In the wake of its appearance on Shark Tank, Kit Lender, founded by entrepreneur Forrest Shinners, has undergone a remarkable journey of resilience and growth. Despite not securing a deal on the popular television show, the outdoor gear rental company has expanded its inventory and diversified its offerings. Navigating the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Kit Lender emerged stronger, showcasing adaptability and commitment to its mission.
This article delves into the post-Shark Tank trajectory of Kit Lender, exploring its increased inventory, broader range of clothing options, and continued success in the outdoor gear rental market.
What Is Kit Lender:
Here’s a breakdown of what Kit Lender offers:
All-Inclusive Gear Rental
Kit Lender stands out by offering a holistic approach to gear rental, providing not only skiing equipment but also a full array of clothing and accessories. This includes items for men, women, and kids, encompassing clothing, gloves, boots, jackets, ski pants, underwear, and socks.
Convenient Planning and Ordering
Planning your perfect holiday in the snow becomes seamless with Kit Lender. Users can easily place an order, specifying their equipment and clothing needs for skiing, snowboarding, or hiking adventures. This streamlined process simplifies the preparation phase for a snow-filled getaway.
Direct Delivery to Ski Lodge
Kit Lender enhances convenience by delivering the ordered equipment directly to the user’s ski lodge. This eliminates the need for customers to transport bulky gear, ensuring that everything is waiting for them upon arrival at their snow-covered destination .
Effortless Return Process
Once the adventure concludes, the return process is equally straightforward. Kit Lender provides an easy return mechanism, allowing users to transfer the equipment back hassle-free. This not only minimizes the logistical challenges associated with transporting gear but also enhances the overall experience.
Ideal for Winter Sports Enthusiasts
Kit Lender caters to the preferences of sports enthusiasts who enjoy activities like skiing, snowboarding, and hiking. The comprehensive gear rental service makes it a comfortable and convenient option for individuals and families passionate about winter sports.
How Does It Work?
Here’s how Kit Lender works:
- Trip Planning: Users inform Kit Lender about their upcoming adventure, specifying the type of equipment needed for the trip. Whether it’s skiing, snowboarding, or another outdoor activity, Kit Lender aims to provide a comprehensive solution;
- Gear Delivery: Kit Lender takes care of the logistics by mailing the requested gear directly to the user’s destination. This ensures that the equipment is readily available upon arrival, eliminating the need for users to carry bulky gear during their travels;
- Prepaid Return: Each gear shipment includes a prepaid garment bag. Once the adventure concludes, users can simply pack the gear into the provided bag and return it to Kit Lender. This streamlined return process eliminates the burden of transporting equipment back home;
- Expert Curation: Forrest Shinners, the experienced owner of Kit Lender, leverages his knowledge of outdoor activities to curate a diverse assortment of gear. The emphasis is on maintaining the equipment in top-notch condition to ensure customers receive high-quality gear in the sizes they require;
The outcome is a service that significantly enhances the convenience of skiing and other outdoor pursuits. Travelers can now focus on reaching their destination without the added stress of packing and transporting bulky equipment. Kit Lender’s approach simplifies the entire process, from gearing up for the adventure to the hassle-free return of equipment .
The Product Line
Here’s a closer look at how the Kit Lender system operates:
User-Driven Equipment Selection
The interactive and user-friendly Kit Lender website empowers customers to choose their preferred gear. Users can pick and choose specific pieces of equipment, creating a personalized kit tailored to their needs and preferences.
Efficient Delivery to Ski Lodge
After users have made their selections, Kit Lender takes care of the logistics. The chosen equipment is promptly delivered to the front desk of the ski lodge where the customer is staying. This streamlined delivery process enhances convenience, ensuring that the gear is readily available upon arrival .
Simple Return Process
Once the skiing adventure concludes, the return process is designed for ease. Kit Lender provides a pre-paid return shipping envelope with the delivered equipment. Users can simply pack everything into the envelope and leave it at the front desk of the lodge for convenient return.
Kit Lender offers curated kits to simplify the selection process for users. Some of the most popular kits, such as the “North Face Kit” and the “Marmot Kit,” come with essential items like jackets, pants, goggles, and gloves. Each kit has a designated minimum rental period, typically around three days, catering to various adventure durations.
Kit Lender operates on a transparent pricing model, with kit rentals ranging from $ 30 to $ 50. This pricing structure offers flexibility, allowing users to choose a kit that aligns with their budget and specific gear requirements.
