Monday, June 7, 2010

I would love to promote your items!


That's right, let me do the hard work for you!

The inaugural round of AmuseBoites was highly successful, with most packages selling in the first day! Two boxes remain for anyone still looking to snatch one up before they're all gone :)

In any case, I am now looking for sellers who would like their items promoted in the next round of samplers! I already have a couple of Etsians signed on, and will be posting seller info as soon as those samples arrive (and I have a chance to try them out for myself), but if you'd like to get in on the fun, send me an email and we'll work something out!  I'm especially interested in the following items:

- homemade laundry detergent
- non-perishable edibles
- bath & beauty products
- reusable items like tote bags and produce bags
- items made from upcycled / repurposed materials
- jewelry

...and all items MUST:

- be eco-friendly in at least one major way (ie: all-natural, organic, fair-trade, little or no packaging, recyclable/biodegradable components or packaging, recycled/upcycled/repurposed materials, etc.)
- appeal to a wide range of individuals
- be handmade by you!

If your items fit those descriptions, I'd love to hear from you!  You can also click here to learn more about AmuseBoite's profit-sharing model and how I ensure that you get compensated for your hard work!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Samplers as an advertising tool - an overview (plus tips and tricks!)


I recently came across this article on the EcoEtsy team's blog, and I wanted to share it. Not only is it extremely well-written, but it also does a fabulous job of highlighting the pros and cons of using sampler boxes as a way to advertise your business. As the article says, this form of promotion is definitely not for everyone, but it provides many tips and tricks to ensure that you (the seller) make the most of the opportunity, if you decide to give it a try. Here are some highlights:

If you do decide to partipate [sic.] in a sampler program, here are a few tips for you:

1) Mark your product or promo with your business name. Subscribers will be opening a box full of samples. If your card gets separated from your work, how will they know who made it, and how will they find you?
2) Send an example of your work, whenever possible, rather than a coupon or flyer, and send your best work. Don’t use your “seconds” or “oopsies” as advertising. You’re making a first impression here, after all.
3) Sign up for more than one month if you can. Some contributors reaped benefits after a few consecutive months of participating.

Having now organized a sampler box of my own, I'd like to add the following tips gained through my experience at the organizing end:

1) Keep all of your materials and products together. Rather than sending products with a handful of business cards, take the time to attach your business card to your product sample as you would like it to be attached. This gives you much more control over the final presentation of your product, and it ensures that the recipient of the sampler will be able to know how to purchase or order more from you, should they choose to do so.

2) As a sort of corollary to #1, Include as much information as possible. Don't go overboard here, but including a price list, photos of other products, even a little card outlining your philosophy and background can really help potential customers to get a sense of who you are and why your products are special. Help them see the person behind the product!

3) Provide a coupon or discount code. This one is more beneficial than you think. Not only are you providing an added incentive for sampler recipients to purchase from you (and when you consider the fact that any sampler may have duplicates of one kind of item, any little bit helps here), but you're also making it easier to track the source of new customers. By adding a coupon code such as "MaySampler10" to your business cards or product labels, you can help get a sense of how many sales were generated through this venture.

4) Label and wrap your sample as you would like sampler recipients to receive them. This one does not apply solely to products destined for samplers, but it always bears repeating. Label products properly and include all relevant information so as to make it easier for new customers to find you if your business card gets lost. New customers shouldn't have to go searching for ingredient lists to ensure that your samples are allergy-safe. Wrapping your sample properly is also extremely important, especially if it involves liquid or powders - anything that could leak out and damage other contents. Proper labeling and packaging is one of the easiest and best ways to make a professional and positive first impression!

Have you ever participated in or purchased a sampler box? What tips would you offer buyers or sellers?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

all bundled up and ready to go!


There are only a few packages left for sale in this round (2 to be exact), but some of you may be waiting for yours to arrive in the mail, so I thought I'd post a few teaser photos. I do oh so love teasing! 


I don't know if I've mentioned my packaging-ethos before, but I've been striving for a balance between eco-friendly and pretty.  I want you to feel like you're receiving a lovely gift in the mail, but I also want to minimize waste and reuse materials as much as possible.  That's why almost all of the packaging supplies I've used to wrap the AmuseBoites are repurposed and reusable/recyclable (packing paper, packing peanuts, magazine pages, etc.).  In fact, only the tissue paper inside, and the plastic bags used to wrap some items (to make sure that nothing leaks), are not living out a second life.

