Oct 17, 2018
On this episode of Brandstorm, Dan Trzinski and Nancy Christopher talk to the owners of Containers Up. Lyle Stoflet and Tom Daugherty had an ingenious idea. What if they could make a bar that could be shipped anywhere they wanted, and people could rent or buy them for private parties or corporate events? With these thoughts in mind, Lyle talked Tom into buying a 20- by 8-ft., upcycled shipping container for themselves and placing it on the street in front of Lyle’s house for a neighborhood block party. Everyone loved it. No one came inside Lyle’s house, and when it was over, the container was taken away. A new company was born.
Less than two years old, Containers Up is a premier designer and renter of customized, upcycled shipping containers. Earlier this year, the Milwaukee BizTimes awarded Containers Up the IQ Award for Innovation.
Containers Up has 10 rental units in Milwaukee and a few more units in Nashville. The containers are an alternative to renting tents or other structures for company events, trade shows, parties and wedding receptions, especially when it comes to mobility. Containers Up provides the vessels for your party or event, and you create the theme. The back wall of the container is a blank canvas for you to decorate, label or brand.
The containers can be set up in as little as 15 minutes and plug into any outlet like a toaster. Each unit holds about 35 people under the roof with sides that flip up like awnings. Some of the customized features include built-in taps, LED and accent lighting, a complete audio system, TVs, places for food, a full bar, ice tubs, seating and more. Guests receive an unforgettable experience and when the party’s over, the container is picked up and taken away.
Selling the Business
According to Lyle and Tom, the containers sell themselves. When people see the mobile party bars at events, clients can typically come up with their own ideas for how they want to use them. Their biggest challenge is finding good employees and navigating through the permit process, so they can educate their customers. The units can be leased for as little as one day or up to a year, if needed. They can even be customized and purchased. Peak times for Containers Up are usually during the summer months from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day weekend, but with all the corporate events and trade shows, they are quickly becoming a year-round company with the ability to do up to 10 events a day.
Connecting with Containers Up
Email Lyle or Tom through the website at https://www.containersup.com/
Lyle Stoflet Email: Lyle@containersup.com
Tom Daugherty Email: firstname.lastname@example.org