I have always been interested in how companies got started. And for the big companies you can read a book or watch a movie about it. But for most companies it takes the founder sharing their story which I believe does not happen enough.
So recently while we were reminiscing on our journey so far we realised that we haven’t told our story as to how the idea behind All Space came about & why.
We hope it gives a bit of background on how All Space came into existence & how it helps us shape our values we strive to maintain. I’ll try & keep it brief!
About a year ago, I was getting everything ready to head home to see my family back in Switzerland. Having lived in NZ for so long I had accumulated a fair amount of “stuff” that I wasn’t quite ready to part ways with given I would only be overseas for 3 months.
However, my living situation was that the lease had run out on my apartment & so I would find a new place to live upon my return to NZ. Going through the usual process of preparing for a long trip raised the issue of what to do with all my furniture, clothes, & random collection of items I have accumulated. It didn’t make much sense to sell them so I decided to look into storage options.
I did the standard google “storage Auckland” & rang around a few places to get quotes. I knew about how much space I needed & expected to easily find a few options & select the one that was cheap, secure, & local. I found it anything but easy. I seemed to be jumping through hoops just to get quote over the phone or on their websites. Then what optimism I had left subsided when I found I would be able to afford the storage costs.
A bit disheartened I told myself I would re-visit the situation tomorrow & went out for my afternoon walk. Not really paying attention I glanced at my neighbours garage door was open pay much attention to. It took me a couple of minutes of my thoughts wandering to think that the garage seemed pretty empty & about the same size as I was picturing when going through the storage process earlier.
The thoughts started coming together as I wondered if it would be frowned upon to ask someone such a random proposition as to see if I could store my items in his garage & pay him in return. I wasn’t sure what his reaction would be but being my cheeky self I thought I would give it a go!
It was a bit awkward at first but to my surprise he didn’t shut me down immediately but said he would need to run it past ‘the boss’ (his wife) first. We exchanged details & I didn’t really expect to hear back from him. The next day I got a voice message saying he would be keen to help me out & wanted to talk though the details. Instead of them telling me how much rental they wanted (as we do it today), he asked how much I wanted to pay. This was very kind of him & after a quick think I offered around half of what my commercial storage quotes were. He accepted without flinching & I got an immediate feeling that they were doing it more as a favour to me than to make a quick buck.
I moved my items in the following week & was very happy I didn’t even need to hire a Van or a trailer to move my items given how close his house was!
Making this into a platform to connect people in the same situation did not cross my mind immediately, I was just happy to have found a solution to my problem. It wasn’t until I shared my story with my friends & colleagues that I found many of them had felt like they were overcharged for storage & wished they could have found a friendly neighbour like I did.
All Space looks to give people the means to help each other by providing a way to connect those who have a need for space to those who have a little extra space. It allows the sharing of resources so that we can sustainably exist within our community. One on side it allows for the saving of money on storage & on the other side a passive income from an unexpected source. And as far as we are concerned, the journey has only just begun.