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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

What's in a Sample Box? An Interview with Holly Miller of "My Sample Dream Box"

I have had the pleasure to work with Holly Miller this year, owner of My Dream Sample Box! What is a sample box, you ask? Well, I get this question a lot, so I decided to interview Holly and have the "Sample Box Master" herself explain just what it is. In this interview, Holly explains what her sample box business is all about, how consumers & business owners can benefit from it, and her inspiration behind it all!

My Dream Sample Box's Website: 

YVONNE:      Holly, please explain to our readers exactly what is "My Dream Sample Box"
         My Dream Sample Box is a company designed to bring consumers and businesses together through our fabulous sampler boxes. We search the internet for the best etailers and invite them to join us as sponsors. Sponsors send in samples of their products for us to package into our beautiful boxes. Consumers purchase our boxes and when they fall in love with a sponsor’s product, they buy directly from the sponsor. Not only is it great for the sponsors to gain more exposure, but our consumers get to try before they buy full size products that they might not like. They also enjoy a beautiful gift that will definitely make their day! Some of our consumers even purchase the boxes to give as gifts.

YVONNE:     How can a small business owner benefit by becoming a sample box sponsor?
        Our sponsors enjoy a ton of benefits that they may not receive with other boxes. We make promoting our sponsors a priority because without them, where would we be? Once a sponsor signs up, we immediately link up to them through Facebook, Etsy, Twitter, and Blogs in order to stay connected. We also sign them up to receive our special sponsor’s only newsletter. Then on the first of the month the sponsors have signed up for their buttons go up on our website and blog. They are also added to the appropriate Facebook Album approximately 15 days before the month begins. We the promote them on our Facebook, Twitter, Etsy, Zibbet, Blog, Website, Other Blogs, Giveaways, and more throughout the month. On average we have gained our sponsors over 100 new Facebook Fans each! You don’t have to take our word for it though, visit our facebook page and read our reviews!

YVONNE:    How did you become begin this fascinating business? What goals do you have for it?
        I took over My Dream Sample Box in July 2010 because I saw the potential in sample box business and believe I can take it to new heights. Originally, our goals were to gain over 5,000 Facebook fans by Christmas, 800 Twitter Followers, and 500 blog followers by the first of the new year. We would also like to increase our box sales by at least 50% in order to ensure we are getting all of your samples out to consumers every month. We have already accomplished our Facebook goal smashing it by over 300 fans! We are nearing our other goals rapidly and are very excited to help our sponsors reach their goals as well!

YVONNE:     What type of "boxes" do you offer?
We have two types of monthly boxes: the handcrafted which includes the Mega, Mighty, and Mini; and the direct sales which include the Masters and Mini Masters. We also offer Specialty Boxes including Happy Birthday Boxes, Kiddos Only Boxes, and Mini Kiddos Only Boxes. The major difference is where we get the samples. Our sponsors who hand make their products go in the handcrafted boxes and those business owners who are Independent Representatives of corporate companies are included in the direct sales boxes. Both types of samples are in the specialty boxes.

YVONNE:    What type of samples can consumers expect in a box?
       We invite consumers to take a look at our facebook page to see the sneak peeks album for each month where we post pictures of the samples that were sent in for that month. Our consumers enjoy soaps, lotions, makeup, hair accessories, crafts, scrapbooking items, food treats, bath and body products and more!

YVONNE:   What upcoming themes do you have for the boxes?
      2012 Monthly Box Themes are as follows:
January – Baby It’s Cold Outside
February – Leap Year Love
March – Spring Break Get-Away in a Box
April – Egg-cellent Celebration
May – We Heart Mom!
June – Wedding Bliss
July – All American Dream
August – School Daze
September – Pink-a-licious (Breast Cancer Awareness)
October – Boo-tiful Bounty
November – Heartfelt Thanks
December – Holiday Wishes

YVONNE:    How does one become a sponsor? Are there any requirements? 
HOLLY:        Sponsors sign up on our website and once their application is reviewed they are requested to email in their logo and send their samples by the 5th of the month they are participating in. We have a 20 sample minimum, but are very flexible and invite all who are interested to apply. We do sell top sponsorships to direct sales representatives that guarantee they are our only sponsor representing their company for a six month period. You will be notified immediately if we cannot accept you as a sponsor because the spot is already filled. Currently, we have top sponsors from Scentsy, At Home America, Celebrating Home, Mary Kay, Mia Bella, and Gold Canyon Candles.

YVONNE:      How do you promote the boxes? Where do you advertise?
       We promote our boxes all over the internet. We participate in many blog giveaways and link ups. We advertise on Facebook, Zibbet, Etsy, and more. We work with all of our sponsors to cross promote as well. We are also members of many social sites like Dreamers into Doers, CafeMom, and more.

YVONNE:       Well Holly, it looks like you leave no stone unturned! What future plans do you have for My Dream Sample Box?
          We are always looking for new and exciting sponsors to grow our boxes and will continue to do so in the future. We also plan on expanding our marketing program in order to reach our goals.

