By Meda Kessler
Inside Loot Rentals, you’ll find inspiration everywhere
It was a music festival that prompted Loot Rentals founders Anna Crelia and Rhoda Brimberry to open a Fort Worth location a year ago in July.
The sisters-in-law already had made a name for themselves in Austin; Loot kicked off quietly by sourcing unique finds for Crelia’s wedding in 2010. Their inventory of rentable vintage and modern furnishings, decor and mix-and-match tableware, plus the ability to style it all — Crelia studied at Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City — helped create one-of-a-kind gatherings, from weddings to corporate parties to public events. Whether your taste runs toward a plush Paris salon or Marfa minimalism, they have the goods to create their distinctive “Loot look.”
Hired to furnish the VIP tent at the 2019 Fortress Festival, Crelia fell in love with Fort Worth. (Arkansas native Brimberry, who has worked in media and advertising, had moved from Fort Worth to Austin in 2012 to help run Loot as its CEO.) “I felt like it was a cool, under-the-radar city with a small-town friendliness, and I thought we should get in on the ground floor of what was happening,” says Crelia, who oversees the creative side of the company. “I loved Austin but was a bit burnt out on the city, and it didn’t feel like home. Rhoda and I talked and talked and talked about opening up a second place in Fort Worth. Everything was falling into place. My husband, who works remotely, and I leased our Austin house, and we made the move.”
She and Brimberry signed a lease on a 10,000-square-foot Fort Worth warehouse on Jan. 1, 2020; three months later, the world screeched to a halt. “COVID completely shut down the wedding and party industry, but our landlord worked with us, so we weathered the rent storm,” says Crelia. In July 2021, they held their grand opening.
While Brimberry pops in occasionally from Austin, it’s most often Crelia you’ll find at the office with local Loot staff. Her rescue dog, Kona, often accompanies her. She and her family live in the Fairmount neighborhood, which she loves for its walkability and sense of community.
Located in a quiet warehouse district just a few miles east of downtown Fort Worth, Loot is easy to find thanks to distinctive signage and an attractive brick front that was among improvements made on the building. Once you step inside, you feel transported into a world of imagination. The lobby, offices and staff kitchen reflect the Loot aesthetic of new mixed with old, lots of texture and a soothing color palette. The office spaces set the scene for the spacious showroom filled with furniture, tables, rugs and more, with everything styled to give clients a taste of the possibilities.
A large set of sliding doors leads to a vast warehouse stocked with more goods; of course, items can be sourced from Austin, too. “We feel like this place sparks creativity,” says Crelia, looking at pieces collected on far-flung travels and at places like Round Top.
Indeed, once you leave, you won’t stop thinking about vintage bar carts, textured wood tables and the beautiful patina of vintage rugs.