Steph Korey’s Success Story
The entrepreneurial journey of Steph Korey was provoked by the ordeal of her friend whose suitcase broke at the airport. They realized that affordable, high-quality, and durable luggage was unprocurable in their conversation. During the conversation, Korey was brooding the idea of starting a luggage company.
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Before entering Columbia Business school, she worked at Warby Parker, an eyewear startup. She dealt with the supply chain in the business, thus gaining appreciable experience in logistics and supply chain management. Consequently, she partnered with her friend, Jen Rubio, a brand marketer, to establish Away.
In their early steps, the duo made market research by interviewing over eight hundred people concerning their packing habits when travelling. Consequently, they learned that people are more concerned with weight. Further, the study revealed that the zippers and wheels were the first to break.
After her studies at Columbia, Steph Korey went to Asia to inquire about the manufacturing of the company’s suitcase. Korey worked with industrial designers to develop a bag with stronger zippers and wheels. Besides, the product’s outer shell was made of light metal. The resulting luggage was so tough. Apart from developing the product, Korey affirms that their products undergo intensive durability tests.
Like many new brands, Away suitcases have exciting features. The iconic suitcases have a charging dock and a built-in battery. Amazingly, the battery can charge an iPhone fully over five times. As Korey notes, the idea of an in-built battery came from customer feedback and recommendations.
Interestingly, the business model Away subscribes to is akin to Casper mattresses and Warby Parker, for which Steph Korey worked. Consequently, Away invests in supreme quality materials and uses notable manufacturers to make its products.
Away was officially launched into business in 2015 after raising a sum of about $2.5 million. The company operates online, therefore eliminating retail markup. Consequently, Away products are affordable, with their cost ranging between $225 and $295. According to the founders, they are hopeful that they will incorporate additional travel products.