Learn how cosmetics brand FlutterHabit scaled up its growth using ShipBob’s Merchant Plus solution and SeaMonster Studio’s website development and consulting services.
Created in June 2019 in Kansas City, MO, and co-owned by women, FlutterHabit is a cosmetics brand that offers an affordable alternative to traditional eyelash extensions. FlutterHabit’s underlash sets are designed to be cut into clusters and customized to each unique eye shape — and unlike single-use striplashes, FlutterHabit lashes last a whole work week. With a variety of styles for different looks, as well as a monthly subscription program, customers have a new and reliable way to achieve lashes that boost their confidence.
- 35,000 orders a month
- 2 warehouses
- 185K followers on Instagram
- 35.5K followers on TikTok
It’s amazing how something as small as eyelashes can have such a big impact on a person’s confidence.
Beauty enthusiast Kasey Jackson loved how she looked with eyelash enhancements — but none of the options on the market met her needs. At a nearly $300 monthly expense, professional eyelash extensions were simply too expensive to maintain; on the other hand, applying single-use falsies every morning was far too time-consuming and didn’t deliver the look she wanted.
Determined to achieve a lightweight, natural, easy, and affordable lashes, Kasye started experimenting. She ended up creating her own product: a 5-day underlash extensions that could be trimmed into individually applicable clusters to fit any eye shape or size.
As she shared her invention with her family, they affirmed that she had found a market niche. Before long, Kasey, her husband Tim, and her other family members were holding their first meeting around their kitchen table, divvying up responsibilities to launch the business they named FlutterHabit.
Within a year, Kasey’s husband Tim quit his corporate job to focus on FlutterHabit full-time, and FlutterHabit’s Instagram marketing began gaining traction as beauty influencers spread the word about the new product. FlutterHabit soon partnered with design and development agency
SeaMonster Studios to optimize their tech stack engage in ongoing website development projects, and grew quickly over the next few years.
FlutterHabit is still growing, with 30,000 orders a month on average, an ever-expanding product line, and no signs of slowing down.
We sat down with FlutterHabit’s COO Bethany Peterson to learn more about how FlutterHabit leveraged the partnerships with ShipBob and SeaMonster to help power their brand behind the scenes, and scale FlutterHabit’s success faster.
A word from our partner: SeaMonster Studios
As told to ShipBob by Wes Buckwalter, CEO of SeaMonster Studios.
Honing the post-purchase experience to drive conversions
We started working with FlutterHabit about 2 years ago, when they were already gaining popularity and scaling rapidly. They expressed to us that they were looking to take the growth they were experiencing to the next level.
Our first project with them was related to their subscription software. Subscriptions were and are a huge value-driver for FlutterHabit, and they asked us to help them customize their post-purchase portal for subscriptions to offer just a few select upsells, rather than presenting all possibilities. This feature was not originally included in the software, and nobody on their team was familiar enough with the proprietary code needed to build it, so they turned to SeaMonster.
We built a solution for them that narrowed their upsell suggestions down to just the best fit for each individual customer’s purchase history, so that the customer doesn’t get overwhelmed by choice. As a result, FlutterHabit saw not only post-purchase conversions increase, but also their average order value on subscription orders.
Leaning into expertise and change to maximize growth
After completing the initial project, we continued to advise FlutterHabit on other improvements they could make. We proposed redesigning the website for readability and faster loading, achieving WCAG compliance, and refining FlutterHabit’s wholesale programs, dynamic discounting, analytics, and customer service platforms.
Asking a business to change something established is a pretty big deal, and many companies might be afraid to risk failure — but FlutterHabit didn’t bat an eye. They leaned in to our expertise completely, and were enthusiastic to experiment with new solutions.
FlutterHabit’s willingness to ask for and listen to our advice and expertise has made them one of our favorite clients, and has no doubt contributed to their insane success. They’ve grown well over 1,500% in the two years of our partnership, though most of that growth is due to their amazing product. FlutterHabit listens to their audience and follows trends, which has enabled them to create a really unique brand that our team has loved working with.
Scaling everything but manual warehouse management
As told to ShipBob by Bethany Peterson, COO of FlutterHabit.
When we started the company, we were fulfilling orders from Tim and Kasey’s garage, which lasted for 6 months. In January 2020, we got our own warehouse for storage, but ended up using it as our first fulfillment center.
As demand grew, we expanded into another warehouse, and then a third a year later. We were growing exponentially, adding employees, and learning on the ground how to handle fulfillment.
But in managing fulfillment ourselves, we kept running into pitfalls.
The person running our shipping solution was spending all of their time printing labels and sorting them. Addresses would kick back every day. Our error rate was through the roof because we had no barcoding or any checks and balances, so our bundles weren’t as easy to batch as they should have been.
We just got to a point where we thought, “Surely, brands bigger than us are not dealing with these issues. There must be a solution out there.”
Because we were a smaller company at the time, the manual system’s drawbacks were manageable for the short-term — but we knew we wouldn’t be that small forever. Since we’ve more than doubled our order volume every year, we needed to think ahead and find a more scalable warehouse management system (WMS) before we grew anymore.
