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.

Our experts

We are a team of writers, experimenters and researchers providing you with the best advice with zero bias or partiality.
Written and reviewed by:
Helena Young

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.

If you’re a business owner with a startup that’s less than six months old, apply now to feature as one of our Just Started business profiles.

Written by:
Helena Young
Helena is Lead Writer at Startups. As resident people and premises expert, she's an authority on topics such as business energy, office and coworking spaces, and project management software. With a background in PR and marketing, Helena also manages the Startups 100 Index and is passionate about giving early-stage startups a platform to boost their brands. From interviewing Wetherspoon's boss Tim Martin to spotting data-led working from home trends, her insight has been featured by major trade publications including the ICAEW, and news outlets like the BBC, ITV News, Daily Express, and HuffPost UK.

Leave a comment

Leave a reply

We value your comments but kindly requests all posts are on topic, constructive and respectful. Please review our commenting policy.

Back to Top