About Tipsy Elves
If you have an ‘Ugly Christmas sweater’ you can thank Tipsy Elves for that. If you didn’t purchase directly from Tipsy Elves, their influence on the ugly sweater market since their launch in 2011 was one of the key drivers towards the popularity of this trend.
Started by a dentist and lawyer, Tipsy Elves has quickly grown from an UglyChristmas sweater company to the premier “Fun Apparel” fashion icon, with new lines available year-round from patriotic gear, ski suits, Halloween apparel and more. If the name sounds familiar, you might remember them from a 2013 Shark Tank episode during which Robert Herjavec made an investment in the company.
Today Tipsy Elves sees a 10X bump in orders during their peak seasons, and it is extremely difficult to find the flexible labor to manage these spikes. They hoped moving to a third party logistics company would solve the problem, but what they found was that the 3PL was not any better at managing the labor supply.
To make matters worse, the local Amazon DC would increase wages well above market to pick off all the talent during the holiday seasons, meaning that Tipsy Elves only got 25% of their positions filled and orders weren’t delivered to customers on time. “The 3PL and the temp agencies couldn’t fulfill our orders and when we pressed them, they would just shrug their shoulders” stated Andrew, the Head of Operations at Tipsy Elves. He vowed to never let this happen again.
Through my days as an operation consultant I remembered hearing great things about Wonolo and decided to give it a try. I posted the jobs and within an hour, all the positions were filled.
After that holiday season, Tipsy Elves decided to leave their 3PL and move to a new partner who is much more focused on eCommerce fulfillment and understands seasonality.
The job went off without a hitch and allowed Tipsy Elves to move to the next phase of warehouse operations, ready to tackle even more growth in 2016. Reticently, Nick adds, “We didn’t plan on using Wonolo other than for the move, but the ease and smoothness of the experience really opened our eyes to the possibilities.” Today, Tipsy Elves sees Wonolo as a crucial part of their operations, especially during the different holiday spikes their business sees throughout the year. Wonolo filled the void left by traditional temp agencies, which overlooked Tipsy Elves as a purely seasonal business without consistent demand for temp staffers.
The ratings system has been great. The ability to see a Wonoloer’s prior performance, have repercussions for poor performance, and incentives to perform well are completely different than some no-responsibility temp agencies we worked with in the past.
Ultimately, Wonolo allows Tipsy Elves to focus on the core of their business – designing awesome products, marketing them, and delivering the product to the customer’s door. “Wonolo took so much stress and anxiety out of our busy seasons” explained Andrew, because Tipsy Elves was confident that by spending 2 minutes to post a job on Wonolo, the rest would take care of itself. No more dealing with traditional temp agencies, no more paperwork or payments, and no more letdowns when the 3PL can’t deliver.
Furthermore, Andrew loved the visibility Wonolo provides. Andrew knows who is coming, what experience they have, how they have performed, what time they arrived, and how well they performed that day, all from across the country in San Diego; all while Nick and team worked with the Wonoloers in New York. This was in stark contrast to the black-box experience with temp agencies.
The contrasts with staffing agencies don’t stop there. Nick further explains, “We get a consistency of service and labor that perfectly fits our needs. I have the ability to tailor my jobs, which I would never get from a temp agency. If I need better people, I can bump up the pay. If the job is easier, I can drop the pay. If I need to turn off Wonolo for a day, I can do that. If I need 10 people today, 50 people tomorrow, and 25 the next day, I can do that. I’ve never had this kind of flexibility with a temp agency before.”
Andrew continues, “The Preferred Wonoloers feature has been great. We prioritize the people we love, with confidence that the job will still be filled if our first choice is not available.” Being able to build different teams and invite those preferred Wonoloers, as well as block others that aren’t the right fit made using Wonolo even easier.
Tipsy Elves plans out building out all their fashion lines with more styles and deeper quantities moving forward, solidifying themselves as the fashion brand that “makes the most outrageous clothes known to mankind in order to make your life more fun.”
The team at Tipsy Elves plans to have Wonolo usage grow hand in hand with their growth. Not only does Wonolo’s flexibility fit in perfectly with their business needs, Nick mentions there is one more reason why Wonolo will continue to play a strategic role in their operations. “I have worked in the industry for 20 years, and unlike much of the temp staffing world and so-called gig-economy, Wonolo is truly beneficial for the labor side. They seem to really care about the worker. That was impressive to me.”