A Bridesmaid Dress Rental Business?? Of Course!
by R. Asmerom
A big lesson that many budding entrepreneurs learn is to create a business to solve a problem. That’s just what Corie Hardee did with her company Little Borrowed Dress.
How many times have we women complained about the cost of being a bridesmaid? When I think about it, it’s insane that it took this long for someone to come up with this idea for renting bridesmaid dresses. Men do it with tuxedos so it’s not so far fetched.
Hardee, an MBA who who has been a bridesmaid four times, wrote about her experience and motivation for her online boutique business in a recent piece for Forbes.
I love to get a good deal. I don’t think a low price tag and style are mutually exclusive. I believe it is unfair that we have to pay $250 plus for a polyester dress that only has a high price tag because the word “wedding” is attached. This passion is what keeps me going despite the challenges I’ve faced starting this business.
She shared some of her startup lessons in the piece, including “lack of industry knowledge can be compensated for by passion and a desire to solve that problem.” Hardee knew that bridal dresses usually had to be fitted to the bodice of each woman, and that didn’t make good business sense on the part of the consumer. So she worked on the design process in a way that produced complimentary and flattering fits for all types of bodies.
Another lesson she learned is that “you can use a lack of industry knowledge to your advantage by taking a fresh perspective to an established industry.” Although she knows her business model is a threat to the age old industry of bridal dresses, the feedback she’s gotten back from individual women has motivated her to continue refining and developing her business.
Her other lessons involve being motivated by the pushback received from the industry. “The first time I met the owner of the factory we use, he thought I was totally crazy. I remember him giving me a list of reasons why my plan wouldn’t work,” recalled Hardee. She eventually won him over and now taps into this experience and expertise. When venturing into new territory, one is going to experience many naysayers but it’s important to understand that these naysayers are a good indication that you’re “on the right track.”