Subscription Box Basics with Julie Ball

Behind the Scenes of All Girl Shave Club

June 22, 2020 Julie Ball Episode 31
Subscription Box Basics with Julie Ball
Behind the Scenes of All Girl Shave Club
Chapters
Subscription Box Basics with Julie Ball
Behind the Scenes of All Girl Shave Club
Jun 22, 2020 Episode 31
Julie Ball

#031 - Julie chats with her sub box bestie Jessica Principe who's the founder of All Girl Shave Club. They first met online in a Facebook group and then had the chance to meet in real life at a business event late 2016 when they were both brand new to subscription box business. Since then they've just been this amazing support system for each other going through the highs and lows of running a business and everything in between.

Links:

Sparkle Hustle Grow
All Girls Shave Club
Inventory Goals Workshop
Blog: Jessica Principe
Instagram: Jessica Principe

Show Notes Transcript

#031 - Julie chats with her sub box bestie Jessica Principe who's the founder of All Girl Shave Club. They first met online in a Facebook group and then had the chance to meet in real life at a business event late 2016 when they were both brand new to subscription box business. Since then they've just been this amazing support system for each other going through the highs and lows of running a business and everything in between.

Links:

Sparkle Hustle Grow
All Girls Shave Club
Inventory Goals Workshop
Blog: Jessica Principe
Instagram: Jessica Principe

Julie:

So you want to launch a subscription box and don't know where to start? Girl, you are in the right place. I'm Julie Ball, a subscription box coach and your host here at Subscription Box Basics, a podcast for new and aspiring subscription box entrepreneurs that want to avoid overwhelm. So grab a coffee, some pen and paper and let's have some fun! Hey everyone and thanks again for tuning into another episode of Subscription Box Basics. I'm your host Julie Ball and today I'm talking to my sub box bestie , Jessica Principe who's the founder of All Girl Shave Club. She and I met first online in a Facebook group and then we got to meet in person in late 2016 when we were both brand new to our subscription box businesses and since then we've just been this amazing support system for each other and I highly recommend you get yourself a sub box bestie . With that being said, I'd like to welcome Jessica to the podcast.

Jessica:

Hey Julie, thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited to be here with you today.

Julie:

I know this is going to be so much fun. It's just simply like two girlfriends chatting, talking shop.

Jessica:

Our favorite things. I love it.

Julie:

I know. One of our favorite things for sure. Okay. So some people are going to be meeting you for the first time. So why don't we start with an introduction.

Jessica:

Okay. So just like you said, I'm Jessica Principe and I started All Girl Shave Club back in 2016 a few months after you started Sparkle Hustle Grow. And All Girl Shave Club is a women's shaving, subscription service and online boutique. So we have um , shaving, grooming and body products. Um, and I live in New Hampshire, Southern New Hampshire with my husband and our two little boys who are nine and seven. And life is just busy and exciting.

Julie:

And they are just the cutest little things too . I love how you share some of your personal stories on Instagram. So they're adorable.

Jessica:

They are fun. They're, they're home with everybody else. Right? So it's been a big juggling act.

Julie:

Yes, that is the understatement of the year. Okay, so let's talk All Girl Shave Club so we know what it is. We know you, you send beautiful razors and luxurious shave butter. That's what you do and you're really good at it. But tell everyone a little bit about your launch story. You know, how you came up with the idea, maybe a little bit more about the product, what makes it different?

Jessica:

Yeah, absolutely. So the idea came to me really out of the blue one day and I always joke about how my, my best ideas come in the shower, but it's just so true. You know, any mom can relate that that's kind of your quiet sanctuary. So , um , that particular day I was getting ready to shave and I was reaching for my husband's razor going to steal his because he has always worked better than mine. It was, you know , always sharper, gave me a smoother, closer shave so I could go a few days in between and it kind of just hit me. I thought, you know , how can I make this experience better for, I'm shaving way more surface area than he is and I'm shaving more frequently than he is. You know, why is there not something like a really great razor that is designed for me? I wanted products that were made for me that were unique and feminine and fun to use. And I just started thinking, you know, if this is the problem I have in my life, then certainly there, there are other women that share this same problem and maybe this is that maybe this is what I can really put my energy into and build this business around. So I left the shower that day. Super jazzed.

Julie:

So were you looking for a side hustle at that time? Or...

Jessica:

Well I was, so I had worked for my mom's company. She had started a school training, nursing assistance when I was in college and she's a nurse and I got my degrees in marketing and business. And so I had been working with her, helping her grow her company and I loved, loved, loved small business and entrepreneurship. But I felt like towards the end, like 12 years in , I was really just kind of building her dream and I wanted something for myself. I wanted a business that could be my own and that I could build around my growing family too. So I was open to an idea for a side hustle, but I wasn't sure what it was going to be at that point.

Julie:

Yeah, that's so relatable. I feel like so many of my listeners are going to be like, yes, yes. Like when I had kids, I wanted to change the game. Like I wanted to change our life so we're not a slave to the grind every day. And the , the idea of being your own boss is just so alluring and for good reason. You know what I mean? It's, it's been such a good lifestyle for us. And I know for you as well.

Jessica:

Definitely. I love that. You know, we can, we can really build our businesses around what works for our family and that can look different for all of us.

Julie:

Yeah. And like so many other businesses, they were built and kind of born out of a need out of a pain that you had. And so you came from.

Jessica:

Yes, Always. I think that the best businesses really do solve a pain or enhance quality of life in some way. So , um , I definitely think that that helps.

Julie:

Yeah. Like convenience in your factor, you conveniently ship these on an auto shipment. So let's talk about those products. So what does, what makes your products different than the rest of the razors on the market right now?

Jessica:

Yeah, so when I launched my business, I was actually the first , um, women's shave club to the market. So I didn't really have a lot of competition at the time I was competing against the men's brands. Um , and so initially what made us different was just that it was female focused, right? And now we've really pivoted and focused in on what are those things that really matter to our customers. And that's really the big thing is sensitive skin. Women that have sensitive skin really need a razor that will work good for them, but we'll also be gentle and not leave you in razor rash and all of those things. So it's been really important to me to be able to provide products that can really serve those women. And, and the pain out of shaving without having the goopy clogged up mess. Right. But that a lot of the razors that are toted for sensitive skin hat , they have that, that lotion bar that's just messy.

Julie:

Right? No, I totally get it. And I love your razors there . They feel luxurious. They work really well. And I also subscribed to your discovery product because you send um , a surprise pack basically. And I love being surprised with bath goodies.

Jessica:

Yeah, that is so fun. That's like a, a kind of separate little leg to our business and I love it so much because it's really just designed to make shaving, grooming and , and life in general, more convenient, beautiful and fun. So we just find really fun, unique products to , to treat yourself.

Julie:

Love it. Okay. So the people that are listening to this podcast are either new or aspiring subscription box business owners. So let's talk a little bit about the details of how you fulfill, because this is, I want, I want to talk about this because this is different than how I do it. So as a reminder was Sparkle Hustle Grow. We are batch shipping, which means that we build the big batch of all the boxes all at once, one time a month and then we ship them. Now you on the other hand do this ongoing shipment. So can you explain how that works from a business perspective and why that works well for your business?

Jessica:

Yes, definitely. So our , our subscriptions run, we , we do like the product style subscription , so we're running on anniversary , um , rebilling and scheduling. So what that means is if you were to subscribe to our box on March 4th and you wanted to do a monthly subscription, then you would renew every fourth of the following month. So that's kind of how we've set it up. And the reason why we have it this way is because I really wanted to have , um , our customers have the flexibility and the control over their deliveries and over their subscription in general.

Julie:

So it can be super customizable. People can subscribe to one product and not the other or multiple products and they can set their own frequency and their deliveries. And so the reason why we do it that way is also for fulfillment. Um, so what happens is when they, when they renew or when they place an order, we're fulfilling within three business days. So we're fulfilling all the time rather than in batch shipping. And that just works well for us because rather than having to ship, you know , thousands of boxes on one specific day, we can split them up throughout the week. Um, and it just makes it easier on our team and we fulfill in-house. That's the other difference too, is we don't use a fulfillment center. And , um , part of that is because there's a lot of kitting involved, so that can get a little bit complicated. But the other part is just , um , my , my personal preference, I just want it to be able to kind of be involved in that and tuck in those little extra notes here and there. And you know, I think that's the other thing that as you're building a subscription box business, there isn't just one solution. There isn't just one answer of what everybody needs to be doing. That's the beauty of it is that we can all kind of build our businesses around what works best for our lifestyle and what we, what we hold our vision to be. Yeah, I agree with that. And I think too, it's important to say when you're looking at the way that you do your anniversary billing, it's very different than it did it . Very different cashflow than what I use with my batch shipping. So we have a renewal date on the 30th of every month and so that means you know, when the 30th hits, literally overnight we have this huge cash injection and so we can project really well and we can look at our months using that sales cycle. But one of the benefits I think of having the anniversary shipping is you consistently have that revenue coming in so that you can turn it around and put it back into the business or into getting more inventory.