I highly encourage you to reuse all of the shipping and packing materials as much as possible before throwing them out :)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

box half-full/empty?


Well, I guess it depends on your perspective!

Either way, half of the available samplers have been sold (in the span of four days - impressive!), so 5 now remain in case you still want to snag yourself some awesome swag (:

Since I've been having so much fun with it, I've decided to extend the "customize your box" option. If you're interested in a sampler but want to make sure that you'll get only scents/colours that you'll use, get in touch with me! I'd be more than happy to give you an overview of the selection still available (mostly because I'm very confident that you'll find something you'll love).

There is also the option of a mini-sampler if you're interested in the products available but don't want to commit to the full-size package (or are dismayed by the shipping costs - frustrating for you and I both, I assure you!). I haven't bothered to list them for sale, but if you'd like to try a half-sized package, let me know! I'm nothing if not flexible (: The shipping price will vary depending on the samples you'd like, but could be as low as $2.50.

Once again, here are the links!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

...and they're up!


UPDATE: The first few samplers flew off the shelves within minutes of being listed!
Only the NEXT BUYER will get to choose his/her samples, if he/she so desires - after that, samples will be selected at random. Love/hate a particular scent or colour? This is the last chance to have your way!


It's been over a month of planning, convoing, buying, shipping, and anxiously awaiting, but the samplers are finally ready to head out the door!

You can click on the images below to be taken directly to the AmuseBoite etsy shop, where you can purchase your very own sampler. Keep in mind that the first 5 people to purchase boxes will get to choose the scents/colours of their box contents (if they so desire), so if you have a preference one way or another I wouldn't sit on the fence for too long (:

Happy Thursday!

Monday, May 3, 2010

The samplers go on sale on Wednesday!


I'm still waiting on two parcels to arrive, but it's been long enough.  It's time to get these packages out the door!

Sampler packages will go on sale on Wednesday evening.  Each one will contain between 17 and 19 samples from different Etsy sellers.  As I've mentioned before, the first 5 buyers will get to choose the scents / colours of the items they receive (in the case where there are different options to choose from), so there's definitely added incentive to purchase early.  If you're a fan of surprises, though, you can still elect to have all of the contents remain a mystery!  Just let me know either way by writing a note in the "message to seller" section when you purchase your Sampler (:

I'll add another post on Wednesday once they're up... the final countdown begins!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

LEFTZ eco-friendly sparrow plush giveaway!


When Mary from ArtTales offered me a promo spot on her blog a few weeks ago, I was very excited at the opportunity to be a "featured etsian" on such a great blog.  If you haven't yet checked out either her shop or her blog, be sure to head over and do so -  I can't recommend them enough!

One of the things that is so cool about Mary's work is her total commitment to being eco-friendly, from using recycled fabrics (collected from family members, thrift shops and yard sales) to stuffing each plush with plastic bags that would otherwise be destined for the landfill.  In fact, in every product description she notes how many bags were used to stuff that particular piece, so you can even picture the volume of plastic that is being repurposed.  How cool is that!?

ArtTales is currently hosting a giveaway on her blog, so if her creations sound like the kind of characters that you'd like to have around (and seriously, why wouldn't they?), head on over to enter it for yourself!  She's giving away three of her adorable plush sparrows, so you have three chances to win (:

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The waiting game begins!


All of the sellers for the inaugural box have been assembled, and all that's left to do is to wait for the samples to arrive! (well, actually, most of them have arrived, so at this point we're just waiting for the last 3 or 4... but still, wait we must!)

In case you haven't ventured beyond this first page (and with all of these tantalizing photos, I really couldn't blame you...), I wanted to add a quick note about one of the things that makes the AmuseBoite a different breed of sampler. 

