Butterflies

I arrived in London yesterday to set the stand up for RHS Hampton Court Flower Show. It’s one of my favourite shows of the year, and I can’t wait to look round the show gardens. This year the Country Living Marquee has air conditioning, so should be a more comfortable shopping experience! Do come and say hello if you are visiting.

The first time we exhibited here was five years ago; it was an incredibly overwhelming experience. I was new to shows, inexperienced, but so hungry and excited. I remember feeling terribly apprehensive as I drove into the showground, desperately wanting to do well. My mind racing. Had I packed everything? Did we have enough stock? Would we be ok!

Today, I still get the same butterflies in my stomach as I load the van and drive to one of the “major” shows of the year. It doesn’t matter that we have done more than 1000, big and small, over the last six years, that feeling is always with me.

The stands are expensive, and the business needs to have a profitable show. However, the difference now is that with experience, I feel confident that whatever happens, we will make the best of it.

I know for instance that if I have forgotten something, then I can usually borrow it from a friend, or if we run low on stock, then Andy will arrange a courier, and have it sent down the next morning.

Today we tackle the challenges of a major show with relative ease, but I will never forget those early shows and the scale of difficulty they represented.

If you are facing similar challenges and are in the early stages of a project, then I urge you to stay strong and calm. There is always a solution; there is always a fix to the problem. Think clearly and believe in yourself, know that you can do it.

Regular readers of my blog will know that I listen to motivational speakers on YouTube each morning while I get up. Today I’m going to leave you with something I heard that inspires and reminds me that others have been there before, and we can follow in their footsteps.

“The difference between the possible and the impossible is a set of skills which you can learn.”

Remember, we climb the mountain, not in giant leaps but one small step at a time.

Thanks For Reading!

Hi, I’m Luke Bream, the author of this blog, one of the co-founders of Valentte, hillwalker, cyclist, dreamer and an eternal optimist! My writing is focused on learning how we create the life we have always imagined, become the person we have always wanted to be in order to fulfill the dreams and goals we have set ourselves. I believe there is a power within each of us to achieve whatever we commit to mastering. Want to hear more? Read my full story. (coming soon…)

What’s Valentte?

We are a small Cheshire company making organic skincare and home fragrance. Scented with pure aromatherapy essential oils. Learn More About Us

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Conversations are very boring if it’s all one-way. Don’t leave me talking to myself, wondering if what I’m writing resonates with you. Please be brave and share your own story in the comments section below. We can help each other by learning together. I read and respond to each one.

13 replies on “Butterflies

  • Samantha Cullum

    Hi i love reading your emails. Who needs motivational speakers on you tube I just read your emails. For those who buy regularly have you ever thought of doing refills and save yourself on costs abit? I guess you probably have looked at this already and decided against it. Anyway good luck and keep enjoying life both of you.

    Reply
  • Kathryn Brousson

    I’ve been using your beautiful products for years, I love them. Looking forward to seeing you at the flower show this week, hope all goes well
    Kate

    Reply
  • Mitra

    Dear Luke,
    I tried to email you but it didn’t deliver however I copy and paste my email here.
    I am so sorry to hear all. It’s understandable and people shouldn’t get angry although they were disappointed too. I and my sister have been waiting for a long time but we didn’t even email you as we thought you are busy. However, I am not unsubscribing because not receiving the samples. In fact, I am enjoying reading your stories through the email. I hope your company grows up quick. Stay positive.

    Best wishes
    Mitra

    On 1 Jul 2019, at 06:01, Luke at Valentte.com wrote:

    Sometimes later becomes never.
    Free Samples

    Today’s blog post is about the free sample requests and to address the increasing customer anger we are experiencing for not posting them out. So, let me start by explaining how the system used to work.
    A customer would visit our show stand or our website; they requested scent samples which we would post out. These people were interested in our company and our product range and would generally go on to purchase from us.

    Typically, we would post out about 25 per day, and about a third of the recipients would purchase from us. Each sample pack, including postage, costs us about £2 but it worked well and was a win-win situation for our customers and us.

    Then everything changed.

    Unbeknown to us, someone shared this offer onto numerous “freebie” websites. The number of requests exploded. To date, we have had about 70,000 applications for free samples. We are a small company with very limited resources and certainly not £140,000 in the bank to post them all out.

    Recently we sent out a test batch of 1000 samples to this new list of prospective customers at the cost of £2000. If the conversion rates remained the same, we would have expected to receive about 300 orders which would have totalled about £12,000. More than enough to cover the cost of the stock, the shipping, the original samples with their postage and for us to make a small profit on the transaction.

    But when we analysed the results from this test batch of 1000, they were almost unbelievably bad. We received just four orders totalling £97. This is unsustainable, and we cannot continue to send them out for free.

    Sadly, a system that worked very well is now broken and corrupted by a group of people who have no interest in our products; they simply want a freebie. This is fair enough on their part, but it is now having a very negative impact on our reputation.

    Each day we are receiving hundreds of angry emails demanding the free samples. We don’t even have the resources to answer each one. Andy, who is responsible for this part of our business, only has one pair of hands and he answers the phone to customers, replies to all their emails and then wraps and packs all the orders.

    The problem is that we cannot identify who is a “real” customer requesting samples before buying and the thousands of others who have put in a request.

    To be honest, it’s a nightmare!

    So, as of now, I’m writing to explain that we will no longer be sending samples out free of charge. If this is the only reason you are on our email list and do not wish to hear from us again, then please feel free to Unsubscribe. If, however, you would still like to receive samples, then you have the following three options.

    Option One: Make a purchase from us, and your samples will automatically be included with your order.

