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Embracing the Power of Nonlinear Fulfillment Systems With Paul Jarrett

Paul Jarrett

Paul Jarrett is the CEO and Co-founder of Bulu, a trailblazing woman-owned logistics business specializing in high volume kitting, e-commerce fulfillment, and multichannel logistics. Paul's Hybrid, Hub & Spoke fulfillment model empowers brands with unlimited sales channels and packaging options. Over the years, he’s launched programs for renowned brands like American Express, BuzzFeed, Crayola, Disney, and GNC, solidifying Bulu’s reputation in the industry. Featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, Forbes, PBS, Inc., CBS News, Good Morning America, and other major media outlets, Paul boasts 20+ years of experience in consumer packaged goods (CPG).

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • What Paul Jarrett learned about logistics over the years

  • Work-life balance and equality at Bulu

  • How Paul started and grew Bulu with his Co-owner

  • What is 3PL, 4PL, and 5PL?

  • How the tagline “Tricky Ship” was created

  • The evolution of the logistics business

  • Logistics organizations and software Bulu has leveraged

  • What does self-awareness mean to Paul?

In this episode…

The global logistics market is estimated to be worth over $9 billion in 2024. And by 2028, it is projected to value $14.08 trillion. So, if you’re thinking about entering the logistics space, this might be the sign you need. The industry is on an upward trajectory, and it’s not expected to slow down. How are forward-thinking companies in this field fostering growth? 

Logistics innovator and entrepreneurship mentor, Paul Jarrett, discusses the benefits of using the hub and spoke model distribution model. This fulfillment framework combines a central location called the hub, which is where the goods are stocked and stored, with the spokes, the different distribution centers that deliver these goods to customers. Using this hybrid structure helps businesses streamline order distribution and multichannel sales. While tracking and managing goods across multiple points might seem complicated, Paul explains that keeping the products’ digital and physical information together throughout the supply chain is the key to success.

In this episode of The Tao of Pizza Podcast, Mark Hiddleson speaks with Paul Jarrett, CEO and Co-founder of Bulu, about nonlinear fulfillment systems in consumer packaged goods (CPGs). Paul discusses Bulu’s Hybrid, Hub & Spoke model, how he got started in logistics and fulfillment, lessons learned from years in the industry, and what self-awareness means to him.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode:

This episode is brought to you by Specialized Storage Solutions Inc.


I have been in the logistics and storage industry for several decades. I know I don’t look that old, but it's true.

We provide industry-leading warehouse storage solutions nationwide.

So basically, if you have a warehouse that needs Rack, Shelving, Carts, Conveyors, or Mezzanines, we help engineering, installations, inspections, and repairs to help clients optimize their logistics operations.

Sometimes people don’t even realize that we can actually help with permit acquisition services.

We take a holistic look at your entire business supply chain ecosystem to develop the resources for continually improving your operation.

To learn more, visit or give us a call at (707) 732-3892. One of the best ways to learn more about our products and services is to follow us on Instagram. And there’s a link on our website to do that.

I will even give you my personal email address for podcast listeners, so email me at if you’re ready to take your warehouse storage and retrieval systems to the next level.

Episode Transcript:

Intro  0:01  

Welcome to The Tao of Pizza, where we feature top logistics leaders, entrepreneurs and supply chain innovators and share their inspiring stories with a holistic twist.


Mark Hiddleson  0:12  

Mark Hiddleson here, host of the Tao of Pizza Podcast where I talk with top industry innovators in the warehousing logistics and supply chain business with a holistic twist. Today we're going to talk to Paul Jarrett about his tech enabled logistics company that provides 5PL services at 3PL rates, and empower CPG brands to store pack and ship orders. Through unlimited sales channels, packaging options, and packing configurations. We'll even explain what those acronyms mean. For those who don't know, I think I'm so I'm gonna have to ask what by PL means. But, but before I introduce Paul, this episode's brought to you by specialized Storage Solutions, Inc. And hey, I've been in the logistics and storage industry for several decades. And I know I don't look that old, but it's true. We provide industry leading warehouse storage solutions nationwide. So basically, we have a warehouse that needs rack shelving, carts, conveyors, and mezzanine will help with the design, engineering installation inspections and repairs to help our clients optimize their logistics operation. And it's funny, Paul, sometimes people don't even realize we can actually help with permit acquisition services. So we take a holistic look at your entire business supply chain. ECOSYS not the resources. Yeah.


Paul Jarrett  1:38  

You you you do this stuff to put the stuff on the


Mark Hiddleson  1:41  

stuff to put the stuff Yeah. And so Paul. Oh, yeah. And I wanted to say I had to thank Jeremy Weisz of Rise25 for introducing me to today's guest. Rise25 specializes in helping b2b businesses reach their dream 100 clients using a podcast then based on today's guests, it looks like it's working for us. Paul shouts to Dr. J. Dr. J. Yeah. And I think we're the only two people Thank you, Dr. J. But


Paul Jarrett  2:19  

Mark, Mark, you have a phenomenal voice for podcasting. And you don't have a voice. The face for podcasting. What are you doing? You should be on television. Oh, man.


Mark Hiddleson  2:35  

So I do have a face for podcasts you but so So Paul, let me see Paul Paul is a fulfillment freak and celebrated Midwest entrepreneur with a remarkable track record of launching over 100 consumer packaged good programmes, and more than 50 subscription and gift box programmes for giants like American Express, Buzzfeed, Clorox and Disney. Paul's expertise is unparalleled. Now as part owner and CEO of Bulu, a trailblazing woman owned logistics business. Paul is reshaping the future for consumer packaged goods brands. Right now with their hybrid Hub and Spoke logistics model. It's a game changer that empowers brands with unlimited sales channels, packing and packaging options. They like to call it the tricky ship. Paul, welcome to Tao of Pizza.


