Monday, 23 January 2017

Just Once

Lately I have loved the idea of hiring a dress for special events because it still gives me the thrill of wearing something new and takes away the guilt of only wearing it once. As much as I love the idea of an ever-growing collection of beautiful dresses, these days, I prefer a wardrobe filled with clothes I can wear on numerous occasions and can style in different ways. So I decided I would give it a try and hire a dress for the opening of last year’s fashion festival Fashfest. I wanted to wear something on trend and something a little outside of my usual style so I went straight to Just Once and the experience did not disappoint. Michelle Park (Owner and Operator) provided me with several options and went above and beyond to make sure I got a dress I loved.   

Michelle is the talented woman behind Just Once who’s passion has led her to answer our dress hire prayers! 

I sat down with Michelle to find out a little more about her (#mynewgirlcrush) and about Just Once.
What inspired you to open Just Once?
I studied Communications at the University of Canberra (majoring in PR) during what now seems like the prehistoric years (seriously – the internet was in its extremely early stage!). I have worked in various sales & marketing roles for a large international organisation since then and I think all of this experience gave me the confidence to believe that I could start my own business.

I had been wanting to do something that I’m passionate about for a few years now. I was seeing so many smart women make a living out of starting their own businesses and using social media and it looked so rewarding and so much fun. For my friends it’s almost like a hobby to sit around and brainstorm business ideas! So I have lots of ideas for businesses saved in the notes section of my phone (I really hope I don’t lose this phone!)

That year I was going to a wedding and had nothing to wear. I was trying to save money but I wasn’t happy with anything in my wardrobe and I wanted to wear something no one had seen me in before. So I decided I would try and hire a dress. I came across other sites renting dresses but none of them really appealed to my taste in fashion. They didn’t carry the brands I wear or they didn’t carry the latest season pieces. I felt like I could edit a collection of dresses that would be much more appealing. So the idea of Just Once was born.
What process do you go through to put together your collection of designer dresses?
There isn’t really a set process I go through to put together the collection. I just buy what I like. I spend so much time on social media researching and stalking the celebs and bloggers who’s style I’m obsessed with. These days it’s so easy to see someone wearing something that you just have to have, then tap the image to find out where it’s from and away you go! The only limit is my bank balance! Ha ha…. The hardest part is trying to decide what sizes to buy pieces in. I wish I had the budget to buy everything I love in every available size but that’s just not possible at this stage.

Who is the Just Once girl?
The Just Once girl is someone who is obsessed with fashion and wants to wear the latest in Australian designers. She loves getting dressed up for nights out with her girlfriends and as we speak is probably planning her trip to Coachella (so jealous!!). She’s smart about where she spends her money and that’s why Just Once makes sense for her. This way she gets to have her cake and eat it too!

Why should we hire instead of making the purchase?
Every designer in the country will want to hunt me down and kill me but I don’t understand why anyone would purchase expensive designer pieces anymore. Hiring means you get to feel amazing and without any of the guilt. By hiring, you can wear something different and new at least four times for the same cost as buying one. It also means you can take more risks and not have to decide what to wear based on whether you will ever wear it again. It’s so easy and straight-forward with all of the hassle and majority of the expense taken out. I’ve found that once people hire a dress from me they come back time and time again because they love the idea of being able to wear something new whenever they want to feel good. It’s also great for the environment! Every piece of clothing we buy has had an impact on our planet before we even bring it home. I’ve seen some horrifying stats online of the impact that fashion is having on the environment. So every time you hire rather than buy you can pat yourself on the back because you’re doing your bit!

Describe your style in 5 words.
My style in 5 words would be modern, feminine, elegant, classic and at times a little boho.

What makes Just Once Different from other dress hire websites?
 Just Once is different from all the other dress hire companies because of the level of service and care given to each of my customers. I’m more of a “boutique” style hire company. I treat each customer like a good friend wanting to borrow something for an event. My range is not massive but the pieces I have are next level amazing and are guaranteed to make you feel like a million bucks! I’m all about quality over quantity.
Recently, I have started hiring out other people’s clothes for them through the Just Once site. One of the most common things people were saying to me since starting Just Once is that they have so many dresses in their wardrobe that they have only worn once. I get offers almost daily from people wanting to sell me their own pieces that are in perfect condition but that they no longer wear. Whilst I don’t have the money to be able to buy all these dresses, I do have the perfect platform to be able to hire them out. So now instead of sitting in the back of your wardrobe collecting dust, your dresses can start making you money! The full details of how to do this are on the website.

Sofia (Me) wears Nicholas from Just Once

Janette wears Christopher Esber from Just Once

DJ wears Bec & Bridge from Just Once
Photography by @wearefoundau

1 comment

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