Dear Maelove Family,
On behalf of everyone at Maelove, I want to thank you for your love and support of Maelove through this roller coaster of a year.
As I have done for the past 2 years, I am writing this yearly update to share with you the challenges we faced, how we overcame them and what we hope to bring you in the new year.
Building stronger partnerships to bring you more great products
At Maelove, we've been a digital-first organization with a distributed team setup since Day One. Thankfully, we already had in place processes and tools that make remote collaboration simple and easy.
However, this was not the case for our supply chain partners whom we rely on to produce, store and ship products on our behalf. These businesses suddenly found themselves having to quickly overhaul their processes and go digital wherever possible.
One of the gratifying aspects of overcoming 2020 was that we built even stronger partnerships with our partners by helping them streamline their communication and reporting processes with better use of email, messaging and other emerging productivity tools.
When our partners work better, we work better. We expect these upgrades to ultimately benefit our customers with a more steady supply of products, so we can avoid lengthy out-of-stock periods.
Upgrading processes to prioritize safety while increasing efficiency
Our most substantial operational upgrades were in order processing, where we made sweeping changes to achieve our main priority - implementing safety measures for our fulfillment team members - while keeping up with growing orders and processing them in a timely manner.
We overhauled the order handling system to organize similar orders into buckets that are more easily workable in the new, much more spaced-out work configuration.
This new approach significantly improved our efficiency and has enabled us to process more orders per person per hour while keeping team members safely distanced from one another.
Finding ways to deliver your order faster
E-commerce shipping has been a headache in 2020 as the rise in online shopping strained shipping capacity everywhere.
Customers may perceive that, as a business, we can control the shipping process more than the individual customer. Unfortunately, just like you, there is little we can do once a package enters the carrier network. It’s terribly frustrating for both us and customers alike.
Instead of fixating on what we can’t control, we looked at things that we could do something about.
As you can see in our graphic below, when a local post office truck comes by our fulfillment facility to pick up your orders, there are an additional 2 steps involved before packages reach a larger USPS distribution hub.
We decided to try a different approach and hired our own truck to take packages directly to a larger USPS hub. This allowed us to bypass the first 2 steps, and it seems like we might be able to shave 1 to 2 days off the total transit time especially during busy seasons.
For now, we’ll try this new method twice a week because direct trucking is very expensive. We’ll continue to explore ways to make your shopping experience even better.
As for implementing international shipping, it's on hold. We hear of international deliveries that used to take 10 days now taking up to 2 months, which is totally unacceptable.
We'll revisit this matter once international air freight returns to normal. We apologize to everyone overseas and thank you for patiently waiting.
An exciting new product launch this year (in fact, the only new product launch) was our Moonlight Retinal Super Serum. We were pleasantly surprised that we sold out of the entire first batch within a week of launching.
Moonlight contains retinaldehyde (also known as retinal), and there aren't many products on the market that use this ingredient because it's a notoriously delicate and expensive ingredient to work with. For these reasons, many cosmetic labs won't work with retinaldehyde, so it was hard finding a manufacturing partner who was willing to take on the challenge.
The key to Moonlight’s success was that we already have had years of experience working with complicated formulas like The Glow Maker serum and the Love 31 face oil. Without first building this knowhow, we wouldn't have been able to create Moonlight.
We've been working on scaling up our Moonlight production to meet the growing demand. Because Moonlight is a complicated formula, increasing production takes some time. We hope to restock Moonlight sometime in February 2021.
Bringing you more new products in 2021
We’re working diligently to bring you more amazing products next year (hint: more serums and creams) and will be providing email updates when we have a better idea of when each will launch.
We emailed you a survey in December asking you what new products we should make, and we received thousands of responses from you. We're glad to see that many of the popular responses were products that we’ve already been working on to launch in 2021.
We’ll prioritize your requests and will continue with our mission to provide high quality products at a great value with a smooth shopping experience.
As always, thanks for reading and keeping up with Maelove as we grow. We want to wish you and your loved ones a healthy and happy New Year!
-Jackie Kim (CEO) and Team Maelove