Paul Jarrett  3:23  

Thanks, man. Thank you for having me. And thanks, everybody listening out there. Yeah, that's right out the gate and say I'm nervous. I got people zipping around on scooters behind me for anybody not watching. We got to the warehouse right behind me. So they're doing the tricky ship right now. Yeah, it was a break.


Mark Hiddleson  3:41  

And you're you can see I love your background, because it's this is the only time where we've had a live running warehouse. Plus you're sitting in a it looks like you're sitting in a modular office. Yeah, I don't mention in the ads. We also supply those.


Paul Jarrett  3:56  

Yeah, the stuff to put your own stuff. And yeah,


Mark Hiddleson  4:00  

yeah. So this is great.


Paul Jarrett  4:03  

It's been like, such an interesting transition and just trying to communicate to people like we're here. We're on the floor. And it's been it's quite a shift going from like selling software to doing this and can't wait to share more with Yeah.


Mark Hiddleson  4:18  

Yeah, so share before we wanted to get in a little bit about your background, how you got there, but since we're gonna be talking about the 5PL and 3PL a little bit about what that means to you know, what's a 5PL like, I'm pretty sure I know what a 4PL and you know, 3PL is a public warehouse. Yeah. Yeah. And then CPGs consumer packaged goods. I knew that.


Paul Jarrett  4:44  

Man, it's so annoying in this industry with all the acronyms. We've been doing it for probably 12 years. And probably I would say within the last three years I have just started buying the textbooks and that was that epiphany moment of Like, Oh, wow, receiving means 100 Different things or 100 different people, you know, SKUs can actually mean different things to different people. And it's, it's one of those things where I always feel like logistics isn't complicated, but it's complex, and it requires your attention. And that oftentimes is confused with complexity. And what I tell people is, you know, the way that we view it, I have a water bottle right here, and we just kind of view it as you have a physical product. And then you have a digital version of that. And in linear shipping, people kind of like set it up, where, you know, they've been doing it the same way for hundreds of years. Like, here is the product right on paper, it goes from point A to point B, boom, we're done. And it's just shocking, where when we started our company over 10 years ago, we actually started with a consumer packaged good. And we, we figured that, oh, the software will be there, or these things will be there. And it's like, over a decade later, and it never came, you know. And so I just say like, really what is logistics in modern day, it is the physical version, and the digital or the ghost version. And no matter where it goes, you know, point A and point B, point C, D, E, F, back to point A, as long as those two things, the digital and physical information of the product stay together, like anybody can kind of do what we're doing. But it's just phenomenal. How much acronyms and software in traditional ways and frankly, like intimidation, because you know, people don't want to change it. If it ain't broke, don't fix that is like this industry, right? And, but we broke it, and we broke it down. And we think we have something pretty cool. And you know, the whole 3PL the 5PL, that's like right at the textbook where I go, which I did not read at all in college, so I didn't do the football thing. So I had to go get get get a few of us. But we kind of view it as and this is, you know, I would love to have like an open debate or whatever with anybody about this. And so far, you know, we haven't been pressed by it with like industry professionals, because we did run this messaging by a lot of like, people that study this stuff that teach this stuff. And we're like, we want to make sure we're not overstepping. And I would say in a 3PL. For the most part, right? You got to take this with a grain of salt, because it's like what textbook what era? Or did you study in the way that we we view it is, you know, 3PL is three things store, pack, ship, right? When you add something on either side of that, like let's say before the storing some manufacturing or after the shipping, some distribution channels. Now you have like a 4PL add another layer under that it's a 5PL. And so what we see is, you know, we could probably go up to 8PL for what we do, but we do get involved with the manufacturing and in many different ways if we need to. We had a client right now that it was a flour base good. And being in Lincoln, Nebraska, we literally walked 50 feet over to the warehouse next to us that does packaged flour baked goods, and it was a pancake mix. And were able to get it for way less money and kind of manage that part. And really the interesting thing is we're doing like unlimited sales channels. So that's really the thing that's disruptive. And with the unlimited sales channels. For our clients that work with us and do fulfillment through us they can add Etsy Tik Tok, Instagram, Walmart, Target like b2b, b2c, it doesn't really matter, because, honestly, after a decade of working with some of the biggest brands in the world, one of the reasons that we've fought really hard to acquire the company fully is that we wanted to offer this thing to every consumer packaged goods brand, right? Like we really view us as like we are evening the playing field, because we've seen what Disney, what  American Express, what GNC, what they have, and how much money and you know, I joke about this with them as our clients. I'm like, well, thanks for funding us to be able to offer this to everybody else. And they're like, no, no, it's like, go get it like, you know, so yeah, we just came out with that messaging not too long ago. And, boy, there's a couple big, big blips for clients that signed on and the coolest thing is, I've never had partners get to like spread the word about us as much as they have. And so that's just been phenomenal. So we're just kind of cranking up the volume on that a little bit and hybrid Hub and Spoke logistics versus traditional linear fulfilment is, is we underestimated how, what a big deal that was for people. 


Mark Hiddleson  9:53  

It's really it's the technology that allows you to do the Hub and Spoke because like you said, wherever that goes Hmm, I'll have to watch that product get on the dock, get onto a FedEx truck or UPS, or whatever. Yeah, you can. People can ship from, you know, multiple locations, I guess it doesn't have to basically come to your warehouse? 


Paul Jarrett  10:14  

Yes, there. There's a few current shippers that popped up in the pandemic, I'll say, I kind of say ship blank, you know, fill up, fill in whatever word after that, right. And we understand totally what we're doing what they're doing. And there's a time and place in the market for that. But what I would say is, a lot of those are kind of like the Uber for fulfillment, like the Uber to get your consumer package good, where it needs to go. They say, well, like sometimes there's like, really bad Uber drivers. And what do you do when, you know, the Uber driver has your, you know, your product in it and your software? And so we will only connect with like new vetted third party fulfillment, storage, places that we usually get down on the ground level and go check them out. And our client knows. And that's a big difference. Because when those places popped up, kind of, we didn't sign up for him, because we filled out the forms. And we're like, Well, that's all it took. Yeah, you know, like, bow down. And Alabama has not, you know, I've, you know, inventory management issues are hard enough, let alone chasing your product down. And, yeah, so it's been good. It's really cool. It's fun. What we're doing right now, we're like helping brands grow through logistics. It's wild.