You may have noticed that I am *really* excited about the samples that I have to offer so far, and there's a very good reason for that.  I handpicked most of the sellers that are involved, and didn't include any items that I would not have paid for myself.  It's not enough that I'm crazy about the sampler's contents, however; I also want you to get excited about the contents, since that's what it's really all about!  To help ensure that you do, I have made a comprehensive list of all of the scents/colours/flavours/styles of items available to choose from, and the first 5 buyers will actually be able to choose the samples they want to receive.  If you'd prefer to be surprised by the contents, that's still an option, but this way you actually have the flexibility to make requests and to (hopefully) get what you really wanted to try, if you do have any preferences.  As I've mentioned on the other pages, it doesn't make much sense for me to send you a sample of lavender-scented lotion if you absolutely can't stand lavender (sorry lavender - I don't mean to keep picking on you!), so I want to do everything within my power to ensure that you get samples that you actually *want* to try.  The items will still be given out on a first-come-first-served basis, but please feel free to list any items you'd really like to try (or, conversely, scents or colours you'd prefer not to receive), and I'll certainly do my best to honour your request (:

I already have hold-requests for almost half of the available packages, so be sure to keep checking back to avoid missing out!  My guess is that they'll be up for sale mid-next week.  If you'd like me to email you the second they become available, send me an email and I'll do my best to make sure that you're the first to know (:

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The last (but certainly not least!) seller addition!


That's it - we've got all of our sellers!

Our final and most recent additon is ivykeep - purveyor of gourmet loose tea leaves in fabulous flavours that you won't find at the grocery store.  Now I've been a coffee drinker for most of my adult life, but over the past year and a half I've started to get more into teas.  I'm a lady with simple tastes - plain ol' English Breakfast and Earl Grey (easy on the bergamot) are my go-to choices - but I'm also as curious as a cat, and so I find myself purchasing ever-more creative flavours on a whim.  I've actually tried ivykeep's teas before - a few months ago, a friend sent me a surprise gift with a bunch of samples of various handmade products (acquired via Etsy, no doubt), and ivykeep's After Dinner Mint tea was amongst them.  While never something I would have purchase for myself (remember: simple palate), I was very impressed by the lovely balance of sweet and minty.  Unlike most flavoured coffees and teas, it was sweet without being overpowering and I didn't get knocked over by the mint.  It was lovely and delicate - subtly sweet and smooth.  As a die-hard foodie, I would highly recommend it!

Come to think of it, those Jamaican Rum and Canadian Maple teas also sound very intriguing... (and yes, I am 'one of those Canadians' that puts maple syrup on everything. Can you blame us?  That stuff is liquid sunshine!)

Now I haven't really mentioned it (bad blogger!), mostly because I haven't been 100% sure about their commitment level, but we do have a number of other Etsy sellers who are involved in the Sampler packages.  Sellers like ASenseofPlacePhotography, and KissVamps who can't really produce samples of their work, but who want to contribute all the same.  While their additions won't count towards the total number of "samples" in the packages, they will be providing materials such as business cards, coupons/discounts, price lists, and/or postcards displaying their work, etc.  The more, the merrier, as I see it!

I think that's just about it for me today!

...wait, what was that?  You want another teaser?  Oh, alright - I suppose I can indulge your curiosity *once again*

Seriously, just look at that haul!  That's still only items from 11 of the sellers, which means that there will be almost twice as many samples before the boxes are ready to go.  I've literally got goosebumps just thinking about it (:

Don't forget to check the sellers out for yourselves!
cleanjellybean, BellaYarns, GreenLivingSoap, fbessentials, HoneyBeeSoapShop, SouthernVTsoap, littlewhitechapel, charmedincolorado, Dodeline Design, thepixie, NassimNaturals, SilverFirsFarm, ScentedLuxuries, SinfullySoyCandles, The Kupcake Shop, ClearwaterNaturals, LaConchitaNaturals, TwistsAndFacets, ivykeep

Friday, April 16, 2010

Variety is the spice of life...

0 Comments I'm working hard to keep these Sampler contents diverse!

Here are the latest additions to the box:

ClearwaterNaturals - I am really excited about this addition, because I was looking *everywhere* in search of some awesome natural laundry detergent to include.  After all, as much as I love bath & beauty items, we can't have a whole box full of them!  All of her products are made from high-quality natural and organic ingredients, with no parabens or chemical ingredients.  She also sources a number of her ingredients locally, and even grows some of them herself.  Definitely a great shop to check out if you're looking for new personal care products, from soaps and facial care to laundry detergent.

