One winter day, we are sitting in the car chatting on the way to a mountain cabin for some time off with the family. The kids are reading in the back, and we are chatting, as one does on a 7 h car ride. On many of the long car rides, we mostly find ourselves chatting about ideas. Business ideas or things that we wish existed, or brands and companies, problems, solutions, pros and cons etc.
On this particular ride we discussed the need for gear, especially for our kids who are constantly growing and need new outdoor gear every year. There is a cost, of course, but it also comes with waste. What does one do with the stuff that’s too small, and the kids can’t use anymore?
How do families do, grownups and kids when they only go skiing one week per year? That is a loooot of money spent on clothing and gear just for one week a year.
The skis one can rent, but what about the clothing? And all the packing that occurs when one leaves for a skiing vacation.
Wouldn’t it be great if one could rent or get access to perfectly fine gear from local people? One wouldn’t have to pack, one wouldn’t have to carry it, one wouldn’t have to pay a fortune for the gear, and one wouldn’t have to keep it in the closet for the other 51 weeks.
That’s when the seed was planted.
Directly in the car, we started googling for companies that did this. We found one company in the US that had a similar idea, but they were local and operated in the US only. We later found a Finnish brand that had a similar idea, and they were operating only in Finland. But people travel all over the globe and want access to gear where they are going. The search continued.
Our new idea was nagging in our heads for the entire week in the cabin. We couldn’t stop talking about it. We mind-mapped, we wrote our plan, and on the way home, yes in the car, we decided to give the idea a try and see how to do it technically exactly. It is one of Klas’s strengths, so he got going on the platform, and Sharesson was taking off.
Sharesson is a combination of the word Share and the last ending of typically Swedish last names that end with -sson. Like Andersson, Johnsson, Karlsson, and so on. We added the SSon as a node to the Scandinavian heritage.
We wanted to use the word sharing for several reasons: Sharing the outdoors, sharing our gear, sharing beautiful moments and memories with our peers and community. Outdoor activity is way more fun together with friends. We also want everybody to be able to enjoy the outdoors, no matter the heritage, background, or economic status. By having access to great affordable gear, everybody can get outside and enjoy it.
But one of the most important factors for the Sharesson idea and name is the sustainability aspect. By working in the outdoor industry for over 20 years, we’ve seen first hand the impact our industry has on the environment. By keeping perfectly fine gear in use is way more sustainable than producing and buying new, then tossing it away and keep buying newly produced goods.
Sharesson would be a way of reducing the environmental footprint and thus saving our plant one outdoor gear at a time.
Our intention with the platform had several criteria:
We want the platform to feel safe – people should feel safe when they buy, rent, or sell their goods on the platform.
We want the platform to be a community. A community of people that have one strong thing in common. The outdoors. This is a connecting point, no matter where you are in the world.
And, of course, we wanted the platform to offer you all the things that you are looking for.
Health – Physical & Mental
Both of us come from outdoorsy families. Trekking, skiing, sailing, camping runs in our blood. Being outside is what gives us enegy, what keeps us sane and what grounds us. Many studies show the importance of mental and physical health and the outdoors. People realize that being in nature is vital for a healthy lifestyle to balance all the hours we spend in front of screens every day.
In Sweden, we have a thing called Allemansrätten – the freedom to roam freely in nature. Everybody has access to nature, no matter where they are in Sweden, even on private land. That’s how important nature is and how rooted it is for swedes to access the land.
We wanted to inspire people to get outside, connect with nature and themselves.
Bringing People Together
Like us, when going up to the cabin for a week in the mountains, many spend their time in the outdoors together with friends or family members. The ourdoors brings people together and closer to each other. There’s the activity itself, and then there’s the time before, during, and after where people just chat, hang out, and have a nice time. Nature is a connector. Of course, some just want to spend some time by themselves, and this is a connector as well. They connect with themselves, they are free, and their thoughts can come and go. It’s pure mindfulness.
Helping People Get Outside
Doing outdoor activities can be costly. It’s all the gear. The clothing, the backpacks, the shoes, the tents and the skis and the surfboards and the helmets and on and on and on.
Accessing the outdoors should not be connected to money or economic status. Nature and access to the outdoors is a human right. EVERYBODY should be able to access the outdoors and do different activities without it costing a fortune. This is what Sharesson is about as well. Giving people affordable choices to get outside!
We wanted to get the idea and all the features right. And sometimes timing is way more important than the business idea itself.
The timing now is perfect. The world NEEDS Sharesson.
The pandemic has made it clear for people how important sustainability is and how screwed up this planet is. We don’t need tons of new gear. We need to use the perfectly fine gear that’s out there – longer.
Secondly – people have now dropped the “second-hand is eww” mentality and shifted to “second-hand can change the world.”
Timing and awareness change everything. Sharesson’s mission is to keep great outdoor gear in use for longer, helping save our planet one product at a time.