Mark Hiddleson  11:37  

Yeah. And I would say that five part of the 3PL is the fact that you're doing multiple sales channels, because I've thought about this a lot. And we're serving a lot of three pillar leaks. One of our best clients because things are constantly changing, is that there's really only one company who allows people to do that. And I'm not sure it's the best company to be doing business with. And I'm like, right, when other companies are going to get this idea of allow, because there's so much power and being able to what were the ones you mentioned Etsy, Shopify, so one person Hawk,


Paul Jarrett  12:13  

Instagram, Target, Walmart, the independent local chains are the ones that have been the biggest lift for our partners. So that's cool. And that's


Mark Hiddleson  12:24  

great to empower him to be on the same platform where people can order from their local purveyor or anywhere, they don't have to worry. As an entrepreneur. It's like, well, I have orders coming from all these different directions. I can't even process that. Right. Yeah. So you guys, remind that? Yeah, it's a BS for sure. Nice. Nice. So I like this the same cold start with the why. So I looked at your website, and I love this and explain what you mean by your passion is the five way win? Yeah. And opportunities for consumers, clients, co workers, co owners and community? Yeah. So yeah, a little bit about that. I love I love that.


Paul Jarrett  13:09  

Yeah. Well, what's interesting is I got to work directly with Simon Sinek on that. So that was pretty cool. And yeah, I was giving a presentation. And I was the keynote, and probably the day before I got a call, and they said, Sorry, we got somebody else. And I was like, Are you kidding me? Like, well, it's Simon Sinek. I'm like, Oh, yeah. Come and watch him. So worked out. Right. And yeah, but we, you know, my co founder, who happens to be my spouse, I think is the way that she would prefer me to say it. Yeah. No more, it's 2024. We can't say my wife. Because if you're around here, you know, she runs the show, I just happen to be the guy that's dumb enough to put my name on everything I know. So we she, you know, really does run the day to day. And when we were in the process of deciding whether to buy the company out fully or not. We really kind of went back to some of our old materials and kind of, you know, you just have that moment where you're like, what are we doing this for? Do we want to do it? Only if we do it our way? And we kind of went back to the like, why did we get into this whole thing. And the interesting thing is, we've never been like obsessed with a product. We've never been obsessed with a service. I mean, if you look, you know, we grew a CPG company, we built the software and so that and we've always struggled. But if you do look to both of our backgrounds, and kind of the families we come from, we come from big, big sports families, and it is all about the team. Right? And we know that if you can create a winning situation or opportunity for the right team, like you'll win every time. Yeah. And so we really focus on that Five way win. And we are very specific in the order and how it went. And and we just know that for us and for our team, if there's a challenging decision to make, or even, you know, we have some really great opportunities that come our way. If it doesn't check the box in any of those five categories, the answer is easy. We're not going to do it. Now, caveat. Sometimes, you know, that co workers might get a better opportunity than the community, right? But it's kind of like, make sure nobody gets screwed in the process, right. Like if our company was to be acquired, which we're not really that interested in anymore. But if it were, everybody's got their price. And it was to move out of the community. I don't, I can't really say that we have probably do it, right, though, isn't that $1 amount that we could give back to the community. So that's just like a gut check. And the interesting thing is, it helped us solve a lot of the friction between us because and investors because you can tell, after a decade of working with a board and with everybody, like, you know, there was one side that was like, grow like crazy. And there's another side that's like, just do the right thing, and the growth will take care of itself. Right. And you know, me I was the one kind of like, flip flopping like, well, the growth and scale is fun. We know how to do that. But like a stable foundation and just doing things the right way. And really, it was a great exercise to go through that. And it's just so easy to go. If it's good for all those parties involved, and it doesn't hurt him like we're probably in so it clarifies a lot for a lot of people in the


Mark Hiddleson  16:44  

community. What are some things? I was just laughing because I saw I changed my background. I used to have a sports memorabilia. Yeah, Dallas Cowboys, because I'm a Cowboys fan. It's a bad time to admit that right now. I put up we sponsored the Pinole seals swim team. And I saw they they brought us a plaque and everything. I'm like, Well, I'm putting that plaque. I'm like the Cowboys is going down. Yeah. All swim team, like these guys are dominating. And it's you know, so the nine year olds, but we've, you know, we've supported the community in ways. Yeah. It's funny, I always looked at it as giving back, but have gotten way more out of it, you know, coaching sports, by sports Uniball the community, I get more out of it. So we're all for those opportunities.


Paul Jarrett  17:38  

That's like, the secret is like, you know, it ends up feeling almost for me and Ally's like selfish, right? Because everybody's giving you praise. Oh, you did this thing or whatever be like, Dude, I there's I feel good about it. Like is for me, like, meeting with entrepreneurs or helping out companies. And, you know, they're like, Oh, I can't believe you spent so much time on like, no, this is a welcome, you know, opportunity to help somebody else out and just, you know, go help somebody else out. But, you know, one of the things that we did pretty early on, which still just shocks me, we found out in Lincoln, Nebraska, we were the number one producer of cardboard waste. And you know, I was looking at the numbers. And I was like, Oh, are we paying money? This much money to get garbage and trash taken out? And so we we went to the number two and three big big city cardboard producers, and we went, This is crazy. What do we do? And somebody's like, Let's go talk to the mayor. And it's probably about a year long process. But, you know, some people in the community might not think this is waiting, but we helped establish Lincoln's recycling programme, which, you know, you definitely got a bit I got a bit of hate mail of, you know, I have to put these dang trash cans out front. I was like, Man, I thought people were gonna be like, let's go. Yeah. About time. Yeah. But you know, that was a big one for the community. Because one, everybody should be taken care of. Yeah, leave things better than you found them, right. So like, just a lot of businesses now are producing enough to actually make a little bit of money. And so that's just one of those things where we could easily look the other way we could easily but we just dug in a little bit and spent a little bit of time and overall is a win for you know, most most people right, but there's definitely some friction of trashcans. But I'm sure it was coming anyway, whether we spearheaded it or not.


