When I speak to customers, they’re often interested in the story of how AirSkirts got started, so I thought some of the readers here might be interested as well. I’ll try to keep it brief (but, knowing me, that won’t work out).
In 2015 I had been living in New York City for 12 years and working as a software engineer. I had a three-family brownstone in Brooklyn and endless possessions, but something didn’t feel quite right. So, I did what a lot of you have done or are hoping to do – I sold it all and bought a travel trailer (in my case, an Airstream). I hit the road, traveling full time, and I didn’t look back.
I grew up in Connecticut and would often want to spend the holidays near family (and, later, the entire winter season). I knew a skirt was a must have to prevent freezing pipes and retain heat, but the idea of an ugly custom skirt that required drilling hundreds of holes in my brand-new trailer was fairly off-putting. So, I did what a lot of people do – I bought Styrofoam boards, meticulously cut them to shape, and taped them all together. It worked, kind of, but it was wasteful, time consuming, and not visually appealing (aka, ugly). It also prevented me from moving around which was so not cool.
I’m a software engineer by trade so solving problems is part of who I am. I was blown away that there wasn’t a better solution for this very common problem. I enlisted the help of my very smart brother Dave and we brainstormed. We didn’t come up with much.
Then, one unremarkable day while I was camping on the north shore of Massachusetts, I sort of laughingly thought to myself ‘why can’t I just put some balloons under there’. I knew air was a good insulator, and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it before. I was sure someone else had already come up with this idea, so I Googled it and…nada. When I first showed Dave the prototype he said ‘whoah, you turned your Airstream into a hovercraft’. We also often get jokes from customers about using the tubes to make their RV into a boat, and so we made this the feature of our 2021 April Fools Joke (we fooled an unsettling amount of people).
So, I made them (for myself). I ‘pressure tested’ them for a couple of seasons, still working random software gigs, until enough people told me ‘hey, you should really be selling those, they’re awesome’. And so, I did. I named it AirSkirts, because, you know, they’re skirts filled with air. Incidentally, the fact that they’re filled with air is one of the many neat features of AirSkirts – air is a great, natural insulator. But I digress.
After filing for a patent, I launched AirSkirts in early 2020 – a bit late for the winter crowd that year, but good for a soft launch. I didn’t take on outside investors or loans (and still haven’t) because I believed I could do it on my own with the help of some customers willing to take a chance on a brand new product. Then, when COVID hit and the RV market ‘blew up’ we were off to the races. We had so many orders in our first season we could barely manage it. This year we project we’ll sell at least five times as many as we did in our first year (and we’re ready).
We’re still a very small, family-owned company but growing fast. I’m so grateful to all of you who have purchased and love our product, or are considering AirSkirts, or are reading this long-winded blather, or are just rooting for us. That’s what I really wanted to say here. Our customers are what make AirSkirts what it is. And I’m so thankful for that.
Thanks for reading and, as always, let me know if there’s anything we can do for you.