Size and Fitting Guide
Addressing concerns about finding the right size, Kit Lender provides a comprehensive size and fitting guide for both men and women. This guide includes measurements for pants, shirts, goggles, and gloves, ensuring that users can confidently select gear that fits comfortably.
- Convenience and Cost-Effective: Kit Lender addresses the challenge of infrequent outdoor activity by providing rental kits, eliminating the need for users to invest in expensive gear they might only use occasionally. This model can be particularly appealing to individuals who want to try out different activities without committing to the significant cost of buying specialized equipment;
- Variety of Kits: The availability of different kits, such as the Complete Outerwear and Boots Kit, Car Camping Kit, and Backpacking Kit, caters to various outdoor interests and preferences. This variety allows users to choose a kit tailored to their specific needs for a particular adventure;
- Quality Gear: Kit Lender’s success is likely tied to the quality of the gear it provides. Offering well-maintained and high-quality equipment is crucial for customer satisfaction and safety during outdoor activities ;
- Limited Geographical Reach: Kit Lender’s services may be limited to specific regions or countries, which could be a drawback for potential customers outside these areas. Expanding their reach could be challenging due to logistical considerations and shipping costs associated with outdoor gear;
- Fit and Comfort Concerns: Outdoor gear, especially clothing and boots, often require a precise fit for optimal comfort and performance. Customers might face challenges in finding gear that fits perfectly when renting online. Kit Lender may need to implement robust sizing guides or provide additional support to ensure customers receive gear that meets their individual requirements;
- Dependency on Seasonal Demand: The demand for outdoor gear is often seasonal, with peak periods during winter for snow sports and summer for activities like camping and backpacking. Kit Lender may experience fluctuations in business throughout the year, potentially impacting revenue stability;
- Competitive Market: The outdoor gear rental market can be competitive, with other companies offering similar services. Kit Lender must continually differentiate itself through excellent customer service, a diverse range of quality gear, and innovative offerings to stay ahead of the competition;
- Logistical Challenges: Managing the logistics of shipping and receiving gear, especially during peak seasons, can be challenging. Delays or issues in fulfilling orders could lead to customer dissatisfaction;
Who May Benefit From Using?
Kit Lender caters to a broad spectrum of outdoor enthusiasts, making it an inclusive and versatile gear rental service, particularly tailored for snow and skiing adventures.
Here are some key user profiles that benefit from Kit Lender’s offerings:
1) First-Time Skiers
For individuals venturing into skiing for the first time, the prospect of investing in expensive gear may be daunting. Kit Lender provides an accessible solution, allowing newcomers to enjoy the experience without the upfront costs of purchasing equipment .
2) Growing Families
Families with children face the challenge of outgrowing gear quickly as kids rapidly change sizes. Kit Lender offers a practical solution, ensuring that families can access appropriately sized gear for each member without the hassle and cost of frequent purchases.
3) Spontaneous Adventurers
Kit Lender caters to those who embrace spontaneity, providing an ideal option for individuals with impromptu plans to head to the mountains for a skiing adventure. The service eliminates the need for extensive planning and preparation, offering a convenient way to secure quality gear on short notice.
4) Equipment Quality Enthusiasts
Individuals who value well-maintained and high-quality gear find Kit Lender appealing. The service stands out from on-site rental options that may not prioritize equipment maintenance, ensuring customers receive reliable and top-tier gear for their outdoor pursuits.
5) Disenchanted with Onsite Rentals
Kit Lender addresses the concerns of those who have had less-than-optimal experiences with on-site gear rental services. By providing well-cared-for equipment and a streamlined process, Kit Lender offers a reliable alternative for individuals dissatisfied with the status quo.
About Founders Of Kit Lender
Post-college, Forrest ventured into the finance sector, where he formed friendships with like-minded individuals who shared his love for skiing in the picturesque locales of Vermont. With his family’s ski shop providing a surplus of gear, Forrest frequently found himself lending equipment to friends visiting for short durations. The positive responses from his friends, some even expressing a willingness to pay for the borrowed gear, sparked an idea in Forrest’s entrepreneurial mind.
Curious about existing services, Forrest explored online platforms to find shops that offered ski gear rentals. To his surprise, he discovered a gap in the market – there were no shops explicitly providing this service. Recognizing an untapped opportunity, Forrest decided to capitalize on this niche by founding Kit Lender, a venture dedicated to loaning out skiing gear.
