Peer-to-peer dress rental startup Curtsy lets you rent out your wardrobe

Consider yourself stylish? Those with good taste and a wardrobe to match could find themselves getting richer for it with a new peer-to-peer clothing rental platform from Y Combinator’s latest batch.


Called Curtsy, the startup began when one University of Mississippi sorority sister realized she could earn a living by renting out her closet full of dresses to the rest of Greek row.

Curtsy is a bit like Rent-the-Runway, except you’re browsing for dresses from your neighbor’s wardrobe and then heading over to try them on and possibly wear one of them the same day.

The concept soon became very popular across campus, picking up 3,000 mostly female users and spawning a number of side businesses, according to the team behind the platform.

Mary Margaret Tardy, who joined when a sorority sister told her about the idea, was one of those women soon finding herself with a thriving dress rental business.

“I have this one dress that I put up at the beginning of the startup, and it has been rented almost every week since then,” Tardy told me. “I jokingly call it my ‘greatest investment’ because I have made so much more money off of renting the dress than I actually paid for the dress.”

Sara Kiparizoska, Curtsy’s original founder, has since gone on to medical school to become an OB/GYN, but left her startup in the hands of her friends, Eli Allen, William Ault and David Oates — three dudes who never imagined they’d end up in the dress business.