Fashionista’s journey to a dream job circles back to hometown

By Adam Brazeau 
CORNWALL, Ontario – Rent Frock Repeat – three words that changed businesswoman Lisa Coleman-Delorme’s life, and now lends the Cornwall area access to high-end fashion.

She left the city in her rear-view 27 years ago. But after co-founding a dress rental website in 2010 that offers frocks from top designers at a fraction of the retail cost, all the hard work is paying off for Coleman-Delorme.

With a central location already established in Toronto, Rent Frock Repeat launched its Ottawa showroom in the ByWard Market a few weeks ago.

Shopaholics can rejoice knowing the e-commerce aspect of the business will allow it to support smaller areas like Cornwall with ‘pop-up’ shops.

“It would be really fun to partner with other local companies,” said Coleman-Delorme, 44.

With numerous galas and swanky fundraisers in and around the city on an annual basis, she envisions jewelry designers and other fashion-forward businesses and entrepreneurs supplying the accessory rentals for the dresses.

“There’s a bunch of different ways we want to do it and still support the community, without being there permanently,” said Coleman-Delorme. “It’ll be interesting to come in and do pop-up shops to give people access to high-end fashion they never had before.”

Rent Frock Repeat started when she and longtime friend Kristy Wieber were invited to a wedding. Neither wanted to buy another expensive dress that would only be worn once. They thought their dilemma was solved after reading about an American dress rental service, but were disappointed to learn it didn’t ship to Canada.

“It (the business) came out of our necessity,” she said.

“After researching, we really believed Canadian woman wanted this as much as we did. So a year later, we opened up the online version, and after three months we opened up our showroom in Toronto.”

Coleman-Delorme was born in the Maritimes and moved to Cornwall at age 5. Her mom is a Cornwallite and her dad’s parents traveled to the city from Italy when he was a child. But she moved to Ottawa at 17.

“As somebody who grew up in Cornwall, I was always interested in fashion and felt like I had to leave the city (for that),” she said. “Right now I’ve come back home and that’s where I’ve set my roots.”

Her business partner Wieber deals with day-to-day operations and teams in both Ottawa and Toronto operate both locations, so she can also work from home in between traveling to each shop and attending major fashion conferences.

“It’s been nice to come back to a place where I can get a perch roll anytime I want,” said Coleman-Delorme.

For more information, visit

Share this article