Mark Hiddleson  19:31  

Yeah, it's also weird. So we're from California. So it's always been the cutting edge.


Paul Jarrett  19:36  

So he used to live in San Francisco. 


Mark Hiddleson  19:38  

Yeah, I get it. So the are you talking about going from like the round metal trash cans. Three different ones. With me. 


Paul Jarrett  19:48  

Yeah, that's exactly what I'm talking about. Yeah, it was like one giant, smelly trashcan and then just a green one was added next to it. Yeah. And it was like, I mean, we were bringing in big brands and If we had these companies Yeah, like Disney's lugging around a bag full of trash and I'm like, what, what is there? Like, do you have recycling and I'm like, oh my god, she gets to the airport and like, it's like, you know, all the stereotypes of like, the Podunk Nebraskan is fulfilled, like, in that instant, I'm like, come on, like, like, but but that's just, you know, nobody, nobody spirit of that. So it's things like that, that we always try to focus on. You know, of course, we do like sponsorships, and whatever. But it's always fascinating to me, the things that mean the most, we win a lot of culture awards, we went a lot of stuff. And I say, like, number one, it's not like Amazon warehouse where people are dying in it. You know, like, that's crazy. Number two, like, I'm, you know, I grew up in a trailer park in Nebraska. And, you know, like, I get it, like, sometimes, like, you got to just take the job or do the thing. And, you know, I've had plenty of boxes in my life, right? And to go back in your mind, and just go like, man, what, what some of the things that I would have wanted? Well, pretty much to just be treated like a human. Okay, like, what does that actually mean? Well, why does we call it the back office? And people that you know, mostly at the desk, it's like, well, why does the back office get to be late to take their kids to a dental appointment, but you know, somebody else gets docked pay or whatever, and you're like, Man, that's messed up. And it's just like, such an awakening a couple of years in where I'm like, you know, what, like, get rid of the security card clearance, like, we want everybody to, you know, whatever, use the same areas. Why is the nice restroom for the back office like this, not only is that messed up, but also that helps efficiency. And, you know, there's a lot of things that come with that, as far as like a managerial thing. I mean, we had to get a lot of new managers. But what I would say is the HR issues that a lot of people experience doing what we do, you know, 250 people packing, it's very low, because that mentality, although you never quite shake it, but the mentality of a lot of like, oh, people are out to get me or, or whatever, when they're working on the line, or, you know, if I'm late, once I'm fired, we kind of have eight different classifications. Now, for people who work, we just call it like on the floor, or we call it the back office or on the floor. And I think just doing that, and recognising that, it's just been phenomenal. And it's something that's hard to keep if you scale super quickly. But I think it's something that is just embedded in who we are as people and as we do continue to grow. That'll be a big, big focus. Because if you if you take care of your team, you know, everything has a way of taking care of itself. And it's like that thing where you go, we always say like, the people, the people, the people the work, the work the work, like that's really what it boils down to, you know, and if you don't have those two things really strong, like you're just, it's a house of cards, you're just waiting for it. You know, something bad happened?


Mark Hiddleson  23:15  

Yeah. And the people who you know, people do need to take their kids a good one of my best friends owns a 3PL here in Northern California. He said, that's one of the differences between them and other places. Yeah, is they let their you know, people get off early to take care of those kids. But he said those people come in early. Those people get their work done on time. Those people are accountable to ask them twice. Yeah, so like, so that it is a win win. I love the win win. In the Simon Sinek book, he wrote a book called Start With Why is that? Why? You Simon Sinek did yeah. So that's what I knew. I heard it. I haven't read that. But I've seen a lot of his stuff. And I just love that. To start with why. So a little bit about how you got started. I mean, what did this start out? Share a little bit more about what this company Yeah, I saw a picture on your website, which showed like a bedroom with a stack of boxes and then a medium sized warehouses and then now it's like this huge distribution centre. Yeah. So yeah, I have I've


Paul Jarrett  24:21  

I struggled it, you know, it's always weird to talk about yourself, but I kind of got a tongue lashing recently from a couple of people that are like maybe gonna, like, share more because it's interesting. The Forrest Gump life right? And I say, you know, kid grew up in a trailer park in Nebraska, you know, went to bed hungry plenty of times didn't really think we like we didn't know were poor, right? We mostly because my wife would say I'm the biggest nerd stuck in a jocks body that you'll ever meet. Yeah, and I'm like, Oh, that's so true. Inside. Just you know, I just got thrown into sports. And in middle school, I got tossed into a really high end like Catholic school. And it was, it was a shock. I mean, I didn't even know what a brand name was right. I didn't know what new stuff was, you know? And that was just a total culture shock, right? I mean, there were there were parents took a plane to go get a haircut, I was like, I've never been on a plane. Like, what are you talking about? And my, my co founder, who is the actual owner, and spouse, Stephanie, she grew up in Oahu, Nebraska, which is tiny little town, parents were teachers. And I'm kind of, you know, we just kind of say, like, we didn't know where bro growing up, you know, it didn't matter. And but we definitely saw both sides of the coin. We met in college. And we just, we're both really kind of highly selected, we're just very engaged with our advertising marketing programme. And we always did projects together because we executed well, we won a bunch of awards. And then we finally got together and we did the ad agency thing. We work New York, San Francisco, Midwest, you name it. And you know, the common thing, we originally were going to start an ad agency, right? And we're just kind of looking at the numbers. And I'm like, Man, I'm so tired of like, standing up in front of people and talking about air with like, marketing and branding. And, you know, just, I'm just like, I want to do this, but I need a physical thing that we can like measure against because I just don't want to die at all, like Did it work? Did it not work? You know? Although I'm obsessed with branding and marketing, and it's easier now. It's all the, you know, software and data and stuff, but it's still you know, challenging. So we kind of sat and talked to three and we're like, you know, whether it was like projects that we worked with together or separate. We've always always, he's always been pulled into the actual physical product, right? Whether it was like cobalt tools and Lowe's, Nike, LIVESTRONG campaign. I mean, big things were, you know, I tell people we did we both did two things. One, we always said, how can we help? We're always and then we're always like, the first ones. And then the last ones out, right? And if you do that anywhere, for long enough, like, you're gonna get shots at things, right. My father always taught me write your name huge, your helmet when you play football, right? And stand behind the coach that gets the angriest because he will turn around and whoever standing there will go in the game and I'll tell you what, man, I got me on the varsity squad. I gotta be like, every level of sports. I played like that. Here's one weird little trick.


