Ask her anything. More specifically, ask her the weight of any of Hugger Mugger’s hundreds of products and she will tell you instantly to a fraction of an ounce. Standard Bolster? 5 pounds. Piccolo Eyebag? .2 pounds. Bamboo Yoga Towel? 1.5 pounds. Alishia DeHorney’s brain stores information like a computer.
Alishia has headed the Hugger Mugger shipping department for almost eight years. The department, which includes herself and her assistant, Keith, ships an average of 80 orders each day, including retail orders from individuals, wholesale orders from studios, and monster orders from big retailers such as Amazon, Marshalls and Japan’s Rock International.
As a forklift-certified driver, Alishia also puts supplies away when pallets arrive, keeps the warehouse clean, and makes sure all the products are organized so that they’re easy to find when it comes time to ship them.
There’s no such thing as a typical day for Alishia. That suits her just fine. “I never know what the day is going to be like when I come to work,” she says. “Sometimes we’re in for a big surprise in the morning, depending on how many orders have come in overnight from online customers.” Considering that every order for studios, teachers and yogis goes out within 24 hours, Alishia and Keith can have their hands full.
Orders for retailers such as Amazon require extra TLC. Each item has to be packaged separately and must be turned around within three days of receiving an order. “Amazon orders can be anything from two items to two pallets,” she says. Add to that the possibility of the arrival of a 40-foot container that must be unpacked, accounted for and put away within 24 hours. Alishia says, “We’re no strangers to overtime here.”
Alishia is exceptional in many ways. You won’t find too many women heading up shipping departments. “Shipping is a hard industry for women,” she says. “Even though I have 11 years in this field, most employers would say, ‘You’re too little for this.’ The odds for a woman getting a job in this field are slim. I got lucky here.”
Her favorite part of the job is the people she works with. “They’re always willing to help when we get swamped, and I give the same in return. There are some really great people in the warehouse, and I advocate for them whenever I can. I’m kind of a mom here.”