I’d like to say sorry to…an open letter from the CEO
My name is Dominic Hill and I’m the founder of Pink Parcel and betty. You may have noticed that recently we’ve had a number of problems with our business, impacting both the products we deliver to you, and the quality of service we used to pride ourselves on. I made some big mistakes in 2018, and as a business we lost sight of our vision, and worse we lost sight of our friends, our subscribers and we tried to become something we weren’t, all of which I would like to personally apologise for and assure you, we are intent on fixing things moving forward.
Warning, the next bit is rather long and could be considered boring.
At the start of 2018, after four years of growing our brands, I had big plans to significantly grow the business, not just in the UK, but I also wanted to launch into parts of Europe and America, and I was keen to give Birchbox and Glossybox a run for their money. We had the staff, we had a plan and we had investor backing!! And so off we went, we scaled up our marketing, we moved offices, we obtained more warehouse space and we changed our vision, we were now a beauty box and we had the big boxes in our sights.
Things were moving at pace when in September I received a call from our main investor who informed me that due to his own personal issues he was unable to continue funding the business, immediately the business became vulnerable and the cracks started appearing.
By the end of October, the company was fast running out of cash, and things internally were in a chaotic state, staff were upset, subscribers were upset, my wife was upset and I’m pretty sure that at this point my kids were upset too.
In order to try and preserve the business we had to backtrack on our plans, and sadly I had to start making people redundant, but it was too late the cracks were too big and the company, It’s A Monthly Thing, was in big trouble.
At the end of November my shares in the business had been diluted down to almost nothing due to the ongoing investment. I decided that I couldn’t let Pink Parcel and everyone’s hard work just fall away and so I approached the investors and using my own money I arranged to buy Pink Parcel from Its A Monthly Thing Limited.
By Christmas I had moved the new company, IARTUK Limited, into new (much smaller) offices and we had also moved our warehouse facility. Last year’s Christmas party wasn’t in the posh venue we had booked but in the new warehouse, with beer, wine and crisps. The team was smaller, and had been working hard all week packing boxes, but everyone there was relieved that Pink Parcel was to see 2019 after all.
Over Christmas when I finally had the chance to reflect on what a numpty I had been, I realised that my biggest mistake was trying to be like Birchbox and Glossybox, a beauty box. Pink Parcel was never about beauty, it was a period box, a little parcel of stuff to cheer you up, with For You products tailored to making you feel a bit better and less yuck during your period. Back in the day we used to welcome brand partnerships with up-and-coming brands, artisan and boutique British brands and over the years we have helped small brands get to a loyal and lovely audience (that’s you), and become grown-ups in their market sector.
We were also a website dedicated to help, love and support during your period. Over the years we have sponsored and created charity initiatives, such as our I’m On campaign where we worked with inspiring people to de-stigmatise periods and start conversations. We’ve also worked with both Bloody Good Period and The Eve Appeal, as well as made regular donations with our subscribers support to The Red Box Project, Binti and The York Road Project. And through our betty for schools programme, we spoke to over 300k girls AND boys about periods and what to expect. We even went on tour with a bright pink and yellow bus and received hundreds of letters from young people who loved betty and how we made them feel more confident and knowledgeable about periods.
So, here we are, mid-January, and as I said at the start I have made many mistakes and I would like to apologise to the staff I let down and who I had to let go, the suppliers I messed around and you, our customers, subscribers, friends, some of whom have been with us for the past four years through all the teething problems and my egotistical growth plans.
The next priority is to stabilise the business, both internally and externally. It will take us a few weeks to get organised after the turmoil of last year which means that your Pink Parcel may still be a little late, but this will be rectified by the end of Feb. By March you may start seeing a few more changes, because whilst you’ve been cross and shouting at us, we’ve been listening, and we are starting to know what you want again.
Finally, I would also like to confirm, underline and shout, we ARE NOT a beauty box, we are much more than that, we are a PERIOD BOX, and we don’t want to be like the others, we want to be us. And we hope you will start to like us again. If we ever let you down, you can always contact us via social @pinkparcel or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We want to get back to being a subscription service you can rely on, and that you love – and your feedback will help us get there.