We had the good fortune of connecting with Jared Burns and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jared, how does your business help the community?
reBOX offers a better tomorrow by eliminating landfill and the use of trees for cardboard. With an eye to the future, we work to offer a better product for moving while minimizing the environmental impact to the DFW community. This year alone, our customers kept 53 trees from being used for paper products and over 35,000 gallons of water usage to make those products. We’re just getting started. The reason our business resonates with our customers is because we offer a better product utility to get the job done at about the same price as cardboard while making a positive impact on the environment. It’s a no brainer. Renting moving totes with reBOX is like going from a Blackberry to an iPhone – there is reluctance to try something different initially but once you experience the capability and ease of use there is no going back to the old technology.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Where I am today is a bizarre cocktail of life experiences. I worked my way through college in Arkansas, where I grew up, then into a Texas finance job about 2 years before the 2009 meltdown. Wrong place, wrong time. After that position was eliminated, I ended up finding work at a bank making less than I was making on unemployment and moved back home. As I started over, I worked a full time accounting job and completed night classes to get a Master’s. That degree opened a few doors to me that allowed me to build a career in consumer packaged goods for several years, primarily with PepsiCo but a couple others as well. The friendships I have through my journey are amazing. Inevitably, I chose to open reBOX in the middle of the pandemic because I was comfortable betting on me and taking responsibility to build something long term.
Challenges are such a gift — I was “reorganized” out of a two different companies by age 35. Both times have been an opportunity to evaluate myself and focus on shaping the life I want to live. Challenge is not easy to overcome while you are in it but my best growth as a person has come out of those times. After each disappointment, I take responsibility for where I am at that moment, learn from the experience, then take action toward a goal I choose. When I started reBOX, a friend asked me “how do you know what to do?” and the answer was and is: I don’t. I figure it out, make some mistakes, and keep moving toward my goal. I spent a lot of years caught up in the next step of daily life and never took the time to consider where that walk was taking me. Now I know where I want to go and what I want to build.
reBOX is an alternative to cardboard. Most people don’t know that recycled cardboard still uses 75% of the energy used to produce first run boxes. In DFW alone, the moving industry will use about 45 million boxes a year and they all end up somewhere. reBOX is a sustainable alternative for packing. No time taping or tearing down anything. No more clogging trash shoots or stacking cardboard boxes on the curb for bulk pickup. In fact, reBOX is a closed-loop lifecycle product. That means our totes are made of 100% recycled content, used hundreds of times, then returned to the manufacturer to be ground up and used in other plastic products. reBOX will change moving. Zero trash, more convenience, and better boxes.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
For a week trip in the area, I would say enjoy some of the local breweries one day. Spend some time at the Dallas Arboretum and the Perot Museum. Experiences are really fun so I like The Cookery to make a meal with friends or glass blowing with Dallas Glass Art or making pottery at Creative Arts Center. Of course some golf would be involved. Gunter has a nice public course – although it’s a drive. And depending on the time of year, dinner on the patio of Mesero or sushi at Oishii.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Shifting into entrepreneurship happened slowly over years of discomfort working for other people while reading and listening to podcasts then all at once with the creation of reBOX. Books like Becoming Trader Joe, Sam Walton Made in America, and Believe It humanized business for me. The knowledge that everyone starts at the beginning when building great things molded my perspective of what was possible. Unbelievable determination and relentless activity toward a goal over a long period of time came through the pages. Podcasts like How I Built This, GaryVee, and The Tim Ferriss Show gave access to ideas and stories of even more business owners. The more I learned about the people behind the businesses, the more I wanted to start my journey!