wear to an upcoming wedding. We have all experienced the moment Hyman refers to as “a closet full of clothes but nothing to wear.” When most of us experience this moment, we get annoyed and land up doing one of two things: go to the mall and buy something super cheap because that’s all we can afford OR go to the mall and buy something super expensive which is way out of our budget range. In this case, a light bulb went off in Hyman’s head, “What if, Jenn thought, the Beckys of this world could have access to their dream closet – a new dress for every occasion? And what if designers were able to get their pieces into the hands of young, fashionable women and build an addiction for designer fashion?” Five years later Rent the Runway is a booming business that gives women the ability to rent high fashion items for a very affordable price. It is no longer necessary to spend hundreds or thousands on a dress or a bag for a single event. Rent the Runway has teamed up with top designers and made the impossible possible.
I had a chance to catch up with CEO & Co-Founder, Jenn Hyman, and ask her some of our burning questions concerning Rent the Runway. Take a look below at what she had to say:
Rent the Runway (Jenn): In our case, we looked at writing a business plan as a waste of time. Starting a business is a series of tests, each test eliminating some of the risks entrepreneurs run into. If the idea that you need a business plan to start a business is preventing you from actually getting your business off the ground, that’s when I’d say—ditch it.
Jenn: I met some of the most interesting, smartest people at HBS, including Jenny. I think women can do anything they want to do and business school isn’t something mandatory but I do recommend it.
Lucy: What is the number one piece of advice you would give to women trying to start their own businesses?
So, you must be thinking, “How exactly does this whole thing work?” Well, let me tell you – it’s very simple. Log onto renttheway.com, register for an account, and then choose a high fashion dress from over 95 designer options. Not only do you get to reserve a dress, but you get a back up size as well! Who doesn’t love that? Once you’re done living it up in that fantastic dress (they also have accessories, so don’t forget to accessorize), return the dress for free! it really doesn’t get any better than that.
Hyman and Fleiss had a great idea, had the know-how, tools and most of all, the determination to turn their idea into not only a reality, but a booming business! They are Renegade Chicks to the max! So ladies, take note, it’s not everyday you come across a business like this. Spread the word! Rent the Runway is a must for all women.