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.
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.
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.