I thank Holly Miller so much for joining us during this busy tie of the year to share her business with us! You can see some of our Candy Bar Boutique candy bar favor samples in a few of the upcoming box themes starting with February! As a sponsor, I can personally speak to how content I have been with the work Holly has done in helping to promote Yvonne's Invitations & Favors! Holly's passion for results certainly shines through in everything she does and we wish her continued success in 2012!

Read more about Holly Miller Here

Monday, December 12, 2011

Yvonne Launches Invitation "Picks of the Week" Program!

     I am very excited to announce our all-new invitation "Pick of the Week" program exclusive to our "Discount Wedding Invitations by Yvonne" facebook page! We decided to do this because although our facebook fans enjoy an everyday 15% discount (just for being a fan), we wanted to offer exclusive savings for some of our most popular invitations. The invitations are discounted for the specified week they are posted for, only. We will be previewing invitations weeks in advance, so if you see an invitation you happen to love, plan ahead and order them during the specified week, by using promotion code PICK20. Important: You must be a fan of our facebook page!
     We're here to help. If you order them online, you can enter the code at checkout. If you don't want to order your invitations online, you can schedule a free phone appointment or consulatation right on our blog or by emailing Yvonne at Here is a Sneak Preview of Yvonne's "Pick of the Week" through the end of January 2012. 

Yvonne's Invitation Pick of the Week
Week of 12/19/11 
This week only ~ Use Promo Code PICK20
 "Hearts of Flowers" Invitation 

Yvonne's Invitation Pick of the Week
Week of 12/26/11
This week only ~ Use Promo Code PICK20
"Trim" Invitation

Yvonne's Invitation Pick of the Week
Week of 1/2/12
This week only ~ Use Promo Code PICK20
"Riviera" Invitation

Yvonne's Invitation Pick of the Week
Week of 1/9/12
This week only ~ Use Promo Code PICK20
"Awaken" Invitation

Yvonne's Invitation Pick of the Week
Week of 1/16/12
This week only ~ Use Promo Code PICK20
"Pretty Pink Flowers" Invitation

Yvonne's Invitation Pick of the Week
Week of 1/23/12
This week only ~ Use Promo Code PICK20
"Dizzy Daisy" Invitation




Saturday, December 10, 2011

Candy Bars with a Personality!

Yes, I admit that our blog has been just a tad bit ignored with our last post being back in June of this year and we're soooo sorry :(  So, you ask...what is Yvonne's excuse for being MIA in the blogosphere? Well, this year, we have decided to take a plunge into a second sector of our business with Yvonne's Candy Bar Boutique, and boy, has this taken off tremendously!! Candy bar favors have always been a favorite of mine. I remember receiving my first candy bar favor when a close friend had a baby boy and she she gave out a "Hereheis" candy bar announcement rather than a traditional one with all of her baby stats on the wrapper in place of the candy bar's nutritional data. I thought this was so clever and one of the cutest things ever. Since then, I have made them myself as a hobby for friend and family celebrations. Now, I am proud and happy to offer them as part of our offerings to brides, moms and everyone planning a special event!
"...I have always loved "bling" ever since I can remember. I love clothes with rhinestones, I love extra-glitzy jewelry, I just love love love sparkly, glittering stuff! So, it was perfectly fitting of me to make my bars...glittery...blingy and so I decided to embellish my bars and Yvonne's Candy Bar Boutique took off!"
These are the embellished poinsettias on Yvonne's "Christmas Bar-Candy Bar."
The poinsettias on the candy bar are embellished with glitter and rhinestone centers.
Click here to see pricing & details.
What makes Yvonne's Candy Bars different? As I began making them on my own, like any other artisan, I just couldn't wait to see the final product! It takes sometime to create a batch - from the designing, to the wrapper cutting and the gluing of wrappers to the bars (in case your wondering...we wrap the foil and outside wrapper ON TOP of the already wrapped chocolate bar, so the actual chocolate is never touched).  Then when they were done, I would look at them and would still think that they were just not done, like something was missing. For those that know me personally, I have always loved "bling" ever since I can remember. I love clothes with rhinestones, I love extra-glitzy jewelry, I just love love love sparkly, glittering stuff! So, it was perfectly fitting of me to make my bars...glittery...blingy and so I decided to embellish my bars and Yvonne's Candy Bar Boutique took off! 

Yvonne's Yo Gabba Gabba Candy Bar

Yvonne's offers embellished bars for every occasion from children's birthdays, to sweet sixteens, holidays and just about everything in-between. We hand-make all of our candy bar wrappers and can custom-design just about anything for any type of themed event! We differ from other candy bar shops out there in the way that we offer the completed hand-assembled candy bar and hand-embellishments (glitter, rhinestones, ribbon and trinkets), taking the "customer-assembly required" out of the purchase. Each candy car is hand-glittered and hand embellished one-by-one with lots and lots of Tender Lovin' Care (TLC)!
Yvonne's "Cocktail & Kisses" Candy Bar
So, if you're looking for "unique" you have certainly come to the right place! Special event and party favors should be a reflection of you, have a sort of "personality," you know? So let Yvonne make a candy bar that is as unique as you are! For the complete look, ask us about our matching invitations, water bottle labels, place cards, favors tags mini chocolates and much more!

Visit our shop on Etsy to see what the buzz is all about: