interview: liz ranney, founder of austin-based beauty box luxepineapple

The subscription box phenomenon has really changed the way men and women get their hands on new products to sample before they buy. Beauty industry vet Liz Ranney and her team at Austin-based LuxePineapple are blazing a new trail with their customer curated “un-subscription” box, that comes jam-packed with beauty goodies galore.

LizEnjoy my interview with Liz where we talk about how LuxePineapple differs from other beauty boxes, the Pineapple Rewards system and what’s next for the brand.

PGTC: Tell me about what motivated you to create LuxePineapple.

Liz Ranney: We’ve been in the beauty industry for our entire careers. Until the inception of LuxePineapple in 2013 we were on the professional side; LuxePineapple is our first direct-to-consumer venture.  I started the planning process for LuxePineapple about 6 years ago when the economy took a downturn. Because working in the professional beauty arena requires a certain “look” I was seeking ways to keep my beauty needs met without sacrificing the brands I wanted, given my smaller budget. When I started searching online I discovered pretty quickly that when I came across a good price, the shipping cost more than the item, or I would be sooo excited to find a bargain only to realize the product wasn’t authentic when it arrived. Thus began LuxePineapple. We have always maintained one simple goal: To source the best in skincare and cosmetics, and offer them at amazing prices with free shipping.  LuxePineapple is here to remind women (and men–we have a few of those, too) to take a few minutes to celebrate themselves. We all deserve the small luxuries. We want every single package we ship to feel like a present when it arrives and to absolutely make someone’s day. Discount doesn’t need to look like discount when it arrives in the mail.

PGTC: What makes LuxePineapple different from the typical box services currently available?

LR: I love this question! We call ourselves the un-subscription box. LuxePineapple isn’t a subscription-based service, nor do we plan to ever become one. Our “Boxes of Joy” are released 3-4 times per month and, with the exception of the quarterly mystery boxes, we show the contents and full description of each “Box of Joy” as they are released. I couldn’t even begin to figure out how to a pick a handful of products that would please the vast majority of our Pineapple Lovelies in one box, once a month.  With our boxes each Lovely can pick and choose which products meet her needs, wants, personal style and beauty budget. It’s also a fantastic way to try new brands or categories without breaking the bank. Beauty is personal and we leave the choices completely up to the consumer.  There may not always be the typical un-boxing thrill you would get from a subscription box, but that also means you picked it, so you know you want it and you love it. We’re a small company. Our size allows us to be nimble and adaptive to the changing wants and needs of our consumer.  Our consumers have voices which we encourage them to use. Feedback and community involvement with the Lovelies in both the brands and products we offer is a part of who we are at LuxePineapple. We totally march to our own beat and we like it this way.

There seems to be a lot of confusion recently with the influx of businesses jumping on the subscription service bandwagon.  We strive to be as transparent as possible about what we do and how we do it. There is a simple FAQ on the site. We have used a collective 30+ years of beauty industry knowledge to make LuxePineapple what it is.

Our YouTube channel isn’t brand- or LuxePineapple-specific. The lovelies are encouraged to help pick the video-blog topics. Many tutorials work with products most of us already have in our vanities.

LP BoxPGTC: Most box services have a point system to reward customers and to keep customers coming back to buy full size products from their online shop at a discount. What type of reward system does LuxePineapple offer?

LR:  Pineapple Rewards is even better than a simple discount. At least I think it is! Points are earned with each purchase (including a welcome bonus for joining our site). Those points accumulate and then are turned into store credits. There’s no restriction on how the credits are redeemed.  In addition, we offer a referral system. Pineapple Lovelies can choose to share their specific referral link with friends, and when a friend makes a qualifying purchase we say thank you with points!  LuxePineapple is a little different in that the majority of our offerings are full-size products. Our inventory is constantly changing, and our prices are low enough that if you see something you like you can stock up without feeling those pangs of buyer’s remorse. Most lovelies redeem their store credits toward full-size products through the Pineapple Shop, or to get an even bigger savings or a FREE “Box of Joy”.  Our rewards program is super-important to us. We love to say thank you as much as we can.

PGTC: One of the best parts of box services for customers are the exclusive partnerships and sample offerings from time to time. Has LuxePineapple done any exclusive brand partnerships? Are any planned for the future?

LR: We have done one exclusive skincare partnership in Fall 2014. Due to the overwhelming responses on a recent Pineapple Poll we learned that the Lovelies are very interested in trying independent brands, or those that are totally new to them. We are working on collaborations launching in Spring 2015. These are brands that have never participated in any sort of box service, so we are extremely excited about it.

PGTC: What’s next for the LuxePineapple brand?

LR: Spring 2015 is major for us, as we have been in the planning phase of my “pet project” for almost a year and it will soon be ready for release. It’s something completely brand new to us. We have the collaborations with the indie brands, as mentioned, coming in the next several weeks.  We at LuxePineapple have been incredibly blessed and are adding to our community of Pineapple Lovelies daily. We have contests and giveaways scheduled on our social media platforms.  A newish addition is utilizing our social media to spread positive messages and givebacks to our local communities which we hope will motivate others to do the same.

LuxePineapple has been receiving rave reviews from many of my beauty friends; and, I can’t wait to see how their future offerings further galvanize the beauty box world. Are you ready to order your first Box of Joy?! Visit LuxePineapple to get started on creating your first “un-subscription” box.

Scoop: Be sure to check out The Huffington Post via the link down below. This week, I will be posting exclusive content from my interview with Liz that you’ll only be able to read on HuffPost.

Image of Liz Ranney via Liz Ranney. Photo credit: Anthony Checetto. Image of Luxe Pineapple boxes via LuxePineapple. Photo credit unknown.