From the Equine Chronicle
April 11, 2014
By: Brittany Bevis
You never get a second chance to make a first impression; but when that impression comes with $3,000-$5,000 price tag, the drain on your pocketbook can be a little hard to stomach. It's certainly no secret that the sparkles and sequins and glitz and glamor of horse show clothing can be quite expensive.
For those not willing to lay down a car payment on an item of clothing that will be worn only a handful of times throughout the year, there are options. Show clothing consignment provides an easy way to resell your well-loved items or pick up a new piece at a lower price. Seasonal sales from designers looking to clear out inventory offer another way to snag a quality piece at a discount.
But, what if you're trying to outfit a teenager who's certain to outgrown her show clothing within the year? Don't have the budget for a custom outfit but still want to keep up with the latest fashion trends? Are you looking for a special item to wear one time at a World Show or Futurity? Carolyn Berry of the Berry Fit Company has the answer with her new Rental Collection.
With the tagline, Love, Wear, Return; rent for the show, summer, or season, Berry Fit is filling a gap in the world of horse show clothing by renting high quality pleasure jackets, horsemanship tops, and showmanship ensembles.
"The Rental Collection will change [over time] and more items will be added," Berry says. "All items are for sale, so there will be a constant shuffle and change. [Competitors] can rent for one month, four months, or eight months, and there is a deposit that goes with it. We will alter the item to fit, send it out, and there is a time it has to be back."
The Rental Collection consists entirely of Berry Fit pieces for both children and adults and caters to all price ranges. There are four pricing tiers, and the cost of rental varies for each item.
"For one month, there is a minimum of $500 up to $1,400," Berry says. "For eight months, the minimum is $800 up to $2,400. There is a deposit that ranges from $200-$500. That's refundable if the item is returned on time, it hasn't been altered by someone else, and there isn't some damage that can't be fixed. It's kind of our insurance protection."
"We don't include chaps, because they're so hard to fit. Probably, [an item] isn't going to fit perfectly, so we can tuck it, shorten it, or take it in a bit. Each client will pay their own alteration expenses. That could potentially add $100 or so to the rental fee."
Berry Fit's new program launched on April 1st and, as word continues to spread, customers are expressing their enthusiasm and appreciation.
"We've talked about it at every show, and people are very enthusiastic," she says. "It helps people coming into horse showing, who aren't quite sure, and don't want to spend that kind of money, or they might have a child that's growing fast. It's just another branch of what we do."
"We still do customs; that's our main thing, but there are a lot of people who have said, 'We just want to wear it one time.' There are people who say, 'We love your stuff, but we can't afford it.' However, they don't want to go to consignment or they can't find anything there for them. It fills a gap in the whole show clothing picture."
Because every item in the Rental Collection is offered for sale, there's a Buy It Now price that changes based on how many times the piece has been rented out.
"There is always a Buy It Now option," she says. "It's a price that goes down each time [the piece] is rented out. Eventually, the item will go into our sale rack."
"Quite honestly, I feel we are the only people who could do something like this, because we own our inventory, whereas a consignment shop doesn't own their pieces, to rent. It does fill a niche."
Be sure to check out the upcoming edition of The Equine Chronicle to see Berry Fit's announcement ad about their new Rental Collection. The ad will include a link to the new rental page on their website that's currently under construction.
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Jul 25th - Cloverdale, IN
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