Really excited to share this news…
Maybe you remember when I closed my line of solid perfume sticks around this time last year (see this post for more). Sad trombone. But at the time, it was oh so necessary. I had broken my leg into a gazillion pieces, which set me off my work groove for the better part of a year. I was miserable. Leading up to this awful injury, Perfumies had been my main stressor for many reasons (some listed below), and so it was the first thing I put an end to without hesitation when my life seemingly imploded into a million pieces in 2015.
Things definitely improved once I closed shop. It gave me better perspective on what I really love to do. I spent this past year growing this blog (I’ve reached nearly a million eyeballs!!), designing more jewelry, opening a supply shop and most recently releasing my daily planners (printed and bound!).
Since closing Perfumies I’ve received endless messages from customers pleading with me to re-open, or to sell any excess inventory I might have. Each and every one of those messages that came in bothered me. Each message would stay with me for days, I would replay it in my mind obsessively. “Do you pleeeease have any Text Me left in stock that I could still buy?” “Would you be willing to sell your Buttercup formula to me?” “Would you sell your business to someone else so I can still purchase Perfumies?”
I’ve learned through my many many attempts of throwing things against the wall, that very little actually sticks. It’s extremely hard to find a product customers are consistently excited about. I realized these customer requests bothered me so much because they made me aware that this business should not just be thrown out the window, but instead brought in from the cold, thoughtfully tweaked, and re-launched. So I got to thinking, what were the real issues that made me close Perfumies in the first place?
I had created a line of bath and body products as a creative outlet and was selling them on ETSY–really just for fun. My dear high school friend ordered a batch of the perfume sticks, opened them in front of her boss who worked at a direct-selling party company. She brought them to the CEO, who wanted 25,000 units ASAP. This was a large financial gain that fell into my lap just a few months after an existing business had taken a bad turn from a bad business relationship I had made. Ohhhhh life, you are a thing of wonder.
I was in contract with this party company for many years, and in total supplied them with hundreds of thousands of private label perfume sticks. Over the several years of supplying them, with each huge order out the door, I became more and more clear, this was not my calling. I wasn’t interested in pushing thousands of units out the door at a low profit margin per unit every month. I wanted something different.
I pride myself in being a maker, not a manufacturer. This distribution business model that I accidentally created–selling below wholesale to a distributor who then resold to someone who resold again, consisted of profiting about a dollar on every unit I sold. One dollar. Great if you are Johnson & Johnson and have endless distribution. Or great if your product’s end cost is A LOT more than $7/unit. I found the model to be stressful and uninspiring as someone who wanted to stay true to my maker and solopreneur roots.
When I announced a $0.75/unit price increase to this distributor (and another one that had come on board in 2014), they stopped placing orders. Which I get, and expected. It was a scary announcement to send, because I knew what their reaction would be, and I knew that reaction would force me to get on a more intentional track of business happiness.
Labels are the bane of my existence. Original Perfumies labels drove me insane. When I bought my labels in huge bulk quantities to keep costs as low as possible (like, 9,000 at a time), many of my stickers would sit for awhile (maybe, months depending on how different scents were selling) until we wrapped new batches of inventory. I learned, the hard way, that labels lose their adhesive if you use them when they are the slightest bit aged. Hard to imagine, but yes, it’s true. (This problem happened with many different label suppliers!) This created an ongoing issue of the labels popping off the tubes after they’d been applied. We’d label several thousand one day, and the next day, I’d walk into the room, and they would all be POPPED OFF the little tubes. You think I’m joking that stickers can pop off? THEY CAN AND THEY WILL. Like little hot dogs in buns. Labels were my biggest headache with the original Perfumies. It was like that Britney Spears song all day long, only it was ME AGAINST THE LABELS.
So there it is. Fully transparent on the the issues that were the driving force behind closing this little business of mine. While I considered re-opening, I thoughtfully planned out how I would get around these existing issues that didn’t work for me the first time around.
2) Offer more product. My new sticks offer SEVEN times more solid perfume than the original stick. The retail price is more, obviously. But I’m selling you much more product at once. This allows me more profit per sale. In turn, I have more time to develop other awesome smelling products like these new perfume oils!
2) Avoid labels that wrap and overlap. With my DIY skills at a new level, I solved the label problem. Now you can enjoy the new packaging with luxurious metallic foil detail and labels that stay where I put them. Amen!
So, on this joyous shopping weekend….please, go take a look at the new collection. PERFUMIES.COM! They look different, they have different names, but I promise they still make you smell pretty always.
I choose to share all this, in case it might help or inspired you with whatever journey you’re currently experiencing. Thanks for reading and supporting this wild ride!