Jessica:

True. That is true. There is some cashflow benefit for it. And then to your point too , there is also a little bit of a con to it where we can't project quite as accurately as the batch shipment can do. So there are definitely pros and cons to doing it and it's really just a matter of figuring out what is best for you and what , what you envision your business to be.

Julie:

Yeah. And what's best for the customer too .

Jessica:

Yeah.

Julie:

For their experience.

Jessica:

For their experience. Yeah, exactly.

Julie:

Cool. Okay. So Jessica does some coaching like I do. And so recently she and I did a um, kind of this collaboration that I'd call it where we talked about what to do with excess inventory. And so we're going to talk a little bit about that , um , shortly here. But first before we do that, I wanted to ask you, you and I have talked a little bit about what topics should we cover and I'm , what can we talk about to bring value? And we landed on that you can share top your top three things that new subscription box owners can do right now to grow their business. It is , um, an economic environment that is just up and down and things may look different now than they did three months ago or like that they might look like in three months from , you know, in the future. So what are those three things that you've landed on that new subscription box owners can do right now?

Jessica:

Yeah , I think the number one thing that I would say that they can do is work on their email marketing. That is a game changer. And I, you know, anybody who says that email is dead, I just totally respectfully disagree because it is, it is a big source of revenue. Um, revenue driver for our company. Um, it brings in about 20 to 25% of revenue. So if you do not have a current way to collect emails or you're not, you don't have an email list right now. I would say that's the number one thing is start working on that. Add a little pop up to your website, offer an incentive to get people on your list and then nurture them through an automated welcome series that can offer them value, kind of , um , bring them more know, like, and trust to your business and offer them an incentive to purchase and to subscribe. So , um , that is definitely the number one thing. Our welcome series is just based , it's very basic. It's just a five emails over the period of 10 days and it brings us in thousands of dollars every month just kind of on autopilot. So I would definitely encourage you to start there. And then the other piece of email marketing if you already have a list is just consistency. And like I think we're always looking for the big thing. Like what's the one thing that I can do that's going to be the game changer. And honestly I think consistent action is really what that is. I'm taking small, consistent action no matter what you're doing. But with email specifically finding that cadence that works well for your audience. For us, we send a mini campaign every 10 days. And that works really well.

Julie:

When you say a mini campaign, is that, so you're focusing on one product or one offer, what does that look like?

Jessica:

Yeah, it definitely varies. So sometimes it's just one product in the shop, but other times it's just to help nurture people that haven't subscribed yet to subscribe to either the razors or to try the shave butter. It can vary depending on what we have going on over the month, but it's just an creating an offer and a reason for people to come back to our website.

Julie:

Okay. Let's take a step back toward to the email marketing. You said about collecting email addresses. So you do that right on your homepage , right? Is it a popup? Is it a welcome mat? What is it?

Jessica:

I do. So I use a popup and I also know that that's very controversial but it works. Um, so we have the popup come up a few seconds after they arrive on the, on the homepage and we offer an incentive, just a 10% discount code for them to leave their email address. And it works really well. We have about 7% take rate on that. And um , then they find out right into that welcome series.

Julie:

That's awesome. So it's on Sparkle Hustle Grow. We typically use a welcome mat. If you haven't heard of a welcome mat, it's basically like this mini landing page that pushes down the rest of your home page . So instead of it popping up, it's pushing it down. And we use um, an app, a software called Sumo it's Sumo .com and that's just a really, really easy way to create , um , ways to capture email addresses. So if your software doesn't already have that built in, you can add Sumo to it and create welcome mat. You can create popups, you can create like slide ins, all kinds of easy ways to capture email address, email addresses. And so you and I were talking recently about nurture campaigns and you've inspired my team. We are like rewriting some of our email, our not only our welcome series for new subscribers, but creating that , um, five email series like you talked about that you send over 10 days. And , um , we just use MailChimp because that's what integrates really well with Cratejoy, our software system. And so I'm excited to get that rolled out where we're planning on having that done by the end of the month and rolling it out first of next month. So thank you for that inspiration.

Jessica:

Yeah, you're welcome. I'm to see it. That's exciting.

Julie:

Yay . I know it's something that man, like it's one of those things where I know I need it, but we just didn't get around to it

Jessica:

And that's okay. Like we can only do what we can do and I think that it's okay. You do it when you're ready to do it.

