I came across this superb blog post this morning. It is by Marie Campbell, who runs the Boho Press in Wolverhampton. I’m in the process of producing some screen prints intended for sale on the interweb thingy. While I had considered such things as size of print for ease of posting and framing, I just had not put myself in the position of receiving one of my prints. And this is from someone who received one of Rosie’s prints last week, complete with ‘bonus’ postcards from the organisers of the exhibition to which it was linked. A big thank you to Marie for the timeliness of her excellent post!
As I’m new to selling online, I’m still giving thought to packaging handmade items and the kind of things I could do to make the whole experience extra special (without driving my costs up too high). While this was still on my list of things to think about, I was over the moon to win a screen printed tea towel by Mellybee in the BlogandBuySale Lucky Dip. I felt even luckier when I opened the envelope and saw all the thought that goes into her packaging.
Melanie Chadwick has a screen printing studio in Cornwall where she makes lovely products for the home or for giving as gifts. Her signature style is her unique hand lettering and quirky illustrations on brown Kraft paper, which she continues throughout her packaging. The brown paper bag was tied up with garden twine and this carries her brand through to the smallest detail.
Thoughtful packaging doesn’t need to be costly either; a simple handwritten note adds a personal touch. Melanie says;
‘My main aim would be for people to smile when they receive one of my products and that they would want to touch it, pick it up and explore how its been created – getting a sense that it’s not been mass produced but has been individually made and printed for them.’
Even before the package arrived, I was looking forward to ordering a whole set of Mellybee tea towels for my new home. Finding a special code for a discount off my next order was a real treat and this is another great way Melanie uses her packaging to bring buyers back to her website.
Melanie also uses her packaging to tell buyers all the important things about herself and her brand. She tells us that her items are British made, being printed by hand in Cornwall. The belly band which wraps around the tea towel is also illustrated and tells us it’s printed on 100% cotton using eco-friendly inks and includes the all essential care instructions.
And last, but not least, the fabric tag on the tea towel is neat and tidy, and will be a gentle reminder of who it was made by every time I’m in the kitchen.
In brief, my 10 tips for packaging handmade products are:
- Differentiate yourself from the mass produced market by adding personal touches
- Think about how you want to buyer to feel when they receive their item – a good start is to say ‘thank you’
- Carry your signature style through to your packaging to create a more memorable brand
- If you’re selling online, encourage buyers back to your online shop by offering discounts or showing them other products they may not have seen
- Take the opportunity to tell buyers about yourself, your brand and what makes your products special
- Be creative – thoughtful and environmentally friendly packaging doesn’t need to cost the earth
- Encourage feedback – if you’re doing something right (or wrong) it’s always good to know
- Package your product carefully. Marking your package ‘Handle With Care’ doesn’t always mean it’s going to be handled with care!
- Consider the weight and size of your package – inflated postage costs can put some buyers off
- Leave your mark on your item so in years to come buyers will still know who made the item, or where it’s from.
Melanie writes on her website that her aim is ‘to inspire joy and creativity as well as producing products that are functional and beautiful’. I’d say she’s certainly achieved that! You can visit Melanie’s shop www.mellybee.co.uk to see her quirky brand and full range of products or her portfolio site www.melaniechadwick.com to learn about her illustration services. Find her on Twitter @mellybeeblog or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/mellybeeillustration
Mellybee was featured on the BlogAndBuySale website. BlogAndBuySale showcase a range of the best handmade products available online. Follow them on Twitter at @blogandbuysale