Words: Jonah Goldman
Photos: Kendall Rock
Rent it. Rock it. Return it. This is the simple philosophy of GetOutfitted, a new startup that helps people enjoy the thrills of the outdoors without the cost, hassle, and waste that sometimes comes with the outdoor-gear industry. Whether you're planning a weekend of skiing, snowboarding, ice climbing or sledding with the kids, Julian Flores, founder of GetOutfitted, has lowered the barriers of entry to your weekend in the wilderness.
Julian Flores moved to Colorado Springs in 2005 to be with his wife, who was finishing a degree at University of Colorado Boulder. A Stanford graduate, Flores co-founded the Atlas Preparatory School, which is now a thriving charter school that provides students grades 5-8 with the tools to attend and graduate college with a four-year degree. Having set down deep roots in the Colorado Springs community, it was not long before Flores launched a new startup in April of 2013.
As Julian thought about the bounty of outdoor activities available to him, he saw a problem. He asked himself, “Why am I not getting out there?” He wanted to revel in the great Colorado outdoors, but he was faced with some considerable barriers. Cost, the intimidation factor, and lack of knowledge prevented Flores from getting gear and getting out. When his wife rented some shoes from the online retailer RentTheRunway.com, Flores made a breakthrough. After researching the market and discovering the lack of online distribution of outdoor gear, he created GetOutfitted, an online rental site that addresses the problems of cost and inconvenience associated with acquiring outdoor apparel and accessories.
Flores tested products and partnered with companies like Patagonia, Obermeyer, and Dakine to equip families, adventurers, skiers, and whoever might need outdoor gear for only a few days with the gear they need at a small fraction of the price. In addition to lower cost, GetOutfitted provides convenience by shipping gear right to your door and allowing you to return it in the mail when you are done.
Flores informs customers about the best gear and saves them an average of $300 per transaction. Since the launch, Flores has focused on growth and expanding his company. He now has a vice president of marketing and two paid interns working for him, Marcel Gremaud and Alex Fitzgerald, both Colorado College students.
GetOutfitted is determined to get more people outside while conserving capital and resources and making outdoor experiences accessible to all demographics.
At this stage of the startup, these three are busy gathering data, blogging about products, attending trade shows, and building the customer base. Flores hopes to grow aggressively in the upcoming months and years. He wants to expand GetOutfitted to include different activities “so anyone anywhere can use and return through this service,” he says. “Right now, I’m in the trenches.”
Flores is doing the groundwork of a lean startup. Studying individual expenditures and building his company from the ground up is vital to scaling a successful business. Like the Atlas Preparatory School, which focuses on underprivileged youth, there is a social mission embedded in this business. GetOutfitted is determined to get more people outside while conserving capital and resources and making outdoor experiences accessible to all demographics.