[EXCLUSIVE] Special Feature – Behind The Scene of MIVVA Beauty Box

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With 9 beauty box subscription being offered in the market (…and counting) the expectation towards each and every one of it is getting higher and higher. I’m not sure if you realize this, beauty boxes are exceeding demand in the market now. Based on what I read and see nowadays subscribers are demanding or expecting more than what beauty box can offer. You can say that the initial concept of a beauty box is errrrr well… is down the drain. Let me tell you again what is exactly a beauty box and why it is being offered as it is. Mind you this is based on my own understanding eversince I subscribed to a few from Singapore wayyy before anyone of you do here in Malaysia.

Beauty box is a monthly subscription box with curated samples/deluxe sizes (hereinafter refered as sample) for those that want to try new brands and products. It is similar to a magazine subscription whereas you pay a certain subscription fee to get a box. Why samples? Simple. I think whoever that came out with this awesome beauty box idea realized that we had a hard time walking over to a certain brand’s counter or outlet to ask for samples to try before purchasing a full size especially luxury brands. Drugstore brand on the other hand will only give you samples when you make a purchase with them. It is thrown in as “value for money” kind of thing. Unless you get a sample from local magazine which was very rare a few years ago.

Beauty box are not suppose to contain full size products. The whole idea of this subscription is to try new brands and products before purchasing a full size. Afterall it’s just at RM38 per box with 5-6 deluxe size. I always refer beauty box as a creative way of advertising for sales in return.

Magazine/Newspaper/Website –> Pay to put ads in magazine = Product sales
Beauty Box –> Sponsor products in a box (cost of sample involved) = Product sales

Later on boxes in the UK/US/Australia started to put in full size as a token for their loyal subscribers or on special theme box like Valentine’s Day, Christmas Day and so on. And because of that we are expecting to get full size in our monthly subscription box. So the next time you don’t see any full size don’t get sad or mad because that’s what beauty box is curated for at the beginning. Okay, enough of my rambling. That’s what I personally think so if you don’t agree with me you can close the page now 🙂

Not everyone know what exactly goes on behind a beauty box such as the brand visiting, packing and not forgetting all the insane time spent on writing down all shipping details on the courier consignment note. Have you ever wonder who pack your box? Who’s handwriting is it on the consignment note? Who pick up all the samples from the brands or are they sent by the brands? To ease your curiosity I am happy to have MIVVA Beauty Box to help me with this blog post. The girls are so kind to let me have a sneak peek of their behind the scene where I get to go where no one has gone before.

 

Brand Sourcing and Pitching

The pretty founders – Michelle and H. Wen are responsible in the most important and main task of sourcing brands and products for their monthly beauty box. When a specific brand agrees on an appointment to meet-up, either one of them or both will pay a visit to discuss about the collaboration. It takes a lot of hard work and good proposal in order to persuade a brand to sponsor you hundreds or even thousands of samples or deluxe sizes. With the way most of the brand define their stands in Malaysia market and with so many beauty boxes around…it ain’t get any easier.

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Collecting Samples

Usually the brand will not confirm immediately during the initial collaboration meeting to sponsor their products. Some do but not all. There’s a lot of backend meetings internally to discuss if they should go in and they would need to layout their expectation and return from MIVVA. When all that is settled with numerous email replies and when the brand do intend to have their samples in MIVVA box, the brand would arrange for the stocks from the warehouse. The girls would need to go over again to the brand’s office or warehouse to pick up the samples themselves. This is real hard work and sweat. Not as glamorous as you think it would be eh?

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We are not talking about a box or two. We are talking about heavy boxes and boxes full with samples not including brochures.

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Pre-Packing Process – Folding the boxes, bubble wrappers and courier consignment notes

All the pretty MIVVA boxes that you and I received every month doesn’t come as it is. It would be space consuming if it does. The girls get the box printed in bulk and delivered to them, unfolded. What MIVVA do is to engage homemakers to fold the boxes for them. These homemakers are disadvantaged women such as single mothers and home lady. The founders and the company are passionate about women empowerment and children welfare. By engaging disadvantaged women they are able to earn some income to sustain the family while working from the comfort of their home.

Just in case you are wondering who did all the design work for MIVVA, it’s all done by Kinjio Sdn Bhd who is one of the partner company.

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All ready boxes are stack up high at one side before the packing process begin. This is highly space consuming so a lot of space are needed just to occupy the boxes.

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MIVVA bubble wrap all their boxes before sending out. The bubble wrapper that were used is double layer which means is more thicker and better quality than usual. All these bubble wrapper would need to pre-cut to a specific size to fit the standard MIVVA box. Once again more space is needed to occupy all the pre-cut bubble wrapper. So far a heavy duty storage rack is used to store all necessity – in this case the bubble wrappers 🙂

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Here comes the most tiring and tedious work of all – hand writing down alllll the name, address and phone number for all subscribers. Have you ever notice that your consignment note is not printed but hand written? Everytime I get my box I take a look at the hand writing thinking gosh it must had been so tiring to write so many consignment notes! And the hand writing is still neat and pretty. The lady in charge of this is one of the founder; H. Wen. I have no idea how H. Wen did it every month without fail but she did. She even put a love next to my name. Puts a smile on my face everytime I see that.

