Cameron Smith is betting that all those Denver transplants moving into smaller and smaller dwellings will need a separate place to squirrel away those skis and mountain bikes. And snow tires.
“These apartments are small; 400 to 500 square feet,” Smith said. “We hope that this is a solution to people who want access to their stuff but want to live in a hip neighborhood and explore all that Colorado has to offer.”
For $7 a month, SquirrelBox will store whatever a customer can pack into a red box measuring 27 x 17 x 12 inches, or 2.5 cubic feet. For $15 a month, the company also stores larger items, like baby strollers, sporting equipment and car tires. SquirrelBox picks up the items for free and delivery is free for items stored for at least three months. (For comparison: a storage unit at Denver’s StorQuest costs $81 for a 5×5 unit, their smallest available space.)
The idea germinated during the Smith’s first winter in Denver, and the company launched in March.
“We moved in a small place and we didn’t have a lot of space,” Smith said. “So my entrepreneurial brain started rolling … and I thought of the idea of SquirrelBox, which is valet storage.”
Smith said he’s picking up one or two customers each week. To cover the nut of expenses, SquirrelBox needs about 125 customers.
This fall Smith will focus his marketing efforts on college campuses. Smith said SquirrelBox should win over students who live out-of-state and need to store items during summer break, as well as gear that isn’t in season.
“With the ski gear, they don’t need it in August or September when they’re studying, but as soon as the snow starts falling, they want access to it and we can get it to them really quickly,” Smith said.
The boxes are stored in a building near I-70 and Federal Boulevard that can store 800 boxes. Smith leases that space. SquirrelBox owns one truck.
Smith, who previously spent five years in the Army as a logistics officer, said he’s funding SquirrelBox himself. The company doesn’t have any other employees.