I had the pleasure of interviewing Brittany Finkle, Founder of Happily Ever Borrowed. She has been running Happily Ever Borrowed for 7 years while still working full-time in the corporate offices of your favorite luxury fashion brands. Happily Ever Borrowed is the premiere, luxury, e-boutique that rents bridal accessories to brides for their wedding day and has served over 1000 brides across America since launching.
Jean: Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory” of how you become a founder?
I have three older sisters, and from the age of 12, I always helped plan their weddings. My one sister became engaged while I was at Cornell university studying fashion design and asked me to make her wedding dress. That was far too much pressure for me, but I offered to help shop with her. When I saw the poor quality and construction of the gowns, I was horrified. All women deserve to wear quality products on their wedding day. Charging thousands of dollars for such poor construction was terrible! Even worse, after spending their entire budget on their dress, most women forget that they need to accessorize as well. I was astonished at the high prices of veils, headpieces, and jewelry. This is one of the most common instances where brides exceed their budget. My sisters begged me to find a solution. I let the idea sit for quite a while, but after my third sister got married, the idea started to materialize. I launched the company with friend and now famous bridal gown designer Hayley Paige in 2011 and when Hayley stepped out to make her design dreams come true, I kept Happily Ever Borrowed trucking along!
Jean: What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
There is so much I can say that makes Happily Ever Borrowed special. We have exclusivity agreements with our design partners as our job is really to bring these high quality products to brides who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford them, or to those brides who value sustainable practices. We have really taken the past 7 years to craft our brand and educate brides on why it’s important to wear gorgeous pieces, but not meaningful to own them. We have hundreds of stories from brides who were so happy to find our services, but I especially love the stories where brides tell us how they are spreading the word to ALL of their friends. That is our favorite way to receive brides and we love that more women are opening up about the sharing economy.
Jean: Are you working on any exciting projects now?
We have a LOT of things in the works. Partnerships with bridal hairstylists, creating our own accessory line, looking into brick & mortar retail shops…we’re keeping very busy!
Jean: Do you have a favorite book that made a deep impact on your life? Can you share a story?
I recently read “Shoe Dog” by Phil Knight, and it was great to see how LONG it took to create Nike as an empire. There were many times he came close to quitting and many times where he went full time to help fund his startup! I thought it was absolutely amazing that he was able to run both businesses just like me. It gave me another boost of energy to keep going.
Jean: What are your “5 Lessons I Learned as a Twentysomething Founder” and why? Please share a story or example for each.
Jean: Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂
It’s my dream to be on the Today Show with Kathie Lee & Hoda. I feel like our brand speaks directly to their audience and who wouldn’t want to drink wine at 11AM with those two?! I know they would believe in the mission of renting your bridal accessories and reducing the waste of one-time wear items and I’d love to just meet them as they both have such inspiring stories.
— Published on June 27, 2018
Originally published at medium.com