Hi everyone -

Just read a forum discussion here from a few years ago on the topic of hat rental and wonder if any HA members have offered (or currently offer) hats for hire as part of their business.

I've had interest in this from lots of women in my area and am considering a pilot program this spring/summer.

If anyone has attempted a rental program, did you find it worthwhile - or was it just a headache?

Would be very for any tips on pitfalls or best practices.

Thank you!

Tags: Rental, hire

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Hi Tiffany,

I run a hat hire business along side my design work. I have @ 200 hats I hire out. I always get a contract signed & take a deposit. I also find that the majority of hirers take the best of care of my hats. As I head into my 4th year I have had 2 mishaps / situation. One was makeup & the other a hat dropped and @ 20 feathers broken oops! But in the grand scheme of things its been absolutely fine. 

For me it the hiring is the main stay of my business as firstly I have only been making hats for @ 2.5 years & I have 2 very small children so my time making hats is quite limited. 

If you would like any more info happy to answer,

Cheers, Sinead x

Hi Tiffany

I tried a hire service here in the uk - make-up a big problem but most came back ok ish!  I also found that those wanting to hire then wanted you to adapt the headpiece to match their outfits, so before you knew it, a semi bespoke piece was created at a hire pirce!

 Suggest if you do go down the hire route, take photographs before they leave you, a deposit to cover the full value of the hat and a signed contract. 

Don't mean to sound negative but I only ever hire to close friends now.

Jayne x

Hi Jayne - thanks so much for responding about your experience. The things you mentioned are some of what makes me a little trepidatious. Can't believe people asked you to customize the hat! I think that's where I'd need to draw the line!

Would you also be willing to share an example of your contract?

Hi Tiffany

Happy to share with you.  Do you have an email address and I will send you a copy. Pm via FB if you don't want to share it on an open site.

Jayne x

Hi Tiffany, I am curiously reading along this topic as I too have often thought of hiring my head pieces - I am thinking more of fascinators that won't cover the face and attract makeup; every hat I have ever worn has ended up with makeup on them, and I can't trust a client to ensure that this doesn't happen.  My new trick is to apply some masking tape on the areas that touch the forehead.

I would be grateful to have a copy of your contract form too, if this is not asking too much.  My email address is: jandoh50@gmail.com.  Many thanks!

Janet

Hi Janet - apologies for the delayed reply. I just emailed you a copy of the rental contract I've been using. I had based it on what Jayne had generously shared with me.

Hope this helps!

P.S. To help with the makeup issue I sew a few inches of grosgrain on top of the sweatband in the forehead area. If it gets dirty it can just be replaced.

Thanks for your response, Tiffany.  I haven't as yet received the email with the copy of the rental contract.  I have checked and double-checked.  Do you mind resending, please?

What a clever idea about the grosgrain attachment to the makeup area - I will adopt this idea too - thanks for sharing.  Look forward to receiving the contract - thanks once again,

Blessings! 

Hi Tiffany, 

I do not actually hire out any hats myself as of yet, due to space concerns however, I do know that it is a very popular option you may like to include in your business model. 

Last year I sold 6 hats to an outside hire company which also had pieces from other milliners for the Australian Spring Racing Carnival in Melbourne available for rent. This hire business stocked designer clothing and had very good PR and Marketing campaigns in place so not only were the hats rented out for the busiest times of the year, they were also professionally photographed, and shared on numerous social media platforms. 

I received a lot of business from customers who wanted to rent out those pieces, however they were unable because they had been booked out already. Although this is not actually setting yourself up to rent out hats, it may be a good way for you to dip your toes in and test the market for demand. Because of the traffic that business brought to me i now know that it could be an option for me to explore in the future and it was a fabulous way for me to get my name out further. 

I hope this helps a little and gives you another idea to explore. 

Hi Tiffany

I was hiring our headpieces.  they were preloved pieces from existing clientelle or ones I had worn myself.  I took a deposit to the value of the headpiece, had a contract signed which included photos.  Basically worked on the principal of you trash it - you own it.  or the cost of repair was deducted from the deposit. 

This all worked fine for a short while but in the end I found that people wanted to buy the preloved pieces and I ended up with nothing to hire.  I must admit it also became a bit of a hassle - all the paperwork and having to be available for pickup and dropoffs etc - that I really don't think it was worth the effort for me.  It may have been different if I was situated in a more Metropolitan area. 

Cheers  Linda

Hi Linda - thank you so much for your perspective on that! If someone wanted to buy the rental hat after giving it a try did you just have them pay the difference between the hire fee and the retail value of the hat?

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