Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bottle Buy for the members of the Natural Perfumers Guild - and a giveaway

The Natural Perfumers Guild has added a new benefit to membership: group bottle buys.  What this does is bring affordable, beautiful bottles into the micro-businesses that make up the Guild.  No matter what category membership a Guild member holds, they can take part in this.  Elise Pearlstine generously offered to help organize the buy and administer it.  She made the initial contact with suppliers to identify what was available in case lots, then she received samples from them, and she and I evaluated them.

We looked at the bottles and caps available, and determined that yes, even though five or six Guild members might be sharing the same buy, with different caps and labels, there would be enough of an aesthetic difference so that the perfume bottle would be "their own" as it were.


After presenting about nine different bottles/sizes to the Guild members via a photo gallery in our private Yahoo group, bottles G and J were selected by those participating in the buy.  I forgot to mention there was also a purse spray bottle offered, but I don't think anyone selected that.

I also particpated, in a way.  As Elise and I poured over the supplier's offerings, I found the perfect bottle for the soon-to-launch Food and Drink line.  Ironically, the bottle is called the Elise!

The perfumers benefiting from the buy, which includes Elise, as she's revamping her packaging, are splitting cases.  Some may be buying only 50 bottles - and what artisan perfumer doesn't know the agony of not being able to buy the bottle they want, because the only ones available were in cases of 200 or more?  One buyer is in South Africa, far from any source of perfume bottles.  It's really gratifying to know we're able to provide this service to our members.

Our next buy will be in a month or so, because the Italian glassworks shut down for the summer.  In the Fall, we're going to look into crystal glass-stopper bottles and crimp top bottles for sprayers.

Elise is really to be thanked for this, because she put many hours, and two visits to one nearby glass company (70 miles from her house, one way) to establish relationships, suss out the lingo and procedures and otherwise make this buy painless for the Guild members. Thanks so much Elise!

Any Guild members or non-Guild members reading this - I'd like to ask what other benefits you'd like to add to what the Guild offers? Please leave a comment.  Any non-Guild member who comments will be in the random draw for a free one-year membership in the Guild!  Any Guild member who comments will be in the random drawing receive half off their renewal fee when it is due this year.

Also, please sign up to subscribe to this blog, as I am going to be blogging here frequently, and there will be lots of prizes and giveaways.

If you're not signed up for my newsletter, please do so because I always have surprises and special announcements there for newsletter subscribers only.

Leave your comment by April 2nd to be in the drawing.

35 comments:

  1. The first bottle buy was a quick one because the sales rep told me one of the in stock bottles we were interested in was selling fast. So I just did two bottles with a couple of cap options. The second buy will be more comprehensive and will include the purse sprayer if there is enough interest. I will post details on the Guild group soon about the deadline but it will definitely be within a month.

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  2. Hi Anya,

    I am not a member of the guild yet, so my knowledge of what benefits are included is based off the guild site and the coverage on the yahoo NP group. It seems that the benefits currently offered are already outstanding though.

    The group buys have made me drool many times while reading about them. The events have been a blast to follow, and I am eagerly waiting to see what the newest one will be! And that’s just the some of the stuff that I see on the NP list. All of the behind the scenes stuff I think often goes unnoticed by non-guild members.

    One thing that I don't see specifically mentioned on the guild site, though it may happen through its forums and such, would be something akin to a group buy, not for larger quantities of oils, but for varieties. For example, polling members for participation to know what quantities to buy, and then ordering a Jasmine or Ginger oil from multiple suppliers and dividing it up and mailing sample sizes to those who wanted to participate. That may be a fun way to experience a wide selection or variations of a botanical ingredient in a more cost-effective way. It would also help some to sample from companies that have a large minimum quantity or price that make them prohibitive to beginners or smaller businesses.

    Thanks!
    Michael

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  3. I really appreciate the opportunity to participate in the bottle buy. I am really looking forward to the crystal bottles this fall. I have been participating the the Boronia buy each year and these opportunities are wonderful. We all can benefit from purchasing together.

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  4. The bottle buy was great and so appreciated! I have been participating in the Boronia buys and that is incredible. I am really looking forward to the crystal bottles in the fall. When we purchase together it makes things so much easier. Many thanks!

