03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Purple Lab -- A Do it Yourself Brand

In a small company, you have no choice but to do everything yourself. Everything!

Let me bring you back to April. 'Twas the night before we shipped Huge Lips Skinny Hips shipped and we had 1,000 baby size glosses to use as retailer samples (P.S. there are no more left and they were gone in about two days).

Many retails have a policy for vendors to offer samples so that when a consumer buys a like-minded product or brand, they stick your sample in the bag hoping to lure you in for a new purchase. And I can't lie - it has worked on me as a buyer many a time.

There are a few ways to do sampling, one of which is called a "blister." It is a small card with a plastic covered dollup of product you have to break open and dab in a finger to use (they may come with a mini brush though). I personally don't like them. When I get them at stores, they're the first thing to make it in the trash when I get home.

The reason it's one of the most used sampling systems? Cheap. But only cheap if you order hundreds of thousands - or more - which is what the big companies are able to do.

I threw the question on Twitter - what samples do you keep and what do you trash when you get them?

Everyone said they wanted little mini glosses. Of course they do - they're cute, there's more product in them, and they're great for evening bags. But I looked at it another way - they leave a lasting impression.

The first time out of the gate, I knew I had one chance - one! - to catch someone's attention and the best way would be to carry the chic imaging of the brand all the way through.

So back to the mini glosses which allow for about three to five applications. They are almost as expensive as making the real thing, believe it or not, especially when you don't order in bulks of 10,000 from the manufacturer.

And once you have them, you need something to put them in. Ingredients are required, legally. So we had our printer create little postcards, which we folded in half and set up in such a way that the gloss slid into little holes in the middle and it opened like a book.

It was adorable.

But what it required - an all nighter and three interns. It was order-in-pizza and painstaking hours of folding, precise exacto knife slicing, inserting the little gloss in the grooves. Red Bull moments were had. My hands were bloody mess after - a snafu with the scissor and paper cuts galore. My back and neck were out. And by the morning, my living room floor was covered in piles of Purple Lab samples.

Todd went to Philly the next day to pick up every box and hand deliver - we're OCD perfectionists and didn't want a mishap after missing two deliveries. He literally went into the D.C. (distribution center) of the stores and unpacked the product them himself. He helped carry them upstairs to the floor and watched as they set up the display, making sure it was set to a tee.

He called me with beaming excitement. Our babies were on shelves.

More details in le video!



Purple Lab Creatrix

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