Table of contents
- Founder - Shanya Suppasiritad
- Location - Sydney, Australia
- Started in 2020
- 4 employees
Hey Shanya, what's your backstory?
From a young age, I was in love with fashion. Clothing was a way for me to express myself and tell the world who I am. To me, it was somewhat of an armour, a way to shield myself from the pressure to meet a certain beauty standard that I felt growing up in Thailand.
After moving to Melbourne in my early 20’s I began my fashion journey. On this path, I became a fashion stylist and was loving taking people shopping, and transforming and empowering them using the power of clothing.
In 2015, after watching True Cost documentary (2 hours & a bottle of wine later, I was in tear...), I can no longer ignore the sustainability issues in the fashion industry, then I decided to not wait for anyone else to solve the problem - I want to be part of the solutions.
In 2017 I launched my first startup; Tumnus - a peer to peer clothes sharing platform that grew to have 500 active users in just a couple of months after launching. It was an amazing experience to see how quickly it took off. I then iterated it to Coclo in 2019 which was a bit different - it was a peer to peer capsule collection rental platform. We launched the concept and within just 3-4 weeks, we had 4000 users signed up, plus over 1000 items sent in - it was insane! To me it was a clear indication that consumers are searching for alternative ways to consume fashion, however, I realised that the industry as a whole can never changed if fashion brands are not able to be part of the secondary market.
Fast forward to 2020 and I have founded Rntr., a platform that is reshaping the fashion industry and making us rethink our relationship with clothing. I'm building the Rntr. economy where brands can earn more with less, consumers with more access and less cost.
Tell us what Rntr. does?
As the fashion industry is under the spotlight with sustainability pressure, Rntr. enable any premium brands that want to improve their stock productivity and increase their bottom line and customer database to participate in the reCommerce economy and offer rental, resale, and repair directly on their own eComm site.
They can achieve their financial and sustainability growth from less stock and control their customer journey in the reCommerce market and keep their customer data.
How did you come up with Rntr?
The reCommerce market has been around for ages but no one has ever disrupted the customer journey - if you want to rent something you need to go to a separate rental place or resale marketplace to buy a secondhand item.
It will just be so much easier if we can go to our favourite brands to buy brand new, rent, sell or buy second hand all in one place.
After launching a couple of startups, TBH at this point I'm less precious about the name - it just has to say what it does, also as we were designing our product to be a CTA button, it needs to be an action that people can understand straight away.
Rntr. is Renter without all the 'e' - very appropriate for startup.
How did you go about building and launching Rntr.?
I have always been the one building the MVP or prototype myself (purely because I couldn't pay anyone else to do it). I'm not a coder so I can only use existing softwares and patched them together to make it work how I want it to be - it wasn't perfect but it was good enough to get me 3 customers then I realised I actually need to build something, this isn't going to be sustainable as we grow.
Luckily, I received the $25k MVP grant and was able to convince my CTO now (then an outsource agency) to take on the job and help me build it.
At this point, we mainly use our connection within the fashion industry to talk to smaller brands that has a strong sustainability focus or an early adopter to test our software and learn.
How have you grown the business?
We went live with 6 brands in Oct 2021 - small brands but reputable brands so some bigger ones were watching them.
However, we weren't able to gain volume from these smaller brands so we went and put a bunch of items from desirable brands up on our website and were buying the items as rental orders came through in real-time. We were able to collect data and build a strong case study around commercials to show bigger brands.
We built an insane case study to show Oroton that we were able to rent 2 sizes of their sold-out dress 24 times and resales 4 times each, engage with 52 customers and make over 800% ROI, imagine what they can do if they were to own their own secondary market - we show them that we can help them achieve growth without producing more which inline with their sustainability roadmaps. We are now powering Oroton rentals and it has been growing successfully and steadily.
What's your biggest selling product?
Our software enables brands to offer rental, resale and repair services directly on their own website.
Resale platform seems to be the one that easiest for brands to step in, the appetite in the market for both brands and consumers are higher than rental.
Repairs are seen as a massive value add for brands, by encouraging their consumers to keep their cloth for longer.
There are a bit of education to do still for rental for a wider market, however, most premium brands know they have to take control at some point, they are just waiting to see the first one that can do it really well.
What have been some of your biggest failures along the way?
I'm a first time founder, so I'm navigating my way everyday. So many screw up day to day.
My biggest screw up would be, couldn't close a full round of fundraise early this year and run out of runway. We had to let go of people, reduce hours etc... it was painful. Obviously we survive and still going strong but I'm learning to navigate fundraising differently. Understand the investor's intention more and waste less time with certain investors.
What's next for you and your business?
We have launched our resale integration platform with the first 2 brands, KITX & Karen Willis Holmes,
We went live with the biggest partnership Oroton Rentals in Oct.
Launching our first repair platform with an incredible brand in DEC.
We will be the only platform globally that is truly a full suite for all 3 channels, rental, resale and repair - I'm so excited and proud of the team.
What digital tools do you use regularly?
- Slack for communication/message
- Google Suite, Meet, drive etc...
- Zoom for meeting
- ASANA for task
- Notion for report
- Miro for workshop
- Klaviyo to send out newsletter
- Zapier to connect software
- Shopify to host our ecomm
- Squarespace for our website
- Zendesk for customer service
- Hubspot for sale pipeline
- Github for code stack
- Azure for hosting
- Stripe for payment
Name some books that have been a great inspiration to you as a founder?
Let my people go surfing by Yvon Chouinard
Any podcasts, websites that help you run your business?
Any quotes you live by?
"Try to leave this world a little better than you found it” - Sir Robert Baden-Powell
I'm not religious but I do agree with this quote from the bible lols
"For of those to whom much is given much is expected.”
What do you love and hate about being a founder?
Love the community, ecosystem and the fact you will always surround yourself with like-minded people who love innovation and being at the forefront of change.
Hate the loneliness of the journey, especially if you are a solo founder - no one truly understands the pressure that you are under and the weight of the whole company, the possibility of it changing the world and your people well well-being - the responsibility is insane. The ups and downs is also can be very hard to regulate.
What do you do to look after your mental health as a founder?
I don't do a good job at it but when I can feel my anxiety creeping up and interrupting my decision making - I take a walk around the block, sometimes it's turns into 30 30-minute walks.
In a few words, sum up what it means to be the founder of a business.
Focus and relentless
What are the biggest pieces of advice that you'd give other founders?
It was actually given to me first - focus. And I think it's extremely important to jump in and get shit done, you will learn very quickly if this journey is for you or not.