A Growth Story: Reflections from an Intern

…dates back further than their first product launch. As I mentioned in my earlier blog post, I’ve always been an avid memory keeper. My first encounter with Project Memory was due to none other than Sammy’s Journal.

Back in August 2020, I followed Sammy’s bullet journal account. The first post I liked on her page was actually about a dinner that she and Aneri made together! How serendipitous is that? Shortly after I started following @sammys.journal, I saw her Instagram story posts about Project Memory - a small business that Sammy and her friend Aneri were starting!

From there, the rest is practically history. Along my journey with Project Memory as a customer, intern, and now Head of Supply Chain, we’ve found little nuggets of our interactions before we knew each other. For example, we also found out that I was their second ever customer back in December 2020. Who would have thought that 9 months later I’d be interning at that very company?

Left to right: (1) The core team at their A-frame cabin retreat in Oregon (2) A screen grab of the first post on @sammys.journal that I 'liked' (3) The day I officially became Project Memory's Head of Supply Chain

When I came on board as a Growth Operations Intern back in September 2021, I thought I would be able to go in with the formulas I learned in my MBA program and make our inventory and supply chain operations flow smoothly right off the bat. Soon after, I learned that this was not the case - particularly due to the unexpected jump in sales during the holiday season. Even compensating for an increase in sales, my forecasted projections drastically undershot demand.

But that’s the nature of a small business. Previously, I was more entrenched in understanding how to make established corporations more efficient rather than creating processes that would help a new business thrive.

This internship definitely required a shift in perspective, but it quickly became my favorite creative outlet. With the freedom to suggest new ideas, problem solve, and initiate change, I got to see the immediate impact of decisions and procedures I implemented by looking at different metrics.

For example, one of my goals was to reduce bottlenecks in our fulfillment system. We had found that shipments were backing up when we ran out of a packaging component like crinkle paper, tea, thank you notes, and especially journal cards. I decided to focus my efforts on setting up an inventory management system for the journal cards first since they were an integral part of the photo journals. They were also the most complex to track since they were sold in different sized packs individually in addition to being a companion product to our Chronicles. After implementing a manual system and determining a reorder point, I saw our bottleneck times decrease significantly, leading to an overall smoother fulfillment system.

Left to right: (1) Does anyone recognize that mirror? This was my the shipping trip I made when visiting Aneri for the first time in San Francisco! (2) Mini photoshoot (3) Packing journal cards & a thank you note for an order :)

In addition to working on operations, I also got to branch out into other aspects of the business like product development, content creation, and customer care. It's been incredibly interesting seeing the thought processes behind every decision. I have absolutely loved being involved in all aspects of the business.

Earlier this month, I was officially welcomed on as a permanent team member and Head of Supply Chain at Project Memory! I am incredibly thankful to Aneri - she has been such a fantastic mentor throughout this process and unlocked an entirely new world.

With our photo journals back in stock now, our work has just begun. I’m very ready to start gathering more data to make our current processes and fulfillment systems more efficient. I’m beyond excited to continue growing along with the business in the coming years!

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