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Short of cash? Tap into the equity in your wardrobe


Kelly Burke of Stylejump.

Kelly Burke of Stylejump.

Kelly Burke of Stylejump.

"I have always been a big consumer of pre-owned premium clothing. I worked as a commercial pilot for years, with lots of trips to Paris and London.

In those cities, shops selling second-hand luxury goods are common. But there are very few in Dublin, only charity shops. I saw an opportunity.

I started developing the business idea about a year ago, after having my son. I took a career break and decided I wanted to do something different. We launched seven weeks ago.

Stylejump.com helps people take advantage of what I call their "trapped wardrobe equity".

Studies show that women only wear 30pc of their wardrobe, mostly because they have too many clothes and store them poorly. So 70pc is just sitting there, taking up space.

We only trade in luxury, quality items, there are no high street brands allowed. Users send us a list of what clothing they want to sell and once we have okayed it they send them on to us.

We authenticate the goods, making sure they are genuine designer products. Then we sell them via our website. The original owner gets 52pc of the proceeds and we take 48pc. The service is particularly suited towards busy people. They might have lots of clothing that they have kept in the knowledge that it is valuable, but don't have time to set up and maintain an eBay account and ship all the stuff individually. We take all of that hassle away.

We are part of a wider trend, a change in the way people shop. The internet has really transformed consumption patterns - ten years ago you threw something away when you had finished with it but today it's all about selling, swapping, bartering and getting as much as possible out of the product.

Whenever I buy clothes now I think about whether I will be able to resell it. With that in mind, it is important that shoppers keep their receipts and shoeboxes, which help retain value when they come to sell.

Business is good so far. We have about 400 products listed and are aiming for more than 1,500 within four months. My main goal is to build up our seller base and improve the website.

I have financed the business by myself so far but will look for investment soon.

Indo Business