After many long months of waiting for our product from Thailand, and our first shipment from Bali, they both arrived back to back last week!
Shipment days which only happen about 4-5 times a year are some of the most exciting days at the Bazaar. Loads of furniture, home décor, paintings, mango wood and more have arrived and is currently being unpacked, priced and prepped for this year's Bazaar.
From the moment the container gets fully packed by our shippers in their respective countries, we watch it diligently on its journey. From being loaded on the ship, to landing in Vancouver, clearing customs and training to Montreal where it makes the final leg to our doorstep via truck.
Once the driver cuts the bolt that secures the doors it's unloading time!
Depending on how many people we have on hand this usually takes a couple hours. We have spent the days before clearing the inside of the barn to make way for the new products and to give us room to process the shipment.
Everyone has a job to do on these days to make things run smoothly and efficiently.
Whether it's working in the container carefully unloading pieces so nothing falls over and handing it to the helping hands wait to dolly it into the barn or making sure that each piece makes it to the designated area for easier processing.
After the trailer is fully unloaded we sign off and send the driver on their way. It is time to start unpacking and to find what treasures lay inside.
This year was very different as much of the product was not seen in person due to the travel restrictions.
Through looking at past orders and invoices, (sometimes in Thai or Indonesian) to figure out what we had ordered last year or by looking at photos sent by the artisans via WhatsApp, and sometimes even shaky video tours of dark warehouses, we were able to decipher what we wanted to the best of our abilities given the unique situation and bring you some truly special pieces.
The driver arrives after a two hour drive from Montreal to bring the container to us, he cuts the bolt securing the container doors. Their job now is to sit back and wait for the truck to be emptied!
We do our best to make sure what is coming off the truck is what was ordered. The commercial invoices, shipping invoices and inventory all have to match before we start unpacking, pricing and prepping everything.
Everyone pitches in, we have a small window to get everything off the truck before the driver needs to turn around and head back. Grab a box, grab a dolly, grab the end of a huge piece of furniture to get it off the truck and into its designated spot in the barn.
Once all the packages and boxes have moved into the barn and are in a good spot to be processed, the unpacking begins. We are careful to save foam and paper that packages are wrapped in for storage and online shipping purposes.
Anything that is not reused and is not garbage, is recycled with plastics being separated from cardboard and paper. We will take them all to be properly processed to reduce our carbon footprint of shipping these goods across the ocean.
From here things get priced, tagged and separated for online, or display while the rest is packed up for the Bazaar!
From here we start the process of unboxing cutting off plastic ties, opening the boxes while being careful not to lose the box number.
This number coordinates with the commercial invoice so we can confirm the number of products we purchased and style is the same as what is in the box. As we unpack we check the product for any damages or discoloring, as sometimes there's moisture buildup from the enclosed space being in a hot and humid climate crossing the sea.
We then get ready to price the products by going through prices from last year if it is a reordered product, making adjustments for the cost of shipping and materials and then labelling the product.
If it is a new product we have to look at the purchased cost often in foreign currency and convert it, then work out a name, product description, and fair price for all the hard work it took to handcraft and then arrive at the barn!
After it is priced we either loosely repack a product if it is going into storage as restock until the Bazaar or separate it for display and for product destined to be photographed and uploaded for our online shop.
With bigger pieces like poufs and furniture, this process moves rather quickly but as we move into smaller objects and boxes with many items this process becomes much more involved and can take days or weeks to get through. That is why the earlier we get the shipments the easier it is to get them processed and ready for the sale.
We hope you enjoyed following along for shipment arrival day and be sure to keep an eye out on our social feeds and the website for more unboxing adventures, sneak peeks at some of the treasures you’ll find at the Bazaar this year and when new product hits our online store!