The Mail Room in University Place is not your typical post office. In fact, it’s the last independent mail shop in the greater Tacoma area. A local staple, it has all you need in terms of packing, shipping, and private mailboxes with stellar customer service to boot. Not to mention, The Mail Room has a fantastic gift shop with homemade decals (you’ve probably seen its latest creation, the “WA(sh) your hands” sticker, all over town lately) and so much more.
Husband and wife business partners, Brandon and Brit Beauchesne, have owned The Mail Room for nearly three years now. We got a chance to ask them a couple questions to find out how business is going considering current circumstances and how we can continue to show support to this great, local business.
SSB: Since taking over the business in 2017, how has business been and what has running The Mail Room been like?
It was slow going at first. We knew the biggest issue was that no one knew we were here. We still have people who have lived in the area for 20+ years telling us they just found out about The Mail Room from social media or their neighbors told them about us. We haven’t done a whole lot in the way of traditional marketing but, between word of mouth and our social media presence, more and more people are finding us as their new go to for shipping, mailing, and gifts. Business has been strong and 2020 was off to a fantastic start. It’s gonna be bumpy for us with everything going on, but this business has been here for over 30 years. I’m confident that if we can stay physically healthy, we’ll be able to adapt to the new world ahead.
How has business changed in the past week or so?
Things have slowed pretty dramatically. Which for the sake of humanity is a good thing! Most of our clientele is in the 50s-60s and up range. We’re missing a lot of our regulars right now, but they are hunkering down which is the smart thing to do.
Are you modifying your business in any ways due to current circumstances to accommodate customers?
We’ve asked our private mailbox members to call us when they arrive to have their mail and packages brought to their vehicles. This helps limit the amount of people in and out of the shop and also gives me and Brit a chance to get some fresh air! Fortunately, there are never more than 3-5 people in the shop at any given time, so there’s plenty of space between folks while we help people handle their business… As news is changing faster than the weather right now we urge our customers to follow us on Instagram and Facebook to stay up to date on any changes that may occur.
We love the “WA(sh) your hands” decals — how did the design come to life?
Thank you! We’d been talking about making vinyl decals as a fun way to bring in extra revenue for the shop and to have something we could sell online. I was racking my brain on design ideas a couple weeks before all of the corona craziness began. All of a sudden, every article online was talking about the importance of hand washing and how fast the virus was spreading. I was sorting the mail (gloved up as always) and then just like The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, “it just popped in there!” WA(sh) your hands.
What are the best ways people can continue to show support?
That’s a tough question. As much as we want to tell people to mail stuff and buy stickers, we feel the most important thing people can do to support us is to support the health of the community. We’re here for you if you absolutely need us, but for now we just want everyone who can to stay home and be mindful of what’s happening. Nobody knows what the future holds but hopefully it’s not too long before things are back to business as usual.
Photos courtesy The Mail Room