Rachel Sipperley, is the founder and brains behind the idea that is set to change the fashion industry. Everyone who knows her, knows that her focus is for women in business and entrepreneurship, and her passion is to empower women to become more financially savvy and contribute to the community. Get to know her and learn more about the heart behind the Rent My Wardrobe app in this Q&A with the founder.
When did you initially come up with the Rent My Wardrobe concept and how did you know to move forward with the idea?
I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur, but didn’t exactly know what or how to go about that. A lot of companies that have blown up in the last few years are centered around this idea of facilitating a peer to peer exchange, but not actually selling a product or service. Uber is the largest transportation company in the world and owns no fleet. Airbnb is the world’s largest accommodation provider, yet owns no real estate. It’s about creating a platform for consumers to interact with each other.
I didn’t know what I would do… but I knew it had to be something like that. Although I don’t have a fashion or technology background, I identified a need that, especially in Dallas, girls need a lot of dresses for a lot of events. I constantly was asking friends and having friends ask me to borrow dresses for various occasions. I couldn’t believe this concept didn’t already exist!
How are you using this platform to enable women to be their own entrepreneur?
There were a handful of networking marketing and home parties, like health and beauty products and jewelry sales, that became super popular in the last decade or so – for women working inside and outside the home – to generate additional revenue on the side. The modern woman is looking for ways to side hustle and earn extra cash without having to burn out friends and family. Most people don’t have a few thousand dollars lying around to invest in one of these “avenues” to generate additional income.
Rent My Wardrobe gives women the ability to make a residual revenue on items they almost certainly already own. I envision the app as a platform to teach younger ladies interested in entrepreneurship how to run a business. Your homecoming dress was $500? Rent that out 3 times and cover your prom dress with the proceeds, and then rent that one out and keep adding to your closet and your inventory.
What is your vision with Rent My Wardrobe?
Because I am passionate about equipping and empowering women and girls to work hard, earn a living, and become a “Lady-Boss”, I am adamant about giving back to the community and creating opportunities for women of all ages and backgrounds to flourish. I have a lot of ideas on how to partner with organizations and causes in Dallas, the state of Texas, and nationwide as we expand. We are working on a project to pair up young ladies from affluent high schools with girls in surrounding communities, that are well deserving, but might not be afforded the same opportunities.
Personally, I never went to my junior or senior prom because I didn’t want to pay for the dress. This app changes that and gives affordable options. I have a particular soft spot for military families and children of single parent homes, and definitely want to give every girl a chance to go to prom and rock a gorgeous gown! This partner program will be such an incredible and unique learning experience for everyone involved and something people will get excited about. We want to make an impact. We want to make a difference. By “creating opportunities” that means a literal, hands-on approach.
How does your company help women be financially savvy and why is this important to you?
I think it’s silly to spend loads of money on something you are only going to wear once or twice. I have always been quite frugal and often borrow dresses for events. However, if I could get a killer dress and know that I had the ability to pay for it, simply by renting it out when it otherwise would be collecting dust in my closet, I would be way more likely to purchase that item because I would get my “money’s worth.” Likewise, there are some phenomenal dresses I know other ladies in Dallas own that I could rent for a weekend for the fraction of the cost of buying one. It’s a win-win.
The millennial consumer is smarter and less sentimental or attached to clothing. I believe women are more self-conscious now than ever before about wearing the same thing twice. Snapchat and Instagram has normalized instantaneously published, time stamped photos. When I was in high school, you could wear your best friend’s dress and “no one would remember.” Now with everything posted on social media, it’s a lot harder for girls to share closets within their inner circle squad. This is a huge factor in why the idea of rental fashion has exploded the past few years. The benefit of a peer-to-peer platform is you are not wasting money on shipping and overhead charges. Not to mention, every dress you rent helps another lady boss get a little savvier too!
You can tell Rachel has a passion for this company and others. Her overall goal is to empower women to become their own independent self and with Rent My Wardrobe there is an opportunity for thousands to do that. One way that happens is with your help. Share RMW on your social media pages and tag us at @rentmywardrobeapp to be part of this movement to change the way we think about business.