Packing Surprises

“Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.” 
~Walt Disney

Over time I have been honing my packaging for my jewelry and ‘simple truths’ line. I just ordered more of the 3 1/2″ square matte copper boxes which seem to have become my trademark, as well as the pillow boxes that I like for the smaller things like the ‘simple truths.’ I add my clear labels that are copper embossed with my company  name and logo. I have a thing for real ribbon and love to use different ones, sometimes matching the colors of what is inside. I also just discovered baker’s twine and I have a large spool of it for my pillow boxes and to tie my charms to their hang tags. That old ‘brown paper packages tied up with string’ thing. And for jewelry pieces I usually use my special chocolate satin ribbon embossed with my logo and sometimes I add a tiny copper key.

My little copper key charms that pop up on packages from BunnySundries, tell Rain I sent you!

I like to add a personal note to the recipient that is hand written on pretty stationery. I find great deals in the dollar spot at Michaels on those. Since I get bored easily I like to switch things up and it is a small investment that reaps big rewards. I have been saving all the pretty pages from my Mary Engelbreit page-a-day calendar and tuck one inside as a special treat. I just don’t have the heart to throw them away with their sweet art and words of wisdom.. I have a skeleton key stamp for outside of the bubble mailer and a couple of rolls of a limited edition washi tape that has skeleton keys on it. I try to add my logo in various forms to whatever I am sending so that it looks like me, even if it isn’t the exact same as my logo. I want you to think of me when you see a key. (Is it working yet? 😉

This was so limited edition and no longer available.
I think I might own the last two rolls in the Universe! From Washimatta on Etsy.

I recently wondered if all this was worth it. It takes a lot of time for me to package my orders and it is a an added cost to have all these little keys everywhere. I had seen some posts where people were complaining about getting packages that were not in recycled bubble mailers and were wrapped in more than just a scrap of tissue as being wasteful. So I thought about that. Was I being wasteful? Or turning people off with my methods?

I get a lot of shipments every week and I see everything from very elaborate packaging to very unfussy. I don’t judge anyone either way for their choice, but for my own purposes I guess I see things differently. Yes, there is a cost to this enhanced packaging (my shipping and handling costs do not cover all of that, I consider it a cost of business), and I truly love to wrap presents. I think of each piece I send out in the world as a little gift. I know that I love a pretty package and I want the recipient to feel extra special. And just as I was about to wonder if the comments I had seen on Facebook should change my mind, I got this feedback on Etsy:

“Not only is this pendant absolutely gorgeous- the beautiful packaging and personal note made opening my package an extremely enjoyable experience! Will definitely be a repeat customer. Thank you so much!”

So that seals it then. The packaging will stay as is.

In preparing for the Bead & Button show I decided that I wanted to do something a little more special to let my customers know that I appreciated them and to share with new friends that I meet while there. I was out of my first batch of mini Moo cards, so it was time to start over.

I came up with an idea to do a scratch off card with a discount available only in my Etsy shop as a way to say thank you to my customers. I have a box of them ready to go with me to the Bead & Button show and if you smile at me nicely I will give you one, too 😉

Moo cards are the absolutely best quality that I have ever found, and I love the mini Moos most of all. Their small size makes them like bubble gum trading cards and their silky feel, awesome color printing and the ability to make up to 100 designs in each pack is incredible. (Please note that I do not get paid from Moo to say this. I just like them that much!)

I came up with different percentages off and other bonuses and decided on four different images from my designs. Because the back is different on each one on the offer side, I could only use one picture on the front. This is why I went with 4 different designs. I guess I will keep this customer loyalty program going as long as there are cards… 400 to be exact!

I had found some tutorials where people made their own scratch off stickers using contact paper, liquid soap and acrylic paint, but that looked messy, time consuming and inconsistent. Who has that kind of time? Besides I am all about paying an expert to do their stuff for you.

I found these stickers from an Etsy seller called MyScratchOffLabels (they also have a website). They were really great to work with and I felt that they were reasonably priced and very high quality. This was the next best investment next to the Moos! They fit perfectly and they scratch off just like any lottery ticket which makes it fun. Because I randomized the offers in each box, I am not sure what each card will be when I send it off. That, my friends, makes it exciting! Plus they have cute images of ‘simple truths’ so you will likely want to display it to remember me by, right? 😉

Just my little way to say thank you for purchasing my art beads.

What about you?
Do you do anything to make your packaging stand out from the crowd? Or do you prefer to keep it no frills or even recycled? How do you feel when you get packages from other vendors? What is the best packaging that you have ever received from an art bead artist? 

Do share your tips and ideas in the comments!

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18 Comment

  1. Linda Starr
    June 7, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    I love those copper keys

  2. peacockfairy
    June 7, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    That is so cool Erin!!! What a great idea! Looking forward to seeing you at B & B! Your blog post from the other day got me to thinking what jewelry I am going to wear and I have to plan my outfits around that – LOL! Also, I agree with your packaging thoughts. I have done many peacock related things over the years – ordering cards and labels from different companies, finding ready made stickers or ribbons at stores, even using real peacock feathers. I like those special touches!

