You’ve Got Quality
Customers across America turn to Mailbox Solutions for first-class products and service
As a merchant in a niche business sector, it is rewarding to see one’s specialty products on display at thousands of properties across America. Such is the case for Jeff and Danell Burlingame, the husband-and-wife team that owns Mailbox Solutions in Sherwood, Oregon.
For over two decades, Mailbox Solutions has been one of Oregon’s go-to providers of secure, high-quality mailboxes in the form of locking mailboxes, locking drop boxes and cluster box units (CBUs). Available for shipping anywhere in the United States, these sophisticated and precisely engineered products are designed for use by virtually any home, business or other organization. Mailbox accessories, mounting posts and vinyl lettering are offered as well, along with local and regional installation services.
Specialty Designs for All Uses
Mailbox Solutions designs its own residential products, which are fabricated at its 2,500-square-foot office/manufacturing location in Sherwood. “We have two vendors that form the raw materials for the residential boxes,” Jeff says. “Then those materials come here, where we assemble the products before passing them along to a local powder coater. Finally, the materials are returned to us so we can finish assembling and distributing them.” “We use heavy-duty, 12-gauge galvanized steel and aircraft-grade aluminum in the construction of our residential mailboxes,” adds Danell, her voice bubbling with enthusiasm about the company’s premium products. “They feature stainless steel fasteners and hinges and come with either a drill-resistant keyed lock or a push-button combination lock.”
These products also have a one-year manufacturer warranty. “However, we have never had anyone return a product due to quality issues,” Jeff says. This is attributed to the high-grade, USA-made materials that are used, along with tight design tolerances. Combined, these factors help to ensure the mailboxes are strong, durable and weatherproof.
The metal is finished with an electrostatically applied powder coating, available in distinctive color options such as gray, dark brown, green and the standard black. These coatings offer valuable protection against corrosive substances such as saltwater in coastal regions. “We have boxes on the Oregon coast that still look good after 10 years because of the quality of the powder coating,” Jeff shares as an example. As well, these durable coatings make mailbox posts—often a beacon to dogs and other creatures intent on marking their territory—less susceptible to caustic animal urine.
Furthermore, all mailboxes manufactured by Mailbox Solutions are adorned with a distinctive oval sticker showing they are approved by the United States Postal Service (USPS). To receive such endorsement, every product design is reviewed by an independent, third-party lab that performs rigorous quality-control testing for corrosion resistance, structural integrity, moisture protection, security, etc.
The company’s well-stocked inventory also includes eight-, 12- and 16-unit cluster boxes that are a popular option for residential developments, apartments, condominiums and business complexes. These preconfigured grouped units can be either freestanding or framed within a building, and come with built-in parcel lockers and outgoing mail collection for added convenience. Mailbox Solutions sells these types of mail receptacles as an authorized dealer for Florence Corporation, a Kansas-based manufacturer.
A Wise Investment
It is clear that Jeff and Danell are passionate about the work that Mailbox Solutions does. The seasoned entrepreneurs, who own several businesses, knew they found something special when they came across this highly respected operation a few years ago, known far and wide for its exceptional products, installation expertise and customer service. They acquired Mailbox Solutions in 2018 from Russ and Shari Schildan, who were looking to retire from the business they founded in 1997.
For Jeff, having a company with in-house manufacturing capabilities was a compelling reason to purchase Mailbox Solutions. “We wanted to expand our horizons,” he elaborates. “The other businesses we own do not involve any type of manufacturing or assembly.”
The sophisticated construction of Mailbox Solutions’ merchandise was another major selling point. “You can literally see and feel the quality,” Jeff says. Danell agrees, adding. “We’re very proud of the quality of the residential boxes that we manufacture, as well as the commercial units provided by Florence Corporation.”
Offering useful, high-quality goods also fulfills the couple’s intrinsic desire to meet people’s most vital needs. “We enjoy providing products that there is a real need for,” Jeff affirms.
The legacy of the previous ownership continues to benefit operations to this day. Jeff adds, “The founders’ son, Paul Schildan, has been with the business since its inception. He’s our expert installer and takes a lot of pride in our products because he and his father designed the residential mailboxes that we use.”
Service that Goes Above and Beyond
Mailbox Solutions has worked with countless clients over the years—including one of the greatest three-point shooters in NBA history, who has one of the company’s signature mailboxes at his new multimillion-dollar home on the West Coast.
One massive and complex install took place last year at The Park at Mill Plain, a large apartment community in Vancouver, Washington. Paul’s skills were put to the test as he single-handedly reframed the facility’s existing mail station and installed 325 new, recessed mailboxes within the span of just two weeks.
“Paul has more than two decades of experience installing any and all types of mailboxes,” Jeff says. “His expertise was critical to ensuring this job was done right, and demonstrates our company’s ability to reconfigure any mail station.”
Many homeowners’ associations, property management companies and others have been repeat customers of Mailbox Solutions, says Jeff, due to high satisfaction rates. Referrals also come in frequently. Danell tells of an existing customer who recently sought guidance from Jeff to solve a unique problem. The next day, the owners of Mailbox Solutions received an unexpected call from someone wanting eight replacement mailboxes for his commercial property. Turns out, he was referred by his friend—the existing customer—who raved about his experience with Jeff.
