Going on an outdoor adventure is a blast until it’s time to set up the fire. Josh Thurmond invented the LavaBox, a portable campfire that takes all of these worries away. It’s made of ammo boxes, so you can be sure it’s sturdy. They pitched their product on the latest episode of Shark Tank and got a deal with Lori Greiner. As of 2023, LavaBox is worth an estimated $2 million.
About the Founder
Josh Thurmond hails from Denver, Colorado. Thurmond has a bachelor’s degree in history from MSU Denver and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Colorado Denver.
He started out as a program administrator at the District Attorney’s Office. After that, he held senior positions at companies including the National Sports Center for the Disabled, Adam’s Camp, and Handbid.
Founding the Company
Thurmond enjoys going on kayaking trips with friends. While touring the Rocky Mountains, one of his mates joked about putting a fire pit at the back of a raft. While everyone else laughed, it sparked an idea in Josh’s head.
Josh thought of ammo cans, which are common among raft guides because of their rugged material. When he got home, Thurmond connected a propane gas lead to an ammo box, which was strong enough to hold fire inside.
LavaBox was born and the portable campfire was founded during the forest fire season in 2020. It was the perfect time to release the product and it didn’t take long for Josh to take his prototype to the patent office.
Getting on Shark Tank
When the statewide wildfire ban was implemented in Colorado, LavaBox instantly became a hit as it’s compliant. People loved the product, and it went viral among campers on social media.
In a matter of months, the portable fireplace was leaving competitors in the dust. That was because it wasn’t only outdoor gear but also a tool for tackling climate change. Two years after launching, the company sold over 4,000 units and had $1.2 million sales by the time they got on Shark Tank. Multiple Sharks were circling for a deal but Lori won the battle with her deal.
After Shark Tank
LavaBox caught the attention of viewers’ after the show. However, because Thurmond‘s startup is fresh out of the Tank, its trajectory is still unpredictable. Josh earned praise as a simple tinkerer and even though he wants to create more stuff, he plans to focus solely on LavaBox. The deal with Lori hasn’t been finalized but it should close within a few months.
You can purchase any of their transportable campfire models at several sports and camping outlets such as Volcano eCigs, 4Corners Riversports, Liberty Mountain Distribution, and their website, FireAnytime.com. The cost currently ranges from $199 to $349 and new customers get a 10% discount.
Many of their designs have 5-star ratings on their site, and some are currently sold out. The “Shark Tank effect” can help Josh with this issue and restock. The business has huge potential as a licensing play.