Suburban Style: Dress hire portal in shire finds market niche

Woolooware's Michelle Worsley, 35, has launched an online fashion business where she rents Australian designer dresses from her home.Picture Sam Venn

Woolooware's Michelle Worsley, 35, has launched an online fashion business where she rents Australian designer dresses from her home.Picture Sam Venn

FROM her unit at Woolooware, Michelle Worsley, 35, is making fashionable waves since launching into an industry where women as consumers rule.

This year she established Just Once — an online designer dress rental business that gives women access to the latest designer pieces for a fraction of the retail price.

Think of it as "guilt-free" shopping.

Inspired by her wardrobe experiences, Michelle wanted to join the driving trend of getting more for your buck by not sacrificing style.

"I had so many dresses that I had only worn once," she said.

"My friends said to each other, 'If only we were the same size we could just buy one and save money'.

"It doesn't make financial sense to spend $800 on a dress as a one-off.

"Borrowing a dress means you can wear that latest design and not blow the budget."

Michelle, who studied public relations at university, has experience in sales and marketing.

"I was seeing so many smart women making a living out of starting their own businesses and using social media, and it looked rewarding and fun," she said.

"It's almost like a hobby."

Picture Sam Venn

Picture Sam Venn

The website carries brands including Bec & Bridge, Alice McCall, Dion Lee, Ellery, Lover, Manning Cartell, Maurie & Eve, Yeojin Bae, Misha Collection, and the shire's own, By Johnny.

Although not a new idea in the market, the business is seeing signs of early success.

"I've had lots of people hiring dresses from me saying they love the particular dress they are hiring but it has sold out in stores," she said.

"And I love the idea of collecting moments, not things."

Details: justonce.com.au, or Facebook justoncerental

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