The young women behind Borrower Boutique have their eye on the prize with their curated offering of rental items perfect for Instagram-stalking millennials (including the most talked about skirt of the moment: The Naomie.)
How often do you look at your social media feed and wish you could steal somebody’s style? Thanks to three forward-thinking young Irish entrepreneurs, those much-loved items could be yours - if even just for a fleeting moment.
Borrower Boutique is the brainchild of Johanna Dooley, Chloe Best, and Sarah Monahan. Former Retail and Services Management student Dooley explained to IrishTatler.com that the venture was a natural progression, a culmination of her desired career path, affinity for the latest trends, and her reputation as a trusted style adviser.
“Borrower Boutique began in February 2014, when I was in my first year of studying at DIT. The idea originally stemmed from when I was at school, my friends would constantly borrow my clothes for various events," she said.
"I really enjoyed the feeling of seeing them being happy and confident in what they were wearing for a special event. By the time I reached college, my love for fashion had grown into wanting to learn and understand the process of setting up my own business. I was lucky enough to be presented with the chance to turn my hobby into a business.”
At first, Dooley started by renting out items from her own wardrobe, which she would style, photograph, and upload to Facebook or Instagram with price-per-borrow details.
“As a self-funded business, I purchased new pieces with the money I was making off of my own,” Dooley said. “The business has continually developed throughout my college years and I took it up a notch when I met Chloe and Sarah.”
“We also offer a ‘Try On Service’ where we deliver items to our customer’s houses so that they can try on a selection of pieces in the comfort of their own home. For clients living outside of Dublin, we offer a postal service. Today, we are still self-financing," Dooley added.
Dooley, Best, and Monahan have since respectively completed their Retails and Services Management, Fashion Promotion, and Marketing degrees and are working full-time while still running Borrower Boutique as a side hustle. Dooley, who documents her own impeccable fashion sense on her personal Instagram page, cut her teeth as a fashion buyer with Penneys, and is now working in the family business. Chloe is currently within Penneys head office as a homeware buyer while Sarah is a fashions manager in the company too.
One thing is for sure: their smartly edited offering is chock-full of statement pieces you've likely already drooled over as you peruse Instagram. As the service continues to grow in popularity, the business partners source items while on personal vacations - ensuring their stock is always current, lust-worthy, and has an international appeal. While they have found that making high-end items accessible to their customers has been the sweet spot, they also enjoy supporting Irish-based designers.
“I pick up inspiration anywhere and everywhere. I am constantly taking photos and storing them on my phone to look back on when we are purchasing new pieces for our collection. I love street style, and I spot new trends as I travel," Dooley said.
For more information, visit BorrowerBoutique.com.