The Borrowed Boutique
Local Boutique Offers Luxury Children’s Clothing Rentals
Photos provided by Josh Brown & The Borrowed Boutique
From the comfort of her own home, Dr. Emma Hostetter launched The Borrowed Boutique three years ago. The family physician and public health doctor had traveled all over the globe working with women and children’s health, witnessing endless cases of health disparities, in underdeveloped countries. Dr. Hostetter decided to take some time off following the birth of her daughter. In her true fashion, Hostetter used the time off not only to care for her newborn but to find new creative outlets.
“I’ve had an entrepreneurial spirit since I was a child, and I always found creative ways to make money like selling candy for a camping trip,” she says. “The first thing that came to my mind was my love for children’s fashion and dressing up my daughter. Then I started to realize how much I was investing in these clothes to have her wear it only once.”
After purchasing enough dresses for baby photo shoots, her husband had the lightbulb idea for Emma to start a fashion rental business.
Hostetter got to work, making contacts with top children’s fashion design houses and began offering the fancy frocks to a closed group on Facebook. Friends in the closed group began inviting more friends to the group, and quickly the group swelled to more than 10,000. Word about the fashion rentals spread like wildfire, and soon, Hostetter had filled one closet, then another, then the dining room. It wasn’t long before the business outgrew her house, and she found an office space for a showroom in The Edge Building in Fishers.
Some might think the idea of renting high-end boutique-style children’s fashion is a little unconventional, but it’s nothing new.
“It’s the concept of a shared economy, which has been around for a long time in many countries,” Hostetter says. “It’s just a different spin on the same old idea. It’s appealing because most customers are practical.”
The Borrowed Boutique carries chic designs from Tutu Du Monde, Dolly, Butterfly Closet, Dollcake, Nellystella and PrimaFashions, who makes Disney-themed gowns and many more. The Borrowed Boutique will soon be adding top children’s couture designer Anna Triant fashions to their line.
Fashion from all these designers usually retail for $100 to $200, and some are in the thousands. But you can rent them for as low as $40 or $50. The process is ideal for moms looking for their child’s dress for a wedding or special occasion, photo shoot or even a pageant. Although the majority of the fashions through The Borrowed Boutique are for girls, they also carry a great selection of boys’ fashions.
All designs are available online, but you can make an appointment to come in to have your child sized. The Borrowed Boutique will ship anywhere in the US, including Alaska and Hawaii.
“Around 95 percent of our business is shipped,” Hostetter says. “Word has gotten out that we have one-of-a-kind pieces that customers can’t get anywhere else.”
The shop also offers insurance for an additional $5 fee to cover any damages from stains or simple tears.
“Our dry cleaning service is able to handle most stains, and our seamstress is wonderful at repairing simple tears,” Hostetter says.
With the tremendous success of the boutique, one might expect that the good doctor has left her lab coat behind, but she hasn’t. Having earned a Master’s degree in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University, her passion for that field is permanent, and she continues to volunteer on mission trips with non-profit groups. Although medicine and fashion are two vastly different fields, Hostetter claims there are more similarities than you might think.
“In medicine, you’re working with a body made of systems, and a business is made of systems,” she says. “A huge part of both things is problem-solving. It’s great to be able to do something on the creative side. I love styling kids for magazines and creating wardrobe concepts. I want people to know that just because you went down one path in your life before doesn’t mean you have to stay there. I’m not afraid to work hard and learn new things.”
Hostetter incorporates her charitable spirit into the boutique too. The Borrowed Boutique partners with Esther’s Children, a small organization that works to end sex trafficking and restore the lives of those who’ve been affected by it by donating a portion of their profits to their cause. The Borrowed Boutique also donates 100 percent of its profits to Esther’s Children from their Styled to Give events. The events are special photo shoots that The Borrowed Boutique holds for which photographers pay a fee to attend and take photos of fully-styled models. Hostetter is currently working to find a boy’s charity to adopt.
Check out The Borrowed Boutique at theborrowedboutique.com. Their showroom is located at 8890 East 116th Street, Suite 290 in Fishers or you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment.