Bundled with Chelsea Gheesling, Co-Founder, feature #73 of Together Talks
Updated: Nov 1
"Together Talks" feature #73: Bundled presented by KLS, freight company
Some Background on Bundled
For today's edition of "Together Talks" campaign, KLS had the experience of interviewing Bundled and Co-Founder, Chelsea Gheesling. Bundled’s mission has remained the same since day one, aiming to create a work environment where women of all backgrounds can thrive. They prioritize partnering with local vendors whenever possible, and treating everybody like a somebody, no matter their cognitive ability level. These simple things set Bundled apart from other gifting companies because your support directly affects the lives of hardworking women, small shops in the USA, and their team of adults with disabilities.
Bundled is committed to providing the perfect gift for any occasion, visit their Fall and Winter catalogue, HERE.
The beginning of Bundled was December 2016. Courtney and Chelsea had been friends since middle school. They briefly lived together after college then proceeded to meet their husbands and get married around the same time. Shortly after both were married they started a blog together about all the things you can do and purchase in Michigan. Both had been supportive of Michigan-based businesses and put their experiences to use.
As the blog started to gain traction, they would receive samples from businesses to try out the product with hopes of writing about it on their blog. Sitting in Courtney's basement, they wondered if there was an opportunity in front of them. The kicked around the idea of creating bundles that they ended up selling a few on Shopify to start. Chelsea told us that they learned so much and continued to tweak and evolve their strategy. One component was seeing the desire from corporate accounts to have gifting options available and fulfilled.
As they continued to grow and expand their offerings they were building incredible relationships with their local Michigan suppliers. This proved to be a real difference maker for Bundled when the Pandemic hit. Chelsea explained to us, "We were able to still fulfill orders during Covid. Our partnerships were so strong and loyal that we could still get product during this time to keep orders on time. This gained us a ton of confidence and loyalty with our corporate clients."
She explained the challenges of the company during the Pandemic. "there was no school for kids, no child care, Courtney and I would meet at 4:30 AM until 9:00 when our husbands had to work. We would go home and do everything required at home, then meet back at our office at 5:00 PM. We couldn't have team members help at our facility so we were working until 1:00 AM in the morning. Then we would do it all over again." Chelsea told us this was the defining moment that led to making Bundled a success. It provided the ultimate proof of concept that if they could handle the workload during the Pandemic, they could handle it at any point.
Partnership with STEP
As shown in the above video, Bundled partners with Services to Enhance Potential (STEP). This nonprofit allows Bundled the environment to provide genuine opportunities to employ individuals with disabilities. This was an important cause for the company back when they started on Courtney's basement floor. Courtney previously worked as a Special Education Teacher. Her experience was something they vowed to incorporate once they started Bundled.
Working with Bundled allows them to expand not only their growth but also their workforce which is compiled of individuals with disabilities. An even cooler concept that Chelsea shared with us is on a client's invoice it will provide the impact their order had by listing how many hours employees with a disability worked to complete the order. Chelsea mentioned that the clients love not only contributing to this positive partnership, but also feel good knowing they are helping making a difference in these individuals' lives.
Chelsea explained to us that each leadership member also gets an allotted amount to donate to a charity of their choice throughout the year. Bundled also partners with nonprofits that are supported through their clients. Being charitable is part of the makeup of Bundled. But it ultimately withers back down to the core, their people. Chelsea told us, "We work hard with our team to understand what each member loves doing. How can we get them doing that to truly enjoy their time with us. It also leads to better production, efficiency which makes Bundled stronger and overall just a more positive environment. "
Partner with KLS
KLS offers LTL and FTL for both dry and reefer transportation.
Our nationwide coverage provides companies a reliable, consistent, and dependable logistics partner to handle your trucking needs.
For more information on how we can help call our office today 708-980-0920 or reach us via our email quote request here!
Any company that puts gifts in the mail is considered some form of competition to Bundled. Whether it is a gift card or physical gift, but any company that is making that process easier is a company that could be similar to Bundled. The premise is to remove the time, effort, and creativity of an employee by relying on Bundled to take care of it from start to finish.
We asked Chelsea what separates Bundled from other corporate gifting companies, she mentioned that industry wide many are really hammering home the tech side of gifting. Automating things and providing standard options are becoming more and more relevant. Chelsea said while tech is important, gifting at its core is still personal. On top of being a personal act or delivering a personal message, that requires customization. Bundled incorporates both by having back end be the technology driver and the front end where the customization brings the most appreciation from their clients. "Our clients still want to speak with an individual. They love the personal touch we provide.", Chelsea mentioned.