Julie:

Yeah. And don't get me wrong, we've been collecting email addresses and our welcome mat converts really well, but we had just been dumping them right into our leads list and we email them maybe once a week. So instead now they're going to get this 10-day nurture series, this welcome series before they start getting all the other types of emails from us. So I'm excited to see how that pans out.

Jessica:

I love it. I think that's a great way, a great approach too because it helps them to just learn more about who you are and what your business stands for. So yeah.

Julie:

And we have all the assets ready, like we have photos that we could use. We've got an explainer video that we can use. So there's no reason why we can't just throw it together. So it's going to be a quick project for us. But , um, I'm really excited to see how it pans out. And then, you know, we're gonna um, you and I had talked previously actually in our , um, workshop that we did together, that excess inventory workshop, you had talked about creating templates for your email marketing. And we again, just haven't focused a lot on email marketing. So when we had, when we wanted to send something would just go through the basic flow, like the campaign builder. And so now I've tasked my team to create three new templates so that we can mix and match and , um, you know, choose the right template for the right campaign. So you've been really inspirational for us in that.

Jessica:

Aw , thank you. I'm excited to follow along, Julie. That's awesome.

Julie:

Yay! Okay, so the first tip you gave was all about email marketing. So what's the second thing new subscription box business owners can do right now?

Jessica:

I think this is another thing that you can do at all levels. So new and seasoned. I think collaborating with other brands that share a similar audience. So for example, it doesn't necessarily have to be a competing brand. Think of something that would be complimentary to what you offer. So for example, we are going to be partnering this summer with a swimsuit company. A company that serves, yeah , like moms like me that's had a few babies and still want to look cute at the pool, right? So there's some suits and then we share the same demographic . So we're going to be collaborating together to do that. And there's so many different ways that you can collaborate with other brands, whether it's to grow your email list or to grow your social following, or even doing like an insert swap where you put some insert cards in their box and they put some in your box. There's just lots of creative ways that you can get together and get in front of new audiences.

Julie:

So can you give us a sneak peek of what that collaboration looks like? Yeah , so this is going to be focused on growing our email list. So we're both, we're going to have a landing page for our giveaway. It's going to be a giveaway. We're both going to donate , um , products. So smart. Get the product is the hands.

Jessica:

Yes. And then they will be able to enter our at the, on the landing page and we're going to email both of our lists, right? So at the end of the, of the collaboration we'll have a master email list that we'll both be able to access for future follow up and things like that. So it's really to grow the email list to grow exposure and um, and to grow visibility for the both of brands.

Julie:

I love it. I think that is so smart. And the one thing I would say to our listeners is to caution them to make sure that it is a fit for your audience. I participated in a group giveaway one time. That was what I thought was a decent fit for my audience. But because of the other brands that they were bringing in, like ask, are there other brands involved? The other brands diluted it so much that it no longer felt like it was focused on an entrepreneurial woman and then it was just focused on a general woman, which is fine, but that's not our target audience. With Sparkle Hustle Grow, we just want the female business owner, the boss babe, you know the side hustler. And so when I , I, I added, I'm not even kidding, like 10,000 emails to my list. We were flipping out. We're like, "This is amazing!". And we start sending our first campaigns to them like follow up campaigns and we had the highest unsubscribe rates ever and we got flagged by MailChimp. They're like, this is unusual activity in your account. You don't usually have this high of a unsubscribe rate. And at that point we were like, "Oh dear, this is, this is going to backfire if we don't do something about it". So we ended up ditching the list.

Jessica:

Yeah.

Julie:

And I had donated an annual subscription to it, so,

Jessica:

Oh...

Julie:

I know right? Cause it was supposed to be a pretty big is supposed to be a big event and it was, but it just didn't target the right people for us. And so you have to be really careful about who you choose to partner with. Ask who else is involved, ask the details about the demographics they're targeting and that , that their brand targets and that they're targeting with the entire giveaway too because you don't want to get in something that's diluted like what happened to me. Um, I would much rather partner with a micro influencer , for example, or a small brand that we share the exact audience but have noncompeting products.

Jessica:

Absolutely. I think that that is such a good unfortunate lesson that you had to learn the hard way. But it's such a good lesson for all of us to learn from you, right? That these things matter. And you do have to be really careful about who you partner with and the impacts that can happen because we see like the excitement of being able to get in front of big audiences, but you know, there are kind of those backend things that you have to deal with. So I think the other thing too is picking , um, brands and partners that are kind of the same size as you, right? So you don't want to be partnering with a massive, massive brand if you're still kind of small because you want to make sure that you still can stay visible within their, their, their marketing and their world .

