A disaster is something everyone hopes to avoid but unforeseen events are unpredictable and it is better to be prepared. Many people have disaster kits at hand for such an emergency but a greater number have not taken any precautions for it. If you feel the ready-made disaster kits available in the local stores don’t do it for you, you can check out the Prepster, a luxury disaster kit.
The luxury disaster kit was made by Film director Ryan Kuhlman along with costume designer Lauren Tafuri and they run their business in Los Angeles. It all started when the couple experienced a small earthquake back in 2014 and realized they had no supplies in case of an emergency.
“We started asking friends what they had in their earthquake kits and were quickly surprised how few of our friends had anything prepared at all. Of 10 friends, maybe one had an earthquake kit,” Kuhlman told Entrepreneur Magazine.
Out of necessity, they went to the local stores and found that the kits were not only pricey but did not contain everything they might need. So, they set about making their own personal disaster kit and chose a utilitarian, stylish mason’s tool bag and packed it up with the essentials. On completion, they saw their product as something that might appeal to the others as well.
“It was the concept of taking a mundane item and reinventing it so it would exist in a space where people would actually want to get prepared, especially in California,” Tafuri told the Hollywood Reporter. “We all need this. But we thought, ‘What is it going to take to get people ready for something?’ If it’s not interesting or well-designed, people are not going to engage.”
“Historically, everyone puts candles and flashlights in the junk drawer; you put the emergency kit in the back of the closet or the garage,” added Kuhlman. “And those are all the worst places to have emergency gear. Our customer finds the object too attractive to stash away, so now if there’s an earthquake, everyone’s kits are within arm’s reach. We really wanted everything to come from a place of legitimate survival thinking, despite having a pretty wrapper.”
The couple officially launched the luxury disaster kit, Preppi in March 2014 on Instagram and were contacted by an editor for a Dutch magazine to feature their product and they quickly contacted a bag maker in the neighborhood and had three bags made.
“We didn’t want to put a $50,000 investment into something and take something very seriously,” Kuhlman said “We wanted to take it lightly and experiment and test the waters. But because it was scalable and because so much of the stuff is made locally, the bag maker was able to let us start with three bags.”
The couple used the profits from their sales and reinvested them in the bags and their sales finally exploded in November 2014 when their luxury disaster kit was featured by Gwyneth Paltrow on her website Goop. Since then, the sales have been skyrocketing as the kit became a holiday gift among Hollywood celebrities.
Jerry Hall, Ben Affleck, Whoopi Goldberg, Pink, Melissa McCarthy, Zach Galifianakis, Maya Rudolph, Steven Spielberg, Julia Roberts, and Sofia Vergara are among the famous clients. Warner Brothers recently handed out over 600 kits, which is the largest order to date.
The kits have prices ranging from $95 to $4,995 and are packed with luxury essentials like Malin + Goetz toiletries, Marvis toothpaste, Mast Brothers chocolate, Kusmi tea, as well as more typical items such as a hand-cranked phone charger, and a stylish first aid kit.
The couple is planning to expand its market in 2018 and wants to bring Preppi to New York City and Japan. They are also planning to launch a hurricane and tsunami focused waterproof bag that can float. You can watch the Prepster being tested in the video below: