As I sit here typing, I wonder if it is in fact, the End of Days? It feels like it, because the bb Christmas party was last night.
Take a tired but happy bb head office team (minus Martine, Natalie and bellobloke Hugh), add a cocktail making lesson at 1806, mix in dinner at Senoritas, finish off with yet more cocktails at Madame Brussels and you have a recipe for a few headaches this morning (hello, Lauren!) BB Cream and Saviour Faire concealer were much in evidence this morning in an attempt to cover up last night’s festivities...
What fun we had though! We learnt to make the perfect Caipiroska and everyone’s favourite, Espresso Martini. Emily was so excited she took notes! Dinner was gorgeous Mexican food, where resident foodie Lucy, took photos of everything we ate. See below for some snapshots of our night....
When Anumi first contacted us and offered to send us some products to try, I hadn’t had the pleasure of trying any of their range. I really liked their company ethos and thankfully their products lived up to expectations - double win! But what really interested me was how big the brand is getting in Asia. Considering that the Asian market tends to be an early adopter of skincare innovation, (BB Cream, and now CC cream anyone?) I keep an eye on it to see what’s next. Australian skincare is huge in Asia. You wouldn’t believe the amount of Australian brands I talk to that tell me that local sales are actually a small part of their business. If an Aussie brand can crack the market in Asia, it can mean big business for them, and hopefully the local market will follow suit.
In Hong Kong they have something called Bus TV Roadshow. It is a program dedicated to beauty that shows on Bus TVs. Imagine: your morning commute could be educational and help you discover your next skincare range. I love this idea! Anumi has been featured on this program and has taken Hong Kong by storm; they are even on the side of the bus!
On Sunday, I take off to Bali to spend 2 weeks at the family villa and I am sooooo looking forward to relaxing and catching up on my reading. Of course, we never stop here at bellabox, so even though I am not in my office, I will still be working on securing samples for next year, just doing it in a bikini by the pool. I don’t need much but some bathers and a couple of playsuits to throw on in terms of clothes, but you should see all the beauty prodz in my case! When you have access to as many products as we do, trying to pick your favourite product is like trying to single out your favourite child... or shoes in my case.
Terax Crema (to help treat my hair after too much time in the pool)
I also have loads of products from brands to try to see if they make the cut to a bellabox next year. This is when I love sachets, flat and easy pack and they come with just as much product as a mini tube.
We have been like busy bees here at bbHQ. We have dispatched our December box and have finalised the January box as well! As I have mentioned before, we read lots of blogs to see what people think about the box and products, and I read all of the comments on facebook too. One comment that is reoccurring is people asking why we don’t send out the WA and QLD boxes first. We would love to be able to do this, but at this stage it is quite difficult to do this. Let me explain why...
Due the sheer amount of boxes we send out each month, Natalie and I have to find thousands upon thousands of samples. There are not many companies who are able to provide the full amount of samples, or full run as we call it, so everyone can receive that product, they may only be able to provide say 25%. We then need to find the remaining 75% to make up the full run. So you receive 5 samples minimum in your box, and each full run may have 4 brand partners, that’s 20 brand partners that we may work with in one box. Now, as you lovely members know, we tend to give you more than 5 products in your box, and we always include what we classify as a lifestyle product: a little bonus that somehow fits with the theme, like the heart chocolate in your February box, or the Vitamin C powder in the August, to help fight of the winter cold. Think about the huge volume of samples that are arriving in our warehouse, and the number of companies that we have to work with to co-ordinate their deliveries. It’s a lot of organising, and sometimes things don’t go to plan! So when we have everything, we have to print the insert cards and then Ability Works start setting up for the packing.
Because we work with lots of brand partners, and receive lots of different samples, we are able to allocate products to you based on your beauty profile. A brand might offer us a sample and specify it is to go to a certain age group, or we find a cool product that our younger members will love but might not be so pertinent to our mature members. This means that we will have a few different box variations each month. Admittedly, it is not an exact science and we do our best, but we can’t always get it 100% right. If we were to personalise them further, then you would end up paying the value of the box contents as it would be very time consuming and we wouldn’t be able to offer great products for the price of a few of coffees.
Anyway, I digress. Ability Works packs the boxes according the box variations, of which we might have four in that month. The actual packing of the boxes takes over a week and in order to make it as efficient as possible; the shipping labels are applied on the assembly line as the last step and then the boxes are dispatched. So when Box 1 is done, Aussie Post picks it up and sends them on their way and Ability Works start packing Box 2. If they were to pack them all and then dispatch them according to state, that would delay the boxes by over a week. Once the box had been packed, Ability Works would then have to pick out the boxes for WA, QLD etc from all the different box variations, and then apply the labels which would delay the send out even further. We know our members love receiving their boxes as soon as possible so we are pretty good at starting dispatch on the 10th of each month. We would love to be able to dispatch according to state, and we wish it were that easy. That’s not to say we won’t figure out a new way in the future, but for now, we just want to get your box to you as soon as possible and when it leaves Ability Works, it’s in the hands of Australia Post.
That's all for this week! See you in the new year! Merry Christmas! - Sam