Starting out, there were two things we had to validate immediately:
- Is there a demand for our particular brand of expression?
- If so, would people buy ‘em?
To bring this to market quickly, we opted to partner with a fulfillment center that prints on demand, allowing us to avoid the costs of warehousing stock, buying in bulk, hiring extra hands, etc. This frees us up to focus on building our community and helping you share your best stories. The trade-off is that we pay a premium for doing things this way, which means lower profit margins for us, since we’ve gotta price competitively until we have some good brand equity under our belts.
Every few days, I’ll rolodex some ideas that might captivate people for possible designs. Whatever it is, it’s gotta be bold, appealing and must speak to and for the people we want to reach.
Next I’ll hone in on a particular quote, trying to figure out how best to tell a story with the resources in my arsenal. Once I’m happy, we move into the mockup phase so that I can test different color combinations and clothing styles. We finalize the design by setting it up for print and launching a new product in our storefront for your enjoyment.
Our fulfillment center is our backend solution. They handle the actual screen printing, stocking, and shipping. Nelly Bloom is the front-facing side. We craft the designs, present the products, serve via customer and community success, etc. Fulfillment is where we overlap. Two sides. One coin.
Once you place an order with us, it’s sent to our backend warehouse where the item’s chosen, the print is done, and then packed and shipped on its way to you. Regrettably, we personally have little influence over how rigorous the quality control process is and how soon orders are shipped. However, these are two elements in which our fulfillment center continues to improve. The clothing is awesome, there are are virtually no imprinting issues and we’re getting them out within 1-2 business days during off-peak seasons.
Again, our Phase 1 business model is a process of validation and scalability; it’s a stepping stone to a larger arc. Our ideal setup is for us to fulfill everything in-house on our own (Phase 2), but we’re not at that growth curve yet. Transitioning into the next phase, we’re offering a Bloomembership service and entertaining getting into a few brick-and-mortars. Both allow us more control over your experience with us, thus we can be closer to you all the way from concept through delivery. Wish us luck!