I make £4,000 a month renting out my clothes with my side hustle – I work three hours a day anyone can do it
WITH the cost of living crisis weighing heavily on many, it seems like more and more people are turning to hustles to earn some extra cash.
We spoke to a woman, Paula Pilotta mom of one, who started renting out clothes in her closet to earn some extra cash.
Paula, 35, from Kendal, a market town in south Cumbria, is a full-time stay-at-home mum who earns thousands of pounds every month with her savvy side-hustle.
Paula and her husband James have a CGI imaging company, Yarn Studio, and before having their child, 2-year-old James, Paula was the company’s art director.
But after giving birth to her son, Paula wanted a way to earn some money at home, so she started renting items from her wardrobe on By rotation – the world’s first social fashion rental app.
She told Fabulous: “I spent all of my time babysitting and I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do next, but I wanted to do more than just be a mom. So I started renting clothes on By Rotation”.
Paula began her stampede in April 2022, after deciding to rent a bag online. Now Paula is renting out her wardrobe, sending out up to twenty items a week, making £4,000 in sales a month.
She explained: “Last year we went out for our first meal since giving birth. It was pretty special because it was pretty rare for us to go anywhere so I wanted to wear something special something different so I started looking online and looking for where to rent a bag .
“I didn’t know there was a whole clothing rental community as well, so I was pleasantly surprised.
“I rented a few items and it made me pay attention to what was going on – I followed By Rotation on Instagram and it all sounded pretty exciting. I love fashion and thought that I was going to try”.
Paula explained that she started by posting a few dresses online and was left speechless when people started renting them.
She added: “I put Rixo dresses on my page and they worked really well so it gave me confidence that it was something I could do and then it snowballed from the.
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“I started out renting items in my wardrobe, then I started buying things that I thought people would rent. I see it as a good form of investment.
“I like well-made clothes, but obviously you can go out and spend £300 on something, but I wouldn’t want to wear it just once, so that prompted me to invest in good quality clothes and make money. get back to it too.
“I don’t buy fast fashion as much, I now have quite a few items in my wardrobe that are ‘Made In England’ and it feels good to share that with others.
“I really see it as a good investment and it’s nice that I can add to the family budget with it.”
Paula sells a range of different items, with dresses and bags being the most popular.
She explained: “My most popular item would be dresses – they are bread and butter, but bags do just as well too.
“The Cult Gaia Nala bag is very popular – it has been praised so many times. I have two now, it’s so classic, it’s a nice simple clutch that goes with so many outfits – it’s been a great, great rental, I’ve definitely made double what I’m going for bought.
“The Rixo dresses I’ve noticed, the green ones in particular, are doing really well.
“Most people rent items for weddings and occasions, sometimes birthdays.
“It’s been a very busy wedding season and Rixo’s has praised on several occasions, it’s a very popular brand.
“The Pink Rotate dresses are also great, the puff sleeves are doing great too.
“Vampire’s Wife dresses are doing really well – they’re really expensive and brand new, they’re around £700 minimum.
I really see it as a good investment and it’s good that I can add it to the family budget.
“I’ve been lucky enough to find brand new dresses from this brand cheaper on eBay and Vestiaire Collective and they’ve worked really well.
“They were brand new with tags, you just have to stay on top and spend a bit of time looking for things but I’m really lucky.
“Buying them new would take a lot longer to get the return, but if you can find them on websites like eBay for £400 then you can rent them for £100 at a time and it doesn’t take that long to recover the investment.
“But it’s important to have good quality clothes so they don’t wear out so much.
“It’s a balancing act of getting something at a good price and then charging enough so you know you’re going to get that money back.”
Paula rents items for as little as £30, but in some cases she may charge £100 for an item.
She said: “The standard price is £50 or £60, but people are looking for rentals under £100.
“Because I can only invest a limited time in renting, I decided to buy more luxury items that I can rent at a higher price.
“But I hired dresses for £30 and it definitely adds up and you can get yours back pretty quickly.
“There are people who go to a lot of black tie events quite often and they want to show up in something that costs more.”
I would definitely recommend it to moms, you can always turn down rentals and adapt to what you can handle.
Paula only works 20 hours a week, the equivalent of less than three hours a day, taking care of administration and sending items for her rental business.
She explained: “With postage and courier tenants organizing there is a lot of administration you have to do.
“I definitely do about 20 hours a week, it’s a bit more than a part-time job now for me.
“I would recommend this to mums for sure, you can always turn down rentals and make it what you can handle.
“I feel like all of London is renting out clothes now, I’m still sending things to London.”
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Paula currently reinvests much of the money she earns back into the business, so she can invest in more items.
She explained: “At the moment I’ve reinvested and built up my wardrobe – I want to have a real little boutique with a nice selection of items for people to choose from.
“I earn around £4,000 a month in gross income, without expenses.
“At this level the expenses add up, I can easily spend £600 on postage and then there’s also dry cleaning and packing material.
“In terms of the amount of money after expenses, it’s around £2,500 a month.
“I send about ten mailings a week, sometimes twenty.
“This extra money will give my family the money needed for our retirement and our pension.
“But I’ve also used the money for myself – going to a spa or treating my friends to a meal. It’s good to do those things and put the bill on my card.”
If you have a closet with clothes that spill out from left to right and center, renting your closet with By Rotation might be the solution for you.
By Rotation is a free app for fashion lovers to rent, lend and sell their own wardrobes.
Launched in October 2019, By Rotation has quickly become a favorite of fashion figures, from celebrities and royals to credible tech founders and entrepreneurs.
Today, it boasts a vibrant and diverse community of over 250,000 “Rotators” – from students, professors, bankers, housewives and lawyers to style icons, such as Lady Amelia Windsor, Stacey Dooley MBE and many others.
Since its launch, By Rotation has become the largest fashion rental platform in the UK with over 35,000 peer-to-peer listings valued at over £12.5m in the UK alone.