Today we’d like to introduce you to Anna Braff.
Anna, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Provenance Rentals developed from our love of vintage, antiques, details, and event planning. Growing up, my mother, a single parent, instilled values in my sister and me to be hard-working, diligent, and self-reliant. If we could not afford something, then we must be creative: make the dollar stretch, use what you’ve got, work extra-hard, make something ourselves — these basic tenets encouraged us to be resourceful.
If I lack a certain skill set, I learn from someone proficient. I enjoy getting my hand’s dirty fixing and making things. I love power tools, paint, and thrift stores. I venture far and wide to uncover treasured objects, and I negotiate to no end. The end result is awesome, but I really love the process.
Provenance Rentals emerged after many years of party planning, including my wedding. The turning point, however, was when I devoted many months preparing for a special event for my youngest son. I cherry-picked vintage props, hand-made the decorations, and transformed a drab setting into something welcoming. I treated this like it was my job; I was diligent and focused.
Attendees complimented me that I should decorate professionally. My heart was warmed to hear this. I was grateful and inspired. Voila, two years later, I run a boutique vintage rentals company. I am so thankful I get to pursue my dreams thanks to my supportive husband who tirelessly encourages me.
Now, clients trust me to curate their special events with one-of-a-kind objects I uncover in almost any place.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Provence Rentals certainly weathered ups and downs. When it started, I had access to warehouse space, some skilled craftspeople teaching me new skills, and I was simultaneously learning with limited constraints and pressures.
Some challenges along the way included: acquiring relevant and unique inventory; knowing what to rotate; tracing an object’s authenticity; business operations like insurance and formation; and working with a colorful crew of personalities from clients to colleagues. Much goes into operating a creative business; it’s not just about making things pretty,
One of Provence Rentals biggest growing pains was when my previous business partner and I dissolved our relationship. It’s like a marriage, so you take a leap of faith and it does not always work out. Things drastically changed for us, and we had very different visions of the company and how it should run. There were some stressful periods in the months leading up to the dissolution. The split resulted in a move, changed inventory, different services, and the close of our relationship. She and I are in a better place now, and we decided to go our separate ways.
In the end, the separation is better for Provenance Rentals — the company has a solid direction, stability, and harmony. It was also a much-needed learning experience for me.
Provenance Rentals – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Provenance Rentals sells memories. Vintage is classic; it transmits authenticity, quality, and permanence, which is why this trend is so popular. We create a beautiful time capsule by decorating your event with details, large and small, to reflect a mood, personality, or theme.
Although I love to decorate any party, I tend to design more weddings. Usually, clients want to seamlessly narrate a story from arrival to departure.
I am proud of Provenance Rentals’ progress in several areas including fabricating some photo backdrops from scratch, fixing cast-off items that are now re-loved, and a client’s wedding we decorated was featured on Style Me Pretty. It is so exciting to be recognized by publications, just like with Voyage LA. We are so honored and proud of this accomplishment as well.
Provenance Rentals’ customer service, attention to detail, high-quality pieces, and dedication to clients’ visions sets us apart. There are many rental companies out there, but we walk clients through their event planning process. Your decorations should reflect your needs and desires. We pride ourselves on holding our clients’ best interests and make sure to edit when need be. Provenance Rentals offers authentic pieces and professional services.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success is such a broad, and dynamic, term. I believe success is holistic and fluid. Success should be: Does this make you happy? Do I get to spend quality time with my family and still do this work? Do I make others happy? Finally, weighing all costs and benefits, is this worth the extra effort? These questions require constant evaluation and re-evaluation as the business expands or contracts.
I also account for little successes along the way: the opportunity to pursue my dreams; facing my fears; breaking down barriers, and pushing myself beyond my comfort zone. When a guest goes out of his, or her, way to pay me a compliment that he, or she, was impressed, it is one of the most gratifying achievements. Inspiring others is one of the biggest highs an entrepreneur, or artist, can experience.
- Items may be rented a-la-carte, or as a package deal.
- Package deals start at $450.
- We offer many additional services such as styling, delivery, stencil, paper crafting, and more. Prices vary based on a number of things.
- Address: 4448 W. El Segundo Blvd.
Hawthorne, CA 90250
- Website: provenancerentals.com
- Phone: 424-235-3826
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alex Warshauer; Aurelia D’Amore Photography; Hdstudio.us; Vagary Photo Co.; Stephanie Fishbein; Danielle Klebanow; Aurelia D’Amore Photography; Provenance Rentals; Michaela Winstone