I realize that you all come to the store to look at the goodies for sale, but while I was busy processing some 30 yd rolls last week I thought perhaps to give you a behind the scenes look at Bo Dee-Oh! so I started taking pictures I thought I'd share here on the blog.
This is pretty much how the product arrives. Some pallets are bigger, some are smaller, but this is a pretty average one. This one had a bad slant on it and was pretty scary coming down that fork lift. I had paid extra to have this one delivered to my house. I usually will rent a U-Haul or pester my daughter, son-in-law and/or husband to help me pickup the pallets directly at the freight terminal. We unload the pallets straight into our truck bed or back of an SUV.
This past spring I was able to buy a lot of very cool product and the deliveries exploded, so I rented a 7' x 10' temperature controlled storage unit about 2-3 miles away. This is what it looked like the last time I was there.
This is what it looked like a week or two earlier. Luckily Bob helped me straighten this out. Oops!
Quite a lot of these rolls don't make it the storage unit but are hauled downstairs to the workshop.
Sometimes my downstairs hallway looks like this.
Usually, it looks like this though.
The next step is the cutting table. I have a professional grade cutter mounted on a 6' x 3' table with a second 6' x 3' table acting as a feed surface. I'm able to process several layers of vinyl/fabrics at the same time. My husband set this up for me with 6' rulers running along the surface for guide. The smaller 4' hand-held saw is used to cut the foot longs. It fits exactly between the two rulers running out the bottom of the photo, so the one table allows me to use both cutters for the two sizes!
After the pieces are cut, I pull them off of the table and stack them on a little folding table behind me. Back and forth, cut and stack until it's time to sit and roll up those little 18" rolls that easily store in the Ikea cabinets in the product room.
Here is the last big cutting stack I processed. Yes this stack was about 14" thick. I decided to time it. I spent 50 minutes by myself one evening. My daughter showed up the next day for some help with a quilt (different blog post) and the two of us took another 1.25 hours to finish rolling. That's a total of 3.33 hours.
This is the finished product of all of that rolling.
One roll of each of the various materials are pulled out and tagged with the sequential SKU numbers and then the rest are put away in the shelving in the product room. Once I am able to look them up and get the particulars, I then create a product in the store, enter the quantity and it goes live. Additional pieces of previous items are easy to add to the store, but I make sure to update any variations in weights/backings, etc., before I release them into the wild.
See the distracting mess of cardboard tubes in the back of the photo? That's another part of the store to mention as these have expanded my world in the past few months. I'll have my husband cut 10 or so of them into 11.625" pieces, so that I can use them to pad out the ends of the USPS Flat Rate Box I use for shipping. It helps keep the fabric rolls in place so that they aren't slopping around in the box and unrolling which could cause unnecessary creasing of the product in your order. However, I can't use all of those tubes. Too many, so I recently learned about going to the Transfer Station here in Bellevue to recycle them. Bob had been going there for years and I had NO idea what that involved. Where I've lived before we didn't have transfer stations.
Here, mass cardboard recycling is free and as long as you are a resident, they let you in. Following the blue line painted on the street from the gate to the building, you pull in and toss your load into the labeled dumpster.
Here's the truckbed full.
Here's the now full bin.
Here's a show across the building. These trucks are using the pay by the pound dumping. They're weighed on the way in, they sweep their beds into that pile and then are weighed again on the way out. Some of the stuff over there looked kind of cool and I wonder how often something usable is dumped here and wondered if they allowed people to pick it over.
Although I have never done all of these things in the same day, it does give you the idea of how many "hats" I wear here at Bo Dee-Oh!. It's non-stop. Sometimes fun, always interesting and I like to think that something new and cool is around the corner each and every day. Ellen