A new business out of Parksville launched its first product on Friday, July 20.
You might have heard of it. It’s a box. But Morgan Seeber and Landon Sheck hope their carefully designed and constructed creation will be just the thing for people who need a standalone work space or studio.
Seeber and Sheck designed and built what they call the Aux Box: a modular, self-standing room that’s just under 11 feet long, nine-feet-11-inches wide and nine-feet-six-and-a-half inches tall that they feel can give people the indoor space they need to focus on a business, a hobby or their art.
While the design may look simple, part of the thought process behind its size and shape was to make it easy to build off-site, easy to transport, and easy to install in a backyard or work space without needing building permits in most municipalities.
Having launched the product at their Parksville site (1175 B Island Hwy. East) on July 20, Sheck said the response so far is proving their concept is one that people are ready to buy into.
“When you’re building a company and building a product, you’re telling people who would want it and why they’d want it. Then, when people show up and confirm that for you, it’s very, very exciting, and it’s encouraging,” said Sheck.
“It tells you ‘I’m on the right track’… it’s just been encouraging to have basically what we thought would happen, happen.”
They’ve already done a site assessment for someone interested in purchasing their product (which starts at $24,800), and have several more people who are interested as well, Sheck said.
“It’s that focused, purposeful, productive space that’s out in the backyard, detached, far enough away so you’re not going to get distracted from whatever is in the house, but close enough that you don’t have to commute to it,” he said of the product.
Though he and Seeber anticipated a lot of home office use, potential customers are coming up with many other potential uses for it.
“As we get the market response to the product, we’re seeing all sorts of uses. It could be far more hobbyist-type uses than we thought, people with sewing rooms or art studios, that sort of thing,” said Sheck.
Some developers are also interested in possibly using the Aux Box as a more modern, high-end looking office option for development sites.
“It’s definitely a luxury product,” said Sheck, but noted he and Seeber’s interest comes from modular housing and the tiny house movement.
Having worked with each-other in construction for many years, Seeber eventually got a job working for a modular home company.
“He just recognized that… it had the potential to just dominate the industry,” said Sheck. So the two looked to work in that growing part of the industry, just as the tiny house movement was gaining attention as well.
The Aux Box is an effort in that direction, with Sheck calling it a “very simple product that’s easy for the consumer to acquire without the hassles of red tape.”
While Sheck calls the design “clean, simple… but also bold,” the design is informed by municipal requirements.
“Most municipalities require an accessory building to be under 10 square metres, which is about 107 square feet. Our units are 106 (square feet). It’s also optimized to be on the road so that we don’t need a pilot car because they’re under 10 feet wide, and same with the height,” Sheck said, so they can be taken on ferries without a problem.
“We’ve thought about every single element and then created the product to be optimized in all areas,” he said. “This is basically the best use of space and size.”
Having spoken with several local municipalities about the product, Sheck said most are receptive to it. He noted, though, that requirements can change based on use, saying that, in a residential area, the Aux Box is for personal use.
With the launch of their product, Sheck said he and Seeber are feeling good about what they’ve made and its potential.
“To be able to point to a tangible item that was, at one point, an idea, I think everybody should experience that. It’s a special thing… (We had) a little but more interest than we anticipated… and we had heaps of support from family and friends.”
To learn more about Sheck and Seeber’s Aux Box, go to www.auxbox.ca.