A week ago, Samuel Taylor ’05 and Jayson Morgan ’05 had snow but no sleds. Now they have sleds, but they are faced with temperatures approaching 60 degrees.
The two roommates recently turned their frustration at finding no sled vendors near campus into “Sam and Jayson’s Sled Business.” They purchased 18 sleds from an Internet company, which they plan to sell to fellow students.
“We just wanted to go sledding after the recent snowstorm,” Taylor said, “but nobody within walking distance of Yale sells sleds. The kid across the hall took a bus to Super K-Mart. We felt bad for him and felt people shouldn’t have to do that.”
The young entrepreneurs offer two varieties of sleds, the “conventional plastic disc style,” and an inflatable version.
“Although it costs more, I prefer the inflatable because it can double as a comfortable lounge chair which is essential for any party,” Morgan said.
The two models cost $10 and $14 respectively, but Morgan said that they may charge more as demand rises.
“We feel that our prices are pretty reasonable,” Morgan said, “but when it snows, prices are subject to change. Everyone is going to want one.”
Taylor said they are interested in responding to their customer’s unique needs by offering good prices, reliable service, and free delivery to dorm rooms.
“Our main goal is to serve the Yale community,” Taylor said. “In the near future we may expand our product offerings if our customers demand such. Right now we are really just testing the waters.”
The company has relied upon traditional paper postings across campus for marketing. Using the catchy slogan “Got weed? We don’t. We have sleds,” the duo has attracted a few interested callers, as well as some confused drug users.
Although the company has sold only one sled to date, its leaders remain optimistic.
“We feel like the distinct lack of snow has really hampered business,” Morgan said, “but we know we’ll get some more.”
Morgan and Taylor’s first customer, a freshman counselor in their college who purchased one of the $14 models, gave the company a positive review.
“I think it’s a cool idea to provide sleds to Yalies if none are sold in the area, and I am impressed by their low prices,” Amanda Lerman ’02 said in an e-mail. “I think when the next big snow hits, they’ll do lots of business and many Yalies will be happy sledders.”
While the company is still in its early stages, Taylor said he and Morgan plan to be in business for the long haul.
“We figure it can be a four-year venture,” Taylor said. “We also figure that we may incur some losses, but we’re willing to risk that to provide sleds to Yale. Yale needs sleds.”