Roost Vans started in 2018, when our CEO (Dennis) took a sabbatical from running CreatID, Inc. a product development and industrial design firm, to build out Obsidian, a 170 wheel base Sprinter van for his family. During that time, he drove past a horrific RV accident that involved a number of fatalities covered with sheets. That is when he knew safety had to be his top priority, particularly with children on board. So, he started over and reworked Obsidian from the ground up recognizing the great importance of a secure and flexible mounting system. This became the first iteration of the Roost Smooth Rail Mounting System.
Once the mounting system was engineered, he was then able to leverage that to grow the Roost Vans product line eco-system. The product line started with the upper cabinets and a single bed system. Recognizing the need for a wider audience, it has grown to include many variations of DIY flat-packed and shippable cabinetry and bed systems. All of this started out of his driveway.
THAT IS HOW ROOST VANS WAS BORN
After this, Roost Vans took off – or should we say rev’d up. Whatever the case, Roost Vans quickly outgrew the driveway and it was time to find somewhere more suitable. Thus when some space became available at a neighbor’s 3 bay shop, he sublet a bay. Just one… 30 days later he took over all three. He then brought on his business partner, Mike Atkinson, who now serves as the CFO. Next, Roost hired 2 installers who are still helping build and integrate the Roost Vans product line.
Some of Roost’s history in review:
- 2018: 4 vans
- 2019: 9 vans
- 2020: 11 vans
- 2021: 15 vans
- 2022: 24 vans
So, to date we have built over 60 vans for happy customers and way more than that taking into account DIY online sales. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves…
Later in 2018, we started shipping more and more DIY products, which led to the need for a commercial warehouse. Soon after, we leased a warehouse in Clackamas, Oregon where everything is shipped directly to our customers.
Within a year, Roost Vans had an install shop for manufacturing vans and a warehouse for all our online DIY products.
Since we established the warehouse, our install shop has essentially been our own customer and R&D lab. This is not by accident. Since we order products from our warehouse, we see what our customers see when we launch new products. Experience what they experience. That way we can quickly iterate designs and verify final products being shipped to our customers reflect the needs and desires of our installers.
Even though they were in the same town, we even shipped our products from the warehouse to the shop! That way, we truly got to feel what it was like unboxing our products and got a chance to test our online ordering system. This verified our packaging design and that everything would come in one piece. But, as you would expect, that got expensive real quick…
SO, WHY MAKE THE MOVE TO A NEW SHOP?
Our first 3-bay shop was beautiful, but growth and space were maxed out. In 2022 the universe had a better place for us and the timing couldn’t have worked out better. When our lease in the 3-bay shop came to an end, the space adjacent to our warehouse became available. Truly divine timing. This move has helped us start with a fresh canvas. We redesigned and expanded our shop floor space, dialed in electric, dust control, lighting, and layout, and moved in. All this while not sacrificing quality or increasing overhead. And, still nearly doubled our production.
In addition to the obvious benefits, a happy surprise to being adjacent to our warehouse emerged – faster feedback on installed products. And of course, further streamlining of our operations.
The old space will forever have a place in our hearts: the large trees the shop sat underneath; the deer frolicking out in the front yard; the mountain bike trails right outside the door. However, having running water and flushing toilets is really nice. Seriously. We used a porta potty and our Roost Vans kitchen products for water to make do. You gotta start somewhere.
We also gained an opportunity to provide a showroom for our potential clients. Now our customers can sit down with our sales team and decide in a well-educated way on the products, appliances, features, color, and personality of their cabinetry and van products. Then we take it from there and build a platform for making experiences.
The Roost Vans business model is to develop beautiful, quality, standardized products that are flexible and installed securely onto our mounting system with ourselves as our own customer. The vision is to get families outside, making memories together in a safe and effective outfitted vehicle. A lot of effort goes into ensuring that our DIY products are thoroughly tested for both ease of installation and safety. and, many of our products have 2 points of failure redundancy built in. Ie., in the case of a loose bolt, a second point of safety is engineered in.
Roost has grown enough now that we are able to set our sights on larger operations in the future. 2023’s focus? Expanding our product ecosystem and increasing online sales and support. That way we can provide these products to more van installers so they have the tools and resources to safely install quality products into their customer’s vehicles.
SO WHERE IS THIS NEW SHOP?
The new Roost Vans shop is right off highway 212 and 205 in Clackamas, Oregon. Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment to come see our new showroom. We are excited to have you visit!
Be sure and check out our new video walking you through our new shop!