Rent the Runway got women renting designer fashion online. Now a new Web site, Mine for Nine, is taking the format one step further by offering maternity wear for rent.
Mine for Nine, launched two weeks ago, offers professional attire and special occasion looks at 75 percent off retail prices.
“It allows pregnant women to diversify their wardrobes without having to invest in it, and feel good about themselves when they put on something new,” said Mine for Nine founder and owner Marisa Moss. Well, it’s not exactly new. Items are rented and re-rented, but Moss said, “Everything is checked when it comes in and is dry-cleaned for the next person. I am not going to send anything out that is not appropriate to rent. One bad experience and 30 people will know.”
Asked why casual maternity wear is not emphasized on the site, Moss replied, “If you are looking for something to run around in on a Saturday afternoon, you could buy something for $15 at Target, versus having to buy a maternity suit that could run you close to $400.”
The Mine for Nine Web site provides the option to borrow designer maternity clothes for one to three months at a time and so far offers about a dozen labels, including Ripe Maternity from Australia, Seraphine from the U.K. and Maternité from California. Moss said she financed the site. She does the buying and she has an advisory board. Her family in Winter Garden, Fla., helps with the fulfillment and distribution.
Moss, like the women who founded Rent the Runway, comes from the financial world. She’s still an analyst for Citigroup, covering the auto industry, so she’s essentially working two jobs. She decided to create Mine for Nine around the time the economy collapsed after two friends, one pregnant and one with a child, complained about maternity wear, with limited availability and costs. Asked how much business she thinks she can do in the first year, Moss replied, “As the word gets out, I can properly do at least $500,000, if not more.” One thing in her favor — Rent the Runway doesn’t offer maternity wear on its site.