Chase Fisher’s college “side hustle” started in 2012, when he recognized an immutable fact of beachside living: sunglasses go missing and get broken. All the time. The business that started from Chase’s backpack at San Diego State University, has turned into the Blenders Eyewear eCommerce company with fans from across the country and across every age group. They all like the company’s RAD approach to their sunnies: Relevant, Affordable and Dependable.
Blenders Eyewear —and its Blendz team—grew from 6 to 28 employees in two years. That’s the type of growth that can wipe out small businesses under the weight of unanticipated regulations, paperwork, and process. The additional administrative burden of tracking time for seasonal hourly employees threw definite shade on this “sunnie” business.
The tech-savvy Blendz team of recent college grads didn’t hesitate to seek software to help them build for growth. They chose Zenefits as their HR People Platform to help them ride the wave of their business acceleration.
Wearing as many hats as they wear sunnies
“In scaling companies, we all wear numerous hats. When the HR hat was thrown to me on top of 10x-ing my team, I immediately pitched Zenefits to Chase,” says Lexi Horn, Blenders Director of Customer Success. Zenefits is a no-brainer — especially when your company isn’t large enough for a full-time HR administrator.”
Because Blenders is an e-commerce model—and a profitable one at that—it can keep its core team fairly small. Where it flexes to meet seasonal and growth needs is with a few key senior positions and with Lexi’s customer success team. This year, with a 50% company growth goal, the customer team will range in size from 5-50 customer service people. Therefore, Lexi was extra motivated to put in place a foundation to simplify the manager’s jobs while ensuring compliance with growing employment laws.
“Zenefits is all about finding the workarounds to get things done. Onboarding manually is terrible; with Zenefits there is no file cabinet. What even is a file cabinet?
“With built-in compliance alerts, Zenefits also saves me from having to explain compliance issues to others,” says the 26-year-old leader who started her career in the HR tech space. “That alone takes a ton of weight off my shoulders. And, Zenefits’ Time and Attendance tool removes the burden of hourly time entry and oversight.
Zenefits is really amazing. We’d grown so much, I couldn’t do my job anymore because time tracking was the biggest thorn in my side. I’m a better manager with Zenefits. Now, we have time to focus on the employees and culture part of HR.
Director of Customer Success
And wow, do the Blendz do culture right. They start with great benefits, then they make engagement personal. For example, they empower their customer success team (AKA Mermaid Support) to do what they think is right to “stoke out thy customers.” And the managers go the extra mile for their team. From catered Wednesday lunches, Feel Good Fridays, and an after-work intramural kickball team, Blenders employees know how to relax in and outside of the office. All part of the company’s low churn. Only one customer team member left “the most badass team on dry land” in the past two years; to go to grad school. And not only do Blendz teammates believe in the company, right before this interview, a group of product fans, or Blend Heads as they call themselves, were making their pitch to Lexi to be part of her seasonal customer success team.
The future looks bright indeed for this “sunnie” group.