The Cost Of Shipping & Handling Is Your Soul...
I'd like to keep my business as transparent as possible. Not only because it's ethical, but because for those curious about getting into this whole selling enamel pin game this kind of shit needs to be demystified.
I released the "Solidarity Pin" for pre-order on March 21st. After the week-long pre-order period was over I had a ton of orders (YAY!). But I have to say: I sort of botched the whole shipping and handling thing.
I am obsessed with packaging. When you open up a product and the mere process of opening it up is an experience — I am sucker for that kind of materialism. Thus, I really wanted my packaging to be cool and on brand. I can't afford anything fancy so I went with a few cute personal touches. Hot pink envelopes, crinkle paper, stickers, pretty pink cellophane wrap.
Then came the technicalities.
I was sending postcards: how the fuck do I mail them without postal workers bending them in the process?
How do you even ship something lol? I assumed I would be able to print postage online, but no, you need a third party service. Wah, do I have to pay for a third party service?
How much does it even cost to ship something? It can't be that much, right?!
How much more could international shipping really be? (LOL!)
I was very caught up in how nice everything looked that I forgot how everything would actually work. I am sure you're wondering why I hadn't considered all of this? Sorry, grl, I got no answer.
Obviously, all of these problems were solved, but the solutions came a little too close to that shipping date. I got foam board to ship the postcards securely. After realizing it would take 90 million years to print out address labels, then weigh each package at the post office kiosk, I got a stamps.com account. After realizing shipping would cost more than I thought, I raised my shipping prices (which are still less than what it actually costs to ship).
International shipping actually costs more than the pin but I ate the costs because that's what you do. I had no idea how much time it would take to wrap all those little pins in pretty pink cellophane, or how much time it would take to cut little squares of foam board, or how much time it would take to weigh each package at a kiosk (I guess that's the handling part, lololol!). It was all learning experience that week, which has since been streamlined.
Most importantly, I learned that I need help. In fact, I actually had help the entire time. Shout out to my BFF Libby who has regularly volunteered her time (she literally stayed the night and worked the next day to help me get those pre-orders out on time.) without me ever having to ask for help. She's been helping me since I got this crazy idea and has been my hype woman the entire time.
Libby has helped me so much in this process, that I came to rely on her help. So I made it official, my BFF Libby Phillips, is now officially COO of GRL TRBL. I am still the creative voice behind the brand and will be managing most things, but Libby has the left brain that I sorely need. She is the kind of person that asks questions like: "When you price your items do you consider the amount of time and how much it actually costs to make them?" LOL. Duh.
Libby is also a Public Relations boss bitch and has been running her own business since before I took the vowels out of girl trouble.
As always, thank you for you continued support and be the trbl you want to see in the world.
Oh hai, I was on episode three of Black Beauty Link Up: The Podcast with Ashley Monique and Jade Jones, we talked GRL TRBL, intersectionalism, and not giving a fuck.
You should definitely be following @GRL_TRBL on Instagram.