Solo Stove was founded on the principles of lifestyle and togetherness. Founders Jeff and Spencer Jan were born just a couple of years apart. Growing up, the brothers spent plenty of time outdoors making memories in nature. They always dreamt of doing something in business together — and felt that whatever that something was, it should bring people together.
Years later, Jeff and Spencer both found themselves married with young children and living across the world from each other. Spencer was living in Shanghai after attending college in the US, and Jeff was living in Texas. While residing on opposite sides of the world, the idea of starting a business venture together became even more pressing. They wanted to live closer together, have their kids grow up together, and finally make their lifelong plans a reality.
In 2010, Solo Stove was born out of an idea for a simple outdoor cooking stove. At that point, Jeff and Spencer grew interested in the idea of selling online. They became very passionate about how ecommerce works, how to reach people online, and how to create a business that is always accessible to customers.
Jeff and Spencer’s online presence began with form-based, one-page websites. There was no official checkout at the time. In the beginning of their ecommerce experience, they would collect the contact information of interested customers and handle transactions through calls and emails.
At first, the brothers intended for the original camping stove to be Solo Stove’s sole online product, but it quickly evolved from a single camping stove to accessories for camping stoves, to larger camping stoves. Eventually, they also added backyard fire pits. The customer demand for more products and variety was off the charts.
Solo Stove was quickly becoming popular among the outdoor adventuring community. Its rapid growth fueled the need for a more robust platform to showcase all up-and-coming products and an online store that would scale with the company. Solo Stove considered several ecommerce platforms and ultimately decided that BigCommerce would help pave the way to continued success for the company.