How about starting a project to prove that businesses can show corporate responsibility and donate a fair share of profits to NGOs? This is how the idea behind Arcticus was born.
Brand founders, at the time, three 18-year-olds, decided they wanted to support the Arctic environment and wildlife. The first step towards their established name today was selling bracelets, as this was an easy product to assemble and something that didn’t require a significant investment. The selling took place during break time, after class, and at parties for friends and friends of friends.
We sell different lifestyle products, such as reusable water bottles, coffee cups, organic clothing and bracelets. We aim to produce our products to the best and most ecological standards possible whilst offsetting carbon dioxide emissions caused by shipping and production with reforestation programs. We want to make products that can be great replacements for daily-use items such as plastic water bottles or paper coffee cups, thereby reducing waste. The best part is that Arcticus donates 25% of its profits to environmental organizations that help conserve the Arctic and its wildlife. We have trusted collaborations with several charitable partners to whom we contribute regularly.
We could only work on our business part-time since we were all studying in different universities in different countries simultaneously. So, the only time we could work was after classes, on weekends or holidays, when we would get together and work as much as possible. In August 2019, we were on a “holiday” in Spain and scaled our advertisement campaign well, which led to more sales than we were prepared for. Expecting to spend the day on the beach, we made bracelets, hand-labelling envelopes and packing orders. Instead of spending the night in tapas bars, we would drive to the post office just before they closed to see an unforgettable look on the assistant’s face when she realized she’d still have to put stamps on 100 envelopes. After some days, a pattern became clear to the post assistant (who mentally prepared herself for our arrival) and ourselves when we realized that this was all we would get out of this “holiday”.
After some research online, we found SMS to be the most competitive option for us regarding provided services and pricing. Located strategically in Austria, the SMS warehouse offers easy access to most of Europe, where most of our customers are based, thereby reducing shipping times. They have contracts with a number of shipping carriers which allows us access to shipping prices that we would not be able to achieve if we were to dispatch orders ourselves. On an onboarding call with Zorana we were very convinced by the professional impression she left on us and the personal atmosphere, which convinced us that we were in good hands. We didn’t know much about fulfillment centres or what we would have to do next, so having a trustworthy point of contact was crucial for our success with this.
With SMS we have been given the chance to focus on other tasks of our business and use our time more wisely in improving the business and growing the brand. Over the years, we have built a strong relationship with the whole team at SMS and worked on making our order preparation processes more efficient with less potential for errors. I’m pleased to be able to rely on SMS on a daily basis, knowing that all orders will be fulfilled correctly, our stock is in safe hands and that the team may even raise proactive suggestions for improvements to me. In the 4 years of cooperating with SMS, we have had the pleasure of meeting almost everyone from the back office. The team is lovely and works very hard towards making us grow. Recently, and finally, we were able to visit the fulfillment center in Gerersdorf to get to know the team on site, ensuring everything goes well with our orders every day. We had a lovely time in Austria, and the whole team was very kind to guide us, explain all the processes, and implement any new ideas or wishes we had.
Almost a year ago, we started working on a second brand, an online candle store called The Right Moods, and it was a no-brainer to store products and fulfill orders with SMS immediately.
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