Local Hamptonite, founder and CEO of Tulerie Violet Gross has transformed the fashion community with her designer fashion lending and borrowing business. She shares sustainable changes she hopes to see, inspiraton behind the brand and her favorite Hamptons hot spots.
CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE COMPANY AND WHAT MAKES IT UNIQUE FROM OTHER BUSINESSES? Think of Tulerie as The RealReal meets Rent the Runway. Women are opening up their closets and shipping designer clothing between one another. We are redefining how we think of ’new’: New doesn’t mean with tags; it’s something you have never worn before. It is new to you. Same from the lender perspective—why not let other people wear an item if you know you’re not wearing it anytime soon? I always say you can’t wear your whole closet every day, so why not let someone else borrow a piece? If you’re willing to stay in a hotel bed that someone else has slept in, why can’t you wear a dress that someone else has worn?
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO LAUNCH TULERIE? HAVE YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO WORK IN FASHION? I grew up with my dad telling me to be my own boss, so I’ve always wanted a company of my own. I just never knew exactly what I wanted to do. When the concept of Tulerie came up, I thought it would be a lot of fun and just made perfect sense. I have an accounting and finance background, so merging that with my interest in fashion also got me excited.
SINCE LAUNCHING THE COMPANY, WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST SURPRISING LESSON YOU HAVE LEARNED ALONG THE WAY? Habits are tough to break. People say they want to be more sustainable and want to make positive contributions to the environment, but when it comes down to it, convenience wins. We need to get uncomfortable, be proactive, think beyond right now, and be more mindful of future generations. Taking that first leap on Tulerie is a mind shift of the way you think about your closet. It can be scary for some people, whether it’s the first time they borrow or shipping out the first item they’re lending. After that, users see how easy it is and become addicted.
HOW DO YOU HOPE THE INDUSTRY WILL CHANGE IN THE UPCOMING YEARS? My hope is that production will decrease. We all know how much every company, from fast fashion to high end, wastes. They simply make too much product. The constant drops paired with social media make everything feel stale so quickly. We need to slow down the fashion cycle again. My other hope is that consumers will change—if the consumer changes their habits, the industry will have no choice but to adapt.
I KNOW YOU SPEND YOUR SUMMERS IN WATER MILL. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE HAMPTONS STYLE? For me, it’s simple. I need to be able to go from lunch with friends to digging in the sand with my daughter. I mostly live in dresses. They’re so easy to throw on and always look great.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE HAMPTONS HOT SPOTS FOR FALL? Anything we can do as a family. We spend every Saturday picking (and snacking on) apples at Milk Pail, then going across the way to Fairview for fresh sweet potato chips and apple cider doughnuts and calling that lunch. We are really looking forward to riding our bikes to Lobster Roll when they open their second location! We also spend a lot of time at The Cut running around, making up games or having a picnic. Going to watch the sunrise with breakfast is the best.
WHAT IS UP NEXT FOR THE BRAND? We’re ramping up in anticipation of women needing casual daytime looks as they begin returning to the office this fall, followed by holiday dressing soon after! Our waitlist is growing at pre-pandemic rates, so we are focused on the seamless integration of our new community members.
Photography by: PORTRAIT BY ERIC STRIFFLER; APP PHOTO COURTESY OF TULERIE