Around Town

What a nice surprise to see so many Made in the USA mailboxes popping up around our town. Here is a sampling of them. They are such a nice upgrade to a neighborhood.

Three Skyline locking mailboxes and large newspaper boxes.

These mailboxes all have the keypad locks. The homeowners also decided to include the additional newspaper boxes.

Locking mailboxes continue to be needed as the poor economy tends to drive more people to theft. The resulting chaos of having your ID stolen, your bank and credit cards compromised is often a long process to re-establish your good credit and to get your funds back into your accounts. It takes time to prove fraud and ID theft and often it goes undiscovered until your credit card is decline.

Skyline locking mailbox on a NW decorative post, again with an optional large newspaper box.

Just because nothing like that has happened before, does not change the fact that the crime still exists. You can stop that from happening to you and upgrade the your landscape by buying a locking mailbox and installing this spring before you plant all your new flowers.

I’m just saying… it’s something to think about. If you decide to upgrade here is a list of things to consider when selecting a mailbox:

The answer to the this list should all be YES.

  • Does it meet USPS requirements?
  • Will your mail slide in easily?
  • Will it hold your average mail?
  • Will it hold several days worth if you are out-of-town?
  • Do your prescription medications fit in?
  • Does it have a quality lock?
  • Is it Made in the USA?

These answers need to be NO?

  • Are there easy pry points?
  • Can someone reach in?
  • Is the mail easily “fish-able?”
  • What about the door and lock are the light weight?

Additional things to consider:

  • How many keys cuts are available? Ours have 4,500 possible keys.
  • Where are the locks made? In Belgium
  • Why Belgium? They are built to our rigid specifications.
  • Everything else is made in Oregon, even our cardboard boxes.
  • We ship anywhere in the US.
  • Locally, please stop in, bring your mail, check them out.

If you have a questions about our products, please visit our web site www.mailboxsolutions.com

or send us an email: websales@mbxs.com

or phone: 503-486-5575  M-Th 9-5 Fri 9-1

We are here to answer questions and help. We do build our products. We try to always have them in stock. We can address your mailbox in ten minutes so you can expect to come in, try them out, get your questions answered, choose a style, a color, and any accessories and leave with your products. The NW post is customized for you so it is the only item we need a 24 hour notice to have it ready for you.

We look forward to serving you.

Still Outside the Box

I promised to share the rest of the photos. You may remember that last week I went on a game of “Eye Spy” to see what I could find that had nothing to do with boxes as in mailboxes. I chose to search out only round things and I was surprised at how easy it was to find 16 cool things in our office. These things all prove we do think outside the box. Or at least we try very hard to be outside the box.

If you every need a little break at work away from your computer consider  brain exercise. Give this little game a try. Think of a color, or shape, size, or texture then decide on your criterion. Count the items that match your “rule”. Then close your eyes and try to remember them all. Were you able to do it?

On this day I used my camera to capture round items. You can see the rest of the photo on last week’s post Think Outside the Box

A Rainbow of Colors

A DVD supplies so much color. Rainbow whirls and arcs and distorted reflections.

Colorful Vinyl Rolls

Exterior vinyl for making signs, lettering, logos and of course address numbers.

Transfer Tape

 This handy tape is used to transfer the cut decal from the paper backing to the door, window, car, placard, sign or a mailbox.

World Time Clock

This interesting clock shows the exact time for anywhere in the world. This flattened view of the world makes everything distorted. All world maps do the same. What makes this map so unique is the center of the clock is one of the poles. The entire outside ring of the map is the other pole.

Nuts, Bolts and Cams

Funny round divided project parts carrier. These parts complete a lock.

Old School "Dinger" Service Bell

This remains a very simple and practical way for a customer to announce their arrival.

A Doorbell Button

A clever gecko swirls its tail around the doorbell button. A very cute alternative to a plain doorbell.

School Room Clock

There you can see we have a classic Roman Numeral clock on the wall.  Handsome round thing indeed and it proved to be very photogenic. That is a good thing.

Have a good week. So far this week we have been busy, normally when the weather is nasty it usually means a quiet day.

Check back next Tues when we share more stuff about the “exciting” world of mailboxes.

Think Outside the BOX

Don’t plod along in a rut, engage your brain, get creative, “Think outside the box.” Sure, that’s easy for you to say. But honestly it is hard for us to think outside the BOX. After all, what we do day in and day out is think about BOXES. Cardboard packaging BOXES, shipping BOXES, palletized BOXES, BOXES on shelves and of course all of these boxes are for our mailBOXES.

The building is a box, the warehouse is box, the office is a box. My cubical is a…well you get the idea. I decided to focus on “round” and eliminated the first things that popped into my head like coffee cups, mugs, etc . Could I find enough items to make a creative photo post? My work is cut out for me. 

A walk through the office and warehouse revealed many photo opportunities for items that popped out simply because they are round.

Color Sample Chips

Tape Gun, No Shooting, It's a Handy Speed Taping Tool

Paper Clips in a Round Container

Bits and Bolts

Have you ever tried to focus on a single color, texture or shape and then look around you? Are you surprised at the number of things that are often overlooked in your daily routine?

Cast Aluminum Ball Cap

Face of a Lock

Two Baseballs in a Glove, Waiting for Action

How Many Round Items Can You See In This Model '65 GTO?

In the above photo I thought I was just getting a picture of a steering wheel. When I looked at it on my computer screen, I was surprised to see so many round items. The entire photo experience was fun and in fact, I found so many things that proved interesting, that this is only half of the photos I took in about 10 minutes with my cell phone.

Give this little game a try. Decide on your criterion. Count the items that match your “rule”. Then close your eyes and try to remember them all. Were you able to do it?

Check back next week for the other half of the pictures. Sending wishes your way for a really great rest of the week.

Here’s the challenge, how many round things did you find in the last photo? Go ahead and post your answer in comments. 🙂

Shari

Did You Always Dream of This?

Sometimes I get a little paranoid about telling people what I do from 9-5. Especially after 15 years of experience it has become harder to answer that question.

Don’t get me wrong it’s not that I am not proud of our product because I am happy we have awesome product made right here in Oregon. It is not because I am embarrassed by what we make because it is something many people need one and it solves one of their issues. But being a mailbox specialist is a conversation killer.

So I don’t mention it unless of course I’m on a plane and want to read and my seat mate tries to start a conversation. “I’m a mailbox specialist,” allows me to have a peaceful trip. No more questions asked.

Here are sample conversation stoppers when asked,

“What do you do?”

“We manufacture locking mailboxes.”   (Silence, who wants to know more about that?)

“We own a small manufacturing company.” “Really? That sounds exciting. What do you manufacture?”  “Mailboxes.” “Mailboxes? Oh excuse me I see someone over there I’m supposed to meet with. Nice meeting you.”

“We do locking mailboxes.” “Oh, a rental mailbox place. Do you also sell cards and do shipping.” OOOOooo the start of a conversation. “Uhhh, no not exactly we build mailboxes, locking ones that go on a post by the street.” “People buy those?”

So you see, life is difficult when you are a mailbox specialist. Except one time. I’ll never forget how sincere this lady was, mostly I’ll never forget how sweet she was. Such an amazing conversationalist. I actually wish I had such talent. So here goes:

“And what do you do, dear?” “We manufacture locking mailboxes.” “You mean those in apartment buildings?” “We sell those but we do not manufacture them.” “What kind to you make?” We make the ones that mount on a post by the street.” “Did you always want to do that?” [Me: blank stare] “I mean when you were a little girl did you always dream of selling mailboxes.” 

So somewhere out there is a very kind and gracious lady who left me totally speechless, because, no, I would never have dreamed it. My thought process ran along the lines of being a princess or a ballerina. Turns out neither of those were my destiny. I was about five when I figured out being a princess was not in the cards. It took me a few years longer to realize I was getting too tall to be a ballerina, plus I wasn’t that talented.

I was still a young kid when I dreamed of driving a hot sports car. I tried to convince my dad to buy us one. This one would have appealed to me.

One Hot Red Sports Car

Just so you know, little girl dreams do become big girl dreams. 😀

Jan 4 Building a Better Mouse Trap

Building a better mouse trap takes time. Building a better mailbox takes even more time: they are much bigger and represent a show piece for in front of your home. Have  you looked at yours lately? Is it time for a new mailbox?

Mailboxes cost more, weigh more, use lots more metal, and they are designed to protect your mail, not kill it.

They have to look good in front of your house. They have to work, for both the mail and the letter carrier. They also have to work for you, the end-user.

What’s cool about buying one, besides the facts that now your old rusty mailbox is gone and your mail is now safe, is that they last for years and years. We really don’t know how long, we know the ones we sold 15 years ago still are working well and that was before we redesigned our boxes to be stronger and sleeker and work properly.

Just in case you think we aren’t well-rounded since the mailboxes are all square cornered boxes, here are a couple of other cool things we sell.

Wow, key safes. Never get locked out again.

What’s really cool about these is they unobtrusively mount to the door jamb so there are right there beside the door. This model does need batteries to make the monitor work, but with or without the battery the key safe part is completely mechanical. It never fails. The battery-powered monitor keeps track of who uses and they times they enter your house. You can assign a code for several different people.

If you are looking for a little “bling,” we have brass house numbers. Or you might want to use your favorite number as a pendant or attach it to gold french wires to flaunt your style. At 6″ tall each, trust me it will be quite the attention grabber.

Ooooo...Brass House Numbers!

We will be happy to check to make sure we have your number in stock! 😉 Every woman can be a perfect ten by wearing a “1” on one ear and a “0” on the other. Just don’t get them on the wrong ears by looking in the mirror or you’ll be a zero one. 😀

Give us a call, we are here to help:

Portland Metro: 503-486-5575 or out of area 1-800-630-3344

Shop on-line: http://mailboxsolutions.com

Happy New Year!!

As we contemplate this past year and look forward to the future, one question we often get is,  “Why do I need a locking mailbox?” The easy reason is they certainly help deter mail theft which leads to ID theft or fraud.

Did you know that the old “loaf of bread shaped” mailboxes have been around almost since the first mail carrier rode up on his horse for a rural mail delivery. Sure back then they also used barrels but unfortunately they didn’t keep the wind from blowing their letters away. They tried buckets, but they also held rain water. So what to do? Build something cheap, a round top would keep the water from collecting or the snow from piling up and crushing the box, and the lid would keep the wind from blowing the mail away. They could be easily built from lightweight metal since they only needed to be strong enough to hold a letter or two a week.

Sisters Oregon 1904

Pictures like these make us long for the “good old days” when things were safe. However comparing the care of a horse to the care of a car, I think things have gotten easier for us. But the old photos create a longing for things and people that we no longer have.

Christmas cards always evoke nostalgia with sweet paintings of the “cute, crooked little mailbox bedecked in ribbon and greenery holding packages and letters spilling out of the open door.” Where are the other elements shown on the card; the milk bucket, the wood pile, the horse and carriage, and bonnets and muffs? Usually they are locked away in an attic, well of course except for the horse which decades ago died of old age. Shouldn’t the old style mailbox have long ago joined high button shoes as something seen only in museums and no longer actually used?

Yes, the nostalgic cards remind us of days long gone when it was safe to leave your house unlocked, your barn unlocked and your mail unlocked.

Happy New Year!! And wishes for a prosperous 2012. If we all join forces, perhaps our hopes for a return to a simpler and safer time can come true this year.

From all of us at Mailbox Solutions, LLC

Frosty Tricks

Frosty the Snowman is up to his tricks, surprising us by hiding around the office. We never know where he will show up next.

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We close in 45 minutes, so you probably won’t have time to come by and get a last-minute gift. But do keep us in mind for your next gift giving opportunity. Or look at your own Welcome that advertises your own address. What kind of statement does your mailbox make about you?

Before we leave for the weekend the staff at Mailbox Solutions,LLC want to wish you and your loved ones a beautiful, safe, and lovely holiday.

New Gallery Page Added

It seems like it takes longer than we ever expect to get our ducks in a row. It is often a case of time, weather, and opportunity for a full-scale photo shoot is limited. It is always best to simply take a photo of one of our installations. Unfortunately, the installer seldom has a camera available. Or it is raining buckets. Or the traffic is bad and there is another job to dash to. Or…..the battery needs charging.  😦  The little things we all deal with.

Today I went back into our photo archives and pulled out a few that show some of our items. The color rendering is not always accurate.

A fun job today was a customer who ordered a green box with red address numbers. To me it was such a Christmas Box, but for the customer it will match the neighbors up the street, a color combination that is fun and exciting. Here are a couple of photos of the process

Peace of Mind the Perfect Gift

A locking mailbox makes a surprising, awesome, and appreciated gift for someone you love… or the person who has almost everything.

Christmas Selection includes Black, Green, Red, and White

It’s true, needing a locking mailbox is a sad commentary on today’s society. It bothers me daily. It bothers me even more to hear the stories of the hardship and hours required when someones’ mail has been stolen. Sometimes the damage is immediate and sometimes it takes a bit of time to figure out a bill has gone missing.

Have you ever been surprised because you expected a card from a friend and it never arrived? It could have been to cheer you up when you were sick, a congratulations on graduation or wedding or baby, an invitation, or a sympathy card. Did you ever think that they did send the card, but it was stolen from your mailbox? You wouldn’t know if the thieves left your junk mail. They don’t want junk mail either. The junk is usually on the bottom, the good stuff is on the top. It makes their life easy.

Top to Bottom: Juniper Green, Pearl Taupe, Black

So what do you do when you are out-of-town? Instead of stopping it, you can protect your mail in one of our MADE IN OREGON mailboxes. With 4,500 possible keys, you can rest easy.

Top to Bottom: Dark Roast, Stone Grey, White

We recently added Dark Roast as a new options that people love.

A customer came in yesterday and ordered a Juniper Green box with cheerful red address numbers. The numbers are set up on a computer and cut from an exterior sign vinyl. They do give the boxes a very handsome look. Here you can see a bit of the process, which is fast and you do not need to wait for more than 5 to 10 minutes.

Carefully peel off the transfer tape

Removing the guide line tape

All finished and ready to go home

Stop in tomorrow to find Frosty. 

Next up on our blog, different locking options.

Have a Happy and Joyous season. There is still time to add PEACE.

Mailbox Solutions, LLC Web Store is here:   http://mailboxsolutions.com