We have entered the end of an era for Annmarie Skin Care. Most of you probably found us through a mutual friend and ordered a sample kit. The samples came in little glass vials, plastic tubs, or tiny sprayers. Depending on when you started with our line, you may have seen different versions of our packaging but the containers for our samples have always been the same… until now.
The little vials you have are officially being retired and we’re working with an easier, larger option—xela packs. Our shipping office will be much less noisy without all the sample vials rolling around and we won’t have need of our color coordinated bin system anymore. Truthfully, it’s a bittersweet goodbye but it’s for the best and we’re excited to tell you why!
The Old Ways
Over the past couple of years we’ve made a few packaging changes to try to find the best way to let you sample our products.
In the beginning we sent our samples in little organza baggies but we ended up with a lot of broken samples – which isn’t how we like to make a first impression.
Then we added the boxes and while the breaking was better – they made the whole sample production a lot more complicated. We had one company filling samples (and sometimes we filled the samples right in the clean room at our headquarters) and then we had a different company make the boxes, then the samples and the boxes were sent to a third company to put them all together, then the finish product was sent to our warehouse. Being sustainable is an integral part of our “Wild. Beautiful.” mantra so when we took a step back we thought there might be a better way to package our sample kits, even if we were already using the most sustainable materials available.
You’ve seen these since Annmarie Skin Care started. We’ve always used as much eco-friendly packaging as we could, and that includes our samples.
While our full sized products have always been (and probably always will be) in miron glass, our samples have been in amber glass vials, recyclable plastic tubs, and clear glass spray bottles. Choosing the right containers for our products is vital because we use such natural ingredients that the bottles are part of the preservation of the products. Up until now we didn’t have other feasible options that were both eco-friendly and that would help to hold the integrity of the samples.
The amber glass vials are so cute, and we love the screw tops but little air pockets can get stuck in them during the filling process and make it difficult for the product to come out, which is obviously the exact opposite of what we want to happen!
Our masks and cleansers had their plastic pots, which are okay to preserve the little sample sizes for a short time, but in order to get the product out you have to dip your fingers into them. Since we don’t use artificial preservatives in our products it’s a precarious game to dip fingers into our products because human fingers have bacterias on them.
We’ve received a lot of feedback that the sample vials are also very small and they only give two to four days to test out the products. We have absolutely been listening and we’ve been working on juggling the cost of the product itself, the containers, offering free shipping, and the $10 coupon that comes with every sample so the samples have stayed the small size. That's about to change.
Our Natural Skin Care Samples Get a New Look!
When we found the company, Xela Packs, we knew they were the answer to our collective sample kit woes! We’re switching to these new containers and packaging materials as soon as we can, so here’s what you can expect with these changes.
Bigger samples, kept fresh!
Xela Pack gives a lot of sample size options and we’re happy to announce that we can finally (finally, finally) give you larger samples with your Sample Kit order!
We’re proud of our products and we don’t cut corners with creating them so we don’t cut corners in the packaging either. The xela packs tear open and squeeze closed with about 10 pounds of pressure so that the freshness stays preserved.
They alleviate problems with the vials being difficult to get product out of by allowing the user to squeeze out the amount of product they need and there’s no need to dip your fingers anymore to get the cleanser out, it squeezes out nice and easy!
Less leakage and breakage
It’s true that the boxes have basically solved the broken vial problem but now the caps for the amber glass vials come unscrewed during shipping! They leak our samples into the packaging and we get a lot of customer support emails about how pretty the packaging smells but there’s no product left to try. Yikes! We, of course, send those sample kits again but we want a way to ensure that our products get to our customers in perfect condition the first time we send them!
The new xela packs are airtight and totally sealed. You have to actually rip off a tab to get the product out. Then you can squeeze them closed again and kabam! The seal is solid.
Lowers production cost
The boxes we were using are beautiful and made of great materials but they came with other downfalls, like the expense to make them, fold them, and fill them. It wasn’t the ideal solution but we had to learn.
The xela packs are way less material, easier to fill and assemble, and they’re just as beautiful as our boxes. The Xela Pack company is an all-service company. They make the packaging for our samples and the secondary packaging that holds it all together then they fill the samples!
Now we don’t have to create a complicated system for making sure that each piece of the production chain is in perfect order and that all of the individual bottles, labels, boxes, are all at the right place at the right time—we just have to do what we do best, make great products and pass them along to Xela Pack to handle the rest!
Decreases our carbon footprint
Along with making our production line easier, working with Xela Pack decreases our carbon footprint in a lot of different ways. We have been shipping all of the different pieces (products, labels, containers, boxes) of our Sample Kits around the country so they can show up complete and beautiful to your doorstep but now we only have to ship finished skin care products to Xela Pack and they send the finished product straight to our warehouse—easy, fast.
Additionally, the xela packs are designed to be leakage and breakage free so we’re cutting down on the shipping costs for resending those imperfect samples to our customers!
Cutting down on shipping makes a huge difference for us, but Xela Pack goes even a step further by being dedicated to sustainable means of packaging. The packs themselves and the card inside that holds the packets are recyclable and fold down easily, taking up very little space in your bin. They use 93% less plastic than other companies for the same size samples, they’re BPA Free, and they are also made with as much recycled material as they can. They even use water soluble ink and make the packs so that burning them is safe for the environment! Seriously, this is the sample company of our dreams.
What’s the catch?
With something this awesome, there has to be some catch, right? Some caveat we're not sharing? We're a transparent company and not really into the whole “fine print” fad and there is one thing.
You may have noticed that in the past we provided three samples in our sample kits, and we did move to providing just a Cleanser and a Facial Oil in these new kits. This is because the Serums, Mists, and Masks that we offered with our old Sample Kits just wouldn’t work well in the xela packs. The Toner and the Mask weren’t the right product consistency for the little packet and the Serums don’t preserve as well once they’re exposed to the air and we want you to be able to try the products as fresh as possible.
Don’t worry though, we’re always working on a solution! We’ll be able to create and release more sample product giveaways in the future and if you purchase a product that you weren’t able to sample first and you don't love it, write into our support staff and let them know. We have a two month return/exchange policy and we’re always willing to work with you to find the best solution.
We’re excited about this big change! What do you think? Let us know below!
Aub is a certified clinical herbalist and content strategist/creator. She is the co-founder of Dandelion Branding, a digital marketing company that works with brands that are focused on revolutionizing their industries. When she's not working on a project, you can usually find her nosing about in the forest or giving congratulatory high fives to every plant in her house for growing.
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