In the summer of 2017, Justine wanted to rent a paddleboard in Denver. She pulled up her phone’s web browser to do a quick search. A few options showed up but she had to call to inquire about pricing and availability. That is, if she was lucky enough for someone to answer the phone at all. Well, that’s a bit frustrating because she just wanted to order it online and go!
The previous experience was the impetus for Justine to start Gearo. Gearo is a platform connecting small business retail shops with activity-minded users searching for sports rental gear. Based on her experience with trying to rent a paddleboard, Justine went down the list of retail shops and approached the owners about collaborating on her new business idea.
One such shop was Altitude Paddleboards owned by JB. Paddlexaminer first met JB in the summer of 2015. After talking with him we purchased a Hala Straight-Up inflatable standup paddleboard from his shop. JB is very knowledgeable about paddleboards which was super helpful during my purchase.
The basic idea behind Gearo is to modernize the shops inventory by creating a booking inventory available online so users can search through the inventory, compare prices, check availability, order online, and pick-up at the shop. Gearo approached JB with their idea in the fall of 2017. Not long afterwards, Gearo launched a pilot program with Altitude Paddleboards. After sitting down with JB and walking him through the goal of Gearo to help promote local shops and connect them with users, he was onboard. Gearo worked diligently over the winter of 2017-2018 and launched Altitude Paddleboards online rental website around June 1, 2018.
After the launch, JB began receiving feedback from customers which he would pass along to the Gearo team so they could incorporate it into the site, thus making it a true collaborative process. Gearo was able to incorporate the feedback and make modifications to the website as they came up to better serve the customers.
Overall the Gearo project has been a big success and they continue to evolve their platform to better serve their customers.