Launched as a side hustle during the pandemic lockdown in 2020, Hulken skyrocketed to a level of success that neither of its founders anticipated. To scale their fulfillment capabilities at the pace of demand, husband-and-wife duo Yoni Sheleg and Alex Schinasi turned to Airhouse.
Invented by Alex’s father, the Hulken—a multi-purpose bag on wheels—was a non-commercial family product for years. But when Yoni took the bags to market in 2020, the orders started rolling in at an impressive clip—the company was profitable from Day 1.
Next came the unavoidable growing pains of scaling and DTC brand: as sales grew, the company needed a fulfillment partner that could keep up and provide a runway for further growth, including multiple strategically located warehouses, both across the country and abroad.
Efficiency was also top of mind: Hulken’s small team needed a logistics platform that would automate much of the fulfillment minutiae. The 3PL Hulken launched with had no integration with reverse logistics software. Yoni was forced to manually process returns using spreadsheets and email, which he described as both cumbersome and prone to error.
“The nature of the fulfillment business is very antiquated, and logistics as a whole is not an industry that has been tremendously innovative,” Alex said. “So we struggled, with our innovative mindset, to see a lot of things that just didn't make sense, but appear to be standards among 3PLs.”
"Half of the experience is getting that product to our buyers safely, effectively, cost efficiently. And Airhouse is going to be critical to us giving the best experience to our customers."
Since migrating operations to Airhouse in 2021, Hulken’s founders said the biggest benefits to their business have been:
“Airhouse is a partner that understands our operational needs and struggles and is able to provide personal attention and care at all levels, which we need in order to scale successfully,” Yoni explained.
And that scaling has only just begun: Hulken saw “tremendous growth” in 2022, and Alex and Yoni anticipate the company will grow tenfold over the next five years. They recently expanded operations to include bicoastal warehouses, improving cost efficiency for the business and the delivery experience for their West Coast customers.
Orders are automatically routed to the appropriate warehouse through the Airhouse platform—the element of the company Alex said she was most impressed by. Better usability and native integrations with partners like Shopify and Loop Returns have freed the founders’ time to focus on scaling, rather than being bogged down by tasks like processing returns.
“With Airhouse's integrations, we're able to automate all fulfillment operations,” Yoni said. “Now returns are processed 100% automatically and seamlessly.”
Alex and Yoni have big plans for Hulken’s future, even eyeing the potential for an international expansion through Airhouse’s UK-based warehouse.
“We’re only scratching the surface,” Alex said.
“We’re a direct-to-consumer brand. Half of the experience is getting that product to our buyers safely, effectively, cost efficiently. And Airhouse is going to be critical to us giving the best experience to our customers.”
"Airhouse is a partner that understands our operational needs and struggles and is able to provide personal attention and care at all levels, which we need in order to scale successfully."
With all fulfillment tasks outsourced to Airhouse, Malla's leadership is free to focus on furthering their mission.
Hamam's first international fulfillment provider lost 20% of the brand's inventory and used outdated technology. Airhouse enabled Hamam to cut costs and provide a better customer experience.