Mark Hiddleson  27:44  

throttle? Yeah, it's, this one weird trick will get you started.


Paul Jarrett  27:48  

I mean, I take a few butt kickings that's for sure. Prancing out on the field, like Johnny on the spot, but you know it, you're memorable, right? You're the guy that always just go into battle. And so yeah, we were just like, we found it interesting that we're doing that. And also at the time, I had helped take a supplement company from about 3 million to 83 million in three years, and learned all about that and really saw firsthand like, man, if you get a product in somebody's hand sample, like that's the fastest way to convert people. That's the whatever. So we launched Bulu box, we raised capital we had never done that we raised in like 67 days, a million and a half bucks is It was wild. And we were basically shipping four to five premium vitamin supplement healthy snack products, for 10 bucks a month, and then you could come back and buy from us. And that thing took off. And we just couldn't kind of find the investors that were interested in this subscription box category at the time. And so we had these big brands knocking on our door and honestly like to survive. We just said, Well, you know, we're not going to sell to you at that dollar amount. That's absurd. Which now I look back, I was like 14 million was a lot for Nebraska to write early on. We didn't know any better. And we were building a software to at the time. But these big brands is kind of like we're like fine, we'll we'll make you your own subscription box. And then we kind of dug in. And we saw the technology. You know, this is 10 years ago, probably more like seven years ago, the technology that these retail brands are using and the buyers were using was just mind bendingly old, you know, we're talking


Mark Hiddleson  29:43  

in house, like, in a system that they just built homegrown systems. 


Paul Jarrett  29:51  

Yeah. They're using Oracle as a whatever it is, and they're paying a quarter million dollars for nothing, you know, and, and you're going like, hey, there's a 99 cent app that can do that. Oh, 100 times better, you know, and I feel like we're like a company that kind of introduced a lot of those brands to like, you know, software stacks and API's, you know. And so we go to these brands, and we start doing it. And that just absolutely takes off. But the catch was, from first call to the time that were American money was about 18 months. And it took a lot of people a lot of time. And if, at any point in time, a big brand wanted something, they're always pulling in the top executives into that, you know, and in the ad agency world, you always want a couple of those big brands as flagship brands, but you want mid grade clients, and then you want to kind of like just starting, you know, you want a good portfolio mix. Well, the company value is just gone through the roof, because Disney, Clark, just boom, boom, one after the other, and the pandemic hits, and kind of, you know, some of those brands just stopped, some of them froze, some of them increase, it was just kind of all over the map. And so we took a big step back, and we're just like, hey, this, you know, our subscription box is great, the turnkey subscription box is great, clearly, by selling the software, which became You know, we understand what we need to do and what some brands have, and like, we know this way better than we think that we do. Let's make an offer and get this company under us 100%. So we don't have to just slow down for anybody. And also, you know, servicing brands that they might not even be shipping out, or they might be only ship it be shipping like 1000 A month or 100 a month. Um, that just wasn't in the cards. For the executive board guy. We're doing Disney now we're gonna do this, right. But deep down, we knew that like, that is what we wanted to do. And it's so funny, because if you really go back, and you look at this, like such a cliche, right? The biggest challenge that Bulu box or subscription box had was we could never deliver it, where we wanted, how we wanted the way that was packed, and on subscription. And by working with all those big brands for, you know, eight, nine and 10 years, we figured out how to do that. And so we really looked kind of add each other probably around November of 2023. And we said, Okay, if we hired a consultant, they're going to strip out everything, but the key piece, right? What is it that we can do better than anybody else? Are we doing something that we don't even realize it's that big of a deal. And it's embarrassing, but we had to go to conferences, we had to watch a lot of videos, get a lot of websites, and it was like, you know, this thing that we can kind of sell it anywhere and pack it anyway, and use any sort of box, you know, their box, our bunks, like we don't care, right? And keep the shipping rates way down. Because we use all the carriers, we use all the software's and like, how did we get access to that? Well, everybody wants to work with Disney or everybody else, or Clorox. So we pushed partners to do that for us. And so now we're sitting with this 100,000 plus premium warehouse, access to as many more warehouses as we want. And a software with these integrations, I think we have 140 pre built, where somebody starts to Tik Tok account, they plug it into the dashboard from Bulu, and you can start selling instantly and the thing that we saw I'll share this with you, I'll be quiet here for a minute. We were kind of like saying it in different ways. And it just was not hitting right and it's just like, oh, like what is it you got to say and and you know, the joke tricky ship came up and in that same conversation I was like, did you say shit? What did you say? And then whenever people laugh I always like really stopping around because I swear the best ideas are laughed at first and the hardest problem is when you hear this when you hear that it's a problem that people have just chose to deal with. And so when I hear some if an idea and do that heavy breath I am all I am locked in right and so we kind of said that and somebody goes but people just call us and ask for shipping rates like that's not even what we do and I go somebody said like nobody really wants to talk to a three people or fulfillment company that is my dog Charlie is She's a can be quiet require from algae something badass, right? You know, and so we're just like looking at this thing going like we have this we have This like, what if we just simplified it down. And it was the moment that we recognised that somebody on our desk was talking to an employee. And he was like, you know, the world that you came from and logistics looks like this for like clocking in and he was kind of explaining, I'm like they weren't in trouble or whatever. And he gets, this is like a new world that we're telling you like, it's okay. You can take off time to go pick up your kid. Your kids daycares heater turned off, like that's okay. Like, we can sort something out with that. And I heard him and I was like, oh wow, we say hybrid Hub and Spoke logistics, because that's what it is. We just call it the tricky ship. Because nobody wants to talk fulfilment. It sounds boring, great. But when we say and inform people and show people you live and think, and a traditional linear fulfillment world, where you think it's just point A to point B, that's the old world and the new world is, you want to do subscription in a theme park, let's go, we have that belt, right. And that's when it really changed was not just what we're doing, but explaining to people how, you know, this is the world that you live in. And we had a client and he tried it. And he was kind of not it wasn't clicking for him. And as his name is Ralph, like a Ralph. I mean, I've sold a lot of consumer packages, I've done a lot, here's what I would do, if I were in your shoes, pick up the phone to 100 independent retailers. Find out if they got Shopify, Wix, whatever they have, find out what it is, then tell him you can dropship and sell on their website. And if they want to sell your product, they can buy two lemons and one watermelon. They don't have to buy a case, they don't have to buy a pallet, they just have to put in the order. And he disappeared. And I was kind of like, well, that's gonna be you know, back to sorting out the messaging or whatever. And then I just searched his name one day, and he had 50 independent retailers. And and I was like, Whoa, that was fast. And that's the one of the many strategies but that's probably the main strategy where, you know, we have clients that are just posting on LinkedIn, like, got into this retailer, got into this. And it might be five stores, or might be one store. But just the last place anybody ever looked to increase sales was through logistics. And now you can have it at your fingertips like EDI compliance, all of the stuff I do say, we can't get you in Walmart, you got to sell yourself in your product. When Walmart says like, how are you going to handle this? You just give them our website and you'll be good. Right? And so yeah, it's been a really fun to, to whittle it down to the basics and have that moment where you go. We're not telling people the world that the cave that they're living in now, that's, that's why this is hard. And just Yeah, it's changed on a dime,


