There is no universal storage container, box or box like a milk crate. The ultra-durable open-sided plastic cubes were invented by the dairy industry as a lighter, more durable, and easier-to-produce successor to the wooden bags and bottle bags formerly used to transport milk and cream. But the general public was quick to come up with a very practical (and easy to steal) solution. Milk crates are now popular for a wide range of applications such as record storage, DIY shelving, car organizers, bike baskets, wardrobes and more.
Unless you’re in the grocery industry, you’ll be forgiven for thinking plastic packaging has anything to do with dairy products at all. Branding like Hay have She chose the boxes As designer household goods, and in the summer of 2021, TikTokers turned it into the centerpiece of a very dangerous viral “challenge.” The app is blocked.
In the meantime, launched a new company star She took it upon herself to make milk crates more relevant to how most of us actually use them.
Sidio boxes are rectangular, colorful and highly adaptable with a wide and expanded range of accessories such as lids, dividers, stickers and wheels. You may have seen it on Instagram (or cover Gear Patrol Magazine) neatly filled and organized with climbing equipment, photographic equipment, or technical supplies. However, you won’t find milk mentioned anywhere, and Sidio’s inspiration didn’t come from any Holsteins-related process. Instead, he came from Hollywood.
“Milk crates are a staple in the film industry,” Sidio founder Trevor Carlson explains. “They have wagons for them, they put in all kinds of pipes and catch equipment to build lighting stands, camera equipment, stages, all of that.” Carlson knows this because his co-founder, DJ Bray, has been working on sets as a leader. One of Bree’s frequent work tasks was to organize carts full of boxes and equipment, and a common way to do this was to make dividers out of cardboard and duct tape. But these DIY breaks don’t last long, especially in the rain.
Carlson, the entrepreneur, recognized the opportunity within the problem. He previously set up a successful e-commerce business selling aftermarket mud flaps for land vehicles and gatherings, and using two of those mud flaps and a holster, he created a prototype milk crate divider. “We started making this little system that used to be used in regular milk cartons as a side thing and we sold it to the movie industry,” he says. The project performed well – their breaks found their way into groups The Mandalorian And the latest Marvel movies.
When Carlson and Bray realized that creating an entire box system could increase Sidio’s appeal, Hollywood was still an important part of the equation. Making plastic tools and molds is expensive, after all, and the film seemed like a surefire way to achieve the end result. “We had people telling us in the film industry they were going to buy a truckload,” Carlson says. “No one has gone through this way.” The milk crates turned out to be incredibly durable, and the kits were really flush with it.
When the pandemic hit and the film industry shut down, Carlson and Bray realized they had to find a broader appeal for their creation. With Carlson’s experience in the world of ATVs, traveling and camping came naturally. Coincidentally, the 18.5 by 12.5-inch rectangular milk crate, which is a Hollywood standard, fits perfectly in some of the aftermarket drawers people make from their trucks and SUVs. (Also coincidentally, flights and camping have taken off during the pandemic.)
In the ensuing few years, Sidio was certified outside of Hollywood and outdoor venues. “We knew there were likely to be a lot of outlets that adopted it,” Carlson says. The company’s early success despite unexpected headwinds is due to the universality of the milk crate and reveals it as a standard unit of storage. It also helps in making Sidio crates to work with the milk crates you rely on, stacking them or replacing them in any pre-existing setup.
Where older Sidio boxes improve on their modularity and support for the accessory ecosystem. Dividers are perhaps the most useful (and recall the wet cardboard that inspired the entire project) – they lock into place and are easy to move thanks to the numbered slots that help prevent misalignment. A bottom rug is just as useful, especially when what you need to store is small enough to slip through the holes. In our experience we tested the three boxes of Sedio Pro PackageI noticed a feature unboxed: it organizes cheerful. Turning the turbulent self of photographic equipment, external equipment, and random probabilities into an efficient system was more of a puzzle game than a chore in a to-do list (the chromatic score is much nicer to look at).
The Model has been compact from the start, Carlson says, and several accessories are on the way. “We have a list of compatible product ideas that are standard, and we only do them when the money comes in,” he says. One will be a cup-like container that holds small hardware such as screws or nails.
Sidio’s story seems serendipitous and obvious at the same time – modular milk crates simply look like an idea that should have already been around – an unexpected pairing that might be the hallmark of a good idea. Then again, everything could be fate: As it turns out, Carlson’s grandfather was a pioneer in plastic recycling in the 1970s. His specialty was to grind old crates of milk so they could be turned into new crates.