Posted by Renee Schmidt

Fashion and Technology MIX!

Mashable published a great article about Rent the Runway; I got excited when I read it and so I decided I ought to paraphrase it for a couple of reasons:

  1. I love inspiring women; and Rent the Runway was started by two female entrepreneurs
  2. It’s a company that melds fashion and technology
  3. Rent the Runway makes haute luxury fashion affordable 
  4. It’s about women in high-tech; an uber minority

Started by Jennifer Hyman and Jenny Fleiss, two women that met on their first day at Harvard Business School, Rent the Runway is a technology start-up that lets ladies choose and rent from over 24,000 dresses and 12,000 accessories.  Items are rented for 4 days at a time for a mere 10% of retail value; meaning you can rent a Badgley Mischka or Nina Ricci gown with a retail price tag of $5,000 for a mere $500 to wear to your next soirée.  Rent the Runway also stocks $500 garments of impeccable style and taste, which can be rented for just $50!  When you’re done with the garment, you simply place it into a pre-paid envelope, drop it in your nearest mailbox, and Rent the Runway dry cleans it and takes care of the rest.  The concept is nothing short of brilliant.

What’s also brilliant is the two women behind the venture; their entrepreneurial spirit is beyond inspiring.  Here are a few key points of business advice the ladies shared:

Jennifer Hyman (@Jenn_RTR):

  • “I think there has to be a semblance of humility in being an entrepreneur. Yes, you need conviction and strength of passion for your idea … but you need humility to be able to constantly change and tweak the idea, to understand that you don’t have all the answers, that you need to build a team around you. And I think it’s a constant sense of, how can we be improving?”
  • “Be really honest with yourself about what you love … most peoples’ true passion comes from how they spend their time during the day. Do they like interacting with people or not? Do they like brainstorming? Do they like problem-solving? Do they like being super analytical? If you can structure a role for yourself in which you’re able to do these things that you’re interested in, I think you’ll end up being extremely successful.”

Jenny Fleiss (@Jenny_RTR):

  • “And this constant drive toward improvement is a huge part of our culture. We never had a business plan. Our whole approach is to test things out, see what works, and fail. Failure’s the quickest way to figure out what the right direction is, and you can change it and do it differently and do it better each time. You can’t be an entrepreneur if you’re not willing to fail.”

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