In a growing city like ours, there are a lot of people living in small apartments. They have a lot of stuff and nowhere to put it. Silvia and Jorge Camps’s StowSimple is trying to fix that.
“We did an analysis of the available storage within five miles of Brickell and what is the demand. There was a 700,000 square foot net differential,” says Silvia Camps.
They saw a pattern — and a business.
“With the burgeoning market, there’s just not enough storage. And when you look at the fundamentals, it’s almost as profitable as real estate, and almost anti-recessionary,” she said.
Camps says Miami turned out to be a perfect place to launch her company.
“A lot of my career I helped corporations launch products and brands, but I was never confident enough about my own idea to launch it,” she says. In Miami, she found support (including from her co-founder and brother, Jorge) to get the idea off the ground.
What is it?
A storage company that will pick up and store your items for you — and drop them back off, too.
What problem is it trying to solve?
Finding a place to store belongings is a pretty inefficient process. It can be hard to find a unit in certain parts of the city, people often have to pay for more space than they need, and getting into them to retrieve belongings can be complicated because of opening times.
Where did the idea come from?
A few summers ago, Silvia had just broken up with a boyfriend, and had to move a lot of stuff. She noticed that the process of storage was strangely frustrating, and seemed broken: finding a storage unit that might be miles from where you live, paying a monthly fee for space you might not need, finding movers to move your things, taking days off work to get to your unit.
How does it work?
StowSimple picks up your things, takes them to storage, and brings them back when you want them. Customers can pay for fixed size bins ($5/month), individual large items ($7-10/month), or whole units ($115-159/month), with free pick-up and $20 return trips to bring you things from storage. “You have an online catalog of everything you’ve stored, and when you want something back, you just click a button,” she said.
What’s happened so far?
They’re up and running, and are now just trying to get the word out. “Younger people are primarily finding us online, while older folks are finding us over the phone. They’re still used to the fixed sizing of units. People who use us love us, the challenge is really awareness,” Camps said.