Twenty-one year old Pooja Bhararia is turning heads with innovate store. She has made a lot of people very happy with her store called Shaira located in Ram Nagar. The idea for the store stemmed out of her personal experience, confesses the 21-year-old. “For every grand occasion I would spend over ?10,000 to get a good lehenga.

Then I would not repeat that for another event. I accumulated so many clothes that I never wore more than once or twice. This was when the idea of renting came to me. I did a little research and learnt that rental apparels are leading the fashion industry towards a sustainable world. It would also help me and not burn deep holes in my pocket!”

Shaira located near Seven Hills Hospital is from where you can rent ghagras, kurtis, sarees, gowns and even accessories. The idea of starting an enterprise of rental clothes came from her own experiences.

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Most of her stock of ghagras, kurtis, sarees, gowns and accessories are sourced from Delhi, Jaipur and Kolkata. “We have sarees in kora tissue, silk and chiffon priced from ?1,000 to ?5,000. These sarees are mostly rented by college students who prefer it for teacher’s day or farewell parties. To complete the look we also rent out intricately worked earrings that are priced from ?400 to ?2,000,”says Pooja who is an alumna of GITAM University.

Ghagras are the most rented outfit from her store. “They range from ?5,000 to ?20,000 and we rent these out for 10% of the MRP per day. In case you are heading out of the city with the rented dress we charge a nominal extra,” she adds. However, while renting a dress, the customer will have to pay 60% of the MRP as deposit. Once a dress is returned in good condition, the store returns 50% of the money.

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Festive season, especially the 10 days of Navratri, are the busiest time for Pooja. “ I can be found running between dry-cleaners, tailors and the customers’ homes. I have a lot of women aged between 30 and 50 years whorent ghagras for dandiya events,” she adds.

An innovative package is the monthly subscription for kurtas. For ?4,000, customers can rent 25 kurtas which are delivered to their doorstep for a period of 30 days. “We have a catalogue of over 50 designs from which they can choose. And every Monday morning, a set of five kurtas are delivered to our customer. Our delivery person will collect them back Saturday evenings,” she explains. To ensure that people are not careless with the clothes, Pooja says, there is a disclaimer that warns customers that if they return the clothes with indelible stains, they are likely to lose their deposit.

Dealing with customers who turn in damaged or stained clothes is the biggest challenge of running a rental enterprise. “Minor stains are acceptable but not strong stains like that of ink or food tht won’t go away even after dry-cleaning. That is a problem as obviously, no other customer will rent a stained dress,” she reasons.

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Pooja has a team of one store manager and three tailors. Before delivering the packages the clothes are dry-cleaned and then altered according to the customer’s size.

“Around 10 people between the age of 18 and 25 years have so far subscribed to the monthly kurta plan. It is convenient for them as they do not have to invest much on their wardrobe and they get to wear a new outfit every day for a month. Adding to that is the fact they do not have to wash them. We get the clothes dry-cleaned after each use,”says Pooja. #KhabarLive