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 Melissa, the Founder of Riley Versa

Hey Style Lend girls, allow us to introduce you to Melissa Urfirer, our featured lender of the month!  Born and raised in NYC and immersed in the fashion world her entire life, Melissa decided to launch Riley Versa, an innovative line of handbags, which are available to rent on Style Lend!

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What makes Riley Versa so unique?

Well, it’s the ultimate versatile bag you can dream of.  These gorgeous leather bags allow you to change the covers and turn your neutral day bag into a striking and bold evening bag.  Riley Versa’s interchangeable magnetic covers allow you to be boldly VERSA-tile with your fashion choices at all times.

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Can you tell us a little more about your fashion background and what made you decide to start your own line?

My grandmother is the ultimate fashionista, so I’ve always loved fashion.  I learned more about the industry interning at Conde Nast’s W Magazine and Saks Fifth Avenue, but my idea to start my own line came from a personal desire for the product!

It all started on a trip to Miami; I packed a brightly printed clutch for the weekend and didn’t realize until I arrived that it clashed with everything else I had packed! I had one of those “wouldn’t it be great if…” moments, and decided to actually make it happen. I knew I wasn’t the only person who wanted a bag like this, and other women would appreciate having a bag that gave them the flexibility to instantly transform their look.

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Riley Versa is where luxury and convenience intersect. It’s perfect for the jet-setter; the woman who travels for work or pleasure and cannot pack multiple bags but can pack multiple covers. Riley Versa’s streamlined approach saves valuable suitcase, closet and drawer space – covers are infinitely easier to store than bags!

Riley Versa also spares you the hassle of transferring the contents of your bag when switching purses. I’m constantly leaving a credit card in one bag, and a lip-gloss in another, but with Riley Versa bags I can leave all of my belongings in one bag, and simply swap the cover for an entirely new, versa-tile look.

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How would you describe your style?

Classic with a twist. I love starting with jeans and a white t-shirt and then adding some fun pieces – bright shoes, a funky necklace, a leather jacket…and most importantly a Riley Versa bag!

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Other than Riley Versa, what are your favorite brands and why?

Zimmerman, Self-Portrait and FRAME. I think both Zimmerman and Self-Portrait masterfully mix delicate feminine details with bold sexy ones. Both brands create pieces you slip on, and just feel great wearing. And I live in my FRAME jeans. I have FRAME ‘Le Color Rip’ Skinny Jeans in both black and white, and they are wardrobe staples. I swear The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants was written about them – they look good on everyone!

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What are the essentials you carry in your Riley Versa bag?

My wallet, tic-tacs, sunglasses, and Aquaphor – in case you can’t tell, it holds a lot!

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What are your favorite things to do in NYC?

I love walking around and exploring new areas, trying new restaurants and checking out new boutiques. And now that the weather is nice, I love packing a picnic lunch and spending the day at the Great Lawn – enjoying the “great outdoors” New York style.

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Anything exciting in the works for Riley Versa?

Yes! We are releasing two new covers a new style bag this summer.

Thank you Melissa for talking to us and giving us so much insight into your business! Go to our website or app to check out all of Melissa’s items, including her amazing Riley Versa handbags!

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!