Featured Lender: Mimi & Chichi

We are excited to share our next feature, Gita Woosley! She has awesome taste and some amazing items up for rent on Style Lend. Read more about her style, shopping habits, and what she loves about NYC.

When did you start renting/lending from Style Lend and why?

I was introduced to StyleLend by a fellow blogger, Ashley Nelson of Impossibly Imperfect. As a fashion blogger, I was really intrigued by the idea of renting clothes for events. Because, lets keep it real, why spend tons of money on a dress you’re probably only going to wear a few times, when you can just rent one instead? I also started lending out some of my shoes and purses not long after I joined StyleLend. I moved to New York from Texas a few years ago, and in doing so transitioned from driving to walking everywhere. You know, Carrie Bradshaw totally lied to us: there is no way I could survive a whole day here in my Louboutin stilettos — well not without taking taxis everywhere and breaking my wallet in the process. After I moved, I found that I hardly ever wear some of my heels. So why not rent them out and get some extra cash?

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Shopping habits (do you shop online, flash sales, in person, etc.)

Although I do most of my shopping online, I also venture out to the brick-and-mortar stores every once a while. I’m a very list oriented person, even when it comes to shopping. It’s a habit I formed to combat my ADD. Whenever inspiration strikes me or there’s a trend I spy and want to try out, I would add it to my list. This way when I shop, I don’t get distracted by the shiny things.

Another thing that I do is keep a folder in my Gmail called “Shopping” and automatically route any emails from retailers there. Not only does this reduce spammy emails in my inbox, it helps me from getting tempted by a sale at times when I have no business shopping. Whenever I do have the need (or budget) to shop, I just visit this folder and see what retailers happen to have a sale at the time.

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Favorite brands/designers and why?

Gosh it’s so hard to pick favorites when it comes to designers/brands, because I have so many that I love. My sister recently turned me onto Reformation, and lately it’s been a favorite of mine.  I just love their design aesthetic. I pretty much want everything in the store!

What are your favorite things to do in NY?

Eat! The plethora of dining options is one of the major reasons I moved to New York City, so most weekends you can probably find me trying out a new restaurant. I’m currently on the hunt for a good okonomiyaki place, if anyone knows any.

If the weather is nice, you’ll probably also find me hanging outdoors. One of my favorite outdoor hangout spots is Governor’s Island. It’s a great place to catch some rays, bike around, picnic and even get some great yummy grubs from the variety of food trucks there.

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Can you tell us a little blurb about your background, job, and how long you’ve lived here?

It always feels a bit complicated when people ask what I do. By day, I work as a user experience architect at an advertising agency. On nights and weekends, I moonlight at Mimi and Chichi, a fashion and lifestyle blog I created with my BFF. So I guess you can say that I have two jobs.

I moved to New York City from Texas a little over three years ago. It’s always been a dream of mine to live in the Big Apple and I was so excited to finally make that a reality. The honeymoon period definitely has not ended yet for me (I hope it never will) and there are times where I have to pinch myself to believe that I’m actually here.  

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What is your fav piece of content you’ve created for your blog?

There you go again, trying to make me pick favorites. I’m so terrible at being decisive! One of my latest favorite is this outfit post of a find from the recent Zara sale. I just can’t get over how cute the dress is and that I got it for a steal. I just love when the stars align and you find the perfect dress, that’s the last piece, in your size, and for a crazy good price. I mean it’s like the universe is begging for you to buy it and wear it on the blog.

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How would you describe your style?

If I had to sum up my style into one word, I would say that it’s “versatile.” Although I have my tried and true, I’m never afraid to try out new styles and trends. There’s very little that I would shy away from.

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One thing that would be your “dream item” to rent on Style Lend?

Any of the book clutches from Olympia Le-Tan. Gossshh I’ve been dying to get my hands on one of those, but I just can’t justify the price since I know I won’t be using it that often. I hope it becomes available soon because I might just cave in and buy one for my birthday.

Why do you like the concept of renting vs. buying?

Aside from the cost saving I’ve mentioned before, I think there’s an environmental benefit to renting vs. buying, especially in this age of fast fashion. Many of us don’t think twice about going to a discount retailer to buy a special occasion dress that we’ll probably wear only a few times before it goes into the donation pile. Not-so-fun-fact: did you know that most of those donated clothes will most likely get shipped to developing countries or end up in landfills? According to Fashionista, “we buy about five times more clothing than we did in 1980, and threw away 40 percent more textiles in 2009 than we did a decade earlier — donation centers have far more stuff than they could ever realistically resell.”

I love that renting is becoming trendier now. I mean why wouldn’t you want to be good to the environment, to your wallet, and look fabulous while doing so?  

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Meet Our Lender, Amy Chan!

Hey Style Lend girls, allow us to introduce you to Amy, our featured lender of the month! Amy is a super stylish marketing officer by day and a Carrie Bradshaw-esque relationship columnist by night (check out her website here).  Be sure to check out all of Amy’s fabulous items for rent on Style Lend

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When did you start renting/lending from Style Lend and why?

I started renting and lending on Style Lend because it’s the perfect solution for the woman who’s always out and about at events and functions. I can feel fabulous in a new dress for each event without breaking the bank and harming the environment. I can access brands that would normally cost too much to own. And with lending my items, instead of having my accessories collect dust, I can earn money without any hassle.

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Shopping habits (do you shop online, flash sales, in person, etc.)

I enjoy both shopping online and in person. I love shopping for other people.

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Favorite brands/designers and why?

I adore Club Monaco because the stores are so pretty and I feel happy every time I walk in. I splurge on accessories and shop at stores like Aritzia, Rag and Bone and Zara for clothes. You can usually find me in my Nike Sky High Dunks in the day, and then a pair of heels at night. I’m known to mix my sneakers with dresses.

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What are your favorite things to do in NY?

Having a coffee with great company or reading/writing in a cafe is my favorite thing to do. I love to bike around the city, host dinner parties, play ping pong and hang out at SPiN, dance and I’m also obsessed with book stores and psychics.

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Can you tell us a little blurb about your background, job, and how long you’ve lived here?

By day, I’m the Chief Marketing Officer of SPiN, a ping pong social club that was co-founded by Susan Sarandon seven years ago. By night, I am a relationship columnist.  I have an online magazine http://www.JustMyType.ca where I study the psychology behind lust, love and desire. My work has been referred to as “a scientific approach to that of Carrie Bradshaw”. I’ll take it. =)

I’m from Vancouver, Canada originally and I’ve been in NYC for two years. In my former life, I was a luxury hotel reviewer and was immersed in the luxury hospitality industry in both marketing and PR.

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What is your fav styling undertaking? Maybe burning man?

Burning Man! I love how creative you can get with the outfits. Last year was my first year and my home became a costume factory! I had different looks for day and night, whatever my mood matched, I had a cool outfit to go with it.

(For anyone who doesn’t know, Burning Man is an annual gathering that takes place at Black Rock City, Nevada.)

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What do you love most about being a relationship coach?

I feel that by understanding more about the psychology and science behind why we behave and feel the way when it comes to love, we can have healthier relationships with ourselves and consequently, with other people. A broken heart is like a weapon – if you leave it wounded, you only continue to hurt others and inflict pain. Hurt people hurt people. If I can help even one person, feel a little less alone, a little more understood in the matters of the heart, to me, that is success. I’ve had mothers email me to thank me for helping their daughter’s self-esteem, I’ve had countless people reach out to tell me how my words made them feel less shame and less alone. That is such a gratifying feeling.

How would you describe your style?

My style can be best described as feminine, sophisticated with a touch of edginess. I’ll take any chance to wear a dress because that’s when I feel the most beautiful. My style doesn’t take a lot of effort, I throw on whatever fits my mood. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what you’re wearing or what label you’re sporting, style comes down to how you carry yourself.

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One thing that would be your “dream item” to rent on Style Lend?

My dream item to rent would be a dress from Valentino or Jason Wu.

Why do you like the concept of renting vs. buying?

I like the concept of renting because you can save money, you save the environment, you always feel like you’re getting something new and you don’t have to feel the guilt about wasting so much money on clothes you’d only wear a handful of times.

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Thank you Amy for taking the time to chat with us and letting us into your closet!  Check out and rent all of Amy’s items on our website and app, and don’t forget to enter our AMAZING giveaway!

Get to Know Our Lender, Marina Dobreva!

Meet our lender Marina! She’s a stylist and jewelry designer in NYC, and she gave us an exclusive look into her life (and amazing closet).

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WHEN DID YOU START RENTING/LENDING FROM STYLELEND AND WHY?

I started renting and lending from Style Lend in the summer of 2015, immediately after meeting the phenomenal woman who started the concept, Lona. Why? Because the model and idea is so exceptional that NOT to join Style Lend would be a loss and a shame. I immediately fell in love with the platform, and the only question I had was why weren’t we all doing this earlier!?

