“ONE OF MY favorite sayings is ‘the greatest risk in life is to risk nothing,’”
says Bryn Carey, a former alpine ski racer and founder of the country’s top
ski rental delivery company, Ski Butlers. “That’s how I liked to race: I was
never someone who went up there and thought about skiing a nice, safe line
— I just kind of threw myself into it. When I got into the business world, I
had that same mentality.”
Ski Butlers, in case you’ve not yet heard of it, arrives at your door — home,
hotel, condo, etc. — to fit and provide you with equipment for the slopes.
With eight shops serving 25 North American resorts, the service is remarkably convenient for renters, who no longer need to go to a ski shop and wait
in line for service or fitting. Butlers also pick up equipment at the end of a
rental period, as well as meet clients to address any issues they may have
along the way.
Rolling the dice
When Carey was a senior at the University of New Hampshire in 2004, he
conceived the idea of a remote ski and snowboard rental service and immediately recognized its potential. “I was confident that I had a great concept
and that the timing was right,” says Carey. “I was also very protective of the
idea — outside a couple friends and family members, I barely told a soul.”
The safe thing to do after graduating from UNH might have been to get
a job, save money, then start a company. But Kurt Simard, Carey’s coach at
UNH, says the young entrepreneur had always been a risk taker.
“It’s probably not the norm for a kid to start a company right out of college,” says Simard. “But Bryn was different from the start: savvy, confident,
took chances with his skiing ... and he was the kid who read The Boston
Globe on the way to the mountain every day.”
In addition to his penchant for risk, Carey also had experience with start-ups: He created a company called Park City Seal Coat to earn money while
The Butler Did It
A competitive spirit and penchant
for risk helped racer Bryn Carey
start Ski Butlers BY BRYCE HUBNER
Ski Butlers delivers guests gear at more than 25 North American resorts.
he was in high school and college, working on the area’s asphalt driveways
and parking lots during summer months.
“[After college], I’d work for my sealing company during the day, then
stay up past midnight planning and organizing Ski Butlers,” says Carey.
Using money he’d made from Park City Seal Coat, and having scraped together a small loan with help from his parents, Ski Butlers launched in late
2004. Carey confesses he had a lot to learn in those early days.
“I had been in the ski industry my whole life, but I didn’t know anything
BRYN CAREY/SKI BUTLERS