Today we caught up with Sandy, the founder of EsthoriaBox.
EsthoriaBox's vision is simple - to make our planet a cleaner place to live. Sandy's subscription boxes offer full-sized products of high performing, clean, ethical and sustainable luxury beauty brands.
I used to have acne-prone, sensitive skin and would use drug store products or go to clinics for chemical peels. It wasn't until my mom introduced me to organic coconut oil that I noticed my skin improving. Wondering what other products are out there, I started researching and learned how many toxic chemicals are put into our products. I realized that I didn't know about these options because I hadn't been educated about it, so I wanted to start an all-natural box.
I wanted a box that would not only inform and educate people about the chemicals in some beauty products, but also introduce them to high-quality organic brands at a reasonable price. I've always loved high-end beauty products, so I wanted to provide the same level of luxury using clean beauty brands.
I'll look at some different brands and choose according to what my subscribers are interested in. I usually shoot them an email and ask what they'd like to see in the next box, and then take their suggestions and contact the brand to see if they want to collaborate, and go from there.
The thing about our boxes is that we allow our subscribers to choose the product, like a mask or lotion for skincare, or the color that they like if we are offering a makeup box. So, I make a list and batch people according to their preferences, and categorize the boxes according to their stuffing. When products come in, we put the boxes together one day, and the following day we put products inside the boxes that have been assembled and need to be stuffed.
Oh yeah! With packaging, there's companies that are out there that are like, 'look, you need to order thousands of these in order for you to get this price and it's like, oh my gosh, I don't want to dish out this much on packaging when I'm just starting out myself, but you don't really have a choice because packaging is a huge deal. People want a visually appealing box - something they are excited to open. So I had no choice but to order 1000 boxes, and I'm not even satisfied with how it looks!
Well, because we did have to make a big bulk order of boxes, and they're just regular brown corrugated with our label on it, they're not the most attractive-looking. (Laughs). To make up for it, I buy filling like little flowers and nice crinkle paper. It helps make it more visually appealing because the outside box looks plain on its own.
I definitely want to be hands-off on packaging because I feel like it takes up a lot of my time - something I could use to focus more on marketing efforts or reaching out to my subscribers. Eventually I want to spend less time pick-packing with
my stuff and not have to be too involved with the packaging process.
My husband is a web developer, so he does the website and looks at the analytics. We look at who is finding us, and whether it’s organically or through influencers, or through bloggers. Then we try to curate our ads to these people.
The struggles for me has just been learning about marketing, and what works and what doesn't work. Trial and error, really. I think for the second box that we did, I wanted to try a different approach - I wanted to announce the box a week before we announced the brand. I felt like we weren't getting the amount of subscribers that we had for the first box, so I thought maybe people were slow to subscribe because we marketed too late. So, we marketed the third box early and found that it was too early! (laughs). So you know, it was just figuring out the timing of when to reveal the brand and when to market the box.
I think market research is the number one thing. If you have this great idea and great product but you don't know how to reach your audience, then your product is not going to sell. Figure out if there is an audience that needs, wants and will invest in your product.
Always read the label, and know what is going into your body. I feel like a lot of people don’t consider the fact that your skin is your largest organ and it only takes 26 seconds for it to absorb something into your body. When we ingest food, our liver acts as a filter, but when chemicals penetrate our skin, there is no filter – it goes straight into our bloodstream. So think about what you’re putting on your skin and body. Just because there's a green leaf on your product, it doesn't mean its organic!
Just follow your passion. Don't be afraid. We are living in a generation where people want to start their own business, and work for themselves, and they have these ideas that can benefit other people but are hesitant because of fear and traditional ideas of work patterns. But if you have any kind of passion that can help other people and you want to come up with a product or service, then follow it, and just do it.
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