TAMPA, Fla. - When Danielle Ferrari was starting her business, she had a goal in mind.
"I was really excited about how the concept of sharing can really change our environment and really stop overconsumption," she said. "We don’t necessarily need to own something in order to consume it."
"I started writing a business plan for used clothing because I'm really sort of passionate about used clothing, and I think it's really fun," Ferrari said. "And so, as I was writing the business plan and doing industry research, I saw that there was a huge opportunity for adding share to clothing and sort of changing the way we consume clothing."
From there, Valhalla Resale was born. It's a store that is a shareable closet concept.
"Everything in the store is for rent. If you're a member, you can rent anything you like and then if you're a customer, you can sort of shop the store just like a regular store," Ferrari said.
Members pay $49 a month to rent three items at a time and keep them for however long they’d like. Ferrari said they also offer a one-time rental for non-members.
"When I was about to launch the business, I really had no idea if it was a concept that was going to work because when you start a business, no one has ever started, you're sort of hoping that it works out and all the moving pieces just line up," Ferrari said.
"So, to sort of test out if I was going to be able to have enough inventory to satisfy our average member, I decided to get rid of all my clothes and just sort of survive on the clothes I was buying for the store way before I opened," she said.
"Once I got rid of everything, I realized I never wanted to ever own anything again, because you have way more space," Ferrari said. "When you get dressed in the morning, you don't have 10 million options to choose from, and you don't have that, ‘Oh my God. I have nothing to wear.’ I only have, say, five items in my closet that are rented. I have five things to wear, and I never have that feeling of, ‘Oh my God. I have nothing.’"
All of the inventory, from the clothes to the shoes to the jewelry, comes from customers who get store credit for anything Valhalla decides to take.
"Because our business also allows people to purchase clothes, it allows us to update our closet constantly. So, as things are moving out, new things are moving in," Ferrari said.
Elizabeth Longden shops at Valhalla Resale about every three weeks. Ferrari styles looks for Longden.
"My fiancé and I travel a lot, so it's kind of nice to have this as an option," Longden said. "I love the concept too, the concept of being able to change things out. Having this endless closet that I don't have to take care of and maintain or have the space for in my house is really what turned me on to the Valhalla," Longden said.
Ferrari said they also put together outfits for holidays and events that come to the Tampa Bay area.
"When big events happen, like the Beyoncé concert or Taylor Swift, we try to put together personalized outfits for those occasions," Ferrari said. "So, when our members come in and say, ‘Oh my goodness. I have this thing going on,’ we've already picked out selections for them to pick out or to sift through, and we do that for Halloween. We have a section for Christmas sweaters, stuff like that."
When items are returned, Ferrari and her employees wash them, and get them ready to put back on the floor.
"Knowing that you can find something and love something for a little while and then take it back for somebody else to love it is, I think that's very awesome," Longden said.
Ferrari said she hopes to expand beyond the two stores in the Tampa Bay area, but right now, there aren’t future plans for another store just yet.