Borrowing Magnolia is how the modern bride does the dress. No longer does a bride-to-be need to spend hours in a boutique trying on dresses that do not even fit- not everyone is the sample size 10. And gone are the days where once the wedding is over, the priceless dress- worn only once- collects dust in storage. Borrowing Magnolia is a managed marketplace: brokering rentals and sales between dress owners and brides-to-be. It shouldn’t surprise you that since their 2015 launch, Borrowing Magnolia has hosted thousands transactions and has 1400+ dresses available to brides. With their business growing 270% year over year, they are making hypergrowth seem like a piece of cake (wedding cake, of course).
Borrowing Magnolia CEO Tyler Ewing sailed through the Startup Runway Preflight Pitch Rounds and was a part of the inaugural Fall 2016 Showcase: getting the opportunity to proudly introduce our seasoned investors to a more contemporary take on the conventional wedding dress sales model. She sums up her Startup Runway experience using the adjectives “energizing” and “insightful.”
One of the unique features of Startup Runway is the founders lead a mock board meeting that is curated with advisors and investors that are maven’s in the respective startup’s space. This element of the showcase allowed Tyler the opportunity to present a real problem her company is facing, and work with a seasoned board to tease out possible solutions.
For Tyler, the mock board meeting was invaluable: allowing her to approach a real Borrowing Magnolia issue with fresh perspectives while cultivating relationships with knowledgeable advisors and investors. “Our business is unique so having the investor’s outside perspective while working through a problem was great,” explained Ewing. “I received immediate understanding from the board, and they brought to the table solutions and ideas that we hadn’t thought of before.“
The real Startup Runway experience happens when the founders pursue newly cultivated investor relations outside of “the board room.” “There are several investors we have had meetings with since Startup Runway- most sat on my mock board. Every meeting with an investor provides Borrowing Magnolia with valuable takeaways.”
What’s next for Borrowing Magnolia? Scale. The team is currently testing an in-person addition to their business model and will be hosting a three day warehouse sale: piloting an idea that will couple an in-person dress shopping experience with their proprietary fit tech and online tools and highly successful platform. They are looking to take the insights from their already sold-out warehouse sale and bring that experience to the top markets in the US. It won’t be long before you will see the Borrowing Magnolia brand across the Country. “Borrowing Magnolia is continuing to adapt,” says Ewing. “And that is the fun thing about startups- you continue to tweak the idea as you go.”
Your experience could mirror that of Borrowing Magnolia’s! Is your startup ready to fly? Apply today to participate in a Startup Runway preflight pitch round!