Taylor and Gheesling filled a majority of the orders themselves when the pandemic forced them to cut staff. Bundled employees come by way of Dearborn-based nonprofit Services to Enhance Potential (STEP), to which Taylor was introduced when she worked in special education. Between five and eight employees with disabilities work to fill orders each week. The company also has a leadership team of seven people — all women.
“We own the company 50/50. We didn’t have any employees (early in the pandemic),” Gheesling said.
She said Bundled eased employees back in last summer by putting gifts together in the warehouse parking lot. “We’d go bundle gifts from 5-10 a.m., go home and let our husbands work, then go back at 1, 2, 3 a.m. It was an interesting time. It helped us get through (the pandemic) because it was something to focus on. It was a chance to bring the company to the next level.”
With the substantial increase in demand, Bundled recently launched a fulfillment division, working with third-party vendors to individually pack and ship gifts to individuals, families and business employees or partners worldwide. Bundled facilitates corporate orders from start to finish.
“With more and more employees working from home, we saw a void in the marketplace for direct distribution,” Taylor said. “Typically, a vendor would ship mass quantities of product to a corporate headquarters, and then the responsible party — HR or executive assistant — would have to repack and distribute each item, which is incredibly time consuming. We found a way to eliminate this extra step.”
Taylor, 37, and Gheesling, 36, see continuous growth for their company. Taylor said the plan is to continue to grow corporate partnerships and ensure Bundled provides opportunities for women and people with disabilities while having a quality product.
“We’re so passionate about this business,” Gheesling said. “If we’re just able to continue to purchase from small businesses, employ people with disabilities and empower women, we’d be happy.”