About The BroBasketWe have a pretty cool backstory, check it out!
The BroBasket started out with this true story, way back in 2013, starring a fellow classmate in our CSUCI MBA program… it went something like this;
My fiance (now husband) sent me a bouquet of flowers and I leapt with glee! That evening as I thanked him for the gesture I asked “Well why don’t I send you some flowers at work to repay the favor?”. He laughed and respectfully declined but retorted with, “I don’t want flowers, but you can send me a bucket of beer instead!” After searching the internet and quickly realizing I couldn’t send him a bucket of beer, I realized what a cool concept that would be!
The Seed Was Planted
And there it was, the seed had been planted for what would eventually become TheBroBasket.com. Our Entrepreneurship class overwhelmingly choose it as the business we would start in our classroom. As a whole, the class worked on the various aspect of the business plan; some wrote lengthy marketing ideas, others ran tons of theoretical sales numbers and financial figures, while others came up with a logo and even some prototypes. At the end of the class the four Vice Presidents stood in front of a panel of real life venture capitalists in hopes of getting the idea funded and turning it into an actual business! After all, as our Professor Doug Lane once said “Anyone can have an idea, but getting an MBA is about turning that idea into a business”.
From Classroom Idea to a Real Business
Unfortunately we did not get funded, our little idea still had a long way to go, but the whole class got A’s and we left with a sense of accomplishment; we had fun and really worked together on something bigger than ourselves. After class concluded, the original four VP’s; Mike, Pete, Kenneth, & James (three of which are the current owners), and a handful of other students really believed in the idea and thought it could be turned into an actual business. So we continued to meet regularly and work on all the aspects of the business plan that needed more attention. Over time a few class member’s fell off, but we vowed to give anyone that opted in a little piece of the company as an ode to the original class and their hard work. When we finally had a more refined business plan in order (almost a year after the class had concluded), we set out to get the money to turn the idea into reality. We held another much more ‘real’ venture capital presentation. We invited friends, family, members of our cohort, and of course, everyone that was in that Entrepreneurship class with us. This presentation netted us a few thousand dollars from a couple classmates. Not enough to launch the business, but it was a start and it gave us hope.
When the Rubber Hit the Road
After getting lackluster responses from many potential funding partners, and being turned down by a few banks for lines of credit or loans, we realized if we were going to make it happen we would have to pull it out of our own pockets. So the original founders, with the help of some family, cobbled together enough money to get a location, licenses, some initial inventory, and most importantly, a website built. We decided to bootstrap our business because we knew it was now or never if we were ever going to get The BroBasket off the ground. It took over a year and a half, tons of man hours, lots of coffee (and beer), and many delays, but on December 12th of 2014, in the middle of the Christmas rush for gifts, we launched TheBroBasket.com with high hopes and a uneasy feeling that we might not get any of that time or money back… but who cared by this point 🙂
A Drastic Shift on Our Business Model
Originally we opened the business as a local gift basket delivery service, kinda like Edible Arrangements geared toward men, but drinkable arrangements (as we lovingly call them in our case). We launched our website as our main portal for our local customers to order on, but then the strangest thing started to happen, we kept getting orders from all over the country! We would refund these orders and sheepishly state that we unfortunately did not ship our gift baskets out of the area, but delivered them locally. After a few months and many local advertising and promotional flops (as well as a severely lacking website) we quickly realized that local sales would not sustain the business, but since people kept ordering from all over, the light bulb went off! With the help of an SBA backed loan from our local partners at Ventura County Credit Union, we shifted our business model. We launched a new and improved website, started advertising our products nationally, came up with cool new ideas like Customize Your Own (our biggest seller), figured out how to safely ship our baskets, and bam, we were a full fledged eCommerce operation!
Today we ship our BroBasket’s all over the country, with 1000’s upon 1000’s of happy customers served. Even the male centric nature of our brand has not deterred some 1/3 of our gift recipients from being female (women love us too!). It’s not that we just make some of the coolest gifts for guys out there (because we do), but that our customers love that they can send their friends and family their favorite alcohol in a custom gift basket on their special day, because what makes a better gift for any occasion other than booze?!
Looking Into the Future
We are kicking ass, having fun and have no plans on slowing down here at TheBroBasket.com. We will be offering more craft beer, custom and non-alcoholic gift baskets and plan on adding cool new gift options for any and all occasions in the near future.
-James (The Jack of all Trades) and The Guys @ TheBroBasket.com
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The BroBasket Team
CEO / That Guy that said that one thing that one time
Director of Operations /Chief Sexiness Officer
Director of Marketing / Jack of all Trades