By Sarah Ward
Photography by Kareen Mallon
Lisa Delorme and Kristy Wieber have a knack for fashion and business.
Though they have always been fashion-savvy, both spent most of their post-university careers in retail and sales. It wasn’t until a wedding wardrobe crisis, however, that they found their true calling.
“We were invited to a friend’s wedding and we both sat there thinking the age-old question ‘what do we wear’?” says Delorme. “We didn’t have anything we wanted to wear for the second time, and we didn’t want to spend more money on another dress. “
At the same time, Delorme and Wieber happened to run across an article about a company in the U.S. that was renting out dresses, but it didn’t ship to Canada. And so it struck them – why not create something similar for Canadians?
A few months later, Rent frock Repeat was born.
This new e-commerce company rents out designer dresses – by the likes of Pink Tartan, Nicole Miller and David Dixon – for special occasions.
Not only does Rent frock Repeat aim to diminish the stress of shopping or purchasing a new outfit for every event, the company takes it one step further: “We can ship anywhere in Canada: your hotel, your office, your home… You choose when you want it to arrive. And we take care of dry cleaning too,” say Delorme and Wieber.
In order to have access to RfR’s services, new customers are asked to sign up online as a member and create a profile. Completely free of charge, the perks that come along with the membership are part of the website’s popularity.
“As a member, you can build a profile with your measurements and preferred designers. It’s really dynamic and you can start searching for frocks immediately,” says Wieber.
RfR also offers a very useful sizing system. They provide detailed sizing charts and use a variety of models, which allow customers to find comparable body types. “You can find someone who is close to you and see her measurements,” says Wieber.
While RfR is an online rental company, their services are no longer limited to the Internet. In October, the owners opened their own studio in Toronto and now offer private appointments to their members.
“We realized there were people who couldn’t fathom ordering a dress online and they felt it was too risky,” they add.
Members are able to come to the studio, try on the dresses that are also available online and add them to their online wish list.
Rent frock Repeat also holds trunk shows for their members to update them on what is currently available in their expanding online shop. The shows are free and aimed at seven to 12 people. RfR hosts the event and provides the dessert. They have been getting phone calls from wedding parties too.
Rent frock Repeat continues to grow and Wieber and Delorme don’t seem to be slowing down.
“We had a real love for fashion, but never thought we’d actually do it for a living. It’s a passion!” they say.