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SHOPPING HABITS (DO YOU SHOP ONLINE, FLASH SALES, IN PERSON, ETC.)

Coming from a background in fashion and retail, I shop in the most intimate way available, which usually means in person. I love touching the fabric, seeing the colors with my own eyes, examining how it is assembled, etc. With that being said, when there is a trusted brand that I am familiar with, I do take the chance of buying things online. What I like about renting on Style Lend is that the team is so talented at sifting through fashion and selecting in a way that you can know everything you get on the app is even more amazing in person than it is online.

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FAVORITE BRANDS/DESIGNERS AND WHY?

I am not particularly partial to one designer, as every designer has their strong seasons and strong pieces. I find that a well balanced outfit has a variety of aesthetics within it, which usually come from different designers. For the moment, I do have some faves in terms of current collections. For shoes I am very into Sophia Webster, Sergio Rossi, Pierre Hardy and Aquazzura. For my dresses, I always gravitate towards Valentino, as I enjoy how timeless his pieces are. For bags, I find it’s always good to have some Chanel in the mix, preferably not a bag that everyone else has. But I also love contemporary designers such as M2Malleter and I’ve always been a fan of the simplicity of Sophie Hulme.

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WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE THINGS TO DO IN NY?

Where do I start? I love just being a part of the ecosystem, and part of the movement. I don’t try to re-invent the wheel of things to do because the reason I moved to the city is precisely because the lifestyle it provides is exactly what I desired. Which basically means work harder every day than you did the day before, create and accomplish as much as you can, and decompress at night by spending time with other incredible people, enjoying the infinite great cuisine the city provides, the engaging nightlife, the music scene, culture, and overall creative stimulation. Though my top 3 ingredients to a good time outside of work are: people, music, and food.

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CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BLURB ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND, JOB, AND HOW LONG YOU’VE LIVED HERE?

In a nutshell, I was born and raised in Bulgaria, with a 10 year stop-over in Portland Oregon. I did ballet professionally in my first years of my 20s, and following an injury that ended that, I got into fashion. I had a 4 year run with J.Crew as a stylist, and launched my own business styling for private and commercial clients after J.Crew. My latest venture in fashion is jewelry design, which is my next big focus. I’ve been in NYC since 2012, and have little to no plans to leave anytime soon.

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WHAT IS YOUR FAV PIECE OF JEWELRY YOU’VE DESIGNED?

That’s a tough question! I suppose looking back on it, the biggest risk I took was with the Sahara cuff, and I’ve enjoyed seeing how that’s been perceived by the public. I recently gifted one to the lead singer of Thievery Corporation, Nat Clavier, and have been seeing some incredible photos of her on stage in front of thousands of people rocking it and looking stunning in it. That brings me joy.

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WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT BEING A STYLIST/JEWELRY MAKER?

The intimacy I have with my work. The greatest thing about being a designer for me is having the creative freedom to make exactly what you want without having to take anyone else’s view on your creation. I started my line with climbing rope from REI, and whether people thought that was ridiculous or not, it was mine to do, so I pursued it. I still do work as a stylist, but with styling, one always has to make the client happy even if it means sacrificing some of your own creative integrity. With jewelry design, I don’t have to sacrifice anything. At least not during the design stage of the process.

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HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE?

I always have different answers for this question. One constant however, is that I’ve always deemed myself eclectic. If I really had to break it down, I would say I have nuances of ethnic influence, modern edge, always with something classic and timeless within the composition, and usually heavy on color and texture. I try to take really unique pieces that inspire me, and find a way to make them wearable with everything else around them, which usually fits the description above.

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ONE THING THAT WOULD BE YOUR “DREAM ITEM” TO RENT ON STYLELEND?

Being a stylist, I am fortunate enough to have access to most of my dream items on loan through clients and designers, so there isn’t anything that I am anxiously waiting to see on the app. However, if we could create “confidence” as an accessory that women could rent, I would say that should be the most rented item on the platform. I believe that a great outfit is nothing, unless a woman wears it with extreme confidence. It’s the one thing that everyone looks great in, and it doesn’t come in sizes, so everyone can have it!

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WHY DO YOU LIKE THE CONCEPT OF RENTING VS. BUYING?

Renting is such a better strategy than buying, because to me fashion is a way of self-expression. How you feel today is not how you will feel tomorrow. And as much as we all wish we could afford to dress all of our moods and whims in designer clothing by buying it, most of us don’t have the exuberant amounts of cash and closet space to do so. Renting allows you to be best dressed at any moment of your life, without causing a financial catastrophe to an already pricey life in NYC (and elsewhere).  