LaConchitaNaturals  I've had my eyes on Conchita's powder face masks for ages now, and so I'm super thrilled to get to feature them!  I love finding solid/dry versions of the products I use, since they're so much greener - there's less energy wasted because there's no water to transport/ship and they need few or no preservatives - and they're also super convenient, especially for traveling.  They also allow a great degree of customization, since you decide what liquid to 'power' them with - honey, yogurt, water, just about anything goes! - AND you can use it as a facial scrub, a cleanser or a face mask.  What more could you ask for!?

TwistsAndFacets - because I love jewelry and accessories, I couldn't help but include more earrings in the Sampler (:  If you're looking for something fun and classy that would go with just about any outfit, Renée's creations are must-sees!  She offers a number of earring sets that incorporate pearls, wires, beads and more in simple yet sophisticated designs.  My favorites are the Silver Balls and the Super Star earrings.  Fabulous for a night out!

As always, I highly encourage you to check out our other contributors!
cleanjellybean, BellaYarns, GreenLivingSoap, fbessentials, HoneyBeeSoapShop, SouthernVTsoap, littlewhitechapel, charmedincolorado, Dodeline Design, thepixie, NassimNaturals, SilverFirsFarm, ScentedLuxuries, SinfullySoyCandles, and The Kupcake Shop

The last two contributors will be announced soon, and packages should be ready to go out by the end of the month (at the latest)!    

Want to be kept in the loop? 
Email me
to be notified when the packages are up for sale (:

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Apologies for a long delay, and a bit of a teaser!


Wow, it's been a while - I promise I wasn't slacking off!

These past few days have actually been quite busy as far as preparing for the Sampler goes. I managed to find the last few contributors I was hoping for, and the contents have started to arrive. It's like Christmas at my house! So many packages to open each day, and so many amazing contents... so you'll have to forgive me, since I couldn't help but post some teaser photos for you to drool over :Þ

...and that's only about half of it!  You have no idea how excited I am for these to be ready!
I hope you're excited too (:

Anyways, I hope that makes up for the recent lack of posts (:  I do have some more sellers to list, and I'm hoping to get around to the tomorrow.  At the rate that items are arriving, these Samplers should be up within the next week or two, so be sure to keep checking back!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

More products to get you clean and green (:


I admit it - I have a bit of an obsession with bath and beauty products (as you may already be able to ascertain from the Sampler's contents...).  On the other hand, I also want to make sure there's as little repetition as possible in this package, so I've focused my efforts on finding great Etsy sellers that offer a variety of (non-soap) personal care products that will help you primp and preen while staying green (see what I did there? *cheesy grin*).  So who have we got?

cleanjellybean I'm *so* excited about this one!  Well, I am about all of the participating shops, but in this case the shop owner, Care, was such an absolute pleasure to deal with that I literally can't wait for the samples to arrive.  She started making soaps and lotions when her youngest (Mikey) was allergic to just about everything. She had to come up with something that would keep him rash free, soft and smelling good. After finding her handmade soaps and lotions worked the best, she began making different versions for friends and family. Before long the requests started rolling in. All Clean Jellybean products are tested before ever being sold to the public, so rest assured you are getting something that we truly believe you will love.  CleanJellybean offers tons of vegan products, including soap, lotions and bath teas, in a wide variety of scents.  All products are handmade in small batches, with the utmost care taken to ensure high quality from start to finish.  They're also made with sustainable palm oil (good news for orangutan lovers!) and phalate-free essential oils and fragrances, and with scents like "beach," "strawberry champagne" and "fresh rain" there are tons of great new summer loves just waiting to be discovered!

BellaYarns offers crochet face cloths, facial scrubbies, dish cloths, dish sponges, and bath and shower scrubbies (phew) in delightfully cheerful colours!  I'm also very excited about this addition to the Sampler, because I love the idea of finding simple ways to 'greenify' the things we already use on a daily basis.  A couple of months ago I stopped buying disposable cotton facial pads (also known as toner pads) and started using reusable flannelet pads and face cloths to wash and tone my face.  They're just as simple to use as their disposable counterparts, but they get way more mileage - I just toss them in the washing machine with the rest of my laundry to get them nice and clean after use.  The real difference is in how much I have managed to cut back on waste by using them; I definitely recommend making the switch.  Plus, with BellaYarn's colour names like "citrus punch" and "sunny orange," how could you not feel slightly uplifted every time you see them?  Her shop is definitely one worth checking out if you have been considering the switch from disposable to reusable!

