Getting to know you: Fiona Desegni

What do you currently do?
I am part of Rentez-vous, an online fashion rental market place which allows women to rent clothes to one another, peer to peer.

What is your inspiration in the business?
I graduated two years ago as an entrepreneur, I was already involved in universities that created associations to allow students to meet professionals. So we created events with a few people and we were launching in France. When I was living in Singapore I was always swapping clothes with my roommates and I wasn’t wearing what had in my wardrobe. I saw it as a real frustration for women to have clothes that they like but don’t wear, so the idea was actually to trade and allow people to get access to other peoples wardrobe without having to buy new pieces.

Who do you admire?
Many people, but I think I would say my grandmother, because she is very creative, and although she has had some health problems she is very persistent. I have gained a lot of my values from her, especially the idea that you sometimes have to struggle in some way and this is also part of how to enjoy yourself even in difficult conditions.

Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?
I think I would have started with the tech aspect and focused on the online expertise more because we didn’t have the resources to do that so we focused on the offline aspect and had lots more to do online once we were up and running.

What defines your way of doing business?
We have a feeling of trust and community with our Rentez-vous platform. It is important that this isn’t just swapping clothes but that you’re part of an experience.

What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Don’t be discouraged. You have to fight and be consistent in your fight and in your values and your vision. And, of course, there are always going to be a lot of short term hurdles where things are not easy. I think the idea is that if you believe in your project and have a strong vision then people will follow and support you and one day everything will click. But most of all I think consistency is most important.