They grow up so fast… Borrow For Your Bump, Krystal Stubbendeck’s online maternity clothing retailer, just celebrated its third “birthday.”
“Every pregnancy is different and every woman’s body changes differently as she goes along,” said the new mother and Nebraska native. “I launched Borrow For Your Bump after watching several of my very fashion-savvy girlfriends struggle with finding clothes that were flattering.”
Started in November 2011, the company’s e-tail site, www.borrowforyourbump.com, allows fashion-conscious mothers-to-be to buy the newest trends and styles or rent contemporary, designer clothes in maternity sizes, saving up to 75 percent off retail prices.
“There are a number of websites where women can rent formal wear such as Rent the Runway or designer bags, like Bag Borrow or Steal,” Stubbendeck said. “So while we are among the only companies to rent clothes in the maternity market, it’s a concept that our customers had already heard of and were familiar with.”
Inventory trends along designer lines, falling into various categories ranging from looks for the office or for an evening out to high end jeans and sportswear in classic to contemporary styles.
“The product mix is all about providing variety and high quality,” she said. “There’s not just one type of customer. Our data tells us that the bulk of our rentals are going to be dresses, formal wear and high end denim. Everything else trends toward the purchase side of the business. We sell a lot of professional wear because we carry a number of styles that are designed to be worn after the pregnancy as well as during.”
Borrow For Your Bump offers a third shopping option – The Bump Love Club, “a personalized styling service to start-off or refresh a maternity wardrobe.” Expectant mothers can choose from pre-packaged bundles or customized boxes.
“This caters to the professional woman who would rather get what we pick out than take the time to shop, but there’s also a major segment of this market that says, ‘I need help,’” Stubbendeck said. “They know what looked good on them before they were pregnant, but now they’re overwhelmed by their body changes and what’s going to work best for them or even how to size things correctly. They are very motivated by the style help as much as the convenience.”
Stubbendeck left a job in finance in Chicago and moved back to her home state of Nebraska to focus full-time on Borrow For Your Bump. She gained fresh perspective on the company’s role in the lives of its customers during her own pregnancy. She and husband Rhett welcomed their first child, a girl, over the summer. The experience has helped her understand her clientele even more intimately.
“Talking to the customer you find a lot of common concerns that we can address with very personalized solutions,” she said. “A woman who is pregnant who feels like everything she tries on doesn’t look flattering is looking to us to understand how to provide the right fashion and fit to make her comfortable and like how she looks.”
Stubbendeck also gained fresh insights through her participation in Straight Shot, Omaha’s e-commerce and software-as-a-service startup accelerator. Borrow For Your Bump was one of seven startups chosen for the 2014 class. Stubbendeck said the mentoring and breadth of corporate expertise Straight Shot provided will help her other “baby” continue to grow.
“What I didn’t expect, and what I think is one of our biggest accomplishments here, is that I’m now able to step back and really focus on our future. Not only from a scalability perspective, but also, what kind of company we want to be and how to define that for ourselves and for our customers.”
To learn more about Borrow For Your Bump, visit borrowforyourbump.com.