By Laura Scaletti
While scrolling through Facebook last September, Anna Morosini saw a post that caught her attention. “A woman was asking a Facebook group if any show clothing rental services existed, specifically, if she could rent a show coat for a week. I saw a lot of people reply saying how cool a concept that was,” Anna said.
After a cursory Google search, Anna saw that nothing quite like that existed for hunter-jumper riders. It was at that moment Anna decided she could be the one to provide this service and Rent the Show Ring was created. “I loved the idea of merging my business background with my passion for horses,” Anna said. “I thought Rent the Show Ring was a great idea for a business and wanted to be the one who fulfilled this need.”
Fast forward seven weeks and Anna had conducted her market research, created a business plan, purchased some inventory and the company’s website was live and ready to help outfit riders in the show ring.
Outfits for All
Similar to Rent the Runway, where users can rent designer clothes for special events at a fraction of the price of buying them, riders can browse Rent the Show Ring’s website to find show clothes for their next competition. “The largest benefit of using Rent the Show Ring is that we offer high-end show clothes at up to 95% off retail prices for rent,” Anna said. Rent the Show Ring’s inventory consists of show coats, shadbellies, breeches and complete show outfits for women and children.
“Riders reserve whatever items they want for a specific week or weeks, and the order is shipped directly to them with an enclosed poly-vinyl mailer with a return shipping label. Once our customer wears the items for their show, they return the garment via the enclosed mailer,” Anna said. “No need to wash or dry clean the clothes, just order, wear and return.”
A competitor herself in the Adult Hunters, Anna rides with Ashley Hotz Sedrick. “I’m seeing firsthand how families can get overwhelmed with the cost of horses when they’re just getting started,” Anna said. “I thought Rent the Show Ring was one way to reduce costs for one aspect of the sport we love so much.”
While the obvious customer is rapidly growing girls who outgrow their show clothes before the end of the season, Anna believes anyone can benefit. “This is a great service for those who are just trying out our sport and don’t want to make a large investment in the wardrobe. Likewise, established equestrians can use our service to try out a fun new show coat for the weekend,” she said.
Anna’s biggest challenge associated with running Rent the Show Ring has been being a solo entrepreneur. “I believe everything worth doing in life we do with others. While I have an extremely supportive network of women who have lifted me up, nothing compares to having a strong team working side by side with you and having a shared vision,” she said.
Being a one-woman operation enables Anna to establish relationships with her customers and gives her the flexibility and autonomy to make decisions, whether creative, financial or goal setting, without having many roadblocks. “The only way I was able to launch the site so quickly is because I move pretty quick and I’m very decisive,” Anna said.
Although she doesn’t have a team behind her, Anna does have a lot of support from her customers who encourage her and keep her going. “One of my very first customers, who rented a shadbelly for her daughter, told me, ‘Rent the Show Ring is a lifesaver. This is a perfect solution to my issue,’” Anna said.
For Anna, the very best part of being a woman entrepreneur has been seeing a Facebook post turn into a fully formed business. “For me, nothing compares to seeing the complete execution of a vision turned into reality. It’s very special,” she said.
As Anna looks to the future of Rent the Show Ring, she plans on building her inventory, expanding her customer base all the while ensuring her existing customers remain happy with the service.
Anna believes women are brought up to be risk-averse. Her advice for aspiring women entrepreneurs is to overcome that self-doubt and just do it.
“We are conditioned to be focused on successful outcomes and have a fear of failure. Part of being an entrepreneur is taking a risk, betting on yourself and not being afraid to fail,” Anna said. “My advice is threefold: Don’t worry about the outcome, just do the legwork. Bet on yourself. Don’t fear failure; what’s meant for you will come to you.”
For more information visit, renttheshowring.net
Photos by Melissa Fuller, melissafullerphotography33.mypixieset.com