Mark Hiddleson  37:49  

is that thinking of I remember, when I first got in this industry, I was amazed that you know, all the ingredients that you need that Campbell Soup needs to make food that's all in giant warehouses and cold storage and drums are really the Campbell's Soup doesn't have all these ingredients sitting in their warehouse as they need it, because all they can down to the cans. So like the canvas, they got to make a million cans, but then you only need them 1,000 at a time. So the whole it was like this behind the scene was the Wizard of Oz. See like, yeah, man a soup. It's like if I make soup, I gotta have the chicken here, the whatever and everything but bigger companies. It's not and it is a hub and spoke in there. You know, seasonings are coming from Warehouse and yeah, broccoli is coming from this warehouse and chickens come from Europe. And even not even like Foster Farms are those because they don't have their own warehouses they're putting in so to have that and it is like watch this thing. John Corcoran had Peter Diamandis, it was an older podcast. But you know, Peter, I didn't know who Peter Diamandis was, and I couldn't name so I know. But he was talking about how our minds have developed in a linear way or the linear thinking, because for millions of years, you could only walk you know, walking distance from your tribe was what you knew. But now, it's not only hyper connected, it's changing, like the change is gonna happen the next 10 years is more than what's gonna happen in 100 years. Yeah. Yeah. It's a new way of things. So I could see where you could be explaining to somebody because even all admitted I, I'm pretty sure I totally get that. Totally. Yeah. But there's something that you know, that's different than thinking the way you're thinking you're really taken advantage of. And not just the technology, I think it's the relationships to I think, be good. That guy when you're like, hey, look, Ralph called 100 people email I think the first thing I'll say he was like, No, a ball you call 100 people. That's kind of leaving me to is like, Okay, let's see. But you know, once you take a step back and say, Well, this guy seems pretty smart. We'll pick up the phone and And and then like you said, so I wanted to so what were some of the conferences you went to? I'm gonna ask you one more question. Yeah, maybe sort of personal but what, what are some of the conferences that you went to when you say? Well, like, what are the organizations like I've been involved in warehouse Education Research Council, have you heard of them? Well, you know, I was


Paul Jarrett  40:21  

gonna say like, IW, Li LMNOP. Like, they're all these older un.


Mark Hiddleson  40:26  

So CSMP used to it was when I got in the business, it was called CLM, which was Council logistics management, learned all the acronyms, they changed it to CSMP, which was Counsel of supply chain. So yeah, the ones Yeah, IW


