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Get to know a Toronto startup: Loose Button

Posted by Jonathon Muzychka / November 11, 2012

loose button torontoWith the stores and aisles stocked full of beauty supplies, the average consumer has a lot to choose from, and wading through all the big budget marketing to find a quality product can be challenging. Loose Button is helping to take the guesswork out of finding your new favourite beauty and lifestyle products. Aside from the excitement of receiving a beautiful box filled with trendy new goodies, there is a chance you may find a product you can't live without. Loose Button allows online consumers to sample products before committing to a luxury price tag.

I had the pleasure of sitting down with one of the founders, Aditya Shah, to learn more about how Loose Button is trying to make a splash in the beauty supply space.

Tell me more about Loose Button. Where did the inspiration come from?

From the very beginning, we wanted to create a business that connected consumers to brands through newer business models that leveraged technology and social media. We began with an online apparel company, but found that the market was saturated and had little room to grow. During this time, we were also having conversations with the major beauty companies. One thing that kept coming up was how sampling programs were essential drivers for sales but there was a lack of clarity (data) around how effective these programs truly were.

On the other side, consumers were looking to shop for these products online but they needed to visit the stores first to learn more and try them out first-hand. That's how the idea of Luxe Box was born. We set out to create a compelling experience around the idea of receiving a surprise in the mail that someone could always look forward to.

How does Loose Button actually work?

When a member signs up, they fill out a Member Profile through which we better understand their needs and preferences. Our beauty editors then work with our brand partners to appropriately target and curate a collection of products that they think a member would enjoy receiving. A Luxe Box is filled with seven to eight trial-sized products that gets delivered every 3 months (once a season), along with tips and tricks on how to make the most out of the products.

After receiving and trying the products, members are encouraged to provide detailed feedback on what they liked and didn't like about the products in their Luxe Box. This information is then packaged together into a detailed analytics report to be sent back to the brand partners. Along with the Luxe Box, members also receive special perks, such as access to new product launches, and contest and giveaways throughout the season.

Can people purchase the full size of a product if they like the sampler?

Currently, our members can purchase the full-sized versions of the products from retailers (both online and physical) with whom we partner to provide special incentives to our members. However, this is set to change very soon. Starting this holiday season, members will be able to purchase full-size products through the Loose Button online store, which will complete the entire shopping experience for our members from discovery to trial to purchase.

How can people sign up if they are interested?

Membership is usually invite-only, but from time to time, we expedite the invitation process (i.e. interested customers can sign up right away) based on availability of membership spots. We continue to see a huge demand for our membership but we strongly believe in ensuring that every member receives a consistently great experience with us.

What are the next steps for Loose Button?

When we started this company, our vision was to radically improve the way consumers shop online by providing a complete end-to-end experience. Our soon-to-launch online retail store will allow them to shop for products from the convenience of their own home, which frees them up from having to go to the retail stores to purchase their favourite products.

We are also looking to expand beyond the beauty space, and are launching into the Women's Essentials vertical with Pink Beryl. We have put the same creative energy into this new vertical that we did with Luxe Box--rethinking the experience from the ground up and coming up with a service that we think will fill a void for consumers and get them truly excited. This is launching very soon.

Discussion

6 Comments

Teena / November 11, 2012 at 01:38 pm
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I've been a member since the spring. They recently changed the way they are sending out the boxes ... quarterly rather than month ... and charging more. Should be interesting to see how the quality is.
MrsPotato / November 11, 2012 at 07:05 pm
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I joined Loose Button from the get-go .. and was let down month after month, and finally cancelled after about 5 months.

As a box-subscription junky, these guys are in a really tough market - winning the hearts of thousands of women based on your beauty products is huge challenge (Especially, long term)

Like most things in life we pay for, it's all novelty. Which always loses it's luster.
JeN / November 12, 2012 at 12:05 pm
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I was a subscriber for over a year. The boxes were really hit or miss. I didn't understand what the point of the "beauty profile" was since no products I was sent catered to what I put in my beauty profile. I think I received wrinkle cream just about every month, even when I changed my profile to indicate I was of the youngest age group.
Once Loose Button switched over to seasonal boxes, I was no longer interested. Pay more money for more wrinkle creams? No thanks.
Aditya Shah replying to a comment from MrsPotato / November 12, 2012 at 12:46 pm
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Hi there,

I am one of the founders behind the company and appreciate your feedback. As Teena mentioned, Luxe Boxes do go out every 3 months now (every quarter) and one of the main reasons behind the change was to allow us to consistently deliver a superior service to our members. We are spending a lot of time to ensure that the brands and products included in the Luxe Box are top quality and our beauty editors are constantly finding opportunities to customize products according to your profile whenever possible.

We have seen a very positive reaction from our members so far and I would love to invite you (if you haven't already!) to receive the new Luxe Box and see if your experience is different this time around. Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or comments.

Best,
Aditya Shah
Loose Button
Guylaine / November 12, 2012 at 04:13 pm
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I subscribed to Loose Button Box beginning of the year( not sure exact date ) the new formula , to me , was a hit,,, I just love the variety of product and quality ,, and the team really goes out of its way to try to please everyone, which is not an easy task, just cant wait for next box :)
Nina replying to a comment from Teena / November 12, 2012 at 04:39 pm
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Hey Teena,

A friend of mine did a review of the first 3 month box and she loved it. Check out her review, http://nailartcouture.blogspot.ca/2012/09/loose-button-seasonal-luxe-box-fall.html

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