Meet three of the newest players in the “industry of stuff” – Rachel Heeren, Michelle Kohrs and Shannon Snow, a trio of small business owners who are looking to extend their records of success with Space Worthy.
“We are helping people know what to do with what they have,” Heeren says. In other words, our stuff. Most agree we have too much of it – and it’s a problem.
“Think about a box of stuff you’ve inherited,” Heeren says. “Some items need to be kept or stored, others need to be donated, and some you just want to let go. If there is enough stuff, you would be looking at a storage unit, calling one or more donation items for pickup, potentially a dumpster, and a recycling service. That’s a minimum of three calls to deal with one problem in one location. We want to streamline this, giving customers a one stop-shop to connect with resources.”
The three founders came together over a shared problem of inheriting items (stuff) they valued differently than their family members.
“We felt overwhelmed by these inherited items and lack knowledge to their family ties or sentimental value,” Heeren says. “We each came to this realization through different means, but the root problem was the same, we didn’t know where to start when managing this stuff.”
Space Worthy v.1 – currently in testing with a select group of users and set for public launch in early 2019 – will be like an “ Ancestry.com of stuff.”
“Our first launch will include options to help users record an item’s history, share an item’s data with family members, and designate how an item is to be passed down from generation to generation. As users enter items, we will begin to create a database we can leverage to centralize all the activities related to purchasing, owning and disposing of items.”
Users will be able to identify their goals, connect with resources, hire a professional, record item history, share items within the community and purposefully let go of items. Heeren says that comprehensive approach sets Space Worthy apart: “We are one of the first solutions to address every element of owning items, from acquisition through ownership and disposal.”
The Space Worthy team worked closely with The Startup Collaborative to develop their concept, dispatching multiple surveys during the process and receiving an “overwhelming amount of support” from respondents. (They’re looking at an initial target audience of baby boomers, their children, and those interested in genealogy.)
After Space Worthy’s public launch, the founders say we can expect steady and thoughtful growth: “Moving forward, we will leverage partnerships to grow and streamline the user process. Through these partnerships with others in the industry of stuff, we will ultimately be able to connect users to services, which is perhaps what we personally need most.”
Heeren adds, “Overall, we are a mission-driven company. We believe our core desire – to help people manage stuff – is our competitive advantage.”