To you, from me: packaging made pretty

In preparation for my first upcoming craft show and in planning my future Etsy shop, I have been spending time considering packaging and branding. Part of the branding work has been done for me with the logo design that my hubby came up with. The logo has given me more than just an image to use on packaging, labels, and banners. It has determined a colour scheme and aesthetic to use going forward with my business.

Wanting to stay on track with keeping things simple, I had to force myself to make “Must Have” and “Would Like To Have” lists for approaching packaging and branding. I’ve poked around online to find inspiration and guidance and included a list of helpful links below. For now, I have resolved a couple of “Must Have” items, while keeping in mind how I can gradually reach the “Like To Have” items.

First off, I figured the simplest solution to tagging my items for the craft sale, would be to use the business cards (which I already have), as hang tags. I purchased a package of adhesive labels to stick on the back of the business cards so that I could include content and care information. There are super easy and free online templates to use in conjunction with the adhesive labels, so that layout and printing is a no-brainer. Then I figured I could just hole punch the business card and use a scrap piece of yarn to tie onto each scarflette. Viola! Hang tags!

Materials for branding shopping bagsThe second item could be argued as a “Like To Have”, but in all the back and forth conversations I had with myself, I did indeed “Need” to have bags for the craft sale. There is plenty to be said for people using their own re-usable shopping bags, which I try to do as often as I can remember. However, applying my retail expertise to the situation, I want to ensure a pleasant shopping experience which includes being able to offer a customer a bag. If they have their own, then great! If not, then I want to be able to provide one to them. Since I can’t feasibly purchase or make cloth bags for customers to re-use at this time (it’s on the “Like To Have” list), I made a compromise. I ordered sturdy kraft paper bags with twisted handles. I considered getting black bags to go with my branding colour theme, but found them to be more money than I could justify. As it turns out, the brown kraft paper has provided a solution to branding my bags because now I can simply stamp them with my logo (which would not have shown up on the black). I hope to order stickers very soon, which I can then use on the bags and elsewhere, but that won’t happen in time for the craft show. So now, I guess I have a stamp I need to make. Fun!

The third item that I have been trying to resolve, is packaging items sold through my Etsy shop. I’ve been under slightly less pressure with this one, since I haven’t even officially opened my shop. Also, this is probably one area that will grow and evolve as my crafty business grows. All I know for certain, is that I don’t want to just cram items into mailers or boxes and send them on their way. I used to work at a shop that also did international mail orders, and one thing that always sticks in my mind is the desire to have orders be like gifts. So the simplest solution that I have devised for now is to fold black tissue paper around items and use a sticker with the company logo to secure it. Hence, needing to order the stickers sooner rather than later. Looking at all the incredibly creative ideas for packaging, leaves me wanting to offer so much more to customers. I take a deep breath and remind myself that I can’t do it all in one swoop. When I am able, I will get there. Wishing you good luck with all your own branding challenges!

Here are some lovely thoughts on and ideas for packaging:

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