Vendor Spotlight: Loot Rentals
When Rhoda Brimberry started dating Anna Crelia’s brother 18 years ago, little did they know they would eventually become not only sisters-in-law but also co-founders of one of Austin’s coolest boutique rental companies, Loot Rentals.
A graduate of the University of Arkansas and Middle Tennessee University, Rhoda spent her early career in Marketing and Advertising learning about the importance of good branding and understanding how to run a business. Anna, on the other hand, studied Fashion Merchandising at FIT before going to work doing web design for OAK fashion in New York City. This combined experience in marketing and fashion joined with a passion for sustainability and a talent for good design, made Rhoda and Anna an ideal pair to found Loot Rentals.
While planning Anna’s wedding in 2010, Rhoda and Anna called on family and friends to pull together decor to create the vintage speakeasy vibe Anna was looking for. During this process, they realized there was so much inefficiency and waste in the wedding business – people had to buy everything they needed and then resell or otherwise dispose of it after the event. Going through this whole process got Rhoda and Anna thinking about a business that would offer vintage (and other cool) wedding rentals without worrying about the inefficiency and waste created involved in buying and disposing of wedding decor. And the rest, as they say, is history…
In 2011, Loot opened its doors renting out (mostly for weddings) what people were selling or giving away, primarily vintage items from estate sales that needed someone to breathe new life into them – 90% of their stash consisted of things they had collected and refurbished. Rhoda remembers their first big purchase, an oak church pew from Victoria, Texas – Anna saw the ad and jumped in her car to go and get it. As the business grew, so did their collection of unique, reused, vintage “loot.”
Today, Loot offers a mix of worldly and vintage elements. There is definitely a specific “Loot look” that planners come for and love. The business is going strong and is split between corporate and wedding rentals.
Rhoda is always looking for ways to offer new rental options, extend Loot’s business into new areas, and do things that she is interested in. So, when she was trying to come up with a way to keep busy during the times of the year when weddings and corporate events are slow, she decided to try to venture out into a new business area – home staging. Loot had the rentals to stage a house, the talent to make it happen, and Rhoda had a longing to create a perfect interior (with 2 young kids at home, that was a challenge in her own house). So, in the summer of 2018, she put together a business model and Loot launched its home staging business. So far, business is great and the Loot team and their clients are enjoying this new venture.
Since its inception, Loot has received accolades from not only its clients but also the Austin community. Named Most Valuable Vendor of 2015 by Borrowed and Blue and winner of ILEA’s 2018 Best Volunteer Collaboration and Best Corporate Event Collaboration awards, nominated for Woman’s Way Business of the Year in 2018 and Best Luxury Vendor of 2015 by ILEA, and written up in many prestigious blogs, magazines and books, Loot is clearly a company to watch.
Throughout all of Loot’s success, Rhoda and Anna have not lost sight of their personal and business beliefs and have recently published a revised version of the company values on their website. They feel that it is important for people to know what they are as they are central to running the business, building the brand, and growing the Loot community.
Through their values, Rhoda and Anna are doing exactly what they believe in: “Living Rather than Consuming,” building “Community Rather than Exclusivity,” focusing on “Quality Rather than Quantity,” encouraging “Sustainable Rather than Disposable,” being “Genuine Rather than Pretentious,” promoting “Empowerment Rather than Entitlement,” living “Life With Intention Rather than Meaningless Living,” and making sure the Loot team are “Champions for the Cause Rather Than Employees.”
With similar goals and values to our own, a talented team, and amazing rental inventory, Loot’s future looks bright. I look forward to working more with Rhoda, Anna, and their team and watching the Loot success story unfold.
Blogger’s Note: For anyone who has followed our blog, you will know that I personally used Loot to stage my home. You will also know that it looked amazing. Finally, you will be glad to know that the home was under contract within 3 weeks of hitting the market. We are due to close next month and we are thrilled with the result. Thanks Loot Rentals!