10/06/2012 14:06 BST | Updated 10/06/2012 14:06 BST

Starting a Dotcom Dream - Part One

Two years after the launch of Girl Meets Dress, the first and leading Online Luxury Rental destination, founder Anna Bance recalls how progress is being made to fulfil her dotcom dream.

This week has of course been packed with post Bank Holiday catching up. Last Friday was the Girls in Tech London launch event and I was excited to be on a panel discussing innovation / female entrepreneurs and ecommerce with the lovely Jude Ower of PlayMob and Nathalie Gaveau of Shopcade chaired by Milo Yiannopoulos at Google Campus.

Back in the office on Wednesday, I had lots of CV's in my inbox to respond to as we are currently recruiting new team members and I am holding interviews nearly every day. From a founder's perspective, your team can never grow fast enough, there are always new exciting positions to fill in order to expand specific areas and launch new projects. Looking at the Girl Meets Dress team, I am happy with the size we are and excited by the positions I am interviewing for this week - roles such as designers and a business analyst. As a young company it is crucial that the people who join Girl Meets Dress have an certain mindset and they come because there is an exciting proposition to build something disruptive in the e-commerce space of rental.

One of the things I get asked most is where did the idea for Girl Meets Dress come from.

After leaving The London College of Fashion I had a exciting couple of years working for fashion magazines such as InStyle, Wallpaper and Harpers Bazaar, and planning my next steps in styling / writing and editorial. As a Fashion Assistant my days were spend with the team borrowing the most fabulous designer clothing and accessories from brands around the world. The other assistants and I would work around the clock requesting specific items as chosen by our bosses, and the next day the items would appear in the office - like a Haute Couture Father Christmas delivering in the night. After these items are taken into the fashion cupboard and sorted into themes / trends and photographed, they are packed up again and sent back to the PR offices, and then their journey is repeated at another magazine.

When I made the move from magazines into PR, accepting a job at Hermes as UK PR Manager - this lending process was reversed, and now I was the one doing the lending from my selection of 'samples' in our office - choosing what to lend to Vogue / Elle / Grazia for their shoots.

We also had celebrities to dress and often journalists...and often their friends... and It occurred to me that although it was already the norm for people to borrow Books / Cars / DVDs / Houses / Boats... the only people allowed to borrow fashion were industry insiders and VIPs. It got me thinking... would everyone like to borrow fashion?

That night over dinner I said to my boyfriend, "I think the world is waiting for a 'Fashion library' to launch"

I left my job immediately and Girl Meets Dress was born: an ecommerce site, dedicated to borrowing all the dresses you dream of wearing. Net-a-Porter marries LoveFilm.


P.S I think it is crucial to live your brand and I wear at least one GMD dress a week. This is me last night leaving to go to the Veuve Clicquot Polo in the Park party at the Hurlingham Club wearing Butter by Nadia.