If you follow this journal, you’re probably aware that I’ve had some suspicions about Julep’s business problems in the last few months, with late deliveries, little response from customer support, and changes to the subscription box that I was not a big fan of. Besides these clues that something was amiss, though, I hadn’t actually heard much from Julep itself, until last Friday, when we received this:
It is with heavy hearts that we mark the end of an era. After over seven great years and lots of collaboration and feedback from our loyal customers along the way, we have decided to retire our monthly subscription program effective immediately.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU:
• We will no longer run our Julep Beauty Box Subscription Program.
• You will not receive another subscription box.
•Your subscription account is now cancelled. NO FURTHER ACTION IS REQUIRED.
• You get to keep your Maven perks and we increased your discount! All legacy Mavens who are active subscribers as of today’s date now get 25% off full retail price + FREE U.S. standard shipping on all Julep.com orders.
• ALL Jules are now expired with no value.
We truly appreciate all of your support and ongoing feedback through the years. We believe that once a Maven, always a Maven. We thank you for being a loyal subscriber!
The Julep Team
I’ve been a Maven subscriber since April 2013, pretty early on in the program, and while I understand that sadly sometimes things don’t work out, against everyone’s hopes, it upsets me that they didn’t bother to give us advance notice to at least let us use up our Jules (I have thousands of these that are now worthless and wasn’t really given a chance to use them :(). This development wasn’t 100% unexpected, given the changes I’d noticed, mentioned above, but the way the cancellation was handled just seems inconsiderate to their consumer base. Hell, if they had let people know, maybe they would have had a surge of support from their subscribers. Now we’ll never know.
Anyway, I hadn’t been keeping up with news about the company in quite some time, but apparently some unfortunate stuff has been going on, which I found through a quick Google search. In summary:
- Julep had a legal dispute and subsequent settlement with the Washington State Attorney General’s office in 2016 or thereabouts.
- In late December last year, Julep announced they would need to lay off what looks like most of its employees, and its parent company filed for bankruptcy, but it’s unclear whether the company is shutting down completely. It seems the company will continue going under new ownership, but the original founder and CEO, Jane Park, hasn’t been involved in the company’s day-to-day business since Julep was acquired in 2016. Thinking back, I think this may have been when things started to gradually go south. 😦 Strangely, Jane was still listed as the founder and CEO under a Meet Jane link that was still active on the Julep website when I checked last night.
Things on the site are a bit weird, generally. Logging into my account, it looks like it still says the March collection will be revealed in a couple days, but how is that going to happen if the subscription box is now cancelled? The monthly collection pages have been removed from the store, though. It’s confusing what’s really happening, but things don’t look great.
It does make me sad, though I guess thinking about it right now, I can’t identify any single Julep product that I liked so much and so exclusively that I couldn’t replace it with a competing product that I like at least about as much. For example, I enjoyed Julep’s nail polishes and originally subscribed to the box for the regular influx of fresh colors, but I quickly outgrew Julep’s more conservative leanings and dove into indie brands that released more daring colors or interesting finishes that were more my speed. For more ordinary colors, there are so many less expensive brands out there. I liked the focus on natural/healthy/vegan products and still enjoy the Julep products that I own, but I don’t use them up fast enough to need to reorder that frequently, and I admittedly find myself just as often reaching for competing products, such as my Bare Minerals and various Korean and Taiwanese beauty and skin products, and I couldn’t use Julep lip products at all because I’m sensitive or allergic to them. So I guess what I’m saying is I can see why it’s hard to stay afloat in the beauty business, and I’m sad Julep is suffering and employees are losing their jobs.
Anyway, anyone have thoughts about this? 😦 Feel free to share.