Gown and suit rental is a very lucrative business and not many people are actually doing it. In Silay City where I grew up, during the 80s and the 90, there was only one well-known gown rental and it was very popular until the owner died. The business had closed because the children had no interest in running their mother’s business.
Here in Tanauan City, Batangas, a friend who runs this business and has a stall inside the public market is making a good profit, especially during the summer months when Barangay fiestas are held.
Let’s discuss the things you need, the amount of money for capital, and other things needed to run this business.
What skills do I need?
Running a gown rental business takes a lot of work on the modification of gowns. You don’t necessarily good at sewing but skill in stitching is needed. The success of the business will depend on the variations of your gowns. In most cases, a single can be modified dozens of times by simply adding beads, slits, etc to suit the needs of the renter. Therefore, a skill in hand stitching or sewing is needed.
Do I need a physical store?
Although a physical store in the public market or in populated places could attract more customers, you can also start your gown rental business from home. Especially when there is no one doing this in your Barangay, people will just go to your home to rent. We will discuss this further below.
Who are my target customers?
People rent gowns and suits for many different occasions. The following are most common.
- Beauty Pageants
- Birthday celebrations / Debut
- Special meetings where suits are needed
Imagine if you are the only one doing this in your Barangay and there are elementary and senior high schools? You can make a lot of money during graduations and any activities in schools that require gowns like pageants and proms.
How much capital do I need?
The capital will depend on what type of rental business would you like to start. Try to start first with at least 20 different gowns for pageants, and 10 different sets for weddings. When I say set I mean 10 different types of motifs so the couple could select for their bridesmaids. Also, add at least 200 high school graduation gowns, or depending on the size of the school near you. You may also add 200 gowns for elementary students. All of these could cost around 150,000 if you buy them all from Divisoria. Once you got this, you can then add more every time you make a profit, especially for the pageant gowns.
How much money could I make from renting out gowns?
Divisoria gowns cost around P1,500 to P3,500 but if you rent this out, the renter could pay at least P500 to even P700 for just one event. You can recover your investment faster than any other business, especially for the graduation gowns. Although graduation gowns only used once every year, since different schools have different graduation dates, you can rent out your gowns multiple times during graduation season (March to April). My neighbor who is running a gown rental here in Tanauan is making at least P50,000 a month. She only has pageants and wedding gowns and doesn’t have graduation gowns.
How should I market my business?
People are looking for gowns and willing to pay when they need them. You can start with creating Facebook Page and promote it there. You can also use Twitter and Instagram. If you are living in a rural Barangay where no Internet is available, a pamphlet posted on electrical posts is proven to be very effective. Words of mouth can also be very effective. Once people are informed, they will remember you the next time they need it.
Register your business
Whether you have a store or running your business at home, business registration is needed especially if your capital is more than P20,000. Having the ability to issue an official receipt is a plus factor especially when the customer is a company that needs an official receipt.
Do more research
Before embarking on this business, make sure to equip yourself with enough knowledge. This business can be partnered with clothes repair. Do more research on how to modify gowns so your stock would not look like vintage. Continuous innovation and modification is the key to longevity without buying new gowns.