Behind the Scenes in our Warehouse!

Aside from our headquarters office, the warehouse is where all jewelry you receive is handled. Here, it is triple checked, packaged and shipped to your front door! However, many of you have asked what ACTUALLY goes on at our warehouse, and let me tell you, it’s A LOT! Here is a small glimpse into the day-to-day with two of our staff, Amanda and Stefanie:

What happens when a box arrives from Asia?

Once we finally get it opened, we find a packing slip inside! Then, we make sure the packing slip matches the invoice we sent to our headquarters team months before. Most importantly, we make sure the correct products are all in there!

If there is a mistake or mismatch between the inventory we count and the invoice, we change the invoice! It’s our headquarters’ job to update this paperwork.

How big is it? What does it look like?

It’s a 2 ½ by 2 ½ foot square box, all taped up in yellow! We call it “Asia tape” because everything that comes from our headquarters team is wrapped in this yellow tape.  

All of the products come in a huge Ziploc bag, like the picture below! They come labeled with their little SKU stickers on each piece. Our headquarters’ team works hard and tediously to get this done.

There are 25 of one product in each Ziploc bag, and they are labeled with a white piece of paper with the SKU and quantity. Lots of numbers!

Tassel earrings usually come with small plastic tubes around them to protect them on their long journey from Asia. Once someone orders a pair, we take the plastic tubes off so that they look nice and fresh for our customer!

What are the tasks you have to do to process it?

We have a system called WooCommerce which allows us to see what orders are processing! We count all of the pieces and make sure that the number we have matches our invoice. Once we have everything checked, our team unloads each individual baggie with 1 product into the correct bin!

What happens after someone places an order?

Once we get into the warehouse, and the orders from WooCommerce get printed out, we start filling the orders. This is when the real fun starts! The list of orders contains order numbers on the top and SKU numbers associated with each order underneath.

Our volunteers have a great system, especially when we see a TON of orders come through during a sale or when new jewelry debuts. Sometimes we have one person calling out SKUS and another pulling products, depending on our business. These are the bins we keep all the SKUS organized in!

What happens if someone requests something, like birthday glitter?

We did that! A customer service request came in asking that we put glitter in someone’s package for the recipient birthday. Thankfully, we have really great people who are right above us in our warehouse. They had a bunch of glitter, so we scrambled upstairs, threw some glitter in the box, and sent it on it’s way! Ryan’s Place is a child art therapy and grieving counseling office that is located above our warehouse, and they are wonderful!

PSA: We do not fulfill customer service requests like this one anymore! We believe our packaging is celebratory and decorative enough 🙂

We often get customer service requests asking us to write special notes for the recipient of the jewelry, like this one!

What happens if someone tries to change their shipping address?

Usually, we process orders very quickly throughout the work day. However, our rule of thumb is if the customer catches it within 30 minutes, and contacts us with their order number, name, and new shipping address, then we can usually change it in time. Sometimes, this isn’t the case, and we just have so many hands on deck that we package and send orders crazy fast!

One customer said that her order arrived quicker than Amazon Prime!! Crazy!

What happens when items get picked up?

This happens:

We have the best mail lady ever! Ilona is so gracious and helpful. We love her!

What is Black Friday like? Why is it so crazy? Why are busy times so crazy?

INSANE! We try to prepare ahead of time by getting organized and having a system of who will do what. We also have a lot of extra help! The photo below is one of our staff’s daughters.

This year we had 4 volunteers plus us two, so 6 total! We made an assembly line where one person is on the computer, one person is weighing the package, one person is filling orders, and one person is checking orders! Stefanie usually makes sure that everything goes through on the backend, while others are printing labels and packaging. It truly is so much fun, but it’s definitely crazy!

We just need coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.

Tell us about the shipping volunteers!

Right now, almost half of our volunteers are considered “new” and half are “old time,” meaning they have been a part of Starfish longer than anyone in Goshen! Our group is very close knit, and our old volunteers are really gracious with training new people. Even when a new volunteer comes it, it is naturally a fun, tight knit group! Our crew has had a great time working with each other for the last several years.

Each day, we have 2 volunteers come in and help us! In total, we have 10 volunteers, and half are Jenny McGee’s family and friends! Jenny’s mom and aunt have both been volunteering with us for years. We love how inclusive and inviting their family has been to all of the other volunteers and staff at Starfish Project. It’s really cool how many people are connected to Jenny and her family here. We feel like that illustrates the community feel of Starfish Project very well!

There are a couple of women who started volunteering after hearing Virginia’s Instagram, Facebook and Summer Fun plug for new volunteers in our warehouse! One volunteer named Melissa is from Lafayette, and after participating in Summer Fun Challenges last summer, she decided that she wanted to help in a tangible way. A volunteer named Emily started helping after a customer service email was sent out too.

Obviously, volunteering only works if you live near Goshen, but we LOVE the new volunteers! They always catch on super quick after a training day, and pick up on the system pretty fast.

What is the craziest customer request you’ve gotten?

Aside from customers requesting large quantities, we have had special customer service requests for weddings, school stuff, birthdays and more! A few customers have asked if we could design specific sterling silver wedding rings for a bride and groom, which unfortunately we do not do.

We have also had several requests for just 1 earring after a customer loses one. We find this silly because we cannot just send 1! The pair has to stay together!

THANK YOU Warehouse Staff for your hard work and dedication to our mission! THANK YOU volunteers for sacrificing your time to help package jewelry for customers. And THANK YOU Starfish Project family not only for having patience with our team as we answer your customer service questions and package your shipments, but also for allowing us to work alongside such an incredible, gracious, and fun group of women. We couldn’t do it without your support.