Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Packaging: Making It Pretty

You know how cool it is when you open up a parcel and find a beautifully packaged item? Maybe you lift away some pretty tissue paper to find an impeccably labeled or wrapped product, which is accompanied by a handwritten thank you note ...

How nice! It's like opening up a little present, made just for you.

That's how I want people to feel when they receive a package of my soaps in the mail. So, I've been working on upgrading my packaging.

I admit that I have struggled with my packaging. I recently found myself dissatisfied with a few things, and it's taken me a while to find a look that I like. I think I'm getting there, though.

First of all, I wanted to class things up a bit with some nice thank you cards. I found these adorable turtle note cards at Peculiar Parchment on Etsy.

3x3 Sea Turtle Note Cards by PeculiarParchment on Etsy

As soon as I saw them, I loved them and thought they'd make perfect little thank you cards to include with my orders. I contacted Peculiar Parchment and within minutes, Bethany was hooking me up with the turtle cards. She was sweet enough to make some extras for me, and she shipped them out quickly. I ordered enough to last me for a while, but I hope that it won't be too long before I need to head back to Peculiar Parchment for more! (Please do check out Peculiar Parchment's Etsy shop - you'll find wonderful cards of all sorts and sizes for all kinds of occassions. And you can't beat the great customer service.)

I decided, too, that I no longer liked my business cards, so I gave them a makeover that incorporated my Etsy shop banner (which I also redesigned).

Then came the actual packaging. When I first started selling and shipping, I went with clear cellophane wrapping. Nice enough, certainly utilitarian, but not much to look at.

So next I tried some wrapphia ribbon. That was nicer. But I found that I had a hard time getting the bow right every time. On some soaps, it looked good. On others, I didn't like it. And I found that if I tied the ribbon too tightly, it would ding the soap.

Next ...

Then I thought: Organza bags!

Check out Nashville Wraps for an assortment of organza bags at wholesale prices. They ship super-fast, too!

What an easy way to make a bar of handcrafted soap extra-special! And the bags are shimmery, sophisticated, and pretty every time. Perfect for right-out-of the-mailbox gift-giving, or as a special little present to yourself. Plus, the bags can be reused for another gift or for just hanging around filled with stuff, looking cool.

I like my packaging progress, and I am sure that as time moves on, I'll tweak it some more, as I am always wanting to improve. In the future, I may want to focus more on branding. But I'm diggin' it for now.

What kind of packaging wows you guys? (Did someone say organza bags and turtle cards ...?)

Seriously, for me, if I can tell that someone put some thought and care into their items and packaging, I will remember it. That could mean a great label, a gorgeous container, or a personalized note. What was it that impressed you the last time you ordered an item or saw something in a store and thought, "Wowza"?