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Airstar: Branding, Product Samples, and Fulfillment

If you’ve missed out previous update about Airstar, make sure to check out our introduction post: We’re building our next product publicly.

Over the past few weeks, we have made some great progress with Airstar. With a lot of the tricky decisions out of the way, we now can focus on building the web portion, and start to order products for the kit!

Thanks to all of you, we have some great data on what potential customers want. We asked…

What do you like to see when you arrive at an Airbnb?

These results stay pretty in-line to what we originally had planned, with the exception of just how much of a necessity the WiFi information is. Our final box is going to look something like this:

  • Welcome note, which includes contact information, WiFi passwords, and other necessary information about the place.
  • Essentials, like shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, hand soap, tooth paste, and more.
  • A Postcard to mail back to family and friends and let them know how your trip is going. We don’t expect this to be used at every stay, but we think it’s a nice touch.


We worked with Simon Gustavsson to help us craft the identity for Airstar.

We can’t wait to use it through the website and packaging material. Below are some points along the design progress, so you can see how the logo has evolved and came together:

Final Airstar logo


We’ve been talking to a number of different suppliers, received samples, and have been testing the products out over at the Need/Want office (and at home). These samples range from high-end natural products, to more common ones that you’d see at Hyatt or Ramada. We found the products through a combination of Google searches for hotel suppliers, looking through Alibaba for hotel amenities, and direct introductions.

I had a range of samples delivered for us to try, but in the end we decided to go with a really nice natural brand. While costing about 3x as much, we didn’t want to use cheap products. We know our customers will appreciate this fact.

Marshall testing samples at home.


One of our biggest concerns was providing customized cards for inside the Airstar packs. It’s easy to pre-pack everything, and just ship out the packs when we get an order in. Since we’re opting to have custom information on the cards for each order, it adds another layer of complexity. We had a talk with our fulfillment center about this, and luckily this shouldn’t be much of an issue. We still have to iron out the details, but the plan is to send them a PDF that they can print off, and they can print the custom information on nice postcards that we’ll provide them with.

Generally when a fulfillment house prices everything out, it breaks down into two categories:

  • Storage: There’s a flat monthly fee for storing all of your items in their warehouse.
  • Touch time: Fulfillment facilities have hourly rates for labor, and they’ll run through time trials and see how long it takes to prepare an item. Once this is finished, it’s generally priced out into a flat rate per box.

Hopefully printing the custom post cards won’t add in too much time, since we’re trying to price the boxes at a low rate.


As we go along, we’ve been pricing out what we expect the final packs to cost. While still rough, here’s what we have so far:

Known Pricing

-Shampoo: $0.33
-Conditioner: $0.33
-Lotion: $0.33
-Shower Gel: $0.33
-Facial Soap: $0.20
-Translucent Soap: $0.29
-Bath Bar: $0.40

Rough Estimated Pricing

-Toothpaste: $0.30
-Postcard: $0.30
-Info Card: $0.30
-Box: $0.40

This brings our total to roughly $3.50 not including fulfillment & shipping costs. This means we’ll likely price the final boxes in to the $8-$10 range.

What’s next?

We have just started on the website design, so we will be working on that, as well as well as designing our packaging and purchasing our final products. The next post will dive deep into the design and functionality of everything. If you’d like to stay up to date, subscribe below.

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