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THE BORROWED BAR

New farm, brisbane

If you're after a sold out Zimmermann, there's a good chance Emma has one in her wardrobe. Read more about this savvy business women who is a lawyer by day and a fashion collector in her spare time.

How did you get started with your rental business?

I hired a dress for my brother’s wedding last year and loved the concept. I have always loved fashion and styling, and I thought that there was a gap in this space as a lot of existing dress hire companies have a high volume of dresses but the cost of the pieces is lower and more achievable to buy. I didn’t think there was anyone focusing on high end luxury pieces from Australian designers. I started with one Zimmermann Playsuit and made my money back quite quickly and then proceeded to buy more.

What was your motivation?

I love the idea of sustainable fashion and being able to wear different outfits to events without incurring the financial cost. There’s only so many times a dress can be photographed.

How many pieces do you rent? ​

At the moment, I have 18.

What do you think your collection is worth?

$​10,500

What is your most profitable (or popular) piece? ​

The iconic​ ​Zimmermann Golden Surfer dress from Zimmermann’s Spring 2018 Ready to Wear Collection. It’s completely sold out which means renting is the only option.

How much did it cost and how many times has it rented?

​It cost $895 and has rented 10 times with bookings continuing into the racing season.

Who is the most popular designer? ​

Zimmermann.
 

On average how many pieces do you rent on a weekend?

3-4

Who do you rent to? ​

Typically females between 18-35 with a love of Zimmermann.

What’s your most popular size?

​0

Have you had any problems?

Item not returned or damaged etc? ​I have never had an item ruined or damaged. The biggest problem is fake tan.

Where is your client base? Do you post pieces?

​My client base is Australia wide as we express post the items. I also have a lot of local Brisbane based borrowers as the girls can collect their items and save on shipping costs.

How much money do you make on average each week?

​It really depends as the dresses differ in rental price based on their retail price; I have two dresses which cost $1,950 and $1,500 so if they are hired out, then upwards of $400.

Any tips for other people wanting to rent their clothes?

You need to be commercially savvy and know what things are worth spending money on. You also need to have the capital to outlay for the dresses and associated costs because it will take time to recover the costs. You will have a lot of assets in your wardrobe. For me, it’s such a fun business and I’ve met some lovely ladies. I still love being a lawyer though so I won’t be giving up my day job anytime soon. Oh, and find a good dry cleaner.

You can find Emma's shop on the High Street Rentals app by searching her username TheBorrowedBar.

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