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  5. I think the new flacons will defintiely add an element of professionalism to the natural perfumers presentation. such costly raw materials and artisinal deserve it

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  6. Id like to see more information specific to each counrty or location. eg lists of suppliers etc. There are a couple of us in Australia, but Im never sure exactly who until I investigate, and I dont usually have time to do that! (It would also make it easier for anyone who wants to upload any suppliers' details they want to share with others in their location).
    Id also like to see less personal comments and more professional interaction between members. I dont really care to know if there is a disagreement going on, or see sarchasm between members!

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  7. I know it was talked about in the past, but I would love a cute guild shirt. I'd even be willing to design a few things that incorporate the guild logo. :) That would be fun.

    And, I know Elise has been working hard on the bottle buying and she knows I'm up for the next buy.

    Posting this is a big step for me. For some reason, I'm a shy forum/blog poster. (Baby steps here..)

    -Maureen

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  8. Elise yes a big Thanks for the bottle buy and also for letting me get a smaller quanity. Don't know how you fit this in you schedule, between business and then moving you daughter to where I live! I would be interested in ideas for labels or at least suggestions for the new bottles that the guild has offered. Love the great buys that Anya gets for us. I have Bornia from the last three years and oh my they are all lovely.

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  9. Elise, thanks for the reminder about the need to hurry and order the bottles.

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  10. Thanks for the comment, Michael. A group buy for aromatics may be in the future.

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  11. Hi Christine - yes, these group buy can really help the microbusiness natural perfumer get some great deals!

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  12. Michelyn, I can't wait until we have the glass-stoppered crystal bottles and crimp-top sprayers.

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  13. Hi Liz - I'm not sure what you mean with the supplier info, perhaps you can be more specific?

    About the sarcasm? I don't think you mean the Guild yahoo group, perhaps you're confusing it with another group. There are some lively discussions going on re: chemical constituents, labeling, etc., but I've not seen sarcasm.

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  14. Barbara, Guild logo items are available. I always forget to let people know about them. They're at http://www.cafepress.com/NaturalPerfumer I remember some funny comments about the trucker's hats for NPers ;-)

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  15. Elise really put a LOT of time and effort into this buy, and I know she appreciates your nice comment, Sandi. About labels. Oy, Elise and I have been going into the label void over and over. We might share that info on the Guild yahoo group. It's an ongoing problem for many of us.

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  16. these bottles are great! :) Thank you Elise for putting in so much time to source them! When is the next group buy, anyway? ( gosh I'm so out of the loop...) Looking forward to more.

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  17. Please enter me in the draw for membership... I will join either way eventually but I've been waiting until I felt I was in the right place to get the most out of membership and I think I'm there or at least nearly there. If there was ever a desire for other NP logo items (t-shirts) my "day job" is textile design and I'm fully equipped to do short runs of t-shirts, tote bags and the like. You might entice me into joining in time for the ground glass/crystal stoppered bottles buy even more if I knew what company it was. I have actually been hunting for bottles online tonight...
    Thanks for all you do for members and non-members.
    Zee

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  18. I have been considering joining the guild for a little while, and all of these wonderful group buys sound so exciting! The bottle buy is a wonderful idea - it can be so difficult finding nice bottles in small quantities. I like Michael's idea of having a group buy for various aromatics.
    Count me in for the membership draw!

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  19. Dawn, Elise is rushing to get the next buy together. She'll post in the Guild yahoo group, so watch for the message.

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  20. Hi Zee
    What's I'd really like is a scent strip holder with the Guild logo, but they're impossible to source in the US. In France, there is one company that makes them, but they're rather ugly, IMO. All the other stuff is via Cafe Press, as you see. Maybe during the summer, when I hope to have a bit of downtime, we can talk about t-shirts, etc.

    The high-end bottle buy will be in the Fall, and we're not sure of the company yet, so you just might have to join anyway ;-)

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  21. Hi Poppy:

    I foresee the bottle and other group buys being ongoing within the Guild. You're in the drawing!

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  22. It is great to see so many opportunities provided to smaller manufacturers. Every little bit lowering the barriers to market provides more diversity and choice to customers, which is really wonderful. I would love to do some sort of destination meetup sometime as a Guild activity. Of course, travel is costly, but would be wonderful to do a group meeting/smelling. I am just dying to sniff samples of everyone elses work. A swap as had been informally suggested would be cool too. I would happily supply a gaggle of samples for an effort like that. Love!