That personal connection with clients is what makes Bundled unique. Gifting isn't just a service, but it is a way to keep in touch with either their employees or customers. And working with Bundled it shows the heart they have.
Bundled however didn't start with this corporate avenue. Initially they were B2C where you could buy a gift for an individual and have it sent to them. While they ran this strategy for a couple of years, but were slowly building the business side. At the end of one of their years they did a side by side comparison of the two vehicles. They realized that the biggest part of their sales was the corporate gifting. Courtney and Chelsea were at a fork in the road, the way Bundled started, might not be the best option moving forward. Together the two founders decided they were going to go all-in on corporate gifting.
This pivot provided them to become hyper-focused on their processes, providing the best offerings and service to their clients. Being focused only on corporate gifting, Bundled became more specific with their offerings, no longer had two feet in two different pots. Chelsea told us, "It was scary and a challenge to figure out whether it was the right next move for our company."
Community + Women-Owned
80% of the supplier options partnered with Bundled are made up of US-based or Michigan-based small businesses. Clients understand that impact, mixed with Bundled's STEP participation and it is easy to see the retention rate of their clients. Chelsea also applauded that the company is WBENC, women-led company. Being women-owned and a fully women-led leadership team, shows the commitment of the company. Both founders know the importance of supporting women-owned businesses and love that their company is able to partner with so many.
When describing the culture, Chelsea applauded the people component. She claimed the team is amazing from leadership to warehouse to services to enhance potential team members. The spirit was the thing she wanted to elaborate on, "There is a deep meaning to what they do, we provide more than just gifts. Our company is very joyful and fun, Empowering everyone who works with us to create the environment that makes the most sense."
Bundled being women-led focuses on work-life balance. Chelsea mentioned that the majority of the leaders have children so flexibility is a must. From the start Courtney and Chelsea were committed to building and creating a culture that they weren't fortunate enough to experience when working in corporate jobs. They want to provide the blueprint for that desired balance. With that commitment, Chelsea credited the awesome mentors along the way that the founders of Bundled have had. Having people support and help them along the way has given them the opportunity and confidence to build their company brick by brick.
Super focused on work-life balance. Majority of women led team have children so flexibility. Trying to create the culture they didn’t experience when working in corporate world. She joked that they have a term, "The Bundled Way", where individuals come into their lives to help keep pushing them forward to get to the next level.
When Bundled decided to proceed with only corporate gifting, that transition deleted a revenue stream. Despite this transition, the company set an aggressive goal for their first year of only corporate gifting offerings. Chelsea shared that they exceeded it, which was incredible. To accomplish their goal in their first year after the pivot, proved they were correct in their decision to focus solely on this channel. The other feat that Chelsea shared was when they outgrew their previous location. She mentioned that wasn't just a huge success from the demand aspect, but also a better overall set up for team members. This was another huge win for Bundled.
Chelsea shared that when starting a business, you often times only hear stories once it is successful, it can gloss over the hard work, mistakes, or lessons. But the Bundled journey has been a slow roll to where they are right now. 6 years total, through a Pandemic, but that proved to be a great opportunity for Bundled that they seized. She also mentioned how important it is to be resourceful, one opportunity is listening and learning to those who came before you. Taking that free advice and education and prove to be a valuable asset at some point in your journey.
Running a company provides many demands, but one aspect that Chelsea enjoys the most is the ability to create. She explained further, "Ability to make anything happen. Anything you can dream up, no one can tell you no." An example is the culture they are creating for all team members. Also the work-life balance for those with families and the support with schedule flexibility. Creating a culture of empowerment is also something that is necessary in Chelsea's eyes, "We want to provide an environment that fuels us all to do something we get excited about. Each person who works here has a different zone of genius. We want to identify that with them and provide them the situation to enjoy their work and be energized. We want to provide a better life because of the work we are offering."
That balance they are attempting to create is something internally that Chelsea has identified she still is learning to this day. As she described, "It is hard to turn it off when you love what you do." By raising a family while growing a business she is constantly taking a temperature on how to distribute the proper amount of attention. Her goal is to get the most mileage out of the hours she spends awake. That balance also leads to constantly focusing and planning for the future. Chelsea credited her and Courtney having each other and relying on each other to always keep perspective. Each keep each other honest and balance the other out when required to know when they can push, when they need to slow down, but most importantly to remember to celebrate the wins.
We asked Chelsea the favorite part of working at Bundled and she narrowed it down to two things, her team and her clients. Her team she loves the diversity. How many different not only backgrounds, but strengths, talents, and personalities combine to make up the Bundled team. As she described, "Bundled is a place where everyone can shine." Second, her clients, which the ability to providing relief and removing stress from their lives. She also mentioned how personal their relationships morph into with clients, citing when she will receive a text or call from one saying they are getting married or having a baby.
