Flex's newest customer, Stout Tent, is disrupting the tent rental business with dreamy, Instagram-worthy tents that are made with an eye for quality, comfort, and detail. They're used at big corporate retreats, music festivals, weddings, and other one-of-a-kind events. Owner Caitlyn Stout and her husband saw an opportunity to provide high quality canvas bell tents tents in the US market.
“My husband and I were looking at tents in a European magazine and we really wanted one for our backyard,” said Stout, “but we weren't happy with the material or the stitching.”
Her husband was a parachute rigger in the US Army and had experience sewing parachutes — he knew he could do better.
“He started tightening stuff up and fixing the door of the tent, so it would close more evenly,” she said. In 2013, the couple started manufacturing them and selling them while they both worked full time jobs.
Then two years later they got a call from the Santa Barbara Zoo.
“They wanted 37 tents for an event with real mattresses,” remembers Caitlyn. And at that moment their event rental business was born and has grown organically since.
They work with some high profile clients
They do more than 20 events throughout the year. They've worked with Toyota for their Hotel Tacoma marketing event which brings dirt-sport athletes, outdoor adventurers and social media influencers to the desert hills of Hualapai, AZ. They even equip the tents with bathrooms and other amenities and comforts.
“We've been so fortunate to work with them, we do custom builds for their tents, and it's always a logistics challenge since we essentially take over the mountain top and it's completely off the grid,” said Stout.
They're also creating a massive tent village for FORM, a multi-day music festival in Arcosanti, AZ.
Using Flex to streamline their rental management
Stout said they started using Flex after realizing their spreadsheets were just not cutting it — they needed to find rental management software to manage their inventory and streamline their rentals processes.
“We just love the flexibility it provides and the ability to forecast some things, like if we're short on mirrors and down comforters for our tents, not having to worry about rush shipping and knowing I can get all those details squared away ahead of time,” said Stout.
She said in her business presentation is everything so being able to create aesthetically pleasing custom quotes is a big reason she loves Flex for rental management.
“The quoting portion of Flex has been amazing,” said Stout, “you can get a really quality looking quote to your clients very quickly and it eliminates a lot of the back and forth emails that used to happen before.”
Having deeper control over her inventory and how it's being used is also great, said Stout. Flex also facilitates movement of tents and accessories from their two warehouses.
“Some of our tents are expensive and we need to track how much they've been out from an ROI standpoint but also retire them if we need to,” said Stout.
Suggestion and pricing customization as part of Flex's rental management features has also allowed Stout Tent to improve the efficiency in which they conduct business. Although Caitlyn says Flex has a bit of a learning curve, “once you get the hang of it, it's pretty easy.” She relies on Flex's library of video tutorials and documentation to get the answers she needs.