Natasha August can remember her early 20s vividly, and there were a lot of firsts. Working, budgeting, socializing in the adult world — it is a lot for any young adult to handle. She also thought, how would she make her mark on this world?
While this extrovert is a person of many passions, she found herself drawn to fashion and startups and knew the time was now to do something about merging the two. Insert: Parcel22, a subscription-box clothing and accessories rental service that also gives back to the community.
From the click or tap on a screen, subscribers personalize their parcel with the styles they want, wear the items as many times as they want, and return it when they're done. The company says it potentially saves a customer up to 80 percent off retail.
"Trying to balance an aggressive corporate career, new financial responsibilities, and a social life left me with little time to actually think about my wardrobe, much less afford quality clothing that transitioned with my lifestyle," August says of her 20s. "That time in my life has always stuck with me and has been the motivating factor behind Parcel22."
The goal of Parcel22, she says, is to promote individuality and confidence that comes with having access to an ever-rotating closet — and to be able to shop from the comfort of your own home.
If it sounds like the popular site Rent the Runway, it is — with some key differences. For starters, the Parcel22 product can be set on autoship. Basically, if they don't hear from you within two business days after the return of your parcel, you will be sent a new box of clothing that you are most likely to love based on your style profile.
The other major difference is the price. Unlimited parcel packages start at $65 a month, whereas Rent the Runway Unlimited, for example, is $159 a month.
"Renting is a more sustainable option for those wanting to try that bold piece they will only wear once and is more cost-effective for those who have a tight budget but still want to stay up-to-date with the latest trends," August says. "We are also shifting the way women think about fashion by truly focusing on the style of our clothes and removing any preconceived designer bias."
August stresses that Parcel22 is committed to giving back to the Dallas-area community. They've partnered with Genesis Women's Shelter & Support to help support women who have experienced domestic violence, and all Parcel22 pieces that do not sell or surpass their life cycle are donated to Genesis. Additionally, for each monthly Parcel22 subscription, 22 cents is gifted to the organization.
The mom-to-be, a Dallas native, says she explored other cities to start the business; she's lived in San Fransisco, Madrid, Austin, and Jinga, Uganda. But ultimately, she thought Dallas had the greatest potential.
"Dallas continues to be a growing hub of e-commerce, fashion, and technology, while developing programs and initiatives to strengthen the business environment, provide access to capital, and encourage economic growth," August says.