15 March, 2024

E174 – Bernadette Olivier – CEO & Co-Founder – The Volte 

Our guest this week is Bernadette Olivier, CEO & Co-Founder of The Volte – a groundbreaking peer-to-peer fashion rental marketplace that’s redefining the way we experience fashion globally. From its humble beginnings to its dazzling rise, The Volte seamlessly connects borrowers and lenders, while promoting a sustainable, circular economy.

Bernadette takes us through the evolution of The Volte, from its early days catering to fashionistas to its transformation into a platform embraced by mainstream consumers. She reflects on the complexities of remote work, the importance and challenges of strategic partnerships, and the challenges faced during the tumultuous times of COVID-19. The Volte not only weathered the COVID storm, but has since experienced remarkable growth in orders and active users. 

She candidly reflects on the importance of trust, dedication, and alignment within a startup team, where she shares co-founder duties with four other women – Genevieve Hohnen, Kym Atkins and Jade Hirniak. From bootstrap beginnings to securing funding from Angels and VCs including eBay Ventures,The Volte defied the odds to become a trailblazer in the fashion rental industry.

Bernadette shares the uniqueness of The Volte’s model – which is focused on occasion-based rentals rather than traditional subscriptions – as well as insights into the company’s distinctive unit economics. From leveraging strategic investments, harnessing the power of AI for personalised customer experiences, and visions of international expansion into Europe, Bernadette paints a compelling picture for The Volte’s future.

Quickfire Round 
Book: ‘Atonement’ by Ian McEwan, ‘Burn Book’ by Kara Swisher
Podcast: Hard Fork, The Business of Fashion 
News Source: New York Times 
Productivity App: ClickUp 
CEO: Anthony Eisen (Afterpay) 
Favourite App: Calm 
TV Show:  ‘Vanderpump Rules’ and ‘The Morning Show’
Movie: ‘Barbie’, ‘Oppenheimer’ 
TED Talk Topic: Changing consumption habits – moving from disposable, one-off usage to reusing, safekeeping and passing onto the next owner. 

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