    Option Two: Pay £2 to receive your scent samples and you will also receive a £5 voucher to spend on our website.

    Option Three: Visit our stand at one of the many shows we do and smell the scents in person.

    I’m very sorry that we have had to make this change and that we can no longer offer the samples for free, but it is the only way that we can see to move forward. Thank you as always for your continued support. Justina and I, along with all our team really appreciate it.
    Luke X

    P.S. We have 50% off Hand and Body Lotion until Midnight Today!

    P.P.S I’d love to hear from you, please feel free to comment here.

    Read The Blog Post
    Flash Sale
    50% off Hand and Body Lotion
    Hand and Body Lotion
    ”Yet again Valentte have delivered on quality. The fragrance is long lasting and the formulation is non greasy. The smell that follows you everywhere means no perfume required. Beautiful. ❤️”
    – Rema Parmar
    This week we are focusing on products to keep your skin smooth, firm and nourished. Lucky for you, today we are offering 50% off all of our intensive hand and body lotions, enriched with shea butter for longer lasting hydration and scent, perfect for dry, dehydrated, damaged or sensitive skin.
    Need more reasons to try? More Reviews Here!
    This offer ends at Midnight Tomorrow!
    Shop Now
    The Valentte Gift Box
    Valentte gift box with products laid out
    It’s not about how much we give, but how much we put in to the giving. The perfect gift for just about anyone, our mix and match gift boxes give you the opportunity to try three unique products in any of our signature scents.
    Special Offer £25
    Simply choose any 2 items, then add a hand cream or room mist for free, usual price £55.
    Choose My Gift Box
    Latest Customer Reviews
    More than 1990 customers have reviewed our products. Not sure what to choose? You can read what they have to say.
    Read the Reviews
    Valentte Gift Boxes
    Mix and Match Gift Box
    ‘Beautifully presented this gift box was bought as a present and the recipient absolutely loved it will definitely be ordering again soon.’
    – Carol Mitchell
    Mix and match gift box
    Mix and Match Gift Box
    ‘I have always found the produces from Valentte great value and great quality. The aromas are distinctive and strong. Plus no one creates such products. At Ripley Castle I buy myself a box of wonderful scent. I recommend all of the products.’
    – Helinka Carr
    Last Week On Our Blog
    Stop Digging!
    Stop Digging. Some months ago, I decided to reduce the number of shows we do and the number of staff on our stand. I went back to working all the shows myself, only having an extra pair of hands when the show demanded it. At the time, it felt like a step backwards. Read More.
    No Regrets
    No Regrets. I’m back in Nantwich for 48 hours before heading up to Scotland for the Royal Highland Show. The team are busy making stock, and I’m recovering from a very early start on Monday morning after getting up at 2:30 am to take Justina to the airport! She is off to Lithuania for four days to see her family. Read More.

    Self Talk
    Self Talk. This week I’m staying a beautiful campsite on a working farm, just outside Edinburgh for the Royal Highland Show. It’s my third year, bringing the caravan to this tiny site. You get to it driving down a narrow lane, at the bottom you must reverse back up a hill while making a sharp turn into a small field where the caravans are sited. Read More.
    No Zen Here!
    No Zen Here! All companies have systems and ways of doing things. I understand they are important in making the business run smoothly and profitably. However, sometimes they seem crazy and annoying. They appear to be designed on purpose to anger and annoy their most valuable customers. Have you come across this kind of thing? Read More.

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    Reply
  • Christine

    Thanks so much for your blog – really needed the words as I recover from ankle surgery. Love your products and must get around to ordering more soon. Wishing you every success in the future.

    Reply
  • Sam Newbould

    First time i have bought from this company at Ripley Castle fair. Absolutely love love the products. The candle smells amazing and the reed diffuser scent fills the whole room. Hand cream is addictive too. I bought a gift box. Well recommended.

    Reply
  • Caroline Cooper

    Your blogs are brilliant, Luke. I look forward to reading the inspiration you write, I save them until I have time to reflect and absorb your advice.
    Thank you

    Reply
  • Janet McComiskey

    Luke. Have a great time at Hampton Court. I saw you in Glasgow at the ideal home show. I bought the lemon grass and rosemary diffuser and absolutely love it.

    I also love reading your blogs and have to say I agree on your decision on the free samples.

    Will be back for more soon.

    Reply
  • Linda Thorne

    Hi Luke I will be visiting the show with my son and will call by to say hello. Can I just check if any of your products are tested on animals? This is a very important subject for him. Thanks

    Reply
  • Louise Russell-Boyne

    I’ve bought from you for three years now & do regularly.

    Have s super time at Hampton Court. Your stand always looks great.

    I
    Have now introduced three new
    Clients too you who are buying regularly .

    Louise
    I hope to see you at Burghley & The Game Fair.

    Reply
  • Annabel

    Hi, I tried to order 3 body scrubs yesterday on the 50% off offer, I couldn’t remember my password and requested to change it but sadly have not yet received my email to change it and time is running out on the offer, can you help me please. Thanks

    Reply
  • Emma Francis

    Hi Luke, I first came across you at the Christmas Fair at Stonor, was given a free handcream sample, put it in my bag, forgot about it re-discovered it a while later and LOVED the cream so ordered a pot . Recently ran out and kept meaning to order more but life got in the way. Happened to read your Hampton Court Blog the days my parents were visiting the show so I sent them on a mission to find you which they did! I’m delighted they came back with 2 creams and a handwash. That you so much. Without your blog I wouldn’t have got them! BTW is the hand and body lotion the same as the hand cream? Thanks Emma

    Reply

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