Best in Class School Supplies Taking the Pain out of Back-to-School Season
Best in Class School Supplies is a leading pre-packaged school supplies provider in the United States. We provide hundreds of thousands of school supply packs to students of all ages, K-12. We have supplied school districts of every size and type, from small 1A schools to massive districts to Native American reservations and Catholic schools.
School districts typically have grade level supply lists that are unique to their district, because the supplies are tied to that year’s curriculum. It’s a big hassle for the schools to make sure parents are going out and buying 20+ items for their kids. The parents may not have time since most parents work these days. We provide packs customized to the grade level supply lists so that every kid can have exactly what they need on the first day of school.
Our custom packs make life so much easier for the parents. Now, back-to-school shopping is a breeze. They don’t have to shop for supplies at all! Just pay the school for the custom pack and they’re done. Many of our customers couldn’t imagine going back to the nightmare of back-to-school shopping, especially if they have more than one kid. Imagine trying to shop for the exact right supplies for 3 or 4 kids!
Parents and school administrators also love us because we don’t cut corners or offer low-quality products. Our custom school supply packs are full of name brands like Crayola, Elmer’s, Expo, Fiskars, Mead, Clorox, Dixon, and more. There’s nothing worse than paying a bunch of money for supplies only for them to break or do their job badly. Our customers never have to worry about that with us.
Here’s what one of our customers said about Best in Class: “Prepackaged school supplies are the best idea ever. No more fighting crowds, waiting in line, and searching 5 stores for what is on my kids’ lists. I always order our school supply packs from our school.”
That’s the key to our success. We make life so much easier for parents, teachers, and administrators during one of the most stressful and hectic times of the year. That’s why they keep coming back to work with us year after year too.
Best in Class was founded by a husband and wife dynamic duo, Larry and Paige Jost. They both worked in the school fundraising industry for decades before founding Best in Class in 2011. With a collective 50+ years of experience, they know what they’re doing. Best in Class has seen significant year-over-year positive growth every year for the past decade, including throughout the pandemic.
Before Best in Class School Supplies, Larry and Paige ran Top Ten Fundraisers. Top Ten helped schools nationwide raise funds to do the things most important to them, like take field trips or buy new band equipment. The company became one of the largest school fundraising companies in the country before they successfully sold the company in 2009.
Larry and Paige were looking for their next big idea when it hit them: “let’s work with schools to take the pain out of back-to-school season!” They never could have imagined how badly their service was needed. Over the next 10 years, their company exploded, and now they ship school supplies across the country to hundreds of thousands of students and employ dozens of people. Best in Class was founded in Forney, Texas and our office and warehouse are now located in Lubbock, Texas, and have been since 2014.
With a background in PTA and fundraising, two elementary teachers in the family, and 4 children that went through public school, you might say they’re familiar with schools and education. Larry and Paige know what a headache back-to-school shopping can be – not to mention ensuring students have what they need to succeed throughout the year. We at Best In Class consider it our mission to help students, parents, and teachers have the quality supplies they need to have a positive and constructive experience in the classroom.
What Makes Us Special
We’re a HUB-certified woman-owned family business with over 25 years of experience in school supplies. We believe in the power of community and good education, and our business was developed as a way to help students and teachers across America. We’ve worked with school districts, nonprofits, churches, and a variety of other groups across the country.
We hold Purchasing Cooperative contracts with many national associations so you can feel confident your organization is getting the best price.
We have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) so you can rest assured you will get “Best in Class” service.
We use American Made Products whenever possible to support our great nation.
One of our biggest challenges is logistics. We’re talking about millions of items and hundreds and hundreds of SKUs every year. We purchase our supplies in bulk from suppliers around the world. Since we pack to the exact specifications of our customers’ supply lists, we have to source and find large amounts of a wide variety of products. We have to store and organize all these products in a large warehouse and create a system by which we can track our large inventory and find products easily.
That would be complicated enough, but with the supply chain struggles of the COVID era, things became even hairier. Fortunately, we have great relationships with our suppliers and we’ve always been able to get what our customers need.
Another challenge is the seasonality of our business. All year, we’re really working for a short 2-3 week window when school goes back in session in late August. By that time, all of our customers need to have their packs at their schools ready for learning. That means that we spend the spring ordering and preparing for an intense summer, where we need to pack and ship all these hundreds of thousands of packs in a short 2-3 month window. We hire dozens of temporary pulling and packing employees and set up many pack assembly lines to get it done. Multiple 18-wheeler trucks are loaded every day as we fill these orders. The good news is after school starts we can finally relax for a couple of weeks.
The United States is full of business opportunities. We’re lucky to live in a country that makes starting and growing a business easier than most places. In our case, we were able to capitalize on this particular need parents and schools face – the nightmare of back-to-school shopping and ensuring kids have the supplies they need.
We are uniquely positioned to fill this need because of our extensive experience, great relationships and prices with our suppliers, access to warehousing, and our wonderful and dedicated team. We are extremely lucky to have these advantages and we feel grateful every day.
Regarding future opportunities, up until now, we’ve sold in bulk to school districts and organizations. However, as we grow, we have started selling individual packs to parents online. We sell these packs on our website and on Walmart.com. This is a great option for parents whose kids attend a district that hasn’t purchased supplies in a bulk from a provider like us.
So you want to start a business?
Our business is built on honesty and prompt, pleasant customer service. We are totally dependent on repeat business. We want our customers to come back to us year after year for their school supply needs. So we have to do a great job for them, every single time.
Staying organized is essential for a company like ours, especially to provide a consistently high standard of service. When you’re dealing with this many products, customers, and employees, you can’t afford to fly by the seat of your pants. Everything would become chaotic very quickly. We build systems for everything we do, from inventory to packing to shipping to account management. And then we work continuously to make our systems smarter, more efficient, and more robust.
Despite our success, we wouldn’t recommend starting a business just to make a lot of money. Sure, making money is great. But if it’s your sole purpose, you’ll never treat your customers the way they deserve to be treated. And if you don’t do that, they won’t want to do business with you for long, and you won’t make much money any way! You need to have a purpose beyond money.
For us, it’s serving children and helping our students and educators get the supplies they need to learn, grow, and be successful. Not just in academics, but in life. Without education, it’s tough for young people to make something of themselves. We’re honored to play a small part in their journey to a better life. And the better-educated our youth are, the stronger and more prosperous our nation will be.
Business success doesn’t have to be complicated, and it’s not a secret. Offer a great product or service for a fair price and follow the Golden Rule: Treat others as you would like to be treated.