Kick-start winter fun with this Alaskan Start-up
Inspired by the desire to get outdoors during the wintertime with their baby and needing a mode of outdoor-transportation smoother than their stroller, Valerie and Brennan Walsh turned to their used kicksled.
Kicksledding provides great winter exercise for all ages and helps haul gear, enjoying with friends and family, and can be used as a winter stroller and with dogs. Essentially a cross between a dog sled and skis; the traditional model is made with a wooden frame and the modern of either aluminum or steel.
On a whim, they decided to email E.S. Lahtinen Oy (ESLA), the Finland manufacturer and the (snow)ball began to roll from there as Kicksled Alaska was started.
In the beginning, Valerie and Brennan utilized the Alaska Small Business Development Center business planning worksheets to help them with their business planning. They worked with Alaska SBDC Business Advisor, Alex Salov on contacts and insight. On their experience, they shared, “Most recently, our business advisor put us in contact with an international shipping and logistics company. This has proven to be an extremely valuable business relationship that will ultimately save our business money.”
What sets Kicksled Alaska apart? All of their kicksleds are imported from Finland and they are the sole retailer in Alaska selling ESLA kicksleds. Orders are taken through www.KicksledAlaska.com and customer’s kicksleds are available via curbside pick-up at their brand new warehouse! Some sleds are also available for prompt shipping. Exciting milestones of business ownership include that in less than three months, Kicksled Alaska has been featured on KTUU, proudly broken even on their first shipment, and sold their 100th kicksled.
When Valerie and Brennan reflect on their favorite aspect of small business ownership they responded, “In our line of business, we always get to have fun with customers. We love sharing this activity with people of all ages and seeing the joy it brings them. Kicksledding can change a person’s relationship with winter, for the better, and we love being able to share in that. We’ve been able to meet a lot of really awesome people through this process, too.”
With a successful launch, Kicksled Alaska is preparing for the upcoming winter season. They opened a new shop a few doors down from Double Shovel Cider Co.!