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Packing

Before the actual box packing begins, the team would need to pack the sample first to make the packing job easier. If you recall on the April 2013 edition whereas there was 2 items in the box that need a separate packing – Somang Keratin Silk Protein Hair Care and hair chalk. It’s not every month but when there are sample like this the homemakers and all the founders would gather together to do product packing. So now you know…all the organza pouch that you see are not readily sent to MIVVA together with the product. It’s all done in house by the team separately.

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The packing of the main box is outsourced to the same homemakers as mentioned above earlier. Michelle and H. Wen would also get down and dirty with the packing. It takes a lot of manpower and time to pack hundreds of boxes.

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And let’s not forget all the mess and boxes scattering all over the bedroom floor!

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As the packing process is going on, all the ready boxes would be stacked at one side. If you notice there’s stacks and stacks of boxes in a few rooms.

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Next is sorting out all the ready consignment notes, inserting it to the courier plastic and inserting all the boxes into all the courier plastic. It is easier if everyone get the same box. Imagine when there is a few variant. That is also another headache. I understand that most subscriber wanted their box to curated exactly according to their beauty profile but after seeing the back end work by these ladies, I have decided that general product that suits everyone would do just great.

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On delivery day, PosLaju will send a huge van over to pick up all the boxes. What I like about PosLaju is the fast delivery. Normally I would receive my MIVVA box the next day after delivery day. Others would take me 2 days and some even more than that.

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There you have it. A little behind the scene of one of my favorite beauty box subscription; MIVVA Beauty Box. This behind the scene would be just the surface of what I can show you. You bet we reserve a bit trading secret out :D. Sometimes I couldn’t help but to wonder myself what would it be like to run a beauty box subscription. No doubt it’s fun if you are into women or beauty stuff. However no one understand how hard it is to persuade a particular brand to give hundreds of sample and sometimes ask for hundreds of full size without any direct return to the brand. Even if the samples are obtained there is still a lot of hard work in preparing and packing all the boxes so that it can be send out on schedule.

I hope you enjoy reading this exclusive special feature thanks to Michelle and H. Wen of MIVVA.com. Hope your curiosity are now fulfilled and that you are able to get a bit of understanding on beauty box operation. One thing for sure…it ain’t easy.

 

MIVVA is owned by Mina Beauty Sdn Bhd that was founded in 2012. The people behind MIVVA is Michelle Kong, H. Wen and Kinjio Sdn Bhd. MIVVA.com is an online platform that provides women a fun and engaging way to connect with new brands, and discover exciting products that fit their specific needs. MIVVA.com creates customer advocacy by allowing members to discover, sample, review and purchase beauty products. The brand build trust and loyalty by encouraging their members to channel feedback and creating peer-to-peer engagement. MIVVA core values are customer centricity, fun-loving and being relevant. The team strive to bring new and exciting products that are relevant in a fun and innovative manner. The main objective of MIVVA.com is to be the go-to website for beauty products in the ASEAN countries and to build a large following through a comprehensive beauty e-commerce platform to promote and to bring retailers and consumers together.

 


44 thoughts on “[EXCLUSIVE] Special Feature – Behind The Scene of MIVVA Beauty Box

  1. Another excellent and insightful post, sweetie! Thanks for sharing with us. Personally, I’m not that interested in beauty box subscriptions because well… being a beauty blogger, I have tonnes of samples that I never can get around to using. But I can appreciate the amount of effort and work involved for beauty box entrepreneurs.

    1. I’m glad to hear you like it :). You are right about having tonnes of samples but never get to use it. Same for me too. I’m into surprises which beauty box fits the bill haha. Now that I’ve requested all beauty boxes to stop sending me one every month…I can concentrate on the current stash.

  2. nice~~~ i enjoy reading this!
    again, i learned that no matter what occupation one has, he or she has to work hard for it.
    nothing comes free and easy in life!
    thanks fiona for having this post!

    1. Happy to hear you enjoyed the special insight! It’s never easy in earning a decent income. Beauty box doesn’t profit much. After deducting all the cost for box, paper, courier, labour charges for packing etc there’s not much left. Not even half.

  3. Wow! So much hard work for a mivva box! Even the bedroom is full with our box. they also being very kind to give job oppotunity to single mother. I’ll appreciate my box very much! This post is really special!

    1. Glad to hear you like this post Melissa 🙂
      It is a lot of hard work just to bring the best for their valuable subscribers. I like that they provide income for disadvantaged homemakers.

