A Massachusetts man tired of the onslaught of snow piling up on his doorstep thought up a funny way to get rid of it — selling and shipping it out. But what started out as a joke has turned into a business for Kyle Waring, who is snowed under with requests for snow on his website ShipSnowYo.com.
"I was shoveling the front walkway with my wife and we were joking around, talking about shipping it to our friends and family just to get it out of our front yard," said Waring, a website developer who lives in Manchester-by-the-Sea, about 30 miles north of Boston, and works at a game show network. "When we started thinking about it, we just decided to launch a simple joke website."
The website implores customers to help Waring get rid of the five feet high snow besieging his community. Offering "historic" Boston snow that he calls "wicked," Waring said he had orders from the very first day the website was set up.
"There ain’t no business like snow business, I tell ya," he said. "It is absolutely booming."
Waring consulted with shippers to figure out how to get the snow intact to customers across the country. Most times he is sending snow from his community, packaging it with his wife and brother in his apartment, though Waring does honor requests to send snow from specific locations like Cambridge, outside MIT, or from Boston Common.
"Most of the time those snow packages are a little bit dirtier, but that’s what the customers ends up wanting so I fulfill it," he said.
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Waring offers "a blizzard in a box," 14 pounds of snow for $169, or six pounds of snow for $89. "Our nightmare is your dream!" the ad reads.
The other product he offers is snow in a Snow Bottle, which Waring said he can’t guarantee will arrive as snow — it’s more likely to be water.
"That is a product I don’t guarantee. That will likely arrive as water and is a joke, kind of gag gift," Waring said. "I package in a picture of the snow before it’s sent and then also a funny instruction manual on how to change the water back into snow once it arrives."
Waring said is isn't in it for the money, and plans to donate a portion of the takings to charity. All of the attention has been fun and funny, but Waring said it’s also been a little bittersweet.
"I had launched a serious product last year that I pretty much spent my entire bank account on and went all in on and it didn't do very well," he said. "And then my silly idea is going to be the most popular website of the day?"
Still, Waring believes he is onto something, and may branch out into a new line next season: the famous New England fall leaves.
"I’ll be shipping New England foliage out of my same apartment in Manchester and hopefully shipping it globally," he said.
— Miranda Leitsinger