NORTH PALM BEACH — Every time Bethany Sharp returned from an overseas trip with her race-car driver husband and two little girls, she asked herself the same question.
What could she do to make it easier to pack clothes and limit hauling luggage?
Sharp, whose husband, Scott, is a longtime professional race-car driver and team owner, was in charge of packing, unpacking, repacking and coordinating the family’s luggage during their trips around the world for Scott’s races.
Each trip presented its own challenges, Sharp said.
“We traveled literally all over the world, and every trip I was packing and hauling and losing luggage,” she said. “Then I’d have to dry clean it. I thought this had to be easier. There had to be something easier for women who love fashion and travel.”
Last year, Sharp came up with a solution.
The North Palm Beach native, who holds a degree in graphic design from Palm Beach Atlantic University, founded Lady Jetset.
The Singer Island-based business allows customers to rent high-end designer clothing for a trip or event at a fraction of the cost.
Through the company’s website, www.ladyjetset.com, customers can select their desired pieces and have them shipped directly to their travel or event destinations.
Once the items are worn, customers ship them back. The company provides a box with a return label and also schedules FedEx pickups.
“Women can pick whatever they want, put it in a cart at checkout and tell us where they’re going,” said Sharp, who is Lady Jetset’s president. Scott Sharp, a former Indy Racing League competitor, is its CEO. “We do the rest.”
The website makes it easy for women to select the correct size for their outfits, she said.
They can consult an online size chart or set up a call with a style adviser who works with the company. Customers also try on items in person at the company’s warehouse on Singer Island.
Lady Jetset works with many well-known designers such as Alice + Olivia, Dolce & Gabbana, Mara Hoffman and Carolina Herrera.
Pieces are high-end and contemporary, Sharp said, and suit a variety of travel destinations. A ski line is set to debut in October.
“What do women want to wear on their vacations?” Sharp said. “Is it something tropical, whimsical, floral, light, cover-ups? That defines a lot of our wardrobe. Where is she going?”
She said she’s found that women often spend huge sums of money buying clothing for vacations. Renting their wardrobes, she says, is far more practical.
Everything Lady Jetset buys retails for more than $500, Sharp said. Customers can rent pieces for as little as $60.
“I think it’s exactly what women want,” Sharp said of her company. “We’re spending so much money on wearing our dresses, and we look at our closet and realize we haven’t worn it since last year.”
The business has been booming in the company’s first year, she said.
Though Lady Jetset isn’t the only concierge fashion-rental service, it is among the few that provide rental wardrobes for vacationing customers, she added.
“This is a niche that’s not in existence yet,” Sharp said. “I think that’s when women want to look their best.
“They’re on a vacation that they’ve planned for the last year. They’ve spent so much money planning it, and now they don’t have to break the bank on a wardrobe. They can use the money for more of an experience and memories.”