Categorized | Shoestring Startup

E-Commerce Accessories Rental model Something Borrowed NY aims to disrupt the Wedding Industry’s traditions.

E-Commerce Accessories Rental model Something Borrowed NY aims to disrupt the Wedding Industry’s traditions. Name of your company and URL? Date started? Date officially launched?

«Something Borrowed NY» ( was conceptualized in January and launched in July of 2011.

What is your product or service?

“Something Borrowed NY” is the premiere online wedding shop that RENTS designer bridal accessories at a fraction of the retail price! We know that after your wedding there is really no use for your tiara (unless you’re Kate Middleton), and that most of us don’t have the space to store yards of tulle and crystal baubles. We’re modern women who love fashion and aspire to wear gorgeous things on our special day. But we don’t necessarily value the possession of a one-time wear item. Partnering with designers such as “Enchanted Atelier” & “Justine M. Couture”, we’ve curated a special collection of veils, tiaras, headpieces and jewelry to “frost yourself” with for your special day. Any minor damages are covered (please, no red velvet cake fights) and after you’re done, just ship it back to us and we’ll clean and preserve it for the next savvy bride!

Why did you start your company?

Back in 2010, I entered a Daily Candy contest that challenged women to create a business for other women. I have three older sisters who each were frustrated by the expensive costs of bridal gowns and accessories; something they could only wear for one day of their lives. Even after their wedding, they tried to sell their gowns and were unsuccessful. After seeing their luxury goods hang in their hallways, collect dust and become unusable, I decided there must be a better way. Men are able to rent their tuxes, couples rent their linens and/or dinnerwear, and most people rent a catering hall for the night. Women should have the ability to rent their attire for the night and still look gorgeous with luxury items, but stay with their budget. It’s about staying within your budget while giving the appearance that you spent much more. It’s about being a savvy woman who appreciates the quality of luxury goods, but does not value the possession of an item you can literally only wear once.

E-Commerce Accessories Rental model Something Borrowed NY aims to disrupt the Wedding Industry’s traditions.

Brittany Haas

How was it financed ?

Something Borrowed NY was and remains to be self-funded. We initially went out to raise funds for a brick-and-mortar version of Something Borrowed NY that rented designer gowns. We operate as a wholesale account, purchasing inventory DIRECTLY from designers and then renting those items to our brides. With gowns, we realized that this would involve multiple sizes, the need for minor alterations and dress cleaning/preservation. Although we worked out the costs and contingencies, the start-up costs incurred led us to look for external funding. However, in the current market, most VC’s and angels are interested in e-commerce businesses that will go public in 3-5 years. Since we’ve launched there has been a significant shift after several IPO’s went bust, and I think they’re looking more towards long-term investments now. However, it’s all about timing, and after hearing from investors that they needed traction, we decided to use the minimum viable product, rent just accessories, and do it online to reach the largest market possible. We’re continuing in our «beta» test phase now to gain viable traction to prove our concept to investors. Our ultimate goal is to still have a brick-and mortar shops where women can still try on and experience the items for their rental. Their wedding day is still very special and we want brides to be able to shop, feel and touch the products like they would if they were purchasing.

Do you use Social Media tools like Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn or ? Provide exact URL of each

Social Media is the number one reason our business is where it is today. We are most successful with twitter and tumblr, but we’re also on Facebook and Youtube. Twitter has been essential for us connecting with other vendors in the industry. While we’re still trying to find the correct formula to connect with our customers on social media, it has enabled us to make many connections in the industry, which has only helped us to market to our client base.


YouTubeDo you have a YouTube video URL that you can share with us, and allow us to publish with your story

This is our “commercial”:


How many people are currently working, including employees (freelancers or independent contractors for specific projects)?

I’m currently the only FT employee and we have a handful of interns who help with our social media and blogging. I’m also currently working FT at a top fashion house as a financial planner. It’s hard to multi-task, but I make sure to keep my two jobs very separate (and rely on little sleep to get by).

What type of marketing or advertising do you do?

We currently advertise on the knot, wedding wire, and several wedding blogs. Currently, we get our best ROI with the more popular wedding blogs as opposed to the big box companies we advertise with.

What would make your business more «Successful»?

I think that the wedding business is still very traditional in that most brides would probably list print magazines as the number one place they get inspiration from. I think that if we could afford to advertise in print wedding magazines and attend wedding shows, we’d be able to reach our customer base to the fullest potential. Also, if we were able to have liasons in bridal salons around the country who could help brides who can’t normally afford the products rent them through our site, I think the word-of-mouth would spread, and more people would be willing to try a rental. Word-of-mouth is EXTREMELY important in bridal.

E-Commerce Accessories Rental model Something Borrowed NY aims to disrupt the Wedding Industry’s traditions. Would you want to be acquired by a bigger company, run it yourself or sell in a couple of years?

I love «Something Borrowed NY», and I want to be a part of it as long as I can. However, I know the key to success is hiring those people who can take your business to the next level. My ultimate goal is to work on SBNY full time, but to create a team around me that can help make us the “rule” instead of the “exception.” The rental model should be the rule.

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