Growing fashion trend takes off across the region
SEARCHING for a races outfit at the last minute? You are not alone.
Mackay business owner Ashley Thomas has been swamped with outfit orders in the past week, with dozens of dresses flying out the door on Thursday and Friday.
The 25-year-old chiropractor, who launched designer dress hire business High End Hires in May, said she was shocked at how busy it had been.
"I had about 20 new messages from girls in the past couple of days inquiring about an outfit for the races,” she said.
"I was quite surprised because my business is still relatively new.”
Ms Thomas said the mad rush was probably a result of the 'dress hire' trend taking off across the country.
There are only a few designer dress hire businesses based in Mackay.
"I think people are taking advantage of the affordability and convenience of hiring an outfit,” Ms Thomas said.
"You are getting a designer label dress for under $100 and then you can return it, so it doesn't just sit in your cupboard.
"If you are based in Mackay it is also really convenient to be able to try on the dress so you know if it fits.”
The idea for High End Hires was born after Ms Thomas realised her friends had taken an interest in her collection of dresses.
"I had a lot of clothes sitting in my cupboard that I had only worn once, and my friends would love to come and borrow them,” she said.
"I thought why not expand on that and offer my collection to the rest of the public.
"I've always loved fashion and I had room for a hobby so it all just fell into place.
"I transformed a room in my house to operate the business out of and created an Instagram and Facebook page for advertising.”
Although Ms Thomas runs her business solely on social media, she said a website could be on the cards in the future.
Her focus is to expand her range of outfits to be as inclusive as possible.
"I'm trying to incorporate different styles and colours in a wide range of sizes and prices,” she said.
"I have several high end pieces but I also have a more affordable range of staple items.”
High End Hires stocks several designer brands including Kookai, Zimmermann, Nicola Finetti, Bec and Bridge, Two Sisters The Label, Camilla, Keepsake The Label, Stevie May and Talulah.
Contact Ashley via the High End Hires Instagram or Facebook page to book an item.