Justine Barone is the Founder & CEO of Gearo.
Tell us about your company. What inspired you to start it?
Gearo is an outdoor gear marketplace that partners with retailers and connects them with adventure seekers looking for gear to rent and buy. I was inspired to start Gearo after several failed attempts to try new activities like snowshoeing and paddle boarding. I recognized how antiquated retailer processes were and how this resulted in a frustrating process to find gear information. By incorporating technology and marketing into these retailers’ operations we have been able to create a simplified process which ultimately means more transactions for the retailers and better experiences for the customers.
How is your company making a difference?
Many of our retailers have not had the bandwidth to do marketing campaigns. They have struggled to find software that helps them automate their businesses effectively. By offering top-notch solutions to both of these challenges we are able to help our retailers break barriers they haven’t been able to before and increase their foot traffic. On the consumer side of our marketplace we are helping to create the best user experience for customers to participate in outdoor activities. We are also helping them to support local businesses with all of their purchases in a convenient way.
What are some of the challenges you have faced?
There are challenges everyday. Some of my favorite challenges that we have overcome include optimizing our pricing model, building the platform itself (which will always have work to be done) and thriving during a global pandemic.
What is your biggest win?
We recently partnered up with Black Tie Skies. This coming season we will be able to service 40+ resorts with local door-to-door delivery and pickup options for customers.
Who is your role model?
Alyssa Ravasio, Founder and CEO of Hipcamp
What do you wish you had known before starting your company?
I first started Gearo entirely bootstrapped. I took it upon myself to run the operations, tech, sales, marketing etc. without realizing there were financial options available to bring on support and a full-time team. Being able to expand Gearo through our team has been the largest gift.
What is your CEO superpower?
I have a pretty high tolerance for stress.