A conversation on a summer’s night at Wrightsville Beach, N.C., doesn’t always change the course of your life. But for Caroline Hales (’13), that chance conversation led to the founding of her business, Borrow Me Pretty.
“My sister’s tennis coach and I were talking about borrowing clothes, when we realized that the college setting in residence halls and sororities made that a perfect opportunity for a business,” Hales said. “It’s such a simple concept, but it gives us all a fresh look without draining our wallets.”
Over the summer, Hales built a website, and then returned to campus in the fall ready to start her business. Borrow Me Pretty offers gently used, trendy clothing for women, providing the perfect look for a special occasion or date night.
Borrow Me Pretty works like this: customers who decide to allow rentals from their closets contact Hales through email with a picture of the items attached. Hales sets a rental price, usually $10-$75, depending on the item. The clothes are rented for one week, which includes dry cleaning and delivery. Customers can also sell their outfits through the system, which will pay them fifty percent of the price Hales sets.
“My dream for the company would be to open different chapters at different schools and have a representative at each major university,” Hales said. “It’s just a great way to have clothes in your closet that maybe you don’t wear as often but you’re not ready to give up. With Borrow Me Pretty, you can make money off the clothes just sitting in your closet.”
Mentors like Stan Mandel, Professor in the Angell Center for Entrepreneurship and the Business School have encouraged Hales to set her own career path.
“Entrepreneurial spirit is high at Wake Forest. I believe this is in part due to students seeing success all around you and in the greater world,” Mandel says. “Entrepreneurship is not a function of age; it is of heart, skill set, relationships, and willingness to move outside your comfort zone.”
Hales, who is majoring in English with a minor in Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise (ESE) agrees. “You’re never too young. If you have a great idea you should pursue it. Just because you’re in college doesn’t mean that it’s not going to work for you. Believe in yourself and go for it.”
Sign up for weekly news highlights.Subscribe