Sub Bag 101

Sub Bag 101

Have you ever wondered what goes into the Subscription Bag process at Double Dipp'd?  Read on to find out how we make our Quarterly Subscription one of the most popular out there!

Planning of the colors usually starts during the last quarter's bag honestly. I'm always thinking ahead.  But, once the current bag goes out, I begin checking samples of premium materials to figure out color schemes.  I also rely heavily on the time of year and what is "in" at that time. Knowing I cannot make 1,000 people happy, I try my best to create something unique and perfectly paired that mostly everyone can be excited to wear.

I usually make the Subscription Blog post early on. It normally contains the same information, but it's always important.  It will always contain a new discount code for your purchases while subscribed.  I also will add the Theme to the post.

I'll order materials and when they come in, it's time to put together my thoughts and bring an idea to reality.  Sometimes I choose color names first, without even having colors planned.  This helps me to create colors that will follow the names.  Other times, I struggle with names until the colors are created.  It just depends on what else is going on in my life at the time and how clear my head is.

After the 15th of the month prior to mailing the bags out, I can prepare my final subscription spreadsheet. This process can take me hours to do.  I have to download all transactions for the time the sub bags are sold (and recurring payments are made) and weed through them ending up with only sub payments.  Then I can remove all information from my spreadsheet that doesn't matter (ex. date of payment, amount of payment, id number etc.) basically all the information PayPal adds to transactions.  Next comes the daunting task of matching up the "shipping name" to the "name" on the account.  You probably don't even know this, but your PayPal account is separate from your shipping name and information.  Many of you have a different name, business name or old last name on your PayPal account, but want it shipped to a different name (maybe the account is in your husband's name, or a business name, or your maiden name).  At this point, I have to cross reference all 1,000 of the names and make sure your shipping name is the one that ends up on the shipping label.  The way the shipping software formats the labels is in fields.  Thus, using the "shipping information" from PayPal cannot be done.  It pulls the "Name" "Email Address" "Address" "City" "State" "Zip" and "Country" from separate fields.  This is why it's important for me to go through the spreadsheet or you might receive your bag with your Business Name, old name, or even your husband's name. 

Making the colors is always challenging. I use three 5 gallon buckets to mix my colors.  I refer back to previous quarters' formulas to structure how much I need to mix to avoid making way too much powder.  Some quarters I make just enough for the amount needed and that's scary. Almost every time, I begin by making the premium color first.  This helps me to pair the solid to it and then the shimmer or glitter to the solid.  Remember, this is a "perfectly paired" subscription so they all must pair together. Sometimes I can make 2 colors in one day.  Making approximately 60 cups of powder in one bucket is a lot to mix.  I also must reflect back on other colors I have made over the past years because we can't have a color look identical to another.

Once all  three colors are done, it's time to do the grunt work.  This is where my adult son and daughter come in.  My son will spend about a day's work labeling 3,000 lids.  Filling the jars can take anywhere from 1 to 2 days depending on if he's filling them all himself or if my daughter is there to help.  They are housed in large tubs (1,000 jars of each color) until it's time to assemble the packages.

In the meantime, I am preparing, printing and cutting the cards that come with your bag.

Packing takes time.  A type of assembly line is set up and the 3 jars of powder are packed in bubble wrap, an information card and sealed.  These bags then sit in tubs until it's time to prepare mailing labels.

Here we are back to the labels.  Before labels are printed, I make sure all address changes I have collected since the mailing of the last bag are input into my final sub spreadsheet.  I then split the spreadsheet up into thirds.  (I do this because mailing 1,000 bags out on one day would result in catastrophic delays with the post office) I normally send out 1/3 of the bags in three mailing days.  This also helps Mr. DD because having 9 huge mailing bags in one vehicle is extremely hard.  

The last step in this long process is to print the labels, put them on mailing bags and slip the "sub bags" into the envelopes, seal them up and add them to the mailing bag.  The week we decide to mail out the bags (always by the 15th of the month), we begin this task.  Normally we take the 333 labels and start this at least the day before that set is taken to the post office so we don't have these huge bags cluttering up our workspace.

The bags are taken to the post office and on their way to you!  Now that you know what takes place with your subscription bag from start to finish, I bet you appreciate it much more!  What seems like an easy task, clearly is not as easy as you might think. :-)