Today, we are featuring the powerhouse team behind Loot Vintage Rentals, Rhoda + Anna! Loot was a sponsor for the TSOS Austin workshop so we’ve had the privilege of seeing their talents and collection firsthand. The business they have created is strong and thriving, and we can all learn a thing or two from them!
Name(s): Rhoda Brimberry, Anna Crelia / Age: 41, 31 / Current Company: Loot Vintage Rentals / Title: Owner, Co-Founder, Chief Picker; Owner, Co-Founder, Chief Scavenger / Years in Business: 5 / Education: Masters Mass Communication; Bachelors Fashion Merchandising
What was your first job after college? Rhoda worked in advertising after finishing her master’s degree. She worked directly under the CEO of a large shopper marketing firm where she not only got a bird’s eye view of how to run a company, she also made lateral shifts through the company to corporate communication, internal relations, and corporate recruiting. This is where she started to love the idea of throwing large corporate parties. After graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, Anna was hired on at the quintessential example of NY’s cutting edge fashion scene, OAK boutique. There she managed the web presence and handled fulfillment. After a few years at the boutique, she decided to come back to Austin to be close to her family and test her new honed skills on her home turf.
How did you two meet? 15 years ago Rhoda’s boyfriend brought her home to Austin to meet his family. A year later she married that boyfriend and gained the best sister-in-law a gal could hope for, Anna.
How did you decide to start your business together? In 2010 Anna was planning her fall wedding. She had dreamed of a vintage inspired affair with mismatched china, vintage linens and delicate touches. The family scoured estate sales and flea markets all across Texas to acquire these items. This was an easy task for Anna and Rhoda already being vintage junkies. As the items started to fill up the house and garage, they both wondered what they were going to do with the items after they were used. That’s when the idea of vintage rentals piqued their interest.
When you were just starting out, what was your approach to getting business and getting your foot in the door? We were both believers in creating a strong brand. We piled our resources into creating our logo and website. It took off from there.
You often transform the “loot” you find into beautiful pieces. How do you decide which “loot” to take on as a project and which to leave? Hard to explain, but it really is a joint effort. We decide on pieces together based on their shape and form as well as their condition. We can see the structure under the bad, ripped upholstery. We love to use vintage fabrics as textiles that were not originally intended for upholstery.
You have found vintage items all over the world. What is your favorite item and where did you find it? I am sure this answer changes daily, but we’re both currently crushing on the vintage indigo quilt toppers we found in Round Top. We’re looking forward to upholstering some new pieces with these bad boys!
Every business has it’s ups and downs. What do you consider your career highlight? It was pretty cool when we got to style HBO’s Girls premiere party. It is also fun to do celebrity weddings. We really relish all our events and view them as opportunities to share our love with more people.
What is an obstacle you have had to overcome with your business? Getting out of our creative minds and get into the nitty gritty: P&L statements, taxes, employee reviews, and all the stuff expected of business owners but not always enjoyed.
What future goals for your brand can we expect to see from you in the future? We plan to continue growing in the rental arena adding more and more of what people love to see in their events! We’re also always pipe dreaming new handmade offerings. Stay tuned to see what we dream up!
Currently shopping for: Always on the pursuit for the perfect rug.
Currently planning: A conference for boutique rental businesses from around the U.S.
Currently dreaming of: a buying trip overseas.
Currently eating: There’s never a moment we don’t have iced tea by our sides. Unsweet with a splash of sweet, just the way we like it.