A Long Haul

by Jul 2, 2024Business, Southport Oak Island

Quicksand Beach Concierge makes beach days easier for locals and visitors on Oak Island.

You never know when a bonfire will change your life.

For Oak Island’s Matt and Chasey Bynum, it happened in spring 2021 when around a crackling fire a dream was sparked in their hearts.

“Some friends of ours who had just opened a realty company on the island were talking about how many rental houses don’t provide beach chairs because things get broken so easily and don’t get taken care of,” Chasey remembers. “They said it really would be great if somebody provided beach chairs and umbrellas for guests.”

Without wasting any time, the Bynums started Quicksand Beach Concierge in the summer of 2021, naming after Matt’s grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Quick, who had owned a house, “Quick’s Sand,” on Oak Island since the 1980s.

Quick Sand Beach Concierge

To start, they bought 20 chairs and 10 umbrellas thinking that someday this side hobby would eventually grow into a business their children could enjoy working in the summers. Little did they know what a demand there would be for beach equipment rentals. Now entering its fourth year of business, Quicksand Beach Concierge has an inventory of more than 250 chairs (with more on the way) and 150 umbrellas as well as beach carts, beach shades, cabanas, coolers, baby gates, pack-n-plays, grills and more.
Matt says that being able to bring his grandparents’ name back to Oak Island has been a true blessing.

“I was very close to my grandparents,” he says. “I remember coming down to the beach when they were building their house. How we would sleep in the back of the truck on those visits. I remember after the house was finished, my grandpa taking us out on his boat and him letting me drive the boat at a young age. I remember fishing with him in Davis Canal and the times we would get stuck in the mud. I was so close to them and I’m so grateful to carry their name on our business in this place that was so special to them and is now so special to us. I know they would be so proud and so happy for us.”

For those who know the Bynums, it is not surprising to see how hard they worked once that fire was lit in them and how passionately they jumped at an opportunity to succeed.

Matt was a determined and gifted baseball player who was drafted at age 19 to bring his 93-mile-per-hour fastball to the Cincinnati Reds. He chose to return to family and home life after two years in the minor leagues and is now a successful operating room equipment sales manager with aspirations to someday join Chasey at Quicksand full-time.

Beach Setup Quick Sand

Chasey has always had an entrepreneurial spirit, owning a successful hair salon in the southern Piedmont area where they were born and raised and always pursuing side hustles even after she became a homeschooling mom.

Their children are not able to work for Quicksand at their current ages of 15, 14 and 13, but the Bynums are excited to pass this business on to them when they are ready.

Being able to employ and mentor young people is important to Chasey and Matt and one of their favorite parts of the business. Each summer they hire young men to join the Quicksand family (this summer there are 10 of them). Some are full-time locals, some are college kids on break, and some are young men staying with relatives for the summer.

“We really enjoy working with these young men who show up early in the mornings and work hard and typically have great attitudes,” Matt says. “We laugh and joke. It definitely has a team feel to it. We are all working to provide excellent service. And I enjoy watching these young men grow in the experience.”

As Matt could tell you from lots of personal experience, it is hard physical labor to lug high-quality beach equipment over the dunes, which is another reason so many people are willing to pay Quicksand to carry and set up for them.

Quick Sand Concierge OKI

Since the Oak Island Town Council’s 2023 decision to move ahead with paid parking, Quicksand has seen many more people shift to walking or riding to the beach instead of paying to park, which has certainly increased their business. And the dunes that are renourished are often higher and harder to trek over, which equals more business for Quicksand. It seems the concierge services opened at just the right time to fill many gaps created by recent challenges on Oak Island.

“We enjoy solving problems,” Chasey says. “We recognized early on that even though we always drove down here for vacation with all our beach stuff because we had a big SUV … there are a lot of people who fly here or don’t have big cars so they can’t bring their beach stuff so then they have to buy cheap chairs or things and end up throwing them away at the end of the week. You should see the amount of equipment that we see getting thrown away on any given Saturday in the summer. We hope that what we offer relieves some of that waste and helps make people’s vacations that much more enjoyable and hassle-free.”

Quicksand has expanded its business with the acquisition of OKI Beach & Paddle rental fleet, so now they have bikes, paddles and kayaks as well. In addition, this summer for the first time, customers will be able to stop by the storefront (on Oak Island Drive) mid-day and find an employee there ready to assist with equipment rentals.

Quicksand’s newest achievement is its partnership with Oak Island Accommodations, which manages 500 houses on the island. As guests book their rental houses, they will be directed to Quicksand Beach Concierge’s website to rent any equipment needed for their vacation.

“We never could have envisioned the amount of growth we’ve had the last few years,” Matt says. “And much of that is thanks to Chasey’s diligence to connect with the community on social media and our desire to serve our community in fundraising and giving back.”

Oak Island NC Quick Sand Concierge

Because of their community engagement and business leadership, last year Chasey was appointed to the Business Advisory Committee, which provides insights and ideas for the Oak Island Town Council.

The Bynums’ commitment to excellence carries over to their equipment as well. They understand at their price point that customers expect high-quality equipment and customer service, and that’s exactly what they aim to provide.

They pay attention to detail on each setup and work very hard to keep the equipment as clean and new-looking as possible. This is no small achievement with the amount of bird droppings, slushy spills, mineral sunscreen stains and wear and tear that happens daily on beach chairs. They have invested in multiple types of material to find out which cleans the best, and their employees work every evening to rinse everything off and pull anything out of the rotation that is not in top-notch condition.

“We are so grateful for all those who have supported us,” Chasey says. “We love that we already have repeat customers that we see each year and have watched their children grow four years older. And we are so grateful for all the locals who have supported our business. We thought we would only have visitors as clients, but many locals use our services as well when family and friends come to visit or when they need a staycation. Also, in the winter season, we are so grateful for all the support we have had for our bonfire services.”

Quick Sand Concierge

Beach bonfire season on Oak Island runs from November 16 to April 30, and Quicksand just finished its fourth year of providing no-hassle bonfire setups that include the wood, chairs, music, a cooler with water and a s’mores kit. All that is needed is for the customer to show up and enjoy. Three hours later Quicksand will come and pick everything up and make sure the fire is properly extinguished.

Hit the Beach:
To find out more about Quicksand and rent equipment or have a bonfire (that could potentially change your life) check out:
quicksandbeachconcierge.com
quicksandbeachconcierge

Photography by Katie D Photography