Boss Babe: Louise Sampson
Company: Bijou Box
Tell me a bit about your business.
Bijou Box is a seasonal beauty and self-care subscription box and has been designed to provide you with 6 full size items to help you show yourself some self-love every day, no matter how many minutes you have free in the day there will be a product in your Bijou Box that you can use. Bijou Box is all about giving you the best beauty and self-care experience and to help with this you’ll find tutorials and guides on how to use the products on our social media channels, blog articles on our website and regular newsletters to help you feel part of the Bijou Box family. All the products found in Bijou Box are from cruelty free and independent UK businesses.
What made you decide to start it?
I also own a beauty business and through listening to my clients began to realise that a visit to a beautician is about so much more than just having a treatment, it's the opportunity for you to create some space for yourself, a chance to explore the things that haven't gone to plan, practice gratitude or even celebrate yourself. These things are so important to our general wellbeing and resilience that I wanted to create something that could replicate the feelings you get when you have that visit, I also realised that sometimes the perception of 'self-care' is seen as having a bubble bath with candles and is time consuming, so I wanted to create something to simplify self-care and show people that it really is whatever you make it and can be practiced easily every day. With these thoughts in mind I created Bijou Box.
What’s a typical day/week like in your shoes?
At the moment my beauty salon is closed and I can work full time on Bijou Box, a typical week for me just now is packing and sending boxes as the 'Spring Fling' box has just gone live! I'm also working on a new email series called 'Wellness Wednesday' where quick, easy and practical wellness tips will hit your inbox every Wednesday morning and I've been writing blog posts. One of the constants every week is instagram, posting, commenting, creating content!!
What’s been the most difficult thing to get your head around when you started up?
There have been 2 so I hope i'm allowed 2! The first one was technology and just learning everything that sits with having a website, a card processor, email automations, mail lists, instagram shop, facebook pixel . . . i could go on! This was so new to me and honestly youtube and google were and still are my friends! The second one was thinking big, my beauty business is very much a local business and it took me a while to get out of this mindset and realise that Bijou Box has a national reach. I didn't grasp this right away but I'm there now!
Have you encountered any hiccups along the way?
I guess this one goes back to my lack of knowledge around technology but after about 6 months I ended up moving my website to a different host, this was a bit of a financial hit but it brought the new website and checkout process all onto the one platform so was worth it.
How do you stay motivated?
In general I'm a pretty positive person and this past year I've proven to myself just how resilient I can be but I do have days when I don't feel my best. When I feel like that it's important to change it up so I'll stop the task I'm working on and go and do something different to lift my mood, then I'll come back in a more positive frame of mind and tackle that task again and I'll be able to come at it from a whole different angle because I've had a break from that frustration. It also helps that I'm really passionate about what I'm doing and believe in Bijou Box and the brand's values and aims. The feedback from subscribers helps me understand that Bijou Box is hitting what it sent out to achieve and that keeps going as I want more people to experience it!
What’s your main marketing took/social media platform? Are there any you want to try out that you haven’t had a chance to yet?
Instagram is great for Bijou Box, the reels feature is especially helpful because I can produce short clips on self-care or how to use products found in Bijou Box and Facebook doesn't have this feature. I've also really got into email communication recently and love that it's more direct than a post on instagram. I would love to explore TikTok and although I love the reels feature on Instagram it is time consuming to make a good reel and I'm not sure how I'd find the time!
What’s next for your business?
Bijou Box is still a very young business so still has lots of growth right now before I look to step it up, immediate plans are to work on the next seasonal box and to keep sourcing great products that subscribers will love. I've also not tried to run Bijou Box AND my beauty salon at the same time so I need to get the balance right with my time.
Do you have any advice for other women looking to start their own business?
You need to have an ego and believe in yourself because as soon as you begin to question why you are doing it and let that self doubt creep in then you've lost faith in your product and how do you continue to work and develop it when you don't believe in it? You need that ego to help you develop a thick skin, there will be people who don't like what you are doing. there will be cancellations, refunds, a supplier won't choose to work with you but it's not personal or a reflection on you or your business. That ego will help you create reels or doing an instagram live and that ego will give you the confidence to approach cold suppliers and tell them how bloody brilliant your product is.
What do you do to relax?
The reality of running two small businesses is that you never really switch off, I'm working on just trying to put my phone down and be a bit more present. The main perk of working for myself is managing my own hours so I can make my hours fit around things like taking my little boy to school or going for an outdoor coffee with a friend! Being able to do these day to day things help me feel relaxed, also my 7 year old is currently obsessed with Mario on the Switch so I'm getting pretty good at that!
And lastly, what did you have for breakfast?
I'm a black coffee kind of girl!
Thanks Louise! Great getting to know a bit about your life as a boss babe! If you fancy subscribing to Louise's amazing Bijou Box, head over to her Instagram page @bijouboxuk for all the info you need. x