The Character playbook for scaling as a young brand


In this article, we sit down with Mo Opland, Head of Operations & Supply chain at Character to share her best practices on scaling as a new brand.

“Unlike a software company, Character sells physical products that could be different with every unit. So, from the very start, we had to ensure we could stand by every single product we sell.”
Mo Opland
Mo Opland
Head of Operations & Supply Chain at Character

Your brand can have incredible prototypes, an experienced team, and endless determination. But without product quality, none of that will pay off. Mo Opland, Head of Operations & Supply Chain at Character, knows this firsthand. 

Her company is the next-gen, one-stop shop for all things home improvement — one of their most attractive offerings being curated, customizable project tool set. Without consistent assembly and reliable quality, Mo knew the brand would be over before it started. That’s why she called in Factored Quality to sort their quality control out from day one. 

Below, she dives into the lessons she’s learned on that supply chain journey and the tips she’d pass on to younger brands. 

Let’s dive in. 

As a younger brand, don’t hesitate to turn to experts

Like Mo, every supply chain ops leader knows this all too well: 

“No matter how much you want to think your products will be perfect, it’s just not practical. Uncontrollable things always happen.” 

This fueled the Character team to nail down their product quality control before any major issues could arise. Before they even began production, Mo brought in the Factored Quality team for an expert-level perspective. 

  1. We kicked off by defining a QC checklist for every product, which Mo recommends to every brand, regardless of category. 
  1. Delegating that work to the FQ team dramatically boosted Character’s confidence in their quality. 
  1. From there, the Character team could also refocus their time and energy to more pressing matters as a company about to go to market. 

Since then, as Character has grown, so has the scale of their partnership with FQ. 

There is no right time to scale production

Even if your brand is just starting out, don’t be afraid to level up your operations where necessary. For instance, just a few months into their partnership with FQ, Mo and the Character team found opportunities to simplify by scaling up. 

  • During their first few months, Character manufactured all products overseas and then shipped them to a U.S. warehouse to kit tool sets based on demand. 
  • The team quickly realized this multi-step, manual process would not cut it. 
  • So, FQ facilitated the relocation of Character’s assembly ops to China entirely — bringing down costs and improving consistency of product quality. 

While they could have gotten by with their piecemeal workflow, Mo emphasizes that scaling production and assembly at the earliest possible stage was most beneficial for the brand. 

“With Factored Quality’s help, we’re now confident that every set we ship includes the necessary components, all of which meet our high standards for product quality. They’ve made all of this easier.”

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