There’s a new shop in town, and you all need to know about it. As busy women, whether attending work events, social gatherings, or philanthropic functions, we have a lot of occasions that require evening wear. This can be an extremely expensive endeavor, as well as wasteful, since the likelihood of wearing that memorable, special piece to multiple events is slim. We all like to feel confident and beautiful, and we deserve to be able to wear many important dresses and gowns, at a much more affordable price.
Nova Octo is a place where you can find all of the most luxurious designers, even some you’ve never seen or discovered in the states, and rent them for a small fraction of the price to wear to an event. The entire experience from start to finish is glamorous and fun, and owner/founder, Silje, is very accommodating to her clientele. For each rental, Silje gives back, making a donation to the client’s charitable organization of choice. She has a great eye and a kind heart.
How many years have you been in business in NYC?
Our official launch was in August 2018.
How did you get your start and what was your initial inspiration?
Having worked in fashion for many years as a merchandiser, buyer, and retail executive for established luxury brands, it pained me to see evening-wear being treated the same way as ready-to-wear. Some of the most beautiful one-of-kind, ornate, handcrafted garments never saw the light of day. Many pieces you couldn’t justify buying for just one occasion. For the luxury client, we believe evening-wear is the one category that isn’t about price, it’s about access to statement pieces (that you only wear once) and extending the lifecycle of these garments. The typical luxury client is conscious about how they spend and waste. Nova Octo gives you an opportunity to be more meaningful, sustainable and still look your absolute best without compromising on quality and style. What’s key, is keeping that level of luxury product and service.
What do you feel differentiates you from others in your field?
Our attitude towards this business model sets us apart. In building this business, it has never been about renting because it’s cheaper. It’s about having a mindful lifestyle and supporting our environment by providing an option where the consumer doesn’t have to compromise on style or luxury. We can invest in pieces that our clientele wouldn’t normally invest in themselves for a single-use.
What do you feel gives you longevity in this big city with so many options?
Aside from our superior selection, Nova Octo is bringing the full luxury retail experience to rental market, from our stunning showroom to our white glove client service. We offer access to the world’s most renowned brands and I’m determined to provide the same quality of service and product you would receive when going to these designers directly.
How do you positively impact your clientele?
We’re sustainable and philanthropic. For every Nova Octo rental, we let our clients choose which foundation partner we make a charitable donation to.
What is your favorite part of your job?
As an entrepreneur, it’s seeing those orders come in! Honestly, it’s hard to pinpoint, I enjoy so many aspects of my job, from curating a selection that our clients will love, to assembling a strong team. With a startup, you learn something new every day. It’s exciting to build something from scratch and seeing clients loving it as much as we hoped they would.
What is your favorite secret NYC spot?
Currently it’s my gym, Drive 495. They have the best trainers and is a hidden oasis in the middle of Soho. As a new entrepreneur, the gym has kept me sane. On the other side of the spectrum, Estancia in TriBeCa is our office go-to, and Via Carota in the West Village is my absolute favorite go-to for spontaneous dinners. It has amazing food, their cacio de pepe is to die for amongst everything else on the menu! (Hence why I’m always at the gym.)
How do you benefit mamas?
By offering gorgeous solutions for evening-wear dressing, and of course a fully stocked bar in our showroom for anyone who comes in for a fitting.
What is the most memorable feedback a client has given you?
I enjoy when clients really connect with the concept. The funniest comment has been “It’s like Rent the Runway, but for Blair Waldorf.” It’s great to have clients that embrace our ethos. We’re providing luxury, but this is event dressing, it’s supposed to be fun.
What is the best advice anyone's ever given you? Or what is your "mantra" / words to live by?
My mantra has been “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” With hard work, dedication, discipline and passion, goals are attainable. I thank my parents for instilling this in me from a young age – if you want something, you have to work for it.