We asked Chelsea if there is a moment that brings her the most joy in her time as a leader, and she explained it wasn't one singular moment, but rather a mindset change. "A mentor of mine asked me why my "why" is. Not x amount of revenue or clients, but why are you doing this. What is your personal why?" That question has been a foundational pillar for Chelsea not only for her company, but also herself. She boils it down to 2 forms of her "why"...
1 - Being able to provide a space for women to be able to have not just a career but also a personal life. She used her own example to explain the powerful impact this can have, when she was going through an emotional time and was able to lean on the passion of her work to counterbalance the difficulties she was facing. "If I had a demanding job that didn't offer the flexibility I would have chosen my family over work. I don't think that is fair that someone has to choose between the two instead of being supported. We don't want our team members to have to choose between being the women you want to be and your career.", Chelsea explained.
2 - To provide for her family. Not just monetarily, but showing them that you can create, build, and develop anything you want. While it won't come without a ton of hard work, but with the right focus and mindset you can create any day to day reality you like. Chelsea ended with, "The hard times we endure, the adversity, are the best moments to dig deep into your personal why."
Piece of Advice
Our conversation with Chelsea ended with her providing two pieces of advice:
1: If you don’t have a "personal why" you can get really tired. Those hard days weigh on you. My why is written on my desk on a post it note. I look at it prior to journaling. Get to a deeper why and remember it every single day.
2: Make sure as the owner that you are really being truthful with yourself. What is your zone of genius, what can you do for hours and love doing it. And what isn’t your passion and what do you dread doing, being humble enough to outsource and delegate. Everyone has a strong suit and things that are harder and draining them of their energy. Knowing zone of genius is the secret to getting your company to the next level.
Interested in being featured with "Together Talks"?
KLS is booking our upcoming schedule now!
Contact us as we would love to learn your story and share it amongst our audience.
Weekly we provide 2 companies our platform to expand their reach courtesy of our campaign. Let's collaborate!!!
KLS wants to thank Chelsea Gheesling, Co-Founder, of Bundled for today's "Together Talks" feature. Keep up to date with Bundled by following their blog on their website, check it out here. Follow along for the Bundled journey with their social handles below!
Klimson Logistics Solutions - Together Talks with Bundled feature #73
*Klimson Logistics Solutions is an Industry Leading Customer Service 3PL. Our focus and commitment to our clients has us striving to be the BEST customer service 3PL for LTL, FTL, Reefer, and Drayage in the country. KLS, freight company, is a 3PL providing nationwide logistics solutions. KLS shipping services include: LTL freight, FTL freight, Reefer LTL freight, Reefer FTL freight, and Drayage. Klimson Logistics Solutions thanks you for viewing our marketing campaign, "Together Talks". If you have any interest in being featured or questions regarding your freight operations please contact us today!
Our precise and reliable effort.
We handle every shipment with the exact same process. It does not matter if you move one shipment a year or ten per day, you will receive the same level of customer service from us. When we started this company, we had one goal in mind, treat every shipment like it was our own. With our vast knowledge of the industry, we understood what a customer would want from a communication standpoint. We applied that process to be the standard here at KLS. Our reliability and being able to depend on our consistency is why we have such long-standing relationships with our clients.
Every shipment in our industry starts with a quote. We are firm believers that time is money, thus we strive to have quotes back in a 5-10 minute reply time for LTL and FTL, any FCL quotes are at the mercy of the carriers getting back to us. For LTL we have the flexibility to quote both off of NMFC and also Density depending on the carrier. Utilizing our services, you’re allowing us to use our expertise to class your freight accordingly to ensure we are providing the best rate we possibly can.
Once a quote has been submitted and a client chooses to proceed with KLS handling the arrangement of the shipment our full process begins. We create the BOL that will be used for the shipment. If it is a new location for our system, we will obtain all the important/special details (reference numbers, contact details, shipping hours, closed for lunch, dock/doors, etc.). We meticulously build every detail into our software for all future shipments involving that location. After we have both locations built and necessary reference numbers have been applied we will tender the shipment to the carrier. We use this method because it provides us a real time pickup number from the carrier to obtain updates prior to pickup. Our staff will either email the BOL directly to you or to the shipper (at your request) the minute after the tender has been accepted by the carrier. LTL carriers require a 2 hour window prior to close time in order to schedule it for a same-day pickup attempt.
