Tuesday, June 24, 2014

An interview with Sapphire Soul founder Allison Dailey

A few weeks ago, I posted a review of Sapphire Soul, a subscription box company devoted to stress relief and soul pampering. Today, I'm posting a Q and A that I conducted with Allison Dailey, the company's founder (and a fellow Michigander!), who provides information about her business, how she got it off the ground, and what it offers to subscribers.
Where did the idea behind Sapphire Soul come from?

Sapphire Soul is a subscription box, e-commerce store, and blog focused on living a balanced life. I first had the idea back in the winter of 2012, when I was probably the most unhappy that I have ever been. I started doing some soul work, joined Marie Forleo’s B-School, and really dove into my idea and let my spirit guide me. I worked really hard on my "project," mostly in secret, not even telling my family or friends until the summer of 2013! I launched late that summer, and it’s been growing ever since! I strive to give tips and resources, and to offer products that center on body/mind/soul balance. We live in a crazy time when we are expected to multi-task and do it all, all the time. Especially as a working mom, I want to show people and demonstrate the message that in order to take care of others, you need to start with yourself. In order to be happy, it all starts with you and who and what you surround yourself with. If you are raising children in this over-stimulated world, we shouldn’t just tell them, but show them, how to balance and manage stress in a healthy way. It can’t all be done at once, but it can be done day by day, task by task, one thought at a time. My websites donate a percentage of sales toward educating and empowering women and girls around the world (educate a girl, she’ll change the world!) and I use all eco-friendly (recycled) shipping supplies, ordering many packaging supplies and products from other Michigan vendors. I’m a former teacher, so donating, paying it forward, and giving back to education is important to me. I sell items in areas like apothecary, aromatherapy, stress-reducing holistic and plant-based products, crystals and metaphysical items, candles, yoga products, meditation, and informational materials. Sapphire Soul is Products with Meaning and Presents with Purpose.
How did you get the business off the ground?
I was smart enough to enroll in B-school; that program was a fantastic way to get my s*** together and devise a plan. I was also lucky enough to have a talented friend as my graphic/web designer who helped tremendously. Social media is a godsend for my business---many lessons learned there. It is instantaneous. If you don’t have a business, you might not realize the importance of a "like," or a comment, and especially a share. I’m an admitted social media over-sharer, but I just like to help promote businesses and products I believe in! It was frustrating and gave me a lot of anxiety at first, probably within the first 12 months of my business opening, as far as putting it all out there. What will people think? What will my friends think? What if people think it’s dumb? What if it fails? You have to get over that. I did, pretty quickly.
However, it was a bummer when I thought certain friends or people would be so excited and proud of me and jump all aboard the Sapphire Soul Train. Some did, some didn’t. I got over that too. I often have to remind myself how far the business has come in just a year and a half of working on it and only 10 months of being open. Every day, I whittle away. I’ve learned to accept that not everyone will think your ideas are cool, and not everyone will support you and want to share the message. That’s okay. Just keep on keepin’ on---the right people at the right time will come your way, when they are supposed to. The thing that keeps me going, and probably the greatest reward, is being able to be as creative as I want, change something at the drop of a hat if it’s not working, and still continue to be a teacher. I may not be front and center in a classroom anymore, but I’m still able to be a resource and help others in the area of soulistic living!  Not to mention, the feedback I get from people who LOVE the box and Sapphire Soul’s message. I get emails from subscribers and social media posts to keep me going for weeks! There ARE people out there who get me, who support the company and its message. You just have to find your people---when you do, its magic!
What sets Sapphire Soul apart from other subscription services?
Sapphire Soul is not just a beauty box for the outside, it’s really a beauty box for the inside. Physical self-care is really important, and it truly is a struggle for people to find the “time” to take care of themselves---especially women. While many people find the time to squeeze in a manicure or massage, we need to find the time to work on our souls, our attitudes, our perceptions as well. While the box does provide some apothecary and beauty items, all is geared toward relaxation. Each product, essential oil, and chakra spray is, yes, meant for use on the outside, but also to quiet the mind and allow you to relax, to take a minute and mentally take care of your emotions and mind. It’s so easy to mask our true feelings with food, drugs, alcohol, beauty products, fashion, whatever. All of that stuff is important, it creates our image, how we perceive ourselves and how others perceive us---BUT doing the “inside” soul work is just as important. Starting each day with a positive affirmation, thought, all those little things count and add up. I put little "soul scrolls' in each box; if an inspirational quote brightens someone’s day or gives a person a lift, then I’m doing what I can to spread love and inspire others. I want people to open the box and feel happy, inspired, curious. Every item is personally curated with meaning, purpose, and the overall theme of the box/month in mind. I hand-pack with love and send positive vibes along the way. I’m not sure many typical beauty and subscription boxes can say that!
How do you choose the items that go into each shipment?
I get inspired by someone or something. Sometimes it’s a theme revolving around an upcoming holiday or season, sometimes it’s just a word or feeling that is inspiring to me. The last seven months, the boxes have revolved around the chakras, and I have to say, people are diggin’ it! Chakra work and energy is a buzzword in healing---I get SO many questions about chakras through social media, email, from my friends. People want to learn, but don’t really know where to start with this stuff. To that I say: Order a Balance Box and try it for yourself!
The products that go into boxes are products that I’ve personally tried over the years and love. I also look to make partnerships with organizations that are fair-trade or may give back to the world in some way. Basically, I have a lot of pay-it-forward business relationships! I look for unique, indie-artisan/boho-esque items. Recently, I’ve started to form partnerships with other up-and-coming businesses and organizations that also want to get their names and products out there. It’s a win/win---the small business gets its product into the hands of others, I get an awesome product that I love to put into a box, and the subscriber receives not only the product but information about where they can buy more!

What is the most important thing that you want readers to take away about Sapphire Soul?
That my company started from my soul and was created to better the lives and souls of others. It is the ultimate creative inner and outer working of my heart and soul. I started it from a place of despair, of dire need for something with purpose and meaning. I was bored, dull, and had just lost my spark. I created my company because of the patterns that I saw in others and felt in myself. People want meaning. People want love. We want to feel inspired. People are tired. Moms, working moms (whether inside or outside the home) are very, very tired. Women are pulled in 10,000 directions a day, and now more than ever, we are expected to stay on top of every little thing. It’s hard to stay on top of things when you feel like crap.
I want to strengthen the connection between people. Where and what people spend their money on does matter. I donate a percentage of every sale toward educating and empowering women and girls around the world. Even if it’s just a little bit, everyone can give something. When you give, you feel good. When you take care of yourself, you feel good. It’s not selfish, and it’s not vain. When it comes from a good place, from a good intention, those feelings ripple and spill over onto other people like dominoes. And when you feel good, you can take better care of others, be a little more kind, spread a little more love. The world needs more love. Any way you can spread more love, do it! And when you give, as karma will have it, more good is guaranteed to come your way. It has to, it’s the law of attraction. Many people don’t take care of themselves like they should. The contents of the Balance Box are curated to bring in more good energy for your body, mind, and spirit. Who couldn’t use more of that?
For more information about Sapphire Soul, head here: Sapphire Soul subscription link

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