BOTHELL — Sofia Drogomiretskiy grew up with a mom who changed Christmas decor every year. When Drogomiretskiy got married a few years ago and went overboard buying holiday decorations, it didn’t occur to her until after the holidays that she’d be stuck with them for a long time.
“They were an investment,” Drogomiretskiy said. “They took up half the garage. My husband and I started wishing we could have rented them.”
The unhappy realization led the couple two years ago to found Decorent, an online company that rents Christmas ornaments and decorations for the holidays.
They run their business out of their home and a storage unit.
For now, Decorent is a part-time endeavor for the couple.
Drogomiretskiy, 26, and her husband, Stan Mykhaylenko, 30, have full-time jobs in real estate and property management but hope their business will become a full-time operation.
Years ago, renting home goods was usually limited to big items — furniture, televisions and bedroom sets.
Today, you can rent just about anything — a suit or special event gown or a whole wardrobe. So why not seasonal decor?
Cait Lamberton, a marketing professor at the University of Pennsylvania, largely attributes the growth of the apparel and home goods rental industry — valued at $1.26 billion in 2019 — to millennials who are “less interested in ownership and more interested in access,” Lamberton told Penn Today, the university’s news magazine.
Drogomiretskiy and Mykhaylenko hear that sentiment all the time from friends their own age.
“Our generation is less prone to keeping things,” said Drogomiretskiy. “We live in a townhome. We don’t have much storage — houses keep getting smaller and smaller. Nobody wants to store that stuff 11 months out of the year.”
Here’s how their rental business works:
Decorent offers tree sets in 16 different colors and themes. Customers can view each set online and choose a favorite.
“We have rustic designs, urban chic, an industrial theme and traditional designs in white, blue or red,” Drogomiretskiy said. Other color schemes include turquoise, teal and hot pink.
It’s strictly BYOT: Bring your own tree.
“We don’t offer any trees,” Mykhaylenko said.
Next, customers specify the height of the tree and where it’s located. That determines how many ornaments are needed and the rental price.
If a tree is to be set up in the corner, you might only want to decorate the front and sides, Drogomiretskiy said. If it’s placed in the middle of the room, “then you want enough ornaments for 360-degree views,” she said.
Tree sets rent from $59, which includes enough ornaments to decorate the front of a six-foot tree, to $139 to a fully festooned nine-foot tree.
The rental price covers the season. “You select the date of delivery and the date of pick-up,” she said.
Want to keep the tree and ornaments up until mid-January?
Go ahead. Customers can schedule a later pickup at no additional cost, Mykhaylenko said.
In the off-season, the couple virtually comb the globe for environmentally friendly ornaments, including hand-blown glass ornaments from Poland.
“We want to give people a way to celebrate holidays in a greener way, so we don’t offer any plastic ornaments,” Drogomiretskiy said.
She credits her mother with inspiring her design sense.
“When I was growing up, she was always switching things up, changing the colors and decor every season,” Drogomiretskiy said. ””Every single year, we had the most extravagant Christmas trees.”