Editor’s note: This month’s Business Beacon is a spotlight on Beach Grayt, a rental company that provides all the beach gear you need for your next trip to the coast. Owner Steve Clements talks to us about what the company offers and how a soggy sandwich led to a new business venture. Visit them on Facebook, Instagram or the web.
Do you have an interesting topic you think we should cover? Leave a comment below!
1. How did you get the idea or concept for your business?
SC: A soggy sandwich… About six years ago, prior to moving down here, we took a trip from Chicago to the Gulf Coast. After loading up the luggage, we realized we didn’t have much room for our beach gear. We also knew that bringing a cooler was a must! We puzzle-pieced our $40 cooler in with our luggage and we finally hit the road. Fifteen hours and a few bathroom breaks later, we finally arrived at the coast. First stop? The local store — to purchase everything we had to leave up north that wouldn’t fit in our car. Who knew a grocery store could be so expensive? OUCH!!! Food, drinks, ice, beach chairs, beach bag, beach games and an empty wallet. Now it was time to head to the beach.
2. Let’s discuss numbers: What year did you open? How many locations do you have? How many people do you employ?
SC: 2023, one location
3. What do you sell or what service do you provide? What’s your best seller?
SC: We offer everything people need for an amazing trip to the beach! Nice rugged cooler that keeps ice? Check! Backpack beach chairs like the locals use? Check! Shade canopy? Check! All-day Bluetooth speaker? Check! Plus, everything else they need to enjoy their time at the beach! Paddle boards, body boards, beach towels, beach games, etc. We deliver their rented package to their vacation home or resort the day they arrive, so they can spend their vacation enjoying the beach. They don’t have to worry about transporting their own stuff here, or shopping last-minute once they arrive. They don’t have to rely on their rental home, as those homes simply used “hand-me-down” beach equipment left by previous home renters. We have everything they need to have an incredible beach experience!
4. What’s unique about what you do or offer?
SC: We offer the ability to travel to the Emerald Coast and have a great beach experience that allows you to beach with the same beach gear that locals use.
5. How would you describe your business to a potential customer?
SC: Our business is all about quality and convenience. There are many services that provide two chairs and an umbrella at the beach. Those have limited hours and limited mobility on the beach, and they’re pricey for only two chairs! We felt like most families didn’t want to pack all of their own stuff, but still wanted nice beach equipment that gave them much more flexibility with travel and while on the beach.
6. What do you love most about your line of work?
SC: We love working with people and we love the beach! It’s a win-win!
7. What sorts of trends are you seeing in your industry?
SC: Convenience, flexibility and affordability. There are many beach services that offer equipment dropped off at the beach. That means you’re on their schedule. Our service drops off the quality beach gear the day the guest arrives at their house or resort. That means they’re free to use it when and where they want to!
9. Who or what inspires you? This could be a family member or celebrity, a particular quote or even a book/movie/podcast. The sky’s the limit!
SC: We’re seeing so many people traveling more and wanting to have useful beach gear that will allow them to enjoy their time here.
8. Tell me in just a sentence or two what you feel sets you apart from your competitors.
SC: Deion Sanders. I love his passion for God, his passion for people and his passion to be excellent at whatever he’s doing.
10. What’s the best thing about being a part of the Emerald Coast, personally and/or professionally?
SC: Sunrise and sunset at the beach. It doesn’t get any better than that!
11. Are you/your business involved in the community in any way? Volunteering or giving back? If so, how?
SC: We give 10% of our proceeds back to our local church for use in the community. We attend Good News in Santa Rosa Beach and it’s our heart to serve and love others the way that God wants us all to feel loved and appreciated while here on earth.
12. What does a typical day in your business look like? (Pretend it’s Monday (or Friday!) and take me through the highlights of your day.)
SC: Load up the truck with rental equipment, drive to the drop-off location, drop off the beach gear, and make sure the customer has everything they need to enjoy their time here. Head to the next location to pick up the beach gear, rinse and repeat. The highlight of the day is meeting people. They’re always so excited to be starting their vacation!
13. What’s your best “insider tip?” (This could be a community tip for vacationers or homeowners or even a tip for customers related to your business.)
SC: Get up to see the sunrise. It’s unique. So many people will watch the sunset. Very few will watch it rise as well. It’s worth getting up early!
14. How do you recharge or relax when the day is done?
SC: I enjoy baseball. A relaxing evening to me is watching my Chicago Cubs dominate their opponent on the ball field while sitting next to my amazing fiance.
15. Just the deets, please! Where are you located? Business hours? Social media profiles and/or website links we need to know about? (Please feel free to add social media handles or direct links!)
SC: Santa Rosa Beach.
Call us anytime: 815-322-3497
Visit us on Facebook, Instagram or the web.
16. One final question: If there was just one thing you wish the public knew about your business, what would it be?
SC: Our business wasn’t just created to generate an income. We truly want to serve and impact those around us. We believe that God has an incredible purpose for each and every one of us and our hope is that we can help other people understand that for themselves.