Paul Jarrett  40:43  

LA, any of the shipping logistics software's that we used, we'd make it a point to go to that Santa subscription box trade association. Now, I'm blanking, but there was there's two or three acronym ones. And then actually, like, ecrm, that's one that that comes to mind. But we went on, we went on straight up tours. So that was probably the most helpful. You know, one of our investors had a cold storage, and we got to watch it ground up, be developed. And I would also say, like, in this industry, in the, you know, 3PL, if you're gonna bucket us, I'm, I was just shocked at how much none of the owners or founders like communicating, they have such a competitive mindset, you know, and here I am, just, I don't care, I'll call you. Like, if we're competitors, like, it doesn't matter. I should also say, in the pandemic, we went through a potential acquisition process, and getting due diligence on some of the companies that were going to like acquire us, like really aligned us, but getting on the floor is always the best thing that you can do. And I'm talking, like, if it's a YouTube video, I mean, some of these, like, cell phone warehouse, like Amazon videos, and Nope, you know, by views, there's super enlightening. But getting down on the floor, I think the one of the big like, Aha moments was seeing how much paper was going around. And that's just inefficient period, right. And then seeing people that were trying to sell us software, and I go, Oh, you know, like, we're, we thought we're gonna go more the robotics route. And I said, Well, I want to go hit the floor. And I want to go see what you're building. I mean, at one point, I went out to Paris to go check out this product software, or this product information, inventory management software. And the thing that I feel like everybody was missing was like, the people on the floor. And so you see these amazing systems, and you see all this stuff. Like, man, if Kelsey, you can't use it, if Devin can't use it, if bring in gays, and I'm talking like, I've my measure, my rule of thumb is, if the software is harder to use than the most chat than the most popular social media app, then it's probably not a good software. Yeah. And so like, really ensuring that whatever we selected, or whatever we do, like we just have a really elaborate scorecard that we'd review weekly. And that is now a Google Drive where people just log in and like punch in their numbers, and they'll put the source of it. But like, you know, that's about as easy as we can make it. And a lot of it is, Can you flip out your phone and do it in like, less than 30 seconds. And that was shocking how much that changed everything. And then our meeting structure, bringing in a lot of people on the floor. So I think maybe what I'm trying to say is, you know, seeing how much people use paper, seeing how unwilling companies were to work with each other. But we would sort things out. I mean, we have straight competitors, where they just do the storage, and we do something else because like, we don't care if the margin is there. And if somebody gets screwed over sure there's a contract in place. But the reality is, you just stop working together. Yeah, yeah. And then I think the third thing is like, we really do, we won't do something unless the team on the floor gets it and involving them in meetings and really tying the stream of like, here's our annual goal. And yes, it does matter that you're logging like the correct item orders getting things out same day by 11 is a big deal no errors 99% accuracy, these are all a big deal. And I think once we kind of observe those things no paper really made sure people on the floor work comfortable some training for them and involved and really tied the numbers and know like what we're going for. Everything just changed and and also like we deliver on it right like we hit our goals. Like we're sharing that with everybody. So it's shocking to people to be like, Whoa, we packed faster. We actually got like a little bonus like, yeah, like, you didn't yell harder. You just explained that better. So, yeah. Yeah, yeah, it's fascinating how little it is, you know. But I think actually growing up in the scenario I did, and having a father that was like chief of police and that background, it really allows you in working in New York and San Francisco like, I would say, maneuvering back and forth between kind of that white collar and blue collar and understanding how to talk to both sides is probably why our upper management is able to do what we do. So.


Mark Hiddleson  43:15  

So that's a great segue into my one of my last questions, I really wanted to ask you this, as I saw on your personal website, you have an email list, and it says all I'll stick to the thing, I'll try to stick with things I know, which is fulfillment, entrepreneurship, and self awareness. And that yeah, you just share about the self awareness. I'm a huge self awareness guy. I have a master's degree in holistic health education. Yeah, like, as I guess, are supposed to be talking about.


