Behind the Scenes at Bookroo

Published 3 years ago

One of the best jobs at Bookroo is preparing truckload after truckload of boxes filled with books to be shipped to our wonderful customers. It’s a big job, but it’s one of the most rewarding parts of every month.

When we first started Bookroo, we wanted to make sure that we were building a company that provided a service that was truly valuable to customers. We knew we wanted to send books, but we wondered how we could create a special experience around early reading—an experience special for children and their parents as well as the other friends and family members, like grandparents, aunts, and uncles, sending the books.

As we thought about it, we believed kids would get especially excited about reading with parents if the kids learned to see reading as a gift. The next logical step? Wrap the books in gift wrapping of course!

We’ve received countless emails and messages from parents and grandparents thanking us, and they tell us that when a Bookroo box shows up on their doorstep, even little ones who can’t read yet recognize the box and get excited about it.

Why? Our hope is that they are excited not only for the gift, but for the realization that they are about to get hours more one-on-one time with mom, dad, grandma, or grandpa as they snuggle together to read some new books.

When we first started Bookroo, a few of us planned an evening together to have a “fulfillment party.” At that time, four of the six members of our Bookroo crew were in school, so the party was usually a Friday night when we could take a break from our own (less fun) textbooks to work together. A few hours after we began, our boxes were filled with gift-wrapped books and waiting impatiently in the car for a trip to the post office Saturday morning. All in a Friday night’s work, right?

Over the next several months, fulfillment parties turned into fulfillment weekends. We started getting together earlier on Fridays, and we didn’t get things wrapped up (get it?) until Saturday morning. Before long, all the boxes didn’t fit in our little car no matter how much Tetris I’d played as a child. For a few months in a row, we were rushed to make it to the post office with the second car load before closing time. With the support of our amazing customers, we’ve sent out more books each month since we started. As you might guess, fulfillment weekends quickly turned into weeks.

Now fulfillment is an important part of every week here at Bookroo. And we stopped delivering our boxes to the post office ourselves. (Seriously, the day we learned USPS would pick up a stacks and stacks of boxes for free was probably the happiest day in recent memory.) Before we moved to our new location, our favorite USPS employee just ditched the little mail truck and brought his personal pickup truck! Last month, we had so many books waiting to be shipped out that our USPS friends brought two big vans just to have enough room.

The most important change we made to our fulfillment process in the last three months is that we started working with about a dozen stay-at-home moms—our mommaroos!—who were excited to help us by wrapping books throughout the month. Halfway through every month, our mommaroos come to our location and pick up several boxes of books and a big stack of wrapping paper. A couple weeks later, they return with boxes of wrapped books. It’s magic!

Honestly, we are super thrilled to be able to work with these amazing ladies. As much as we’d love to wrap every book ourselves, we’re just growing so fast that we can’t! But we’re happy that we found a solution that works for us and for our mommaroos. We get beautifully wrapped books, and they have a fun, simple source of income that gives them the flexibility they want.

Of course, we still spend time every month wrapping books, and we still have a fulfillment party weekend where we bring everything together and then ship it out. But we also devote tons of time each week to other business needs like customer support, planning, sourcing the best books, and working on exciting collaborations with bloggers and influencers.

With the help of our mommaroos, we’re able to continue carefully wrapping each book so that your special little ones can feel loved and excited for reading.

p.s., Can we just say that we have so much fun choosing the wrapping paper every month? It’s seriously almost as fun as choosing the books! The whales, #amiright?!

If you haven’t had the chance to sign up for Bookroo or the chance to send it to a little one you love, now’s a great time. We’re about to send out the best Halloween books ever, and we’d love to send some your way.

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