“Once we could see the pitfalls in our old manual system of fulfilling orders, we just realized we need something else to scale with. To get where we were going, we would need more structure to support all of our growth — so we switched to ShipBob.”– Bethany Peterson, COO of FlutterHabit
Implementing ShipBob’s Merchant Plus solution with top support
From the moment we signed on to use ShipBob’s WMS in our warehouses, we always felt so supported. During implementation, three ShipBob employees spent a week onsite at one of our facilities to help us reorganize and remap our warehouse.
No one on our team was ever professionally trained in logistics, so we learned so much from ShipBob’s team of experts! They showed us how the WMS’s pipeline works and even how to save time on certain fulfillment steps.
Now that the WMS is up and running, we also have a dedicated account manager from ShipBob — but the individuals who spent time onsite with us still answer our questions! Either way, we always get answers within minutes or hours that day.
“Even beyond implementation, the customer support from ShipBob has been so great. At every point in our growth where something has gone wrong, somebody’s stepped in and been there to walk us through it.”– Bethany Peterson, COO of FlutterHabit
Unlocking instant visibility through an easy-to-use WMS
One of our favorite elements of ShipBob’s WMS is how user-friendly it is. Even though the dashboard houses a ton of complex capabilities, its usability is still spectacular.
It’s so simple to use that we wrote down instructions for how to process returns on a piece of paper, taped it to a desk, and now any one of our team members can walk up and immediately log in and follow the steps. The software just takes them through it, so we can train a new fulfillment team member on the WMS in about 15 minutes.
“With ShipBob’s WMS, we have better information at our fingertips.
Before, we had to do a lot of manual sorting through spreadsheets and emails just to get just to feel like we had all of our information in one place.
Now, we can instantly look up how many orders we need to ship out each day, and tell if we’re behind just by glancing at the ShipBob dashboard.”– Bethany Peterson, COO of FlutterHabit
Our inventory tracking has improved as well. Previously, inventory tracking had been getting too complex for us, as we were still manually counting inventory from multiple locations using spreadsheets.
ShipBob’s WMS allows us to easily monitor inventory levels at every warehouse we operate, and any future warehouses we add. Through ShipBob’s software, we can manage different fulfillment centers remotely, with much less back and forth.
There are also solutions hidden in ShipBob’s WMS that we didn’t realize we needed. For instance, our implementation manager offhandedly mentioned that ShipBob’s system allows customers to include a gift note in their purchase. None of our own software could give us that. It solved a problem we didn’t know we had! We love that we can so easily customize orders to build a delightful customer experience through ShipBob.
Outsourcing Canadian fulfillment to reduce shipping times
An influencer helped us build up our market in Canada, but right off the bat, international fulfillment was very difficult for us. The Canadian 3PL we initially tried was tedious and expensive, and our customers were constantly complaining about shipping times.
Fortunately for us, ShipBob has a fulfillment center in Canada. So, in addition to using their WMS in our own US facilities, we ended up storing inventory in ShipBob’s Canada location. This has allowed us to reduce shipping times for DTC orders originating from Canada — and because ShipBob handles fulfillment at that facility, we don’t need to hire our own Canadian fulfillment team, lease a warehouse, and learn all the nuances of operating ourselves in a new country.
With Canadian orders getting to customers faster, we’re now ready to increase our sales and build wholesaling channels in Canada. Storing stock locally in ShipBob’s Canadian fulfillment center means that salons and other businesses that want to sell our product will see reduced duties, taxes, and fees associated with carrying our products.
While high tariffs discouraged these businesses from placing large B2B orders before, ShipBob’s solution makes international B2B (and DTC) sales affordable.
Connecting your tech stack for holistic information
We host our website on Shopify Plus, and use Gorgias for customer service, both of which integrate directly with ShipBob. ShipBob’s Gorgias integration is particularly helpful, because seeing what’s happening in our warehouses gives us an extra layer of information when we’re answering customer service questions.
ShipBob also works well with our other tools, including Okendo, ReCharge, Cogsy, Avalara, and Loop Returns. It’s been great to have a fulfillment tool and WMS that fit so seamlessly with our existing tech stack.
What’s next for FlutterHabit
FlutterHabit is on track to double in size again this year. We introduced 6 new products so far in 2022, with 6 more ready before the end of the year, and we plan to expand our product line to include brow products and other cosmetics. Our goal is to keep releasing products that are fresh, fun, easy to use, and that take an expensive appointment off our customers’ calendars.
We’re looking into new markets and sales channels, too. With Instagram under our belt, we’re focusing on our email, SMS, and TikTok platforms, and testing other avenues through which we can connect with our customers.
Expansion into the EU and UK is also on the horizon. As a company that’s founded, co-owned, and run almost entirely by women, we are so excited to continue empowering women all across the globe, and keep connecting with all the people for whom we innovate.
“In terms of growth, FlutterHabit is hitting the gas, so we need a system that can help us do it — and ShipBob has totally handled everything we’ve thrown at them.”– Bethany Peterson, COO of FlutterHabit
Hero’s team at ShipBob
Joel is the Senior Account Executive who helped FlutterHabit onboard with ShipBob.
Blair is the Merchant Success Manager that helps support FlutterHabit.
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