Gear, Gadgets, and Grub. Everything A Guy Craves, Sealed In A Wooden Crate.
Cheap cologne, a new tie, or a generic gift card. The gift for the man in your life has often been the butt of jokes and considered a thoughtless gesture. Stepping up gift giving for guys was Jonathan Beekman’s mission when he created his e-commerce company Man Crates in 2011 in his small two-bedroom apartment in Palo Alto, California.
“Growing up my family would give gifts in really outlandish ways. I remember as a high school senior my mom came into my Spanish class dressed as a clown to celebrate my birthday. There’s some things you don’t forget”, says Beekman.
He brought that same spirit of surprise, delight, “one up-man-ship” to the way Man Crates does gifts.
Beekman continues, “We make awesome gifts for guys. We take awesome gear, gadgets, grub, pack it into wooden crates and ship every crate with a crowbar so the guy will actually have to rip the gift open with his bare hands. It’s really fun. It’s totally unique and a fun experience for all of our customers.”
Man Crates was an instant hit, generating nearly $500 thousand in revenue its first full year. The company’s online holiday presence helped catapult growth the following year by 439 percent, with revenue of $22 million in 2015. This landed Man Crates on the INC 500 list, and directed even more attention to the company’s “bragworthy” gifts, including the smash and grab gift card where a gift card is encased in a concrete block. Man Crates also offers a heart-shaped box of jerky for Valentine’s Day, and gift wrapping in what the company calls “diabolical duct tape,”—as if requiring a crowbar to open the crate wasn’t tough enough!
Beekman concludes, “We’re reminding people that gift giving isn’t an obligation, it’s an opportunity to have fun together. Man Crates is much more than just shipping crates to guys around the country, it’s about keeping our customers connected to the people that they care about, and doing that in a way that’s tastefully irreverent, and also light-heartedly sincere.”