Four years ago, I was leaving my day job to focus on launching Deer&Doe. I was spending long hours training and researching, was pulling all-nighters, and sometimes spending entire days manually assembling pattern envelopes and preparing your orders in my office. Starting a business is a lot of work, and back then I had to do everything myself, from bookkeeping to shipping, creation and marketing!
Picture from March 2013.
Let’s start with printing! We’re working with a local and environment-friendly printer, which holds an Imprim’vert label and is FSC-PEFC certified. Being in proximity to our printer allows us to collaborate closely with them to select the more relevant formats and recycled papers for our patterns, and to reduce the distances between production and expedition (therefore cutting down on pollution!).
When we are ordering a new batch of patterns, once the press proofs have been green-lighted, the different components of the pattern (booklets, pattern sheet, envelope) are printed, then automatically folded and stapled. The huge machine below handles cutting out the envelopes according to a customized cutting layout, unique to our packaging.
Once all the components are ready, a small team of dedicated professionals shapes and fills every envelope by hand, and the patterns are grouped by model and stored in boxes, ready to be moved to the warehouse.
In order to store and ship our patterns, we had to call in a logistics contractor early on, as the quantity of orders to ship everyday didn’t leave us enough time (or storage space) to work on creating new patterns! The patterns are stored in a huge warehouse, next to other big brands’ products, until they are ordered and sent to you 😉 . The cost of this solution is not trivial, but it frees us from constraints of storage space, insurance, and inventory, and it scales organically with the growth of our company.
Once a day (or more if we’ve received a lot of orders), the list of patterns to ship is exported automatically to our logistics contractor: no order can get forgotten! A delivery slip is generated for each order, and all of the orders are prepared and shipped the same day.
As with printing, we chose to work with a local, human-sized company. We communicate with our logistics contractor on a daily basis, and this leaves us a lot of flexibility in processing orders and returns. Thanks to this collaboration (and also to postal services 😉 ), you can receive your patterns very quickly – often in just 24 to 72 hours if you live in France!