and, the last Sampler-teaser for the day...
GreenLivingSoap offers soaps, balms and oils that are 100% natural!  I love when I can say that about a shop (:  But really, who better to describe the shop than its owner?  Here's what Esmeralda, the brains and the beauty behind GreenLivingSoap, has to say:
"The idea behind my shop is as follows: the more I see of commercial bath and body products, the less I like them. I don't want to buy expensive soap and creams where I'm maybe familiar with one or two ingredients and where I end up with lots of plastic and other packaging materials, so I started making my own.
As a biologist I love plants and the way they affect us. Sometimes it's their scent that brings back positive memories or calms the mind, or it's their beneficial properties for certain skin issues. All of my products are vegan, apart from some of my balms that contain beeswax. I believe in wholesome products from good sources and try to use as many fair trade and organic ingredients as possible."

Vegan, organic and fair trade with minimal packaging and an eco-conscious ethos?  Got my vote!

That's all for today, but remember to check out our other participating shops (you can also scroll down for more detailed descriptions of each shop, or click on the links to be magically transported to their shops):
fbessentials, HoneyBeeSoapShop, SouthernVTsoap, littlewhitechapel, charmedincolorado, Dodeline Design, thepixie, NassimNaturals, SilverFirsFarm, ScentedLuxuries, SinfullySoyCandles, and The Kupcake Shop

For those of you keeping track, that's 15 sellers involved so far.  I'm still in talks with a few other shops, but I do have one or two spots remaining for participating sellers.  If you're interested in getting your products in the AmuseBoite Sampler, send me a note at thepixieDOTetsy[at!]gmailDOTcom (or convo "thepixie", through Etsy) to get involved.  AmuseBoite is vegan- and vegetarian-friendly and eco-friendly - heck, it's all kinds of friendly!  In other words, I can't wait for your message (:

Be sure to check back later in the week for more updates!
We're in the final stretch - packages will soon be ready... (:

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Good news for dirty vegans!


...well, good news for anyone dirty, really :Þ

More bath and beauty products have been added to the Sampler!

Here's whose products have been added so far this Easter weekend:

fbessentials (v) Flowery Branch Essentials handmakes her bath and beauty products in small batches using high-quality ingredients to ensure great products every time. Her shop features a wide variety of personal care and relaxation products such as shower bombs (bath bombs for the vertically-inclined), bath soaks, whipped sugar scrubs, hair care products and more! She also sells personalized lip balm or solid fragrance samplers that would be a fabulous Thank You gift to include with Etsy sales, or to use as favours at your party or shower. Most if not all of her products are also vegan and paraben-free.

HoneyBeeSoapShop  (v) Don't let the name fool you - all of HoneyBee's soaps are vegan!  These soaps are absolutely gorgeous to look at (they are even stamped with a little honeybee!), and luxurious to use.  They are all made the old-fashioned way - cold process - and come in fabulous scents like Mango Tea, Champagne and Wasabi!  Can't decide or won't commit?  Pick up the No Frills Sampler to take 5 soap scents for a test drive!

...and last but certainly not least!
SouthernVTsoap (v) offers not only soap, but also soy tarts, lip balms, solid perfumes, shea butter lotions, whipped scrubs and more!  All of her products are made using all-natural ingredients and formaldehyde- and paraben-free preservatives (where necessary), and they are all vegan.  With well over 150 different essential and fragrance oils to choose from, your only difficulty will be deciding where to begin!  Might I suggest the Pink Lemonade lip balm?  It's on my birthday wishlist this month (:

The sampler is very close to completion, but I'm still searching for a few last-minute additions. Do you have an Etsy shop you'd like to promote? Are your products vegan, organic, all-natural, fair trade and/or eco-friendly? If so, get in touch with me at thepixieDOTetsy[at!]gmailDOTcom and tell me all about your wares!

...and, of course, don't forget about our other participants so far!
littlewhitechapel, charmedincolorado, Dodeline Design, thepixie, NassimNaturals, SilverFirsFarm, ScentedLuxuries, SinfullySoyCandles, and The Kupcake Shop

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Jewelry and charms, oh my!


