Kit Lender failed to earn the support of the Shark Tank investors during its appearance late last year, but it still managed to find a boost in its holiday business for its efforts.
The company was featured in a December 2019 episode of the ABC reality show that was revisited again this month. While the outfit failed to earn enough interest from the investors to score the infusion of funding it was seeking, co-founder Forrest Shinners said the gear rental company ended up having a busy holiday season last year thanks to its national exposure, VTDigger reported.
Kit Lender rents ski and snowboard clothing to people who don’t hit the slopes often enough to make the investment in their own products. The company then ships it directly to the hotel or resort where the customer is staying. The business model has been a success, allowing Kit Lender to score $755,000 in sales in its most recent year.
It was not enough to entice the sharks to make the $200,000 investment that Shinners was seeking, but it did impress viewers enough to give them a boost. As the VTDigger report noted, there was an increase in sales after the episode aired — which was on top of the “hefty” sales they did on Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Small Business Saturday of the 2019 holiday shopping season.
The surge in interest was so great that the Kit Lender website ran into some difficulties after handling 25,000 concurrent users, Shinners told the news outlet. The increase in interest has come with some complications, as he said he has been inundated with messages from customers on email and social media. He added that he desires to respond to each one personally.
Many customers have left glowing reviews, noting how easy they make it to go skiing. Kit Lender noted on its website that it aims to make what can be a difficult and expensive pastime to be more accessible.
“If you don’t have access to high quality winter clothes, activities like skiing and snowboarding can be off putting,” the site wrote.
“You can rent passable gear from just about anywhere, but I find when you’re fully kitted out in the best pieces skiing and snowboarding are just a lot more fun. Whether you’re a novice or were raised on the slopes, our goal at Kit Lender is to bring you the same gear the pros use, without cleaning out your wallet. So on your next adventure, remember you’re not out until you’re kitted out.”
Kit Lender has been able to expand its offerings since its original Shark Tank appearance as well. The outfit announced on its website in May that it would now be offering camping and hiking kits delivered right to the customer’s destination.