The following morning you’ll receive an email from us. It will either provide the reason the pickup was missed (driver’s trailer filled up, driver missed the close time, truck broke down, shipper said no freight, etc.) or if the pickup was successful you will receive the PRO (tracking) number from us, along with the eta for delivery. Our staff will track it throughout the duration of transit and advise if anything happens that will alter the estimated delivery date. The day the shipment delivers we will email you with confirmation and the POD (Proof of Delivery), should you require it.
Your shipment has been quoted, scheduled, picked up, and delivered. The next step is waiting for the carrier to invoice us and make sure the rate matches up. If it does, we close out the invoice from the carrier in our system and automatically your invoice is created and sent to the requested party at your company. In the event the carrier has an additional charge on their invoice “Variance”, we will never send you an invoice with an additional charge without first identifying you of the charge.
Let us repeat, NEVER WILL WE JUST BILL OUT AN EXTRA CHARGE WITHOUT YOU BEING NOTIFIED.
You are our customer, we represent you. Should the carrier provide an extra charge on an invoice, “Lift gate, additional weight, reclass, detention, etc.) We notify you of the charge via email first. Second, within that email we identify what is required should you choose to dispute the charge. Again our goal is to honor your request, if you want to dispute, we will dispute. During a dispute we will provide you updates every step along the way. Once a dispute is closed out, whether it is approved or rejected, then we will invoice you as the invoice has been resolved.
For reference, our company only had 6.2% of all shipments go to dispute in 2022 and we successfully won 91% of those disputes on behalf of our customers.
This is our process for every single shipment you move with us. We don’t cut corners, we don’t hide from difficult situations. We believe in being available, honest, and transparent. We don’t ever want to tell you that a shipment is lost, damaged, misrouted, but it is our duty to notify you the second we find out something has gone wrong. We hate to present bad news, but it is part of the job. What you can guarantee is that we will work a shipment all the way through and turn over every stone until we get a resolution for our clients.
Our core business is LTL and FTL. Within these options we have options for both dry and refrigerated/frozen. We also offer FCL/Drayage options. Our company as a 3PL has nationwide options and services clients across the US.
Let’s breakdown our services more in-depth
LTL: Standard and Guaranteed CFS (Imports & Exports) Tradeshows Hazmat Anything that is on a pallet can be moved LTL. Typically LTL is up to 10 pallets, but the sweet spot for a carrier is 6-8 pallets at most for an individual shipment. LTL quotes are good between 5-30 days depending on the carrier. LTL can be quoted either via NMFC or density to determine the class (we do this for you).
Volume: Anything over 10-12’ of space in the truck is the technical rule for a volume shipment. When we run a quote for you we will determine if it qualifies for volume and provide you a rate if available. Volume moves allow you to get a reduced rate for larger shipments. The caveat to volume shipments it the quotes are only valid for 3-7 days and they move on capacity between terminals. If a terminal is backed up they will move their LTL freight first before the volume freight, which can lead to longer transit times for volume moves.
FTL/Dedicated/Expedited: 53’ Dry and Reefer 26’ Box trucks with lift gate Sprinter Van The main difference for FTL vs LTL is space and transit time. For standard pallets you can fit either 26 or 30 pallets in a 53’ dry van. The other main difference is transit time, for FTL each day counts in the transit time, whereas LTL does not count the day of pickup, weekends, or holidays in their transit time.
Reefer/Frozen: LTL and FTL We specialize working in the CPG space with food manufacturers. We regularly deliver to the following locations: Kehe UNFI Core Mark DPI Wegmans Cugini H.T. Hackney Netrition HEB ALDI Chambers and Owens EBY Brown Nassau Candy Harris Teeter Wakefern NU INC Long Distribution
What makes KLS different?
There are thousands of freight brokers and 3PL in our industry. Barrier to entry is rather easy and agents or owners will often hire sales people without any intention of properly training them. It results in high turnover for many freight companies and a forgettable experience for the client. We choose to operate differently through our consistency. We truly care about doing right by our clients and prospects too. While we would love to help provide our services to every company we speak with, that just isn’t realistic. We won’t always be the right fit for every company that moves freight and that is ok. Our authenticity as a shipping company sets us apart from the competition and that is backed up by our testimonials. We also run a marketing campaign bi-weekly called “Together Talks”. We interview, highlight, and promote two businesses every week. Our goal is to grow our network, make new connections, and learn something new with each collaboration. Check it out on our website and if you’re interested in being featured reach out.
Our company also runs a year long charity promotion. Book your first shipment through KLS and we donate to the charity of your choice in your name. Our way of thanking you for giving us an opportunity to show you the KLS way and what makes us one of a kind. This entire package is what we offer to every prospect and every client. Our goal is to help provide answers that customers may have when it comes to shipping. We want to always be available as a resource and will always offer a lending hand whenever we can.