What it Takes: HiveBoxx

HiveBoxx

with Wesley Rankin, Founder/President



1. What is your company? How did you get started?

HiveBoxx is a reusable moving box company currently operating multiple locations in the Pacific Northwest, namely Seattle and Portland. It’s a five year old business that’s fully self-funded, black and asian-owned.

I’m an African-American entrepreneur born in the US. I have ties to the Caribbean thanks to a mother and father who moved to the US from the Grand Cayman Islands.

Being in real estate for over a decade, I witnessed first-hand how much waste moving created. I officially launched HiveBoxx in 2017 with the mission to eliminate the usage of cardboard boxes during the moving experience. To date, HiveBoxx has saved nearly 15,000 trees!

2. What is/was the hardest obstacle(s) you've had to overcome?

There are many obstacles every entrepreneur faces throughout their journey. As a person of color, nearly every challenge has been amplified. I have found it difficult to be taken seriously as a capable business owner. And it’s been disheartening every time I’m rejected by local banks for a small business loan, even though I have a profitable business and stellar credit.

3. What are near-term (and longer-term) plans for the future of your business?

Our near-term plans for our business is to continue cultivating a nurturing company culture for all of our employees. The heart of our business is our team and we want HiveBoxx to be a place where all of our employees feel encouraged to grow both personally and professionally.

Our long-term plans include launching newly in Texas, Arizona, Missouri, Chicago, Boise, Spokane, Colorado, Boston, New York, and California over the next two years. Eventually, we want to be in every major city in the US.


4. Who or what inspires you as an individual or as a company?

Individually, we’re inspired by our families. Many members of our leadership team have children. We see the work we’re doing as an investment in a healthier world for them when they become adults.

As a company, we’re inspired by nature. Our brand itself was inspired by the global news about the disappearance of the bees back in 2006. Contributing to the preservation of the bee population is a big part of who we are as a company and as a brand. We love creating awareness every time someone rents our reusable moving boxes.

5. What do you look for in a new partner/company to work with?

We love partnering with companies that are also mission-based and sustainable. It also helps when partners are direct-to-consumer like us. This allows us to collaborate in cross-promotion to a common customer base with relevant products and services.

6. What impact do you hope or want to make on consumers, communities, society in general?

We want to completely eliminate cardboard boxes from moving and inspire a shift towards making the entire moving experience more environmentally friendly. One day every American will be moving with a reusable moving box instead of cardboard boxes.


7. Can you share an important mistake/misstep you made in the business?

I made the mistake of trying to do too much when I first launched. The business had multiple streams of revenue. This looked really good on paper, but it wasn’t sustainable. The majority of what we were doing diluted our core service and product - delivering and picking up our reusable moving boxes. When we narrowed our focus to just this service, our business really took off.

8. Can you share something about yourself (your business) that many might be surprised to learn?

I think most people would be surprised to learn that I’m the son of immigrants from the Grand Cayman islands. Everyone has heard of the Cayman islands but very few have ever been. I have yet to meet someone who wasn’t genuinely amazed that I was from this part of the world.

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What it Takes is a series of interviews with founders who were brave enough to take the leap, make mistakes, pivot, and keep going. This is What It Takes to be an entrepreneur. If you're a creator who is determined to follow a purpose or push the boundaries, then you’ve signed up to make mistakes, that’s the price of innovation.