November 14, 2019 VoyageLA
Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristine Everly Smith.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story. Almost three years ago, I embarked on a personal journey to declutter my life and my house.
I was working so hard to buy all this stuff…for what? So it can sit in my house, take up space and clutter my life. I was angry. I started thinking of all the money I have wasted over the years; buying games my kids play once, toys they lose interest in after the first encounter, tools used for one project, and the countless items in my garage taking up space.
I walked through my neighborhood and talked with friends. It wasn’t just me! It was everywhere. I packed up as many items I could for eight weekends straight and made countless trips to the Goodwill. It felt amazing!
You know who didn’t feel amazing? My children. They watched me give away toys they no longer used but then instantly wanted to play with them. They pulled items out of my donation bags and took them back to their rooms.
Weird right? Not really, it is human nature to want things, especially as children. Our culture teaches consumption at every level..through television, radio, online…it’s everywhere. Buy more. Have more.
I wanted to change that. I wanted to bring the world a viable, better option to overconsumption.
That’s when I started to think about what would eventually become Brevvie. Brevvie is a unique platform that lets people rent everyday products normally stored in a garage or closet – like a vacuum, power tools or a suitcase – so they don’t have to buy and store it. Our secret is we make it more affordable and convenient than owning AND we are helping people contribute to a healthier, more sustainable planet. Brevvie stands for Briefly Rent Everything for a better life.
So I shared my idea with Tim Murphy, a coworker at the time, who I felt was passionate about the same thing, and up for a challenge. After a long lunch and a few minutes on LegalZoom, Brevvie was born.
We combined our experience in commercial real estate along with lots of research and plenty of late nights to launch Brevvie within 18 months from ideation. That super-quick development was greatly aided by going through the UCI Wayfinder incubator program. I remember touring their offices a year earlier and thinking how cool it would be to work there. As fate would have it, I would!
Brevvie is currently in select locations in LA and has many requests for expansion. Brevvie is the only system that provides rentals through a smart locker, with fully automated pick up and return of items. A customer browses and rents on their mobile phone then picks up immediately at the smart locker. The lockers are fully stocked with awesome stuff. No need to wait for delivery.
Imagine a world where everything you needed was waiting for you wherever your life was happening? Imagine a car seat for your child located at a smart locker at an airport, everything you need for a pickup game of baseball in a locker at the field, or folding chairs and tables in the locker at your HOA clubhouse. Brevvie is the company bringing the circular economy to you.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you? I’m not sure a smooth road exists for any start-up company. If there was, I think everyone would be an entrepreneur. Making a vision reality isn’t easy. The dreaming, that’s the easy part. But I’d say, going through this, startup life isn’t about dreaming – it is about doing. Grinding. Solving. Everyday.
The most amazing thing is that two years ago, I had to convince people that sharing everyday items was a good idea. Now? People get it. Our customers are renting things everyday. Brevvie seems to just make sense to people suddenly.
Despite that, raising funds has been hard – especially with a non-typical business model. It feels like a full-time job in itself. I want to move faster and be everywhere. Patience is not my strong suite however, I trust what we are doing.
That isn’t to say we are always sure or right. The most challenging thing about startup life is continuing to have faith. There are many days when you just don’t know. And you have to have faith you are doing the right thing, going the right way. We make mistakes. We re-do work. We pivot. We learn something new everyday.
Sometimes you learn just by trying. We went to market and found people rent things at all hours. We are learning so much about consumer behavior beyond regular business hours. All those lessons, when you add them up, end up being our advantage.
We’d love to hear more about your business. At Brevvie, we really do care about the environment and think our service is not only convenient and practical but environmentally beneficial. Not to mention, great for the pocketbook.
Brevvie allows the sharing of consumer goods by charing a small fee and holding people accountable to their use.
I think we all feel a little helpless about the world, overconsumption, and what we are leaving behind for our children.
I am so proud of Brevvie because it is giving people an option to do better for the world.
Our rule is return it like you found it…and people are doing just that. They are taking care of the items they rent, treating them as if they were theirs. That its the mindset we thought we would have to build, but it turns out, we are truly all in this together. People care.
What were you like growing up? I grew up in a small California town of Lompoc located on the Central Coast. I have two sisters and two stepbrothers. I was fortunate enough to be raised at various times by my mom, dad and stepmom, who are all amazingly good humans. I watched them work hard and be positively passionate about life.
I loved school and elements of learning. I have always been a naturally curious person and enjoy solving problems.
I played sports year-round and eventually went to college playing softball. Team sports taught me how to be a working professional. To be a fierce competitor and a graceful loser. How to play together, even when everyone doesn’t see eye to eye, and to understand the value of each member. To show up on time and know others are counting on me. To put forth my best effort every single day.
My mom taught me all about the hustle and when there is a will, there’s a way. My dad taught me the importance of being well rounded. My step-mom taught me to appreciate everything I have in life, including eggs, because chickens work really hard to make them.
I was blessed to have a strong supportive family that made me believe I could and can do anything.
Full article here: https://www.wix.com/dashboard/c5a6f08c-383a-47d1-aa77-804f9721664d/blog/
Pricing: Average Daily Rental: $9.99 Average Hourly Rental: $2.99
Phone: (949) 397-6444