Siblings is a sustainable candle company founded by brother-and-sister duo Eva Eckerblad and David Bronkie. Delivered in eco-friendly packaging, Siblings’ wax is meant to be melted and poured into a reusable vessel, furthering the company’s founding mission: to tackle America’s throwaway culture.
Here is Siblings’ story, as told by David.
When we launched in 2019, we were fulfilling orders in-house to get a sense of our order volume and packaging needs, but the goal was never to do that long-term. For the first few hundred customers, it was an awesome learning experience, but by no means is it worth our time to continue managing fulfillment. We quickly started looking for a reliable fulfillment partner with great software, and we needed one that was willing to use paper-only packaging.
We reached out to about 10 3PLs, including a few I had worked with at a prior business, but quickly found that everyone had implemented minimums. They just weren’t willing to touch new startup brands. A lot of the warehouses also refused to eliminate plastic from their packaging, which immediately meant they were not an option for us.
That’s when we found Airhouse. The website looked good, the pricing was competitive, and they were willing to work with us and help us to scale our business. Plus, Airhouse was willing to use all-paper packaging, so it made a lot of sense to give it a try.
In the last two and a half years, I think we’ve had four or five misships, which out of thousands upon thousands upon thousands of orders is incredible.
Onboarding with Airhouse was probably the fastest I’ve ever seen by a 3PL. We were shipping within two weeks, and the software worked from day one. Early on, I don’t think we had SKUs set up correctly, so we didn’t have the labeling and barcodes that were needed but Airhouse was very quick to label those and get us set up.
We’ve grown significantly since we first partnered with Airhouse, and they have been very consistent. They’re extremely quick, shipping same-day or next-day, and accurate, too—almost 100% accurate. In the last two and a half years, I think we’ve had four or five misships, which out of thousands upon thousands upon thousands of orders is incredible.
The main reason we launched Siblings as a DTC brand was the huge lift in education we needed to start wholesaling—you can’t put something people don’t understand in a retail environment. By going DTC, it was easy to communicate what the product was. We even ended up creating a little brand book that comes with every order. Inside, it details all the information needed to make the candle, but also background on the brand, general candle tips, and insight into our mission. We also send a matchbook with each order, and offer the option to include personalized notes if your order is a gift. Without Airhouse’s ability and willingness to tackle these kitting projects, we would not be able to deliver the same level of brand experience when customers open their packages.
When you’re trying to grow a brand, you have to have a lot of touchpoints with your customers. Whether it’s gift boxing during the holidays, adding new SKUs that come in branded tubes, or marketing material, we have a lot of kitting projects throughout the year. Those little projects are something we really view as important to brand building and giving the customer something a little more unique, which is crucial for customer retention and loyalty. Airhouse has been willing to help out and do those projects quickly and also pretty efficiently from a cost standpoint.
I typically log in to Airhouse’s system three to four times a day, but only to check inventory. I’ve worked with 3PLs that had archaic systems, but Airhouse has really clean software that’s on the same level you’d find at any modern tech company. That makes it easy to dive in, see where your inventory is, and not stress about logistics.
Overall, Airhouse has just freed up our time to focus on our sales and marketing, which significantly drives growth for our brand. Shipping products out yourself takes away from selling, or getting in front of the customer, or trying to reach new customers.
Our goal is to tackle throwaway culture, and I think the bigger we get, the bigger impact we’re going to have. So for us, partnering with Airhouse has been what we needed to free up time to focus on growth.
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