Innovative clothing shop becomes “Best of the Best”
Valhalla Resale of Hillsborough County
Danielle Ferrari has always had a passion for the fashion industry. Armed with an entrepreneurial spirit, she knew that she would own a business that involved clothing. After doing research on the industry, she realized the impact that the fashion industry has on the environment.
This inspired her to open Valhalla Resale. Valhalla Resale isn’t the typical, run of the mill consignment shop. Not only can patrons buy gently used clothes, but they can also become a member in which, for $39 a month, they can borrow three items of clothing and keep them for as long as they would like. When they want to try something new, they just bring the items back and borrow three more.
“As I saw the impact the fashion industry has on clothing, I realized that I could combine my passion for the share economy and clothes and create a business where we all share clothes instead of creating new clothes, throwing them away, and creating a really big impact on the environment,” Ferrari said.
Since her idea was a new concept, she turned to the Florida SBDC at University of South Florida in 2016 for help creating a business plan.
“I started working with Florida SBDC at USF initially for business plan help and then I realized how valuable the resource was,” she said. “I knew that I would come back, especially for marketing – which is not my strong suit. It really helps me in a lot of different ways.”
One of the biggest issues that Ferrari has faced over the past couple of years was getting people in the door. She didn’t want to over-advertise and attract people who didn’t understand the concept, but at the same time, she wanted to do enough to attract those who would be interested in a business such as Valhalla Resale.
Business consultant Kyle King, who specializes in marketing, has taught Ferrari how to find that balance and to be proactive in all of her marketing efforts rather than reacting in the moment.
“It has saved me so much time and energy and it has been so much more efficient,” she said. “Since working with the SBDC, my business has grown a little more than 30 percent.” Growth of the business has also enabled Ferrari to add two employees to the staff.
It seems like the work that King and Ferrari have put in has paid off. Valhalla Resale recently earned the People’s Choice Award for Best Consignment/Thrift Shop in the Tampa Bay area. The store was the gold winner for the category in the Tampa Bay Times Best of the Best 2019 competition.