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  23. I appreciate the guild sponsoring group buys. I usually buy a case of this and that...but sometimes we only want a few bottles of a style and this is helpful...Keep up the good work Anya and Elise.

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  24. I have been subscribed to this blog for awhile now, and even considering joining the guild, and also agree that the group buys sound so exciting! I love the group buying ideas!
    The bottle buy is a wonderful idea too- and as someone posted earlier; it can be so difficult finding nice bottles in small quantities. I like Michael's idea too of having a group buy for various aromatics.
    Count me in for the membership draw as well! :) Thanks for all you do!

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  25. I'm not in the guild but I love perfume and like to show support by telling people about new perfumes that are coming out and buying them. I think it's a great idea to have a group buy the bottles in bulk. I think everyone wins if you work together. I saw someone else also mentioned buying materials and oils as a group in bulk too. Anything to pay less and still have a great quality product is worth it.

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  26. Thank you, Elise, for putting together the bottle buy. What a great idea. And thank you, Anya, for offering a draw for guild membership. I'd love to be entered. Though I'm currently a soap/body care artisan working only with botanicals, I anticipate coming out with at least one botanical perfume this year.

    I think the guild already offers fantastic benefits and has revolutionized botanical perfumery by building a community and drawing attention to this community with group events like the Outlaw and Musk projects.

    Maybe another smaller benefit could be an informational page or pamphlet which members can download and use either for retail display or include when shipping orders?

    Like some of the other posters, I'd also welcome any group brain-storming/resource sharing about labels. And group buys of any kind are fantastic. Who's heart doesn't sink at having to order only .12 ounce of something, when it costs so much less to buy in larger quantity?

    -Laura

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  27. Margi Macdonald4/01/2011 10:22 AM

    Hi Anya, Hi Elise - those are nice bottles! G in particular is sweetly stylish. Great choices. I think the Guild does a fine job... any bulk buys or juicy dicounts on anything relevant to our art such as bottles, rare / ultra expensive aromatics, and fabulous texts will be wonderful benefits to members. So too securing well-priced services of a few designers interested in designing 'start-up packages' of logo, labels, swing tags, and website/ blog/ etsy banners.
    Thank-you for the opportunity to go into the membership draw.

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  28. Elise just announced the April bottle buy in the Guild yahoo group, just FYI.

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  29. Is this Julie the Julie from Irie Star? I sometimes wish I used Wordpress, because I can see email addys and such in a giveaway like this. Otherwise, I just hope folks who post check back. Don't forget, this goes through midnight tomorrow, Saturday. I'll announce the winners on Sunday.

    Julie, I can't even get the Miami folks together for a sniffa or two. Keep trying, let us know your progress.

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  30. Thanks for your comment, JoAnne. It's nice to hear feedback from a charter member of the Guild. Remember back in Spring 2005 - we had naturalperfumery.com (still do, actually) and thought we'd be the Natural Fragrance Association. ;-)

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  31. Candace, Stacy, Laura - -thank you for your great comments. Even non-Guild members can breathe life into ideas and concepts. You're all in the drawing.

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  32. Hi Margi - bottles are very hard to procure in AU, from what I understand. Thanks for your suggestions. You're in the drawing!

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  33. And the randomly-drawn Winners are:

    For 50% off this year's membership fee: JoAnne Bassett. JoAnne, I think your membership is up for renewal in a month or so. Pay the full amount when you get the notice, and I'll refund the 50%. That way we'll keep the database happy ;-)

    For the newcomer to the Guild:
    Urban Eden

    I looked at your site and it appears you'll be eligible for the Associate level. Write to me via anyasgarden.com and I'll set you up.

    Congratulations, but even more so, thanks for commenting. Something I didn't let be known during this giveaway, is that anyone who wishes to join the Guild between now and June 1st, our 5th Anniversary, and is not a Guild member, may do so at a 20% savings of the membership fee. We're reconnecting with former members during this time, and wish to offer the same to those interested as new members. Again, just email me privately and we can put this together.

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  34. Thank you so much, Anya! I'm thrilled!

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