Navigating growth while staying true to your core values is a common challenge for independent, value-focused small businesses. It's crucial to expand without compromising the very essence that drives your operations – your personality, love, ethics, and independence that sparked the creation of your business.
This predicament becomes especially pertinent when your business reaches the stage where outsourcing services like warehousing, fulfillment, and distribution becomes necessary. How can you scale efficiently while keeping your unique identity intact?
Paper Starlights , is an indie business proudly based in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, UK. Since 1996, we have been dedicated to sharing the light with our exquisite, handcrafted paper star lanterns.
Each star is meticulously handmade in India by a family business using traditional, non-mechanised techniques. We are delighted to have fostered a relationship with this same family for over 25 years. Our commitment to ‘Share Trade’ resonates throughout our process, ensuring fairness, decency, and personal connections from the source of production to the point of sale.
At Paper Starlights, we firmly believe that quality shines through when creativity and collaboration come together. Our beautiful paper star lanterns are a testament to this belief, illuminating spaces and hearts with their charm.
Twenty-five years have passed, and we're still chasing our dreams under the stars. Proudly, we hold the title of the top producer of handmade star lanterns, a product that's close to our hearts. As we move forward, we're determined to expand our brand while staying true to our core values.
The pandemic threw us a curveball - we had to find a way to connect with our customers since our traditional, face-to-face, physical events were no longer possible. We saw this as an opportunity to embrace the digital world and take our business online. We weren't just going to dabble in it; we wanted to fully embrace e-commerce. It was a bold move, but we were ready to make it happen. Of course, this required us to ensure the strength of our supply chain to support our anticipated success.
Scaling up was a challenge - we didn't want to compromise the essence of our brand. We needed to find 3PL partners who shared our values and could help us reach our growing customer base while maintaining our uniqueness. We sought a fulfillment solution that not only met our needs but also added a personal touch to the whole process.
In our journey through the digital landscape, we learned the significance of the people behind the technology. Building personal relationships with the right collaborators became crucial.
Without further delay, here are our top 5 tips for selecting the perfect fulfillment partner:
- Compatibility: Ensure your values align and that you're on the same page in terms of business goals.
- Ambition: Look for a 3PL partner with growth plans and a genuine desire to support your company's growth.
- Personality: Seek partners who add a personal touch, take the time to understand your needs, and are accessible when you reach out.
- Robust and Bespoke: Find a fulfillment system that combines a hands-on approach with reliability, flexibility, and human intervention when needed.
- Collaboration: Choose a partner with a proven track record of successful partnerships and a willingness to share those benefits with you.
Thanks for taking the time to read. Together, let's keep shining bright!
With love from the Paper Starlights team.