Just Started – LOANHOOD: Lucy Hall, Jade McSorley, Jen Charon

Meet LOANHOOD, the Gen-Z-targeted rental company that’s dressed to kill the fast fashion business model.

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Name of founders: Lucy Hall, Jade McSorley, Jen Charon
Ages of the founder: 33-40
Location: London
Date launched: November 2021
Number of employees: 4

What does your business do?

LOANHOOD, a p2p marketplace, is building the go-to brand for Gen Z in the super-hot fashion rental space. Gen Z want to be more sustainable and fix the fashion industry but they still NEED that fashion fix.

How are we different from those currently operating in our sector? We are gender inclusive, incorporating lower priced items with our Loan a Look feature and targeting Gen Z where every day is an occasion.

Where did the idea for your business come from?

Jade was studying her masters at LCF in fashion futures when she started exploring the idea of peer-to-peer fashion rental.

How did you know there was a market for it?

We have been testing the idea of circular fashion by hosting community drive clothes swaps across London.

Gen Z want to be more sustainable and fix the fashion industry but they still NEED that fashion fix.

What were you doing before launching your business?

We have been working in different parts of fashion from the model industry to management and the creative and production side.

Have you always dreamed of starting a business?

Lucy: Yes, I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit. I love solving problems and building things from the ground up.

How did you finance your business?

We ran clothes swaps and bootstrapped where we could. We raised money in April 2021 via a rewards-based Crowdfunder with Crowdfunder UK. We are now raising our pre seed round which is very exciting.

Explain your business model and how you make money.

We are a two-sided marketplace taking a % commission from the supply side and flat fee from the demand side all at the point of transaction.

What are the main challenges you have faced? And how did you overcome them?

Working through the pandemic was a struggle as we had hoped to launch an MVP version of the platform but we decided to wait. In hindsight, that was probably the best thing to do. Being 3 co-founders means you always have each other to lean on which is extremely comforting.

What has your experience been of starting a business during a pandemic?

Working remotely has definitely been a positive for us and for many other industries I’m sure. It seems crazy now that you would travel across countries to have in person meetings with people when you could have done it via Zoom.

Describe your first breakthrough.

Launching the app in both app stores felt like finally we have arrived. An incredible accomplishment and the beginning of an exciting journey.

What advice would you give to other aspiring business owners?

Keep on keeping on and reach out to as many people in your industry to bounce ideas and build relationships.

Working remotely has definitely been a positive for us and for many other industries I’m sure.

What is one resolution you have for your business this year?

To celebrate our wins more. Having built this through the covid years, you miss the opportunity to have big blow out celebrations.

How do you see your business developing in the next three years?

We are already growing nationwide which has been incredible to see as we are based out of Hackney. We want to take fashion rental mainstream across the UK and beyond.

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Helena Young
Helena Young Senior Writer

Helena "Len" Young is from Yorkshire and joined Startups in 2021 from a background in B2B communications. She has also previously written for a popular fintech startup.

Included in her topics of interest and expertise are tax legislation, the levelling up agenda, and organisational software including CRM and project management systems. As well as this, she is a big fan of the films of Peter Jackson.

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