Small Business Spotlight:
Hello Cheryl and thank you for sitting with us to talk about your new and improve online store. It has been a while since we had our one on one interview when you first opened the store. (to read Cheryl's first Spotlight you can click here: Small Business Spotlight: Strands & Company) Now, What can you tell us about it, why the changes?
Hi Elena! We’re very excited about the new shop site. Our shop has been open since May 2013 and near the end of the year, we had several months under our belt to see what shop areas our guests were most interested in, what areas were hard to navigate, etc. We redesigned the site in December to re-categorize our products for easier shopping and to better showcase new products and hot movers that sell out fast. We also have a new section “About Our Brands” which tells our guests a bit about the brands on our site and their story. We support a number of small brands that may be relatively unknown and I think it’s nice for guests to know who/where the products are coming from and that there are some really wonderful makers behind these brands, who are truly interested in providing healthy and safe-ingredient products to the public.
Somethings have not changed, like your fast and low $3.99 flat rate shipping, your offer of free shipping for all orders over $49.00 and my favorite.. "Free Samples". We all have to admit we do love to get some free samples!
When we started the shop, our goal was to provide natural, organic, and safe-ingredient products that were affordable (everything in the shop is under $35) and accessible. That included offering a low, flat shipping rate so there was no guessing what the shipping rate would be and no surprise costs in your cart when you go to check out. And it included offering free samples – where you don’t have to buy anything else to get samples – because we wanted guests to be able to try items before they commit to a full-size purchase. While we don’t have samples for every item, we have a selection of about 40 samples that will let guests experience many of the quality brands we offer.
The one thing we couldn't help noticing is the new "Foxy Reward Program" you are now offering, can you tell us what the program is all about? (i.e. how to enroll, how to accrue points and what can we do with points accrued);
The Foxy Rewards program is a great way for our guests to accumulate points towards free products! It is easy to participate – a FoxyMango shopper simply has to have an account with us and they are automatically enrolled. Guests can get an account by signing up on our website or signing up when they place an order. Guests earn 10 points for every dollar they spend and there is also the opportunity to earn more points if they refer a friend to our shop and their friend places an order. Currently, we have four products that guests can get for free by redeeming their earned points – Nourish Organic Wild Berries Lotion, Brown Butter Beauty Facial Mask, Shea Terra Organics Hair Masque, and S.W. Basics Body Scrub. When a guest is ready to redeem points, they simply go into their Rewards account area and select the reward they would like. Our system will send a coupon code that can then be used in our shopping cart to get the desired item for free.
You have added some great products to your already amazing store, let's talk about the "Au Naturale Cosmetics" you have now available and what made you add them to your store?
Over the months, we’ve had requests for natural make-up and so I’ve been keeping my eye out for a brand that we could bring in to start off our make-up collection. During my research for brands, I came across Au Naturale Cosmetics and I also saw them featured on Organic Beauty Talk. I liked their story, their philanthropic giving (they support an educational program in Zambia with a percentage of their sales), the positive reviews about the products, the product price-point is affordable and on par with other natural make-up brands, and they offer a range of color selections for foundation. While we don’t carry their full line yet, I wanted to be sure to partner with a brand that offers a range of shades for women of color because that can be difficult to find in current natural make-up brands.
I understand make-up can be hard to purchase online and no matter how many swatches are out there, everyone’s skin tone is different so it’s a bit of trial and (hopefully not too much) error. We’ll see how the make-up does in our shop and grow the selection as our guests want to see more options.
Besides adding cosmetics to your store, what other new items is your store now offering?
We have a new deodorant brand, Schmidt’s, which we’re really excited about. My husband and I have put this deodorant to the test and it really works great for us! Keeps us dry and smell-free all day and we find it performs just as well as any conventional deodorant – all without the harmful aluminum.
We also have a new Juniper scent of spray deodorant from Blissoma – another brand we like using.
Additionally, we have new items that expand our offering from two of our popular brands, Orange Thyme and Soultanicals.
Now, I will take the moment to say that I've experienced the Soultanicals For Goodness Aches Bath Salts (Soultanicals Bath Salts) and I have no words to express how good my body felt after that bath!
We have new soap and perfume oil scents from Orange Thyme, and we have new hair care items on the way from Soultanicals (should be in stock the week of 2/3 at the latest).
For the future, we are researching more natural hair care brands – including brands from the UK, we will continue to expand our Soultanicals collection, and we’re researching nail polish to add to our cosmetics.
Overall, we continue to try our best to bring safe-ingredient beauty options to our guests. Sometimes people are curious why we don’t carry some popular natural brands – particularly in hair care. We’re not product ingredient experts and we’re always learning and researching but we have a philosophy of caution. We check ingredients against a variety of databases including referring to European standards which are much more strict and cautionary than in the U.S. While our high standards may limit the selection of brands we can offer, we feel great about the brands we support and we know we didn’t compromise our mission of offering safe, effective, affordable beauty options.
Wow!! Cheryl's online store has a lot to offer and one of the many reasons we love her is because she offers the best natural products.
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