Name: Karmen Novak
Brand Name: Flower and Spice Modern Apothecary
Instagram Handle: @flowerandspice
Background: Karmen launched Flower and Spice in June 2018 after several years of dedicated planning and brand building behind the scenes. After 15 years working in the pressurised, hectic world of fashion, video production and marketing she decided to forge a new path that allowed her to pursue her passions for a calm, green lifestyle, surrounded by the flowers, herbs and spices that she loved to experiment with while cooking. She studied with Formula Botanica and started exploring different botanicals to develop truly natural products that not only transport the senses through scent and texture but powerfully nourish and care for the skin.
In her own words
“Flower and Spice began as—and remains—a labour of love for the human body and the planet. I created each formula from the beginning to the end to ensure the highest level of efficacy and well-being. I will continue to evolve along with Flower and Spice and bring nature back to your daily life. This is my promise to you.”
Challenge: Karmen’s prelaunch preparation meant she had an enviable following on Instagram and had been featured in industry articles by the likes of Beauty Independent. There was a real buzz around her brand and launch. Her challenge was to convert this energy into sales. It’s the creative, intelligent way she did this that has guaranteed her a place in my Fierce Founders series.
On launch sales got off to a good start but being a fierce founder Karmen wasn’t satisfied and wanted to accelerate and overachieve. She analysed her sales and observed 2 things.
Firstly, all customers had been sent a free sample when they placed their first order. She noticed many of those customers had returned to buy the full size product.
Secondly, she had launched with a travel set and around 50% of the customers who had bought it had returned and bought the entire full sized range.
Putting the two observations together led to one of those light bulb moments we all love.
It seemed that as a new premium skincare brand customers felt much more comfortable being able to buy ‘test’ products at a lower price point.
Strategy: Karmen reacted quickly and launched her €20 Discovery Bundle. It included 3 trial size products, her exfoliator, serum and moisturiser.
She figured if customers wanted to explore her range prior to purchasing full size products then this was the ideal way to attract as many new customers as possible, showcase her excellence and drive sales.
Results: The orders started pouring in, her social shares begun to rise, testimonials started popping up all over Instagram, the beauty editor of Vogue featured her exfoliator in an article about her beauty regime and customers began returning to buy the full size products.
Karmen is a member of my Indie Beauty Rockstars Mentor Group so I’ve been lucky to share all her magical moments. This is one of the posts she popped into our online hang out, The Hub.
Here’s what Karmen has to say about using samples to kick start your sales
“When I launched my brand, on June 18th, I also gave away some samples. I didn’t offer samples on my web site, but only as part of an order. You buy full size; you get a nice sample as a gift. That was my original strategy. Luckily, customers got so happy with the result that my skincare delivered that many of them returned and ordered a full size product right away! Some of them after just one day of trying!
I also offered a Travel Set which became quite a success. Approx. 50% of custumers who bought it have already returned and bought a complete Flower and spice collection!
My conclusion was: people need to try first, and then they got hooked! I decided to put a bundle of samples on offer for EUR20 and it was a great success. Orders started to pour in, and I’m already getting feedback, social media shares and a lot of returning customers. I may be selling less of full size right now but I am not worried at all. I am confident that people will like the samples and it makes me so happy when they return and buy a full size. It means they really love it and it suits their skin! ”
- Sometimes things don’t go exactly as planned. Be aware of what’s happening in your business and be flexible and open to change and pivot
- Listen to what your customers are saying and do what they want
- Be creative and think your way around challenges
- Be brave, be fierce and don’t be afraid to experiment and take chances
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