On this episode of Startup Junkies, hosts Jeff Amerine, Caleb Talley, and Victoria Dickerson are joined by returning guest Brendan Howell, co-founder and CEO of Loloft, which is reimagining the warehousing industry by offering small and growth-stage companies a physical space to store and manage their products without the burden of traditional long-term leases. Loloft officially opened its first location in Rogers at the beginning of September, and it is already surpassing its early targets and goals. Throughout the episode, Brendan discusses Loloft’s emphasis on community building, which cities are next for Loloft, and his thoughts on appealing to an unexpected market.
(0:32) Introducing Brendan Howell and Loloft
(7:51) Loloft’s Emphasis on Community
(11:55) What’s Next for Loloft?
(16:28) Brendan’s Origin Story
(24:56) Appealing to an Unexpected Market
(29:50) Loloft’s Intentional Positioning
(32:07) Advice to the Younger Self and Closing Thoughts
“So the best way to describe what we’re doing is office coworking combined with warehousing. So it’s really a kind of mix of the two concepts. And we coined the term industrial coworking to try and accurately describe what we’re doing.” - Brendan Howell, (4:27)
“It was really eye-opening to see the access you can get by being in a community that is actually trying to build community and trying to build connections. So companies can come in and just do their own thing here, but if they want to participate, there’s that option as well.” - Brendan Howell, (10:27)
“We never intended to be in this business. We’re not property people. We don’t have a background in commercial property. But we saw a solution to a problem that we had, and a lot of other people had the same problem. So, we weren’t constrained by the dogma of the industry. We just came from outside and solved the problem.” - Brendan Howell (20:49)
“For us, from a business operations perspective, it’s dollars outside of square feet. There’s a lot of opportunity for us as a business to provide services. For the members, it’s below cost relative to getting a full-time employee. But for us, it’s also good revenue because we’re not just renting space, we can provide a service inside the space.” - Brendan Howell, (27:42)