Vail Valley Bizwatch: Shinnies, pads for ski-boot comfort
Ryan Summerlin January 6, 2011
Business name: Shinnies, Inc.
Date opened: October, 2010.
Owners: Zack Yanger and David Feinstein.
What goods or services do you provide? Shinnies are foam shin pads that help to ease the shin pains felt by most ski boot rental customers. By simply placing a pair of Shinnies between the inside tongue of your ski boot and your shins, you can now ski with a greater degree of comfort than ever before.
What’s new or exciting at your place? We recently decided to make the move from the east coast to Vail. So far it has been a very exciting experience and we look forward to hopefully seeing many new places soon.
What strategy do you use to differentiate your business from your competition? Our main strategy is to target ski boot rental shops. Most expert skiers who own their own ski boots don’t need to make their boots more comfortable. However, people who only go skiing a few times a year and rent their boots can really benefit from a product that makes their rentals more comfortable. Our competitors are more expensive and target people who own their own boots. We are going for the opposite.
What philosophy do you follow in dealing with your customers? What can your customers expect from you? We created Shinnies because we needed a solution to our own problem. We use our product and we believe in our product. Our customers can always expect a fair and affordable price and they can expect their sore shins to feel much better when using Shinnies.
Tell us a little about your background, education and experience: Co-founders David Feinstein and Zack Yanger are recent graduates of The University of Florida. David majored in finance and Zack majored in advertising. Both have always shared a strong interest in entrepreneurship and decided to go into business together as soon as they graduated. Although both were born in Florida, they have always loved snow skiing as a sport and as an industry.
What is the most humorous thing that has happened at your business since you opened? Since moving to Vail, our main goal has been to get into as many rental shops as possible. This requires us to walk into ski shops and pitch our product and our idea to the managers working at the shops.
Recently, we both walked into a ski shop and while waiting to speak with someone Zack accidentally stepped backwards and knocked over two entire racks of skis, causing the entire room to look over at him. Needless to say, we didn’t get the sale.