Kit Lender’s inception marked a promising beginning, with a positive reception from customers. However, the demand quickly outpaced Forrest’s initial inventory, posing a challenge in meeting the growing interest. Recognizing the need for expansion, Forrest sought support from the entrepreneurial platform, Shark Tank, aiming to secure an investment that could propel Kit Lender to new heights.
His appearance on the 9th episode of season 11 showcased his dedication to addressing the demand for accessible and temporary access to high-quality skiing gear.
Forrest Shinners’ entrepreneurial journey with Kit Lender reflects the convergence of personal passion, identified market gaps, and a commitment to meeting the needs of fellow skiing enthusiasts. As the business progresses, it will be interesting to observe how Kit Lender navigates the challenges of inventory management, meets customer expectations, and potentially expands its offerings beyond skiing gear to cater to a broader outdoor adventure market.
The Pitch Of Kit Lender At Shark Tank
Forrest Shinners entered the Shark Tank seeking a $ 200,000 investment in exchange for a 7% stake in Kit Lender, valuing the business at $ 2,857,142 . Although Kit Lender operated as an online service, making it challenging to present physical samples, Forrest utilized a video demonstration to illustrate the workings of the platform.
Barbara inquired about the inspiration behind Kit Lender, prompting Forrest to share his upbringing in Vermont, where his parents ran a ski shop for 45 years. Having observed a scarcity of ski clothing during his finance career in New York, Forrest recalled loaning his gear to friends, sparking the idea for Kit Lender. Discovering a gap in the market, he founded the business in 2014, officially launching in 2015.
In its first year, Kit Lender experienced a sell-out, with Forrest managing a hectic schedule, frequently commuting to Stowe, Vermont. Amidst the challenges, he faced a personal struggle with alcohol but overcame it, redirecting his focus entirely to Kit Lender after quitting his other job earlier in the year.
When asked about the business’s performance, Forrest revealed $ 755,000 in sales over the past year, impressing the sharks. However, his earnings before Interest, Tax, Depreciation, and Amortization amounted to $ 106,000. Robert probed further, requesting a walkthrough of the rental process.
Forrest explained the online purchase of outfits arranged in kits, with orders held until the skiing date. The shipping time varied but required a minimum of four days. Returning the items involved packing them in prepaid garment bags. Robert then inquired about kit pricing, to which Forrest detailed costs ranging from $ 18 to $ 44.
As Lori, Mark, Barbara, and Kevin exited for various reasons, Robert remained the sole shark. Despite Forrest’s conviction and commitment to success, Robert opted out, citing concerns about Kit Lender’s ability to navigate challenges swiftly.
Ultimately, without a deal secured, Forrest left the Shark Tank with determination, asserting Kit Lender’s ongoing growth despite the lack of investment. The episode highlighted the business’s potential but also underscored the challenges that Forrest would need to overcome to realize its full success.
Kit Lender After The Shark Tank
Like many businesses, Kit Lender experienced a downturn during the Covid-19 pandemic due to lockdowns affecting outdoor activities. However, as restrictions eased, the company rebounded, resuming its growth trajectory.
Maintaining a strong online presence, Kit Lender actively engages with its audience on social media platforms. With over 5,600 followers on Instagram, 4,300 on Facebook, and 254 on Twitter, the company leverages ad campaigns to attract customers. Their strategic approach involves retargeting customers and focusing on keywords, yielding positive results.
Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic and the initial setback on Shark Tank, Kit Lender has demonstrated resilience and adaptability. With an impressive annual revenue of $ 2,000,000, the company remains rooted in Vermont, showcasing a commitment to its origins. This success story underscores Kit Lender’s ability to navigate adversity and thrive in the competitive outdoor gear rental market, proving that neither a pandemic nor a rejection from the sharks can hinder its momentum.
The Net Worth Of Kit Lender
As of 2022, Kit Lender’s founder, Forrest Shinners, reportedly had a net worth of 1.6 million USD. Nevertheless, by 2023, Kit Lender’s net worth was estimated at around $ 1 million. This figure takes into account several factors, including the company’s revenue, inventory, and other financial aspects. For instance, it was reported that Kit Lender made $ 755,000 in the year before filming Shark Tank, netting $ 106,000 of that. They also held $ 550,000 worth of wholesale inventory.
