Pushing Pallets across the Pacific: Closing our "LA HQ" and consolidating inventory

Reflections Updates


3 We've come a long way as a label, and continue to learn various lessons along the way. Earlier this week, we closed up our Los Angeles storage unit. 

For the last 10 months, our storage unit in Greater Los Angeles has served as a convenient locale for shipping orders to US mainland customers. Our LA counterpart, Vinyl Don, has lovingly been holding it down in the City of Angels by receiving pallets of records and shipping orders out to customers and distributors. It's saved us some time and resources, and for a while it made sense to ship part of our pressings to Honolulu and the other part to LA. However, there's a few recent lessons we've learned:

1 — USPS Media Mail has been relatively reliable for (most) orders to-and-from the continent. But shipping via Media Mail from Honolulu is when issues start to occur. We've noticed more and more issues with al Media Mail shipments, and recently decided to no longer use the service. Instead, we rely on USPS First Class and USPS Priority for the majority of our packages to customers. The increased reliability and greater peace of mind is worth the additional cost. 

2 — In many cases, it's actually been cheaper to ship a pallet of records from the pressing plant (based in Ohio) to Honolulu. Why? We're not sure, but we're not really trying to ask that question anyway. It is what it is.  

3 — Now that we have a brick-and-mortar shop, we've seen an increase in direct sales and a greater need for inventory available on hand at all times. When we first opened the shop in June 2021, we had to ship boxes from LA of titles that were "out of stock" in Honolulu. That was a headache to deal with! Not only was it an extra cost, but added wait times for the titles to arrive. So, we'll now house everything here in Honolulu. 

As a small business owner with scarce previous experience doing such — and running a vinyl record label of all things — there will always be lessons to learn along the way. Logistics, warehousing and inventory are just pieces of the puzzle. For a record label in Hawaii that emphasizes the vinyl record format, having inventory on hand can be crucial to communicating our mission and reaching listeners where it impacts them the most, on the turntable!

Thanks for reading.

The latest records that arrived in Honolulu are:

  • 🏝 Arthur Lyman “Island Vibes”
  • 🐉 Jason Gay “The Present And The Past”
  • ⚪️ Aura “Aura” (repress)
  • 📗 Greenwood “Music Book”
  • ✨ Greenwood “Sparkle” (repress)

Browse our recent releases section for more!


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