Our big announcement long in the waiting….Today Amazon is introducing Amazon Storefronts : Over a million products from over 20,000 US Small and medium sized businesses from all 50 states. Storefronts launch coincides with Amazon’s first-ever national TV advertising campaign championing a U.S. small business, Little Flower Soap Co., selling on Amazon
This Summer our business was chosen to be featured in not one but two Amazon National Campaigns!!! Including a made for TV commercial filmed in Athens and a made for web video filmed at our barn/studio in Chelsea, MI. Here are both videos for your consideration followed by the story of our adventures.
Since opening shop on Amazon Handmade in October 2016 we’ve been contacted by Amazon’s PR team in Seattle on multiple occasions. The first of many “opportunities” was an interview by the Ann Arbor News. Already we were grateful to Amazon for making this connection with our local press no strings attached little did we know this was tiny opportunity compared to the epic offer they made us later in the year.
The second time we were contacted by the PR team they asked if I’d be willing to attend the grand opening of a new Amazon warehouse in Livonia, MI for a tour with Governor Rick Snyder
That day I was interviewed for the channel 4 nightly news with Ron.. a 10 second spot about small businesses in Michigan sending their products into the new warehouse for Fulfillment by Amazon. I thought that was pretty delightful … and yet it could not compare to what happened next.
Soon another email came with a similar ask “we have an opportunity we think you might be a good fit for” I was excited to hear more but nowhere near as excited as I should have been …
“Do you and Justin have valid passports and are you available to travel these dates?” they asked.
They said The Little Flower Soap Co was one of 5 US small businesses being considered for a commercial that would be filmed in Athens, Greece and that they would make a decision in a few weeks (so we began hoping and praying).
Drum roll please …. They picked us!!! They flew us to Athens (business class woot woot) and put us and our business in their national campaign commercial about Amazon and small business. We ate, we shopped with toured the Acropolis and watched Agatha Christi movies in open air theaters where ownerless cats scrounged for stray popcorn.
We had meetings in our hotel with the wardrobe specialists and then were picked up around 9pm to drive into downtown Athens to the set. Once on set we met the director Siri a wildly talented lady director who’s storytelling style is artful and humanizing.
We both had makeup and hair … Justin had never had his hair “done” before so he was pretty excited with his fancy look (seen here modeling his best "blue steel”)
After all the fun filming in Athens Amazon asked to come to our barn studio and create another short video about us and our small business. This video was made to go on the Amazon website as part of the launch of their New Amazon Storefronts featuring only US businesses and with a focus on Small and Medium sized businesses like ours. This piece came out so stinking cute you can see it below
Here is what the lovely Meg Coyle wrote about us in the Amazon blog this weekend. see her post HERE
Family business goes big on Amazon
Amazon launches its first-ever national television commercial to celebrate more than a million U.S.-based small- and medium-sized businesses selling on Amazon.
By Meg Coyle
on September 16, 2018
You wouldn’t think one phone call would alter the course of a small company selling handmade bath and body care products. But it did for Holly Rutt and Little Flower Soap Company – and in a big way. Rutt already knew she was a finalist for a national advertisement featuring a small- or medium-sized business that’s selling on Amazon. She was about to find out she got the gig.
“I remember trying to play it cool on the phone because I didn’t want to scream in their ear,” Rutt said. “Having a company as big as Amazon pick you out of more than a million other businesses validates what we are and what we do.”
Every little bar of soap we’ve wrapped making the bow perfect, with each handwritten gift note, we’re creating this emotion of joy and gratitude and contributing to the love someone feels when they receive it.
One month later, Rutt and her husband, Justin, were in Greece where Amazon filmed the ad. It features Rutt and her business – her logo appearing on the side of train cars and container trucks making the journey from customer order to delivery. It’s dusk in the commercial, and we see her flipping the “Open” sign on a storefront to “Open on Amazon.” She then delivers the closing line: “Half of all items sold on Amazon come from small and medium businesses, just like mine.”
Small- and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of Amazon’s stores, and it's estimated those businesses have created more than 900,000 jobs worldwide. Amazon’s national ad recognizes that reality and celebrates business owners like Rutt and her husband Justin, living their own version of the American Dream.
Rutt has a degree in business management and a background in floral design, and her husband is an osteopathic doctor with an interest in herbs. With their combined expertise, they started selling their handmade, small-batch soaps and body care products on Amazon in 2016 and sales have nearly doubled since. The business had taken over their home in Chelsea, Michigan. “We were making the soap in the kitchen, assembling gift boxes in the living room, and doing all the packaging and labeling in the dining room,” she said.
In 2017 they moved into an old farmhouse with a big red barn on two acres where they could also grow and farm their own lavender to use in their products. They renovated the barn and converted it into their studio, where two full-time and five part-time employees are working harder than ever. Amazon’s national commercial means a boost in brand recognition and could drive up demand.
Rutt’s soapmaking that started as a side hustle is now a company on the rise and for her, a business that will always be personal. “We make small things with great love, that’s where my heart is,” she said. “Every little bar of soap we’ve wrapped making the bow perfect, with each handwritten gift note, we’re creating this emotion of joy and gratitude and contributing to the love someone feels when they receive it. You’re a part of something. And for me, that’s everything.”
Amazon.com will be profiling U.S.-based small- and medium-sized businesses selling on Amazon, like Little Flower Soap Co., throughout the month.