Two new additions today, and several more in the works! Stay tuned :)

Here are the latest additions:

littlewhitechapel makes absolutely stunning bridal and everyday jewelry at reasonable prices.  As she says, every bride deserves to look her best on her wedding day, but shouldn't have to pay a fortune to do so.  When she offered some of her stunning pieces for the Boite, I was literally floored that she could even bear to part with them!  Good thing you don't need to be getting married to wear these gorgeous pieces ;)

charmedincolorado's name is very appropriate, since the shop specialty is wine charms - a terrific way to adorn your wine glass and to protect it from being poached by a fellow oenophile!  She completes a ton of special orders, and she's great at working with your ideas and vision to create something perfect.  Her charms and bookmarks also come packaged for gift-giving, so they would be perfect additions to gift baskets or tied onto a bottle of wine as a hostess gift.

...and I couldn't possibly let you forget about the other sellers that have already been mentioned:
Dodeline Design, thepixie, NassimNaturals, SilverFirsFarm, ScentedLuxuries, SinfullySoyCandles, and The Kupcake Shop

Monday, March 29, 2010

the sampler box continues to fill with amazing etsy products!


We couldn't have a sampler box with just bath and beauty products, could we?
Of course not!

Here are the latest sellers to join the AmuseBoite!

dodelinedesign's shop is full of really pretty paper creations. In addition to cards for every possible occasion, she also has some really cute calendar cards - great for save the date cards, or to leave all over the place (in your purse, by the phone, on the fridge, etc.), especially where regular-sized calendars may not be convenient. My personal favourite - and a great idea for Etsy sellers - are the little Thank You cards. These would be fabulous to include with outgoing orders. What a lovely way to show your customers that you appreciate their business!

thepixie - That's right, I'm going to include some of my own items! It wouldn't really reflect well on the box if I didn't believe in it enough to put my own stock forward, would it? (: My focus lately has been on custom and upcycled packaging as well as adorable miniature gift wrapping, so I plan on assembling a lovely little collection of items that I'm sure you'll be able to use and enjoy. You can check out my sales for some examples of things I've made in the past, and definitely get in touch with me if you are in need of custom packaging for your own Etsy store. In fact, I'll even give blog followers a special discount (:

There are still tons of other sellers involved in some way or another, so keep checking back for more updates as the box grows! I'm still in talks with a number of other fabulous sellers, and will add them to the list once everything has been confirmed (:

Oh, and don't forget about the sellers that are already on board:
NassimNaturals, SilverFirsFarm and ScentedLuxuries, SinfullySoyCandles, The Kupcake Shop

Sunday, March 28, 2010

...more sellers have signed on!


I keep having to remind myself that I won't be keeping the contents of these packages, because everything so far is AMAZING!

Here are the latest additions to the Boite:

SinfullySoyCandles offers dye-free, eco-friendly soy candles and tarts, as well as bath & body products, like lotions, lip balms, sugar scrubs and body creams. She has an amazing assortment of fragrances and flavours, from Amaretto Nog and Antique Sandalwood to White Tea & Berries and Wildberry Mousse, as well as tart giftsets that would warm anybody's heart and home (:

...and last, but CERTAINLY not least...

The Kupcake Shop has offered up some signature lip balm sliders! I am especially excited about this feature, because of this shop's fabulous eco-friendly ethos; all of their products are free from parabens, propylene glycol, sls, formaldehyde, phthalates, dyes and synthetic fragrances. They use all-natural, organic ingredients in their products. On top of all that, they also have GORGEOUS packaging (I'm a sucker for a lovely label *wink*)!

Don't forget about our other sellers so far (NassimNaturals, SilverFirsFarm and ScentedLuxuries)!

It's shaping up to be a really fabulous box! I might just have to keep one for myself...

It's starting to come together!


The first AmuseBoite is slowly coming together!
So far I have 3 sellers sending me samples of their products to include.  Here's who's participating so far:

ScentedLuxuries (v) makes beautiful bath and body products, from lip balms to body butters, as well as candles and personal fragrances.  You may recognize her stuff from Etsy's front page, which she has graced several times.  Many of her products are vegan, too!

