The Day A Hefty Bill Led Sarah To A $1.5M Camping Gear Business [Amazon Case Study]
Ever dreamt of turning your passion into a profitable venture? Well, Sarah Douglass, the mind behind Wise Owl Outfitters, made that a reality with her love for the great outdoors. Though she was an avid camper, the sky-high prices of camping gear, especially that $2,500 shopping spree, didn’t sit well with her.
Enter Wise Owl Outfitters: Sarah’s brainchild that emerged from her frustration over the expense. Fast forward to today, and Wise Owl boasts the top-selling hammock on Amazon, not just in the camping domain, but also in the patio segment. That’s not all; their product range expands to camping pillows, bug nets, and an array of hammock must-haves.
Thinking of venturing into the world of camping gear? Sarah’s journey is a testament that with the right drive and strategy, success isn’t just a dream. Dive into this case study to uncover the secrets behind her booming business.
Why the camping Industry is the place to be
Are you hesitant about diving into the camping gear business? Let the staggering growth of the industry clear those doubts away.
Camping gear isn’t just another niche; it’s an expanding empire, brimming with opportunities for enthusiastic entrepreneurs. Here’s a glimpse of the vastness of this market:
Forecasts suggest that the worldwide camping equipment market, valued at $8.50 billion in 2023, is set to skyrocket to a whopping $24.93 billion by 2028. Such a surge underscores not only the growing love for camping but also the immense global demand for quality equipment.
Gone are the days when camping was just a summer activity. Today, it’s a global phenomenon, and by stepping into this sphere, you’re positioning your business at the heart of a thriving industry.
Sarah and Wise Owl’s remarkable journey
Embarking on an online business can be a thrilling ride, filled with challenges and triumphs. If camping resonates with your heart, venturing into its gear can be a golden ticket. And even if camping isn’t your personal passion, there’s an undeniable opportunity to profit from it.
The exorbitant prices for nature experiences didn’t sit well with Sarah. The idea that enjoying the great outdoors came with such a hefty price tag was unsettling. To her, the serene embrace of nature should be accessible to everyone, without draining their wallets.
Sarah’s vision was clear: make nature experiences affordable, allowing more people to relish the outdoors. After all, if we have the means to spread happiness and promote outdoor adventures, why wouldn’t we?
Despite not having a formal educational background or the conventional credentials society often deems ‘necessary’ for success, Sarah wasn’t deterred. She is a testament that passion, determination, and a clear vision can break through any barriers. If she can craft her own path to success, so can you.
In their journey to create a unique venture, Sarah and Todd zeroed in on an often-overlooked piece of outdoor gear: the hammock.
For Sarah, hammocks were more than just suspended fabric; they symbolized instantaneous joy. A few moments were all it took to set one up, and soon after, one could be swaying gently, with the melodies of nature providing a calming backdrop. Be it the rhythmic whispers of a nearby stream, the gentle lull of ocean waves, or simply the rustling of leaves, hammocks offered a passport to nature’s embrace, without any fuss.
From a business perspective, hammocks presented a promising opportunity.
Their simplicity meant they were straightforward to manufacture. Their compactness ensured shipping costs remained low. With a myriad of fabric styles and colors available, tailoring the product to align with ever-changing customer tastes was achievable. Moreover, the door was always open for Wise Owl to diversify, introducing a range of complementary hammock accessories.
All these factors converged, positioning hammocks as the ideal launch product for their budding venture.
A flourishing journey: From first sale to market leader
In September 2015, Sarah and Todd welcomed two momentous occasions into their lives: the birth of their son and the sale of their very first Wise Owl Outfitter hammock. Their initial stock was snapped up within a mere month, symbolizing the public’s budding love for their product.
“After selling 200, we had the capital to invest in 1,000. Following that, our next order was for 2,000, and the momentum just kept building,” Sarah recalls.
Now, Wise Owl stands tall in the Amazon ecommerce landscape. Their hammocks, lauded by nearly 50,000 reviewers, boast an enviable average rating of 4.8. The brand proudly flaunts Best Seller Badges in both the camping and patio hammocks categories. Not to be outdone, Wise Owl’s camping pillows and hammock bug nets too wear the Best Seller Badge with pride.
By the time 2021 drew to a close, Wise Owl had sold an awe-inspiring number of units from their product range. Their Camping Hammock not just participated in the market but virtually owned a significant chunk of the camping hammock segment on Amazon.
The soaring trajectory of Wise Owl didn’t go unnoticed. In May 2021, Thrasio, a major player owning 14 Amazon ecommerce brands in the outdoor category, acquired Wise Owl Outfitters.
Sarah’s vision remains crystal clear, “I envision Wise Owl as a brand that crafts cherished memories. I dream of seeing it readily available in stores, easily accessible for everyone. Joining hands with Thrasio is a strategic step towards making that dream a reality.”
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