Alice Kao, an up and coming lifestyle entrepreneur, grew up in Palos Verdes and went to college at UCLA. She turned a climbing passion into a growing business, which is catching notice throughout Southern California.
Convincing banks and investors on an indoor climbing facility was a daily challenge for Alice Kao. Trying to get a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan was tough enough. Facing down the naysayers added to her load.
Alice, used to difficult times, pursued her goal of sharing her love of climbing with others. While in London, she discovered the sport’s healing abilities.
Sender One Indoor Climbing was Born
In 2011 Alice returned to the U.S. and Sender One Climbing LLC was born. She and her business partners persevered and made it happen.
Alice Kao and co-founders Wes Shih, and Wes Chu, succeeded. They should be proud of their achievements. Climbing was a way into self-discovery for these three enthusiasts. Climbing also gave them a way to connect with others. Visitors came to climb left with a better understanding of themselves.
Sender One Climbing LLC had three locations before COVID. With plans to expand in more locations.
Kao focused on diversity in her workforce. Many of Sender One’s lead staff are women. Sender One encourages staff involvement in the local community.
Visitors often leave with a sense of belonging. They feel like part of a community. This sense is actively promoted by staff. Sender One’s purpose is to encourage a social atmosphere for every member. Although an indoor climbing facility, they support outdoor climbing as well.
Sender City is a section designed especially for youth. They can learn to climb in a safe and welcoming environment. Staff is always available to assist. Sender City provides an interactive experience great for kids. Adults can join in too. It gives a different kind of climbing. These experiences are filled with fun challenges.
The SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program allowed Alice to retain much of her original staff. The COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan program helped Sender One. So, they were able to reopen two locations at reduced capacity.
You can find Sender One locations throughout Southern California including near LAX, Playa Visita, and Santa Ana.