Julie:

Yeah. No, I think that's really good advice. So , um, I think that these are like part brand partnerships are an amazing opportunity and I think that they can really , um , convert well and , and grow your email list and do all the things. Just a word of caution. Like do your homework.

Jessica:

I love it. That is so good.

Julie:

So what's your third thing right now that that's Sub box owners can do?

Jessica:

So this is going to tie into what we were just talking about. The third thing is to use what you already have to grow your business. So what do most subscription box owners already have that is excess inventory and that's just kind of part of the nature. So I'm using that to your advantage. And like to your point, we talked about how we did a workshop together. One of the things that I'm going to suggest today is one of those items. It's kind of a double whammy. It's going to generate cash for your business that you can use to reinvest back into growth. But it's also going to, it could act as lead generation for new subscribers and that is creating a mystery bundle with those excess products. So you might have people that are following you on social media or on your email list that haven't subscribed yet because they just have that subscription fear, that anxiety or that fear of commitment. They want to make sure that this is going to be the right fit for them. So by creating those mystery bundles, you give them the opportunity to kind of experience , um , what a subscription box or unboxing or experience might be like without the commitment of subscription and then having a way to kind of nurture them into the subscription later on. Um , and then it's also like I said, a way to just generate some cash that you can reinvest back into the growth of your business.

Julie:

I agree. I mean there's, there's a hundred things that you could do with excess inventory, but surprise packs and mystery bundles have been super popular in my particular audience. Um, they know the kind of things that we're going to send and um, we say in our specific surprise packs, if they include a book, we commit that it's not been featured in the last six months. So that means like sometimes people would be afraid to buy a surprise pack cause they're going to be like, well I already have that book or I already have that product. And so we really try to mix it up and match and it's, it's okay with me if I've got, you know, books from seven months ago. I don't have a ton of them anymore because as time goes on, some have sold in the shop, we've sold them to other subscription box business owners, things like that. But surprise packs, I swear I'm packing up those things every single week. They're just fun, you know, fun. And so it , it gets rid of excess inventory. It generates some cash. It gives the customer and exciting unboxing experience in between our batches as well.

Jessica:

Yeah, definitely. So yeah, you could use it to market towards your existing subscribers for sure exactly.

Julie:

Even as like upsells.

Jessica:

Yeah, there's so many things you can do. I should say we talk more about that in our, in our training Inventory Goals.

Julie:

Yes. So let's talk about that real quick. Um, we did a workshop called Inventory Goals, 20 ways to generate revenue and create buzz with using excess inventory. So that was so much fun. We've got tons of great feedback on it and that is available now. Right. So we have that available. If you guys need something like that, if you are in a position where you're like, my inventory room is full of excess inventory or I need my cashflow moving again, this is the workshop for you. So what's the link you can find it at?

Jessica:

Yeah, it's just www.subboxgoals.com.

Julie:

Right, and we will put that in the show notes. So if you guys enjoyed this and you're like, "Oh, I need to hear more about that'. The workshop talks about these mystery bundles. It talks about the email marketing and it talks about one of my favorites, the secret subscribers sale.

Jessica:

Ooh Yes.

Julie:

So I won't go into details here, but you guys can get the details at www.subboxgoals.com and what you're going to find in the workshop is video training. You're going to find swipe files, you're going to find templates. We basically do all the leg work , all the heavy lifting for you so that you can just look at these 20 tactics and say, okay, what's the low hanging fruit here? Which ones can I implement in the next week? In the next month, in the next quarter, and get that cashflow moving and get that inventory out the door.

Jessica:

Totally and start generating some new sales to some new customers from it. It's exciting.

Julie:

Absolutely. So awesome. Okay, so that was super fun . Jessica, you so much for your time today. It's always just such a treat to chit chat with you and we'll make sure to include that link in the show notes. But also I want people to know where they can follow you, where they, how they can contact you and we'll put those in the show notes as well. So where can they follow you and All Girl Shave Club, what are the links?

Jessica:

Yeah, definitely. So you can follow me at AllGirlShaveClub.com I also have a blog, JessicaPrincipe.com You can find me there and all of my little social channels right there.

Julie:

Nice, nice. So you're on Instagram and Facebook too. So those are the fun places to follow you. So you guys better check those links out.

Jessica:

For sure.

Julie:

Well friends, that wraps up another episode. Thank you so much. I really hope you enjoyed it as much as I did, and we'll see you in the next episode.

Speaker 3:

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