Alternatives To Kit Lender:
- REI Co-op: REI is a well-known outdoor retailer that also offers gear rentals. They provide a range of equipment for activities like camping, hiking, skiing, and snowboarding. REI’s physical stores and online platform make it accessible for those who prefer in-person rentals;
- GetOutfitted: Similar to Kit Lender, GetOutfitted provides outdoor gear rentals, including ski and snowboard equipment. They offer packages for various outdoor activities and deliver the gear directly to your destination. GetOutfitted aims to simplify the rental process for outdoor enthusiasts;
- Mountain Threads: Mountain Threads focuses specifically on ski clothing rentals. They offer high-quality jackets, pants, and other apparel for skiing and snowboarding. Users can customize their rental packages, and the company delivers the gear to their destination;
- Arrive Outdoors: Arrive Outdoors is a rental platform that provides a wide range of outdoor gear for activities such as camping, hiking, and snow sports. Users can rent individual items or choose from curated kits. The company ships the gear to the desired location;
- Switchback Travel: Switchback Travel offers outdoor gear rentals, including items for camping, backpacking, and snow sports. They focus on providing premium gear from well-known brands. Switchback Travel’s platform allows users to rent equipment for specific durations;
- Ski Butlers: Ski Butlers specializes in ski and snowboard equipment rentals. They provide delivery services to various ski destinations, ensuring that customers receive their gear at their accommodations. Ski Butlers offers personalized fittings and adjustments;
- Alpine Adventures Rentals: Alpine Adventures Rentals is another option for those seeking ski and snowboard equipment rentals. They provide a variety of packages and deliver the gear to ski resorts and accommodations;
- Outdoors Geek: Outdoors Geek offers outdoor gear rentals for camping, backpacking, and other adventures. They provide rental options for individuals, families, and groups. The company ships the gear to customers across the United States ;
- Who owns Kit Lender in 2023?
As of 2023, Kit Lender is owned by Forrest Shinners. He is the founder and entrepreneur who established the business to provide outdoor enthusiasts with a convenient gear rental solution.
- What usually happens at Shark Tank?
Shark Tank is a television show where entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to a panel of wealthy investors, known as “sharks,” in the hope of securing investment in exchange for equity in their company.
- Has Shark Tank ever failed?
While some businesses featured on Shark Tank have experienced success and growth, not every deal results in long-term success. Some businesses face challenges or fail even after securing a deal with a shark.
- Does Shark Tank still exist?
As of 2023, Shark Tank was still in production. To find the latest information, please check the current status of the show.
- Who is the richest on Shark Tank?
Mark Cuban is often considered the wealthiest shark on Shark Tank. His successful ventures and diverse investments contribute to his significant wealth.
- What is the most successful product on Shark Tank?
The most successful product on Shark Tank is subjective and can change over time. Some notable successes include the Scrub Daddy, Ring, and the Simply Fit Board.
- What famous company was rejected on Shark Tank?
One famous company rejected on Shark Tank is Ring, the smart doorbell company. It was rejected by the sharks but went on to achieve significant success.
- What company did Mark Cuban offer to buy in Shark Tank?
Mark Cuban offered to buy the entire company, Tower Paddle Boards, for $ 2 million on an episode of Shark Tank.
- Is Kit Lender still in operation?
Yes, Kit Lender is still in operation. Despite not securing a deal on Shark Tank, the company has continued to grow and expand its offerings.
- Where is Kit Lender located?
Kit Lender is located in Vermont, USA.
- How does Kit Lender make money?
Kit Lender makes money by renting outdoor gear, including skiing and snowboarding equipment, to customers. Users pay for the rental of specific kits and equipment.
- How much does Kit Lender shipping cost?
Shipping costs for Kit Lender may vary depending on factors such as location and the selected shipping option. It’s advisable to check the current shipping rates on the Kit Lender website.
- Is Kit Lender serving a warrant?
As of 2023, Kit Lender is not serving a warrant. It is a business providing outdoor gear rental services.
- How do you make a payment for Kit Lender?
Customers can make payments for Kit Lender through the company’s online platform. The website likely accepts various payment methods, including credit cards.
- Is it safe to use Kit Lender?
Yes, it is generally safe to use Kit Lender. The company has been operating, and providing outdoor gear rental services, and has received positive reviews. Customers should follow the provided guidelines for equipment usage and returns.
- How much trouble will you be in if you misplace your Kit Lender equipment?
Misplacing Kit Lender equipment may result in additional charges or fees. It is advisable to check Kit Lender’s terms and conditions regarding lost or damaged equipment for specific details.
- Is it possible to rent ski outfits or helmets from Kit Lender?
Yes, Kit Lender offers the option to rent ski outfits, including jackets and pants, as well as helmets and other necessary gear for outdoor activities like skiing.
Useful Video: KL SharkTank Presentation