We made a special point to visit our friend Cynthia in Eugene. She is someone Mark first met through work, but now has become a friend to all of us.
As part of our stop in Eugene, Cynthia offered to take us on a tour of her warehouse and shipping facility. She owns a huge distribution company that ships crafting, sewing, paper and other art supplies to retailers and individuals. Her passion is not necessarily arts and crafts, but the entrepreneurship, logistics and management. And she gave us an amazing behind the scenes look and educated us on how warehouses work.
The girls asked lots of questions and wanted to touch and try everything. Parker’s favorite job was the pallet jack and moving pallets of boxes.
We learned about the system of organization used so “pickers” don’t have to walk all over the warehouse, but stay in different sections and use a track to move the boxes around to different sections. This is all part of the new “six sigma” implementation she has been doing since buying one of her competitors earlier this year.
Even though the warehouse was closed (it operates 20 hours a day, 6 days a week) Cynthia found an order in progress and worked with the girls to pull items in that section for the order. She showed us where they cut and bundle reams of paper (important when the minimum order of paper is 10,000 lbs), and the merchandising section where they build out the arts and crafts aisles for various retailers like Fred Meyer or local craft stores (which was Taylor’s favorite job).
Their absolute favorite thing however was the scavenger hunt! Cynthia told them about a new craft called “diamond art” (like color by number, but instead you put colored gems in the spots). She logged onto the database, pulled up all the diamond art products, and let each girl pick one they liked. Then she gave them the section-aisle-shelf number for each product and had them go try to find it! They were thrilled to go hunting for their new craft project and even more thrilled they got to bring it home with them.
The next morning, we woke up to find the girls already at the kitchen table working away on their new projects, sipping hot chocolate that Cynthia had lovingly made for them. And after breakfast, she worked with them to make a fig jam/compote.
Cynthia was such a gracious host! The girls immediately fell in love with her, as we knew they would. Thanks again Cynthia!