Tiff - Witty (Furniture) Rentals

Greetings from San Diego, California!
So, have you ever needed really modern furnitures for whatever reasons (work, party, rental office, wedding, etc.), and you only need it for a brief period of time, and wish there was a company from who you can rent these furnitures? Well, you can! It’s Witty Rentals. While visiting the West Coast, I decided to take advantage of my time here, to conduct podcast interviews with local business owners who do such cool work. I came across the Witty Rentals company through Instagram, and was so fascinated by the company’s original vision, and wanted to interview the owners to know more about its background story. I hope you enjoy hearing about Tiff’s story, who is co-owner of Witty Rentals!

For full interview on customer acquisition, creating a community to grow your business, and furniture sourcing, listen here: SPOTIFY // iTUNES

Who are you?
Tiff. I am 28, we started this business when I was 24. I have two kids, and married for 9 years. When I started this business, I didn’t have my babies yet, it was different at the time. At the time, I was like ‘I am going to bring my babies to work every day’, but the structure of the business has changed a lot since having kids. I co-own the business with Chelsea, who also has a baby of her own. In the past year, we have hired staffs, which made our lives much easier.

What’s your formal (past) training?
Tiff. I didn’t go to university. I used to be a nanny, which I loved because of the flexibility and the families that I worked for were amazing, and I made a good living that way. At the same time, I felt like I needed to do something more substantial with my life, and have a job that I would be able to do from home when I have kids. I knew that I didn’t want to go to school, so I started an internship with a wedding coordination company in San Diego, without any previous wedding or event planning professional experience. Right away, I fell in love with the industry. Especially the San Diego wedding vendors, but I was not in love with every aspect of the wedding planning industry. Yet, my favourite part was pulling all of the furniture pieces. That’s when I realized that; San Diego didn’t have a market for furniture rentals. I quit my internship, and from my living room and garage sells collectibles, I started my business. That was also the time when my friend Chelsea was moving back from college, and because we’ve always been so aligned with our style and personality, we decided to join forces. That is when Witty Rentals was born.

I don’t always have all of my ducks in a row, but I always had the ‘fake it until you make it’ mentality, and eventually I will figure it out.

What made you guys shift your business model over the years?
Tiff. A few years ago we were in a small space, and we realize that we need a bigger staff, but this would require a big financial leap. When thinking about hiring, you want to hire staff members who are going to get good wages, love their jobs with passion and genuinely want to work for our company. It has been a learning process to hire people, and delegate tasks and trust that they can do it. It is frustrating at times when you feel like you hit a big wall from the original game plan you had in mind, and wonder what is your next game plan, in terms of the timeline. Especially now that we have children in the picture, we want to grow this business, so that eventually we can enjoy time with our families.

On motherhood…
Tiff. I am consistently trying to find that work life balance. I love what I do, of course, I wouldn’t trade this business for the world. However, when you are a mother, you feel that pull and guilt consistently, because you’re not spending enough time with them. Now, I come to the office two days a week, and I am in the office from the 9AM to 4PM, I try to cram in all of my work in those two days. Then, I clock out and go home, and I am home with my kids to clock in as a full time mom. Before, I felt like I was doing a crappy job at both, a mom and business owner. So trying to establish a balance has been nice. 

Best business advice you ever got?
Tiff. Someone told us early on to get tables and chairs because it is the bread and butter of the business. We were doing a lot of lounge pieces in the beginning, which I enjoy the most because you get to do a lot of styling, but tables and chairs is where your profit really comes in because it is a necessity that clients need on the day of their wedding. Whereas lounge furniture items, come secondary. As soon as we got tables and chairs, our profit increased drastically.

What advice would you give to your younger self?
Tiff. Many people come into this space from a creative background. But, I wish I would’ve known more about the business side of things, like taxes and business plan.

What’s your legacy, upon leaving this earth?
Tiff. I like to be remembered as a good wife, a good mother, someone who is genuinely caring about others. Not someone who is not self consumed. I want people to remember the people behind the (Witty Rentals) business, and that we cared, because we want to be remembered as caring and loving towards others.

Three words to describe yourself?

Tiff. Spontaneous, dorky, and loving.

Flawless pictures by: http://madelinebarr.com


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