  4. Wow! I knew a lot of work goes on behind the scenes for beauty boxes (i feel the pain of packing and writing out indiv Poslaju forms), but after seeing all the pics, I am impressed! I’m glad to hear that they outsource some of the work to single mothers and such. 🙂
    Thanks for the detailed post today, Fiona, and have a good holiday today! ^^

    1. That’s why people like to ask why no branded/luxury/premium. The sad thing is no one knew out of 10 brands that was approached, you only get 1 or 2 (if you’re lucky) and sometimes nil.

  5. Wow, I have a new perspective and profound respect for the teams behind the curtain of beauty boxes. After reading this, comparing to the amount of work, time and energy needed to their efficient customers service, I am in awe with Mivva. I admire them so, because it takes such passion, dedication and persistance. They are an inspiration. It’s amazing people like this that reminds me everyday never to give up on what you are passionate about. I am thankful that you were able to share this piece Fiona 🙂

    1. Hi Farisha, I’m glad you found this post useful :). I wanted to share across all platform on how a beauty box operate as I see no one understand how it was done. We are constantly complaining delivery not on schedule, bad samples, sample too small, not premium/luxury enough without realizing it’s really not as easy as “go pitching-got what was wanted-put in the box-deliver-close chapter”. The brands that agrees to sponsor want a lot of return otherwise they will not do it. These promises are all covered by the beauty box so that we can enjoy our box monthly.

  6. This is a wonderful post. While a lot of people complain about the different beauty boxes, it’s great to see a behind of the scene and how much work these ladies put in so each member can get a nice package each month.

  7. ahhh >_ — let us try a sample before we purchase a full size — this still work for me ^_^ I am liking the lunasol compact foundation LOL and maybe get one for myself =]

  8. ahhh >_< you are right too. this post is great, and inspire =P new to me. maybe sometimes we shouldn't request / demand too much from a beauty box. they work hard and what we get is already worth more than what we pay for!

    1. Actually yes. I do understand we as a human we are never satisfied and are constantly demanding. I do too. If beauty box is just RM38, we shouldn’t be pestering for 2 full size, one full size etc. It’s almost impossible to get full size, keep pushing might make the boxes fork out own money to buy 🙁

  9. Awesome peekaboo post 🙂 Love the details behind the production of a beauty box to all the beautiful lovelies out there. Thank you for sharing this post with us.

  10. my comment so weird, I type long but it split itself lolx, comments misplace xD
    cannot buy first bcz still got many other product to use =[
    controlling myself lolol. cannot buy anythinggggg >_<

  11. I am on –cannot buy anythinggg– mode, hahhaha xD
    yea lo~ use them everyday ad >.< but the amount of applying are mostly the same everyday xD cannot suddenly pourrr/apply too much at once de ma LOL

  12. Very informative 😀 Before this we only see a gorgeously packaged box couriered to us monthly, but now we get to know all the hard work put into it to make it as pretty as it is. Beautiful boxes by beautiful people 😀

  13. Yeah man! Need to organize and be very detailed and structured. The owners must have multiple super skills, from marketing to get sponsors to planning what items to feature each month to putting everything together in the box before packing to send out to the lovelies 🙂 Even a slight mistake in the chain of process flow will disrupt their business. So much hardwork and dedication.

    1. It is important for beauty box to keep the lowest cost as possible afterall this doesn’t profit a lot. I would do the same, maybe lesser then the girls lol.
      This need a super detail concentration. Packing for example, if you are doing the packing and you are kind of “dreaming” for a sec there might be a missing product in one box. It’s a good thing the girls at MIVVA have passion to do this 🙂

    1. Thanks Neesha! Hope you like the post and hope it is useful for you when you are ready to subscribe one day.
      We often demand for full size eventhough the box is at just RM38. Which is why I never demand for any full size. I’d only expect a full size on special boxes like Valentine’s Day or Christmas Day 🙂

  14. Wow wee, thanks for the insightful post, i’ve always wondered how it works and now I know coz of you 🙂 So much effort put into the box, so sometimes i think regardless if the box has a wow factor or not, subscribers have to appreciate what they go through to put a box together.

    1. You’re welcome! I’m glad this ease your wondering :). I agree with you on the appreciation. Sometimes we are too blinded with the content that we forgotten all the love that was poured into preparing.

  15. Thanks for the feature Fiona! It’s really insightful for me 🙂 But I guess now they print their consignment notes for Poslaju, cos the Mivva boxes that I receive are all printed, not handwritten 🙂

    1. Thank God finally! It’s about time haha. I wouldn’t know since the post is written in April and I ask to stop receiving box for May. So those that are getting the May one will know 😉

  16. Amazing behind-the scenes look! Thanks…so much work and so many parties involved to bring this great little box to beauty fans. I’m giving these girls my support – just ordered my first ever Beauty Box and it’s the June Edition of Mivva. Can’t wait to get it!

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed reading it :). Yay! I saw the sneak peek newsletter. It will be an awesome one :). Hope you’ll enjoy your first MIVVA 😉

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