Sometimes trends are expensive to follow, but ambitious entrepreneurs can make them more affordable. Cat Rhodes did precisely this when she saw the trend for styled picnic parties and created The Pretty...
Picnic Set Rentals
Auckland, New Zealand
Sometimes trends are expensive to follow, but ambitious entrepreneurs can make them more affordable. Cat Rhodes did precisely this when she saw the trend for styled picnic parties and created The Pretty Collective to give people more affordable DIY options. Her company has been a success, which has partly been made possible thanks to using Booqable to manage inventory and accept online bookings.
Luxury trends come from nowhere and rapidly spread into every part of our lives before we know it. They can be hard to track and expensive to keep up with. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. There has been a wave of entrepreneurs, like Cat, whose aim is to make them more affordable so everyone can take part and enjoy them.
Cat Rhodes founded The Pretty Collective from her home in Auckland, New Zealand, while raising her young children. She noticed that there was a growing trend for styled picnic parties. They would often include lavish styling made to pop on camera, but they were also expensive for people to do themselves. They were often the product of a well-paid stylist.
She wanted to bring these styled picnic parties to the people of Auckland at a more affordable price. After weeks of research, she created four beautiful setups that people can rent out. Each set looks and feels like they are the result of a professional stylist while also leaving room for people to add their personal touches.
These Instagram-ready picnic packages usually consist of low tables, beautiful cushions, and rugs. Customers can then add personalized signage and balloon garlands to finish their perfectly styled picnic. Customers can either pick up their picnic packages from her storage space or have them delivered by a courier.
While creating the picnic sets was fun, dealing with incoming email inquiries was not. As The Pretty Collective grew, Cat found herself spending much time processing customer bookings. There was a lot of back and forth, and she had to manually refund security deposits when two booked at the same time.
Cat would receive emails from customers that she individually replied to and waited for a response. Once a customer confirmed their booking, she sent an invoice, checked if they paid, and reconciled the payment. Meanwhile, she received more bookings for the same sets and had to double-check what items were booked out by who.
Of course, this was not a sustainable process. Cat began looking for rental software to help reduce time spent processing bookings and keeping track of her inventory. After comparing a few options, she decided that Booqable was the perfect fit for managing her rental business and accepting bookings and payments online through her website.
Her clients can now browse her online store, select the picnic set they want to rent, add additional items, and checkout. Cat no longer spends time confirming bookings and invoicing clients because it is done automatically within Booqable. She also knows exactly who has ordered which set and when her sets are available to be rented out.
She no longer spends time checking for double bookings because her items are automatically reserved when customers book. Whenever she has to send an email, she selects a template she has created already, which is auto-fills with her customers’ information. Additionally, she can easily print packing slips so her staff can prepare orders quickly.
Cat has grown The Pretty Collective massively since starting her business almost four years ago. She no longer operates it from her home and has a storage space in the center of Auckland where orders are packed and delivered. Her customers have commented on how easy and smooth the experience is, and she has had many repeat customers come back to rent again.
She has achieved her goal of bringing styled picnic parties to her local area and has been able to provide excellent customer service. Now, customers can book online within minutes and have a beautiful setup delivered by a boutique courier company on a Friday, enjoy their picnic and take hundreds of pictures over the weekend before a courier picks it back up on Monday.
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