“Word about our great products and customer service gets around quickly, and that’s how we get a lot of business from contractors, builders, homeowners and others,” Danell says.
The Burlingames share several examples of why customers appreciate Mailbox Solutions, including the fact that it is easy to connect with a live person when they call. The company is also known for its speed and flexibility in scheduling product installations, and is skilled at helping customers navigate the process of working with USPS to ensure their new installations are registered properly.
“When people have trouble with the post office, we can often be a voice of expertise,” Jeff comments further. “We know the right questions to ask, how best to get ahold of the post office, and how to get action. We often get recommended by the post office—by both postmasters and letter carriers—simply because of the experience of working with us. They know that we’re compelled to do the right thing, not just to make a sale.”
"We’re very proud of the quality of the residential boxes that we manufacture, as well as the commercial units provided by Florence Corporation.” Danell Burlingame, Co-Owner, Mailbox Solutions
Only the Best for Customers
All of the mailboxes supplied by Mailbox Solutions are indeed resiliently designed and well-crafted. Ironically, though, the shipping process occasionally leaves products a little worse for wear. Fortunately, customers never have to worry if their items are damaged in transit—all they have to do is call the team at Mailbox Solutions, and a replacement will be shipped immediately, at no extra expense.
Unlike some competitors, Mailbox Solutions only sells new products—never used units, or older models that have been discontinued. “Even if it’s functional, we don’t sell old or used mailboxes because they’re not as secure as a new mailbox,” Jeff explains. Environmental stewardship is foundational to business operations, he adds, which is why the company recycles its unusable products at Pride Disposal Company, a local operation just down the street.
Proudly Made in the USA
The choice to use a nearby recycling facility has a deeper purpose for these company leaders, who are strongly committed to using USA-based vendors and products as much as possible.
And when there are opportunities to support local or regional businesses, well, that’s just icing on the cake. “Being socially and morally aware of the impact of the purchasing choices that we make is important to us,” Jeff says. “Yes, we can certainly go to Google or eBay or Amazon to get things, but if the impact/speed is not essential, we’ll choose to buy locally.”
Most of their project partners operate in Oregon—the talented metal fabrication vendors are located in Beaverton and Newberg, a trusted hardware supplier is a mere 20-minute drive away, and the capable powder coating team is about a mile-and-a-half down the road.
Jeff notes, “The only thing that we don’t source locally are our key-type locks, which are made by a U.S.-based company’s team in Europe, specifically Belgium. They are very specialized, highly functional, highly secure locks.”
“We prefer to use American-based products because we believe in the abundance mentality,” he continues, alluding to the importance of recognizing that resources in the United States are vast and diverse. Jeff and Danell also strive to be grateful for what they have, and find it intrinsically rewarding to take full advantage of all that is readily available in our great nation.
“When you keep Americans employed, you keep America strong,” Jeff affirms.
They Make a Great Team
For the Burlingames, working together to continue the legacy of this extraordinary company seems as natural as breathing. They strike a great balance, both in business and in love.
Danell handles most of the day-to-day operations at Mailbox Solutions, her detail-oriented personality making her ideally suited to the role. The stunning redhead’s dazzling smile and friendly, upbeat personality make her a very approachable person and a delight to customers, according to Jeff. When asked to describe her spouse of 20+ years, Danell characterizes him as a big-picture thinker and strategic decision-maker who excels at devising solutions for clients and planning for the future of the business.
It’s astounding that these two connected all those years ago. Jeff is originally from Connecticut, and Danell has lived in Oregon her whole life. After college, Jeff spent the next three years traveling all across the United States to enjoy outdoor recreational adventures. By 1989, he was ready to put down roots and settled in Oregon, where he met Danell, who was working at a restaurant where he was a manager.
Danell’s first impression of the man she would someday wed is not what you might expect. “I initially thought he was self-centered and egotistical,” she remembers, laughing. “That’s because it was true at the time,” Jeff retorts with amusement. Danell smiles, then continues, “But he turned out to be really smart, interesting and fun to be around.”
Of course, part of Jeff’s appeal was his cool ride—a forest green Volkswagen Corrado, complete with a tan leather interior, a sunroof, a six-disc CD changer (a big deal back in the day) and plenty of horsepower with its V6 engine. He teasingly offered to let Danell drive his car, so long as she agreed to be his golf caddy for a day.
She actually did it. Unused to golf, Danell struggled under the weight of hauling Jeff’s hefty bag and clubs around the course. Her determination, however, paid off and she got to take the Volkswagen for a spin.
Did she wreck the car? “No, it was drivable afterward,” Jeff recalls with mirth. “But I would say the clutch had significantly less life.” That initial connection sparked something between the two and they eventually started dating, then got married in 2000. Today, the couple have two children, ages 19 and 17.
Danell went on to fulfill her lifelong passion for fitness and nutrition by becoming a certified personal trainer, while Jeff explored various career opportunities and ultimately decided that entrepreneurship was the life for him. A few years ago, Danell joined her husband in running the family’s various businesses, taking particular delight in finding new and exciting ways to make Mailbox Solutions even more of a success. The couple’s ultimate goal is to enhance people’s awareness of all that Mailbox Solutions has to offer, all the while supporting businesses nationwide that lend their talent and resources to keep America strong.