Where in the World?

I’ve always wanted to sit down and map out just where my Bubblegum Sass customers are. As orders come in, I briefly note where they are headed, but I thought it was time to do a bit more than “briefly” take notice, especially with all these wonderful new customers purchasing Love Catchers. And so, now I can answer the question “where in the world are my dear customers?”

Bubblegum Sass Customer Map

Joining all these wonderful North American locations are the United Kingdom, Germany, Poland, and Australia. I think the map might make it onto a wall in the sewing room, so that the next time I start to wonder if my small business is, well, just too small, I can see that it reaches people around the world. Thank you for being a part of my community, whether you’re right next door, or across the globe.

I’m happy to report that with Love Catcher orders coming in regularly, I needed to purchase a supply of shipping boxes. No more hoarding cereal boxes & every small box I could get my hands on around the house. Standardized shipping boxes simplify the packaging and processing task a bit. Feeling like quite the “big girl” now. I’ve even got a cupboard in the sewing room organized with all my tagging & shipping materials. Love it! If you’re looking for boxes, bags, labels and everything else related to shipping, check out Shippers Supply Inc. Hubby purchased his veggie bags from there too and was the one who suggested I look into their box options. So far, so good. This stack of boxes should last me quite a while.

Shipping Boxes for Bubblegum Sass

Button-spiration

Last week we took a look vintage button cards. This week, I’ve put together a small list of downloadable files (some free, some not) so you can make your own lovely buttons cards. They make sweet gifts. They’re also a nice way to display some of your favourite buttons (just pop them in a frame & viola!).

Happy crafting!

button card download
Free download designs from Papercraft Inspirations

Button-spiration

There was a time when button cards were interesting, even beautiful (by “button cards”, I’m referring to the cards buttons come mounted on when you purchase them, not some scrap booking-type-project). Vintage button cards have a wonderful aesthetic, rarely experienced when you pick up buttons at the store today.

Lady Washington mother of pearl buttons
Buttons from TBP Vintage on Etsy

I really don’t know much history when it comes to buttons (hard to believe when I’m such a fanatic). I can sorta tell a true vintage button from a modern button, but that’s about it. I don’t know prominent historical button manufacturers by name, and I certainly can’t date a button.

But I can appreciate them immensely, nonetheless.

Mother of pearl vintage buttons
Buttons from Natural Vintage on Etsy

While drooling over buttons on Etsy one day, I started to notice the button cards that the vintage buttons were mounted to. Such elegant, sweet drawings. Some silly ones, and even some down right strange ones from Europe whose meaning must be lost on me. All infinitely more interesting than our modern day versions. When you love buttons, you love details. And the details in these packaging are something that I can appreciate.

Red vintage buttons on card
Buttons from Fuzzy Colors Vintage Buttons & Such on Etsy

White buttons on vintage card
Buttons from Vintage Jewelry Alcove on Etsy

Mermaid pearl buttons
Buttons from soldiersuzanne on Etsy

Vintage button card collection
Buttons from missgaylee on Etsy

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: