I know most of you assume that we've got a pretty high-end operation over here at 901 Collection, with fancy robotic inventory management systems, and army of staff. We thought it would be fun this week to let you peek behind the curtain and see what our little family business is really all about.
As some of you may already know, 901 Collection is a joint endeavor by Emily & Jonathan May (who you might know from 3 Shades of Blue & 3SOBRadio) and Courtney & Mark King (who you might know from Grizz/Fan Essentials). Both families were going (separately) to Disney earlier this fall, and we worked together to make some pretty awesome "Grizzney" shirts for everyone to wear on the trip.
Not surprisingly, we had a lot of people ask us if they could buy one of those shirts. While we knew we couldn't acquiesce that request, it occurred to us that we'd really enjoyed the process of designing shirts together and were eager to find another project to work on as a group. As we looked around the vibrant Memphis shirt market, we found that there was a staggering shortage of clean, simple and gender-neutral designs, and very few long sleeve shirts. And thus, an idea was born.
Now that you know a little about us, and why we're doing this, we thought we'd show you what "901 Collection HQ West" (aka "The May Residence") is all about. Of course, it all starts with the very best Comfort Colors shirts, which we source from the manufacturer and one secondary distributor, depending on stock availability.
From the time we order raw shirts to the time finished shirts are delivered from our local printer is generally about two weeks. This is part of the reason that our pre-order policy provides that it may be as long as 14 business days if you purchase something out-of-stock. It may be shorter, if we've already got an order in process for that design. It could be a little longer if we can't place the order until the following Monday. Take comfort in knowing that we want to get them to you as quickly as possible, and are always working on ideas that can shorten our production time.
Once the shirts come in, we immediately inventory and inspect them to ensure that the shirt and print is up to our standards. Then, we get to folding and tying, which is...intense.
Now, you may wonder how we get such a beautiful, consistent fold on the 901 Collection shirts you receive. It's a trade secret, but we will share it with you if you promise to keep it between us:
If you ever came over for one of our "staff meetings" (aka "lets order some wings and talk about the Grizzlies and some business"), and saw the destruction left in the wake of our five-year-olds, you'd know this book was the appropriate selection! Once everything is folded, tied and tagged, it goes into our highly complex inventory control systems:
From there, it is order fulfillment time! Now, when we have outstanding pre-orders, our first priority is to get those folded, tied, tagged, packed and shipped. We're consumers too, and know that waiting for your online purchase can be the worst. Otherwise, every night after the interns (errr...kids) go to bed, we go upstairs, consult our master notebook and write thank you cards to fulfill that day's orders.
With the orders pulled and cards written, its time to pack and ship!
The process ends, at least for us, when we drop off all our packages at the Post Office!
Once they are out of our hands, we get to sit back and wait for your tweets and Facebook messages, and enjoy your excitement for your new favorite shirt(s)! We're not kidding when we say these messages make our day, so please keep sending them!
Now you know how the sausage is made, so to speak! We hope you've enjoyed this little tour of the 901 Collection operation. We just wanted you all to know that this is a labor of love from our families to you, and that we take seriously our commitment to provide outstanding customer service and deliver the best Memphis-centric shirts you've ever purchased.
As a reward for those of you who took the time to read this little story, we've set up a promo code (BEHINDTHECURTAIN) for you. Enjoy!
-- Team 901 Collection