Paul Jarrett  46:14  

Like, I'm cool with it, man. And I was always curious, a little bit about like, all this, like, masculinity bullshit that we grew up with, like, it's not doing us any favours. Now. You know? Yeah. And, like, you know, to me, we, it was very strict in our house where everybody's treated the same, you know, like, it was just my dad was one of those dudes where he, you know, he was the good cop, right? Like he was that he was that guy that it didn't matter if, you know, you were gonna alcoholic homeless on the streets, or you were, you know, the governor of the state or whatever, like, you're, you're getting treated the same period. Yeah. And I think that running a business and also sports, I didn't like MMA, and I played college football, and everybody kind of wants you to be a stereotype. So you like they almost feel more comfortable around you. And I just remember when we started the company early on, my wife kind of caught me one morning, and as we're at the peak of our game, three years in, and we're winning awards, and we're making a tonne of money and all this stuff. And she called me like Sunday morning at my computer, like cursing like, whatever. And she's like, Oh, what's going on here? And I like I was like, oh, sorry. And she was you were talking to yourself. I was like, I don't talk to myself. Wait, what? No, there's no voices in my head. She's like, No, no, you knucklehead like, internally was coming out and, and I kind of was like, I have no idea what you're talking about. You know, this is I'm 42. Now this is like when I was like, 30, 31, maybe. And she has, let's just, let's just go and walk here. You need to like just like, crank it down a few notches. It's Sunday morning, like, what are you doing? So you're on this walk. And she said something along the lines. Like she was like, I noticed when you work out, like you just get angry, like you lift a weight. And she's like, the whole time, even going to the gym and after the gym. Like you're kind of angry and like, yeah, I was as a dilemma as I was taught to murder kill rip heads off, you know, and like, she's like, well, what are you what are you thinking when you're doing a rap or whatever? And I'm like, oh, you know, come on your wiener, you know, one more round up, like, Are you kidding me? You can do better than this. You know, whatever. All this like, terrible self deprecating stuff. And she is really that's like, every time and I'm like, yeah, like, it was like, it was a good thing, like a week. What do you say to yourself? And she's like, good job. You know? You did it one more than you thought you could, you know, do your best, like, whatever. And I'm like, Yeah, her family is like coaches and quarterbacks and my quarterback families. She goes, yeah, and we're kind of talking some more and it just kind of like, having to, like hit me up, like, Okay, I see. The two different families that we have, and my family is awesome. I love them to death, but like, you know, you talk smack you might be get back handed. And you know, like, that's just how that's how I was, right? Yeah. And I was I mean that, like, don't touch it, you're gonna break it, you know, it was just very, you know, strict and it makes sense when you have a police chief or a father, right. But then I saw her family and there was just much more diverse, productive teachers, lawyers, doctors, and they all were like National Championship quarterbacks. I mean, just ridiculous accolades. And I'm like, okay, there might be something to this. Yeah. And in my wife looks I mean, we're kind of talking this out and I'm like, Yeah, you know, I'm wanting to change. Like, you know, we just recently got married and I've done well yeah, whatever, you know? And she goes, No, I really need you to listen to me right now. And she goes.Think about it like this. Would you ever speak and she knows who mattered the most amount of she's Would you ever speak to your little sister like that? And now Now, I might go maybe a lot Bust her chops but she is. Would you ever speak to your mother like that? And I might not never like she deserves better, you know, like, you know, and this that the other anxious? Would you ever speak to me like that? And I was like, no, no, no. And I kind of regret that you heard me get out? Yeah. Then why are you speaking to the most important person in the world that way and I was like, process ended I'm telling you what, I fell to the ground, sobbing straight up. And I was like, I might my done my, my brain I go, I think I got the flu or something. My stomach is killing me. Just because No, you're realizing how awful you've been to yourself for so long. And this is just emotion coming out. And I'm like laugh crying, like, yeah, just not gonna see me like that, or whatever. And I tell people, I'm like, I'm not, I'm not, you know, super experienced with emotion. So I'm probably the ugliest crier you'll ever meet in your life. But from that moment on, I mean, it really launched me into like, understanding that and trying to sort it out and getting into like neuroplasticity, and how to train yourself to think different ways. And what I tell people, and I've given some presentations on this, it's about 30% of the population kind of speaks to themselves, and not the greatest manner. It can get you so far, probably quicker than a lot of things, but it's not a stable foundation mentally to build on. And so I say, for me, it's just one of those things where I get intense, and I get a bit more of a competitive Kill, kill mentality, like, go go, go. And I just have to, like, pace myself a little bit. And like, just self reflect at the end of the day. And I've, I've done all the meditation, I've done anything you name, I've tried it. And it's just in that moment of tension going, like, breathe here, think for over a minute, like, what, what is actually the best thing to do. And so many times for me, it's like, yeah, let's just like put a pin in it right here. And, like, Let's go talk about it tomorrow. And it's just incredible how much stuff gets sorted out when you take a little bit of time like that, and 99% of the time, and it's very rare, that happens any more, because I've been just practicing it for so long, but more times than not, it's like, oh, I wasn't frustrated at that thing. It was five other things. And that was just the thing that was in my line of fire. And I'm forever grateful to her. And frankly, like my team, and the thing that definitely has made it all worth it. Because I would say, it's easy to make a lot of money when you do this, if you're okay with, you know, being crummy to yourself and everybody else around you. But like, in the end, like what does it really matter? You're not taking it with you. And the biggest thing that I had no clue that it would be such a positive outcome on is having kids and catching that early on. You know, when they say, Oh, I suck at that. I mean, there's seven employees, just society can reach. Yeah, rains a lot. And ya know, just say, I'm not good at that yet. How about that. And maybe you don't ever want to be good at just switching that around. People are blown away by our kids. But that's like, what made it all worth it is because even though it's something that I'm gonna always have to work on, I'm okay with that. I'm cool with talking about it. I think it's the most like, human masculine, feminine, I think it's the most badass thing you can do is like, share it with people, because it really can change people. And if that isn't worth it, like, the impact that I think it will have generations in generationally, that's really cool. And that's where just like magic happens, because you throw a little momentum on that positivity. And people just, it turns into a magnet, right? People just don't want to be around that. So yeah, I'll credit to her. Who knows what I'd be doing.


Mark Hiddleson  54:31  

We all we my wife is it's the same way. It's that, you know, working it's it's an intimate relationship. What I see is like my wife can see me making a mistake, like way ahead of it. Like, download but thanks for sharing that. I mean, I think you know, self awareness is it's huge. It's it's something that you know, and it never like you said it's continual process and I have a lot of same things meet Being trained athlete, everything's a competition. Being right is important. And you know, being where you said, you're gonna be the thing. It's like everything's life or death. That's the other thing too. This is early on, you know, when you walk onto a football field or martial arts training, there's a click, but it's something clicks. Like, you have to play adult basketball to us about 50. And I'd always say, I'm just going out there to have fun. Just gonna get a good workout in Thailand. But as soon as I ran on the court, all that went away was like it when it all costs.


Paul Jarrett  55:32  

That's why I don't play any of those. It's I can't even watch sports. I can't watch sports.


Mark Hiddleson  55:40  

Yeah, yeah, I'm gonna either get hurt or hurt somebody in God, you're gonna find other ways to stay in shape. This has been amazing what? Thanks, Mark. Appreciate it. What's what's the best way for you? Where people are going to reach out to you from the podcast? What's, what's some of the best ways to get in touch with your ideal client? Like, how are they getting a hold of


Paul Jarrett  56:00  

you? Yeah, well, we're, we're kind of we're pretty open to speak to anybody. And we get people reaching out to us not just for services, but I do the podcasting. And speaking of events thing, and we have This always feels pretentious and narcissistic. But there's I've called


Mark Hiddleson  56:18  

I love. I love your personal website. It's good. It's tastefully done. Thanks. Thanks.


Paul Jarrett  56:22  

I just tell people like, man, if you've made it this far, listening to what I'm babbling about. Just drop me an email. It's just And it might take me a minute to get to it. But no, I appreciate anybody that's made it this far and appreciate your time. And yeah, it's always fun to connect. And, you know, sometimes we can help people out. Sometimes we can't. But what we do pride ourselves in and why we're still around after so long is we always try to put people in a position with the right company. So nine out of 10 of our calls don't go anywhere. But you know, with these dividends when you just play matchmaker, right, so yeah, but always interested to connect with people.


Mark Hiddleson  57:02  

Okay, that is awesome. Thank you so much for joining us. This has been awesome.


Paul Jarrett  57:08  

Thank you, man. Appreciate it. Have an awesome day, man.


Mark Hiddleson  57:10  

All right, you too.


Outro  57:12  

Thanks for listening to the Tao of Pizza Podcast. We'll see you again next time and be sure to click Subscribe to get future episodes.


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