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Thank you Marina for letting us see your incredible closet and crazy cool jewelry!  Go to our app to check out and rent all of her pieces!

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Meet our Lender: Anastasia Alt

Read on to learn how the evolution of Anastasia has also become the evolution of her style. and how style lend lets her explore without breaking the bank.

When did you start renting/lending from Style Lend and why?

I started lending this past summer soon after meeting the founder and CEO of Style Lend, Lona Duncan. I immediately loved the concept as a great way to monetize and store the items in my own closet. I am excited to rent some great dresses for myself as the holiday party season approaches.

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Shopping habits (do you shop online, flash sales, in person, etc.)

I shop through sites like Gilt for great deals on the designers I love most. I also buy a lot of costume jewelry, which I pick up on Bauble Bar, in my travels around the world, or at shops around New York. Some of the pieces I love the most and those for which I receive the most compliments I bought for just a few dollars on sidewalk tables while walking the side streets of New York. A statement necklace (or five!) is the perfect thing to bring so you can pack fewer clothes and pull off different looks each day on a trip.

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Favorite brands/designers and why?

I love Helmut Lang, Phillip Lim, and Rag & Bone for their simple, structured styles in mostly black, white, and neutral palettes. I like to mix up these looks and add color through bright jewelry and cool accessories I find all over. I wear a lot of ballet flats for walking around New York and Ferragamo makes my favorite, classic style with a flat bow across the front.

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For bags, I like the understated look of Bottega Veneta in a classic hobo shape; I use my bigger black one for day and my smaller one in bright red for evening. For evening wear, I just bought a floor length Zac Posen gown in a beige color (it’s on Style Lend!) that I am excited to wear with some great jewelry (I really love jewelry!) and a good tan for the right occasion.

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What are your favorite things to do in NY?

I am always looking for new and different things to do throughout the city and I am hardly ever out of options! There are a few activities I am especially looking forward to in the coming weeks. The New York Botanical Gardens has special evenings to showcase their holiday train show with cocktails and live music that I plan to attend. I go to FlyWheel for a great spinning workout and am looking forward to trying an adult gymnastics class at Chelsea Piers soon. I also can’t wait to finally go to Trapeze School in Queens! I recently converted to a vegetarian and mostly vegan diet, so Jivamuktea Café near Union Square is a favorite spot to grab a healthy snack or meal. While I constantly seek new activities, there are two spots where you can find me again and again: Baby Grand for late night karaoke and the Good Room for late night dancing!

Can you tell us a little blurb about your background, job, and how long you’ve lived here?

I am a lifelong New Yorker. I grew up in Manhattan, went to college at Columbia and moved to Williamsburg this year, which I absolutely love. I am an avid traveller, so despite strong local ties I like to explore new places and have spent significant time abroad over the years, especially throughout Europe and South East Asia.

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After working in finance and the corporate world for several years, I am also kicking off a new professional chapter this winter. I just left my job as a management consultant and am learning web development and programming full-time over the next few months. I have plans to start a business after I complete my coding course. I also have a “side hustle” throwing theme parties roughly every six weeks under the series name Patzo Party. Costume parties are another way I love to express myself with fashion.

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How would you describe your style?

Overall, my clothing is definitely quite structured, classic and tailored, but my outfits get an infusion of whimsy and fun through bright jewelry, creative nail art, and interesting accessories that I add in layers and change depending on my mood. My personal style has evolved over the years alongside my zip code in New York City.

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I grew up on the Upper East Side but these days I spend most of my time in Williamsburg and in downtown Manhattan. I was about as preppy as they come through college (polo shirts, headbands and pearls were all wardrobe staples) but I have moved towards an edgier and more eclectic sense of style in the past few years. Today, I see fashion as a great form of self-expression that can evolve as I do. I am inspired to try new looks just walking around my neighborhood in Williamsburg and love discovering local designers.

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One thing that would be your “dream item” to rent on Style Lend?

I’d love to rent the Chanel Velvet Boy Bag in Emerald Green for a great party or night out. The cross-body chain makes it easy to dance without having to put down your bag!

Why do you like the concept of renting vs. buying?

If there is one thing I know for sure, it is that my style will continue change as I do going forward. Style Lend makes it easy to express my evolving sense of fashion without committing to buying expensive pieces. I love it!

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Thank you so much to Anastasia for letting us into her style & home. Love her style? Rent it on http://www.stylelend.com or by downloading our iOS app.