Customer Story – Project Repat
We have amazing customers who sell great products, and we love to tell their stories about their business and how they use ShipStation. Today’s story comes from Project Repat.
Nathan Rothstein, Co-Founder
Can you please give us a quick rundown of from where the business idea came?
The Project Repat story starts in Nairobi, Kenya, where my co-founder Ross Lohr, was doing non-profit education work. After sitting in traffic for 2 hours, he discovered the cause of the jam: an overturned fruit and vegetable rickshaw pushed by a Kenyan man wearing a t-shirt from “Josh’s Bar Mitzvah”. While our first idea didn’t fully come to fruition—creating upcycled t-shirt bags—our customers did lead us to what we do today: creating a product with which customers have a real connection while also creating jobs in the US.
With the need for your customers to ship you their shirts, what kind of particular struggles you’ve had? How did you overcome them?
In July 2012, when we were getting a few orders a week, we ran a national Groupon and sold 2,000 quilts in a week. A few days later, hundreds of boxes showed up in our small office in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston. We had to play Tetris every night just to find the door. By the time they filled our office, the hallways, and the front entrance, we had to rent a U-Haul and drive them down an hour to Fall River, MA, where we found a new production partner—Precision Sportswear. When they were done, we rented the van again, and picked up all the finished orders and brought them to the Post Office. We didn’t know we could do all the shipping at our own office, so it took the post office an hour to go through the orders. People in line were not happy.
A few months later, we started having customers send their shirts directly to our production partners in North Carolina and Massachusetts. We tried using other shipping software, but with the two partners, they were not really compatible.
How has ShipStation helped you with your business?
It’s great to have the two users. Our two production partners, Opportunity Threads and Precision Sportswear, do all the shipping in addition to constructing the blankets. We have a one-of-a-kind product that can’t be replaced and the people shipping out our blankets have a huge responsibility and ShipStation makes it really easy to track everything.
How has favorite ShipStation feature?
We really like the daily reports and it integrates really well with both Shopify and Celery (our backend program).
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