  3. Gardanne
    June 7, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    This is an amazing idea thanks so much for the links. I have done the moo cards with a coupon code on the back, but I love the scratch off idea.

    I am thinking of putting these in my customers orders as a special thank you.

    I have not had many people using them when I hand them out at bead shows. I handed out 100 last year and created a special coupon code for the show and did not get one bite, yet. Not sure if they just get lost in the shuffle of bead purchases.

  4. Gardanne
    June 7, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    P.S. You should submit this idea to moo cards, they are always doing articles on innovative ways their customers use their products.

  5. Copper Diem
    June 7, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    Those scratchers are such a great idea! Love it!

  6. Roberta
    June 7, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    I love Moo cards. I bought a set that was pre-designed and I love them. I use them to decorate my little brown boxes as well as using them on the inside as business cards. I use a bubble mailer. So not too simple yet not too elaborate.

  7. Kathleen Lange Klik
    June 7, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    I am a packaging geek, I too love to wrap gifts! That said, I believe the packaging is as important as the item you are sending. It is a small way to let the customer know you appreciate their business. It is possible to be eco-friendly and still create a beautiful package!

    I use beautiful boxes, tissue and ribbon made in the USA from recycled paper (I love to support local companies and buying within my country leaves less of a carbon foot print)! I purchase these supplies from Nashville Wraps. The shipping mailers that I use are filled with recycled paper pulp and are 100% recyclable; they cost more to purchase and ship but it sets my mind at ease knowing I am doing my part to help the environment. Those I purchase from U-Line. They are also more durable than bubble wrap mailers, which is great for shipping delicate items such as jewelry!

    I love receiving beautifully wrapped purchases! It makes me feel like they genuinely care about their product and me as a customer. The most beautiful package I have received from an art bead artist is from Heather Powers of Humblebeads; her origami envelope is a beautiful touch! I have saved every one!

  8. Patti Van
    June 8, 2012 at 12:20 am

    I love your packaging! As soon as you open the envelope, you feel special…and I will always remember you for it!

  9. EmandaJ
    June 8, 2012 at 2:50 am

    I love receiving packages from sellers like you who believe in making an impression (a positive one, I mean). I try to make my packages pretty and personal. I always write a little note to my buyers. I also try to be consistent in the impression I am trying to make.

    Case in point: yesterday I received a lovely gift from a non-profit organization I have worked with for years. The short note that was stuck to the gift was a post-it from another non-profit with that logo marked through — kind of a mixed message, not well thought out, nor personal.

  10. Shirley
    June 8, 2012 at 2:58 am

    I love opening gifts, and the packaging is as much a gift to me as what is inside it! I'm glad you take the time and effort, it really does tell the customer that you feel they are special. And I think you are too!!!

  11. Linda Landig
    June 8, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    I always tie my boxes with ribbon, too, and enclose a small thank you card. I have some from Micheal's dollar section, but when I have time, I like to make a simple handmade card. I like that personal touch–of course if I were selling in the volume you are, a handmade card might be impractical.

  12. quiltingjewel39
    June 8, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    I love pretty packaging!! It makes everything so much more special. I don't have a web site but do shows and try to do special packaging. I'm glad you aren't stopping yours. Love the idea of scratch cards-very cute.

  13. Allie D.
    June 8, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    This might be a silly and/or impractical idea, but why not have an option so that the extremely eco-minded may choose to opt out of special packaging? I don't know if etsy would allow for such a setup. I suppose you could just have a very small note waay down at the bottom to "contact seller" should anyone who might have strong feelings on the issue. Me, I love pretty boxes etc. and opening things plus I keep anything that can be re-used for my own packaging. It could just be a special service for people that are on a different wavelength.
    Shoot I ought not to give up my own marketing ideas before I get my own shop set up! 🙂

  14. Jo
    June 8, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    I love the scratch-off idea!
    All of my packaging is fairly simple, but it's all in my website colours. I'm in the middle of redesigning my logo and website, so I'm looking forward to coming up with some new packaging to match!

  15. cw whitedogjewelry
    June 9, 2012 at 1:55 am

    What was the best packaging you ever received from an artist, you ask?
    Honestly, it was YOURS!
    Your packaging is wonderful! Everything matched, even the color on the twine matched the Motley Owl and pendants I received from you. I love the key motif, the pillow boxes, hang tags and ribbon.
    It's unique, artistic and coordinates beautifully. Well done!
    ….and now, an added bonus with the scratch off labels, wow!
    Great stuff! I love it!
    Chris White

  16. Chelester
    June 12, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    I have to comment about the packing issue. Today I received an order from Humblebeads that was packed in some pretty scrapbook paper. The paper was the PERFECT background for some resin pendants I wanted to make with real shells. I was so excited, as I had put the project off trying to figure out what to use!

  17. Marian Hertzog
    June 17, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    I think that the packaging says alot about you and how much love you put into your creations. We need to smile and have a happy heart more often… sounds like that is what you are giving your customers!

  18. Kristen (Creative Stash)
    June 20, 2012 at 12:22 am

    Love all your creative touches Erin! I agree that those little extras go a long way in being remembered and feeling special. your scratch off are awesome too!!! Great idea.

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