Running a handmade hat brand from an RV

Running a growing handmade hat brand from an RV has been an easier transition than I expected. It goes without saying however that it hasn’t always been easy, but I have gained so much clarity on where I want b.e.happe to go. 

The first problem that I had to tackle when transitioning from a permanent location to an ever changing postal code was making sure that I could keep a consistent return address on my labels and have the ability to change my shipping location to determine shipping costs. I found ShipStation which allows me to batch print, integrate with multiple selling platforms, and have a permanent return address with the ability to change ship from locations. 

I use Shopify for my website and love it! I use the app on my phone 99% of the time on anything from updating product descriptions to order management. 

Other apps that I use on my phone for my business are Snapseed for photo editing, Asana for task management, QuickBooks for finances & Google Docs for tracking raw inventory, planning the upcoming season, etc. 

I brought my Dymo 4XL from our home and it’s still going strong after 3+ years. I order my labels in bulk on Amazon and it definitely helps speed up the shipping process! I will never forget the day that I purchased it, it’s an larger expense but I knew it would be worth standing in line with 3 kiddos in the post office. 

My office supplies are all in a kitchen hutch cabinet. Having all of my paper supplies visible helps me see when I am getting low on supplies ranging from shipping tape to thank you cards to product tags and shipping bags. Instead of counting my paper inventory regularly, I know for example that one of my clear containers that holds my thank you cards can hold 1,000 cards...when it starts to get low I can see that I need to reorder.

Re-evaluating my systems has also helped with the transition of running the handmade hat brand with adding homeschool to our plate. I typically ship my hats Monday, Wednesday and Friday during a normal week and Saturday if needed.  After full mornings of homeschool and usually a fast and furious lunch, I start to prep my orders, filling single hat orders first, then multiples.   I have found that sticking to this routine helps me focus and ensures that I reduce/eliminates errors.   

I think just like everything else in life and business, this system will work for this season and when it starts to become less efficient, that’s when I start to alter.