It all started with a pair of Manolo Blahniks, or rather the lack thereof. When Sally De Rosa, president and CEO of Rent A Shoe, got married, she wanted to wear a pair of satin Manolos. They were about $800. Unwilling to pay the full price, she wore a pair of no-name shoes.
Two years later, with the help and inspiration from her friends, Sally has now opened Rent A Shoe, an online shop that gives everyday fashionistas the option to rent designer shoes for a fraction of the retail price. Launched May 2014, the Canadian company offers over 20 designers, including Gucci, Christian Louboutin and Jimmy Choo.
The shop’s first transaction was perfect: a bride found herself in Sally’s shoes, yearning for a pair of designer heels she could not afford. Since Rent A Shoe did not have them in stock, the bride used the site’s Request A Shoe function and her request was met within 24 hours. “We were able to make a bride’s shoe story happen,” says Sally.
Revising their product line quarterly, Rent A Shoe keeps its customers up-to-date with fashion trends.
When a shopper orders a shoe, it’s polished, UVC sanitized and delivered in a carefully wrapped pink bag. When they are ready to return the pair, customers simply ship the product back using a prepaid packing slip. Currently, the company ships within Canada, but has plans to expand into the U.S.
By shopping at Rent A Shoe, customers save money, reduce their closet clutter and support great causes, with a portion of the profits going to the Canadian Women’s Foundation as well as Plan Canada’s Because I am a Girl project.
“For me it was always important to make [it] a social enterprise, so part of the profits went to a charity. The first thing that came to mind was Because I am a Girl, because I support it personally,” Sally continues. “But not everyone who wants to donate money wants it to go outside the country and with Because I am a Girl we’re sponsoring a specific girl in Ethiopia. So, by bringing in the Canadian Women’s Foundation we re-localized the charity.” For Sally, part of shopping at Rent A Shoe means, “You’re giving back to the community while wearing some stylish shoes.”
“Being lifted by a really great pair of shoes makes you look classy and feel feminine,” she adds. So go ahead and take some fabulous heels for a spin!
Exclusive to FAJO readers is a 50% discount on all rentals or purchases at Rent A Shoe. Simply enter code “FAJOMAG″ when making a purchase. Happy shopping!