SilverFirsFarm (v) has a FABULOUS selection of handmade soaps.  When I was looking over her offerings for the packages, I was impressed by each and every scent of soap that she offers - from grapefruit (my favorite!) to coffee, and from castille clay to caramel vanilla, you won't have a hard time finding your next favorite soap.  She also offers candles, scrubs, lotions and butters, bath bombs, and perfume and all of her products are vegan (:

...and finally, we also have some gorgeous beauty products coming from:
NassimNaturals!  Nassim's products are all 100% handmade natural mineral products, and she focuses on simplicity and high quality in selecting her ingredients.  She currently offers a wide range of foundation, blush, bronzer, lipstick, eyeshadow, eyeliner, and more.  Be sure to check out her shop next time you're looking for new colours to add to your collection (:

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Welcome to AmuseBoite!


What is an AmuseBoite, you ask?  Good question (:

AmuseBoite is a play on the french term amuse bouche (amuse mouth).  An amuse bouche is usually an appetizer given to prime the palate by teasing and tantalizing your taste buds in anticipation of the meal.  An AmuseBoite operates similarly - as a box of trial-sized items that allows you to take products for a test drive.  An AmuseBoite helps you find the ones that really get your heart pumping without having to spend a small fortune on full-sized products to find them.

As a lover of Etsy and of trying new things, I have always been intrigued by Sampler Boxes.  The concept is relatively simple: sellers contribute samples of their items along with business cards, post cards, etc. and a third party packages up parcels of 10-20 different samples to send out to paying customers.  Customers benefit because they get to try a wide variety of different products for one low price (including shipping), and sellers benefit because they get trial-sized versions of their products out to a wide audience, thereby increasing their customer base when buyers return to purchase full-sized versions.  What has always confused me, however, is the pricing.  These Sampler companies charge a set price for their boxes, and earn themselves a nice profit, but sellers don't see a return unless they gain new customers from the exposure.  In effect, sellers are doing all of the work (producing the actual samples, at their own cost), and have to cross their fingers in the hopes of gaining it back down the road.

Doesn't that seem strange?

I thought so, so I came up with a way of doing the same thing, but with a slight modification: profit-sharing.

Essentially, AmuseBoite works the same way as the other Sampler companies: sellers send me samples of their products that they would like to promote, I make packages of 20 samples per box and ship them out to paying customers.  The difference is that for each box purchased, a percentage is returned to the contributors.  As a result, even if your items don't translate directly into sales, you've managed to recuperate some of your expenses.  It's advertising that profits in more ways than one - truly win-win (:

What does this mean for me, as a buyer?
As a buyer it means that you know you're getting the best of the best.  I am very selective about the items I include, and would never include a sample of something that I wouldn't use myself.  Furthermore, since sellers have a vested interest in making sure these boxes sell, they tend to include their best examples of what they do - not just odds and ends leftover from the last sale.

Unlike with other Sampler boxes, you also have a degree of control over what products you receive or don't receive.  If you don't like a particular kind of item, or are allergic to a certain ingredient, let me know in the "Notes to Seller" section and I will do my best to ensure that you only get the kinds of items that you want.  No other Sampler gives you the same kind of flexibility to make sure that the package you get features the items you want to try. 

What does this mean for me, as a seller?
As a seller it means that you get credit and recognition for your hard work.  As with other Sampler boxes, you get the opportunity to spread the word about your products and to get your items in the hands of the people that want to buy from you.  Unlike with other Sampler boxes, however, you also get a direct return on your investment, and a form of insurance for those samples that don't turn into sales.

It also means that your products are going to your targeted audience.  Unlike with other Samplers, I allow AmuseBoite customers to include special requests with their purchase.  If a buyer specifically requests your product, I want to make sure that they get a chance to try it.  Likewise, if a customer has no interest in a particular kind of item, I will do my best to reserve your product for someone who does.  I also keep track of packages' contents, and can provide detailed information of how many of your samples have gone out at any time to give you a better sense of the demand for your products.

Since AmuseBoite operates on a smaller-scale, and is very customer-oriented, I ultimately hope to have the flexibility to provide customers and sellers with an experience they couldn't get elsewhere.  With over 5 years of customer service experience, I am confident that you'll be proud of your relationship with AmuseBoite (:

What else could you ask for from a promotional company?
(If you can think of anything, please let me know!  I'm always looking for ways to improve)