July 17, 2008

beady packaging

To continue the Business Time posts, finally...a picture of my actual packaging for shipping. As you can see, I have several options that I keep in stock, which co-ordinate. This selections really prepares me for almost all of my shipping needs. I love the idea of matching packaging that all works well together, that one can really customize it to suit their needs. Obviously, I like brown and earthy things, as you can see from my choice above. I also like recycled packaging products, so these are all unbleached, kraft style paper items. And I also really detest buying and using new plastic zip lock bags, so I avoid them. But one could just change up the colors and have a whole different feel to suit their business and logo. Let me talk you through some of the elements here...

So the beads and pendants themselves get wrapped in long sheets of tissue, which are sealed with a small kraft Earthenwood sticker (the stickers are made from sheets of kraft label stickers, printed in black ink from my computer) It reminds me of wrapping up eggrolls, a little bit. Its kind of fussy, but the beads need some protection, and I think it looks nice. That is the bundle in the lower center. Several beads can be packed into each bundle, depending on how delicate they are and what the shapes and sizes are. Usually, a few tissue bundles are stuffed with kraft krinkle shred into the pillow box envelope on the right. That's my favorite packaging to use. The pillow boxes fold flat, so I can store them, they are inexpensive and they are attractive with the big logo sticker on them. I don't know if i would re-order the krinkle shred though. 10 lbs doesn't seem like a lot, but it is a HUGE box full, and there are strands of krinkle shred all over the house. eep! They like to stick to shoes and well, everything. I have been working on the same box full for about 4 years now, lol!

I like to have the hard boxes on hand as well. The tiny ones are good for just a single bead, the medium sized one is nice for a special pendant, which I can package with a little bow of black raffia ribbon for gift giving, and the big box is good to fill up with bead bundles for large orders. The hard boxes are more costly and take up more space than the pillow boxes, so I try to stay limited to just a few styles.

So the bead orders get packaged in the appropriate box, and then put into the correct shipping envelope or box, depending on the price paid for shipping and the size of the order. Along with each order is a printed invoice (not shown) and a selection of business cards. If i have little promo buttons or special postcards at the time, I might add those in too.

It is important for me that my orders arrive to customers looking clean and attractive. Since almost everything is custom made by hand to order, I feel like it is important to really make the presentation look nice and professional and feel warm. They have usually waited at least a week, sometimes three weeks, for me to make and ship the orders, so I like them to feel like they are getting a special gift, that it was worth the wait!

Please feel free to ask any questions you may have about this packaging. I am happy to give resources, I just don't want to go around surfing to add them to this post... so ask away...


  1. Getting a package from you is so much fun -- it's like opening a bunch of tiny presents :)

    Thank you for posting about the crinkles... I thought about buying them when I still lived in the apartment, but I knew I'd have no room for a huge box. I don't know if we use the same packaging supply company, but the one I use clearly is geared towards big businesses, every package is gigantic! Anyway, it sounds like I still wouldn't have room, and my kitties would delight in scattering the crinkles all over the house.

  2. I'd love to know where you purchase your pillow boxes. I just bought a small amount from an Etsy seller. I like using them, I've been wrapping them in pale blue paper lace, and then tying the package with some raffia in the sale kraft brown color.
    Great post, thanks for sharing your packaging secrets! I too, love getting your goodies in the mail. I think I jumped up and down when I opened the package you sent me when I won on ABS for Designer of the Month (my coffee necklace, just recently sold!)

  3. Hi Melanie,
    It's nice to see how someone makes their business run. And your packages are like little gifties! I would love to know where you get your labels from. I like the idea of printing them myself so when I'm ready to so a special label or such, I don't have to rely on going somewhere to get it printed. The graphics will be a challange for me, but worth it I think.
    Thanks for sharing your ideas!

  4. I simply love this idea---hadn't really thought of carrying my "signature" or business look over into packaging and mailing supplies. What a professional, finished look. Your store is grand!

    Teri B

  5. Thank you all for your comments!

    Carlene, I get the labels here:

    I highly recommend a good well designed logo, even if you have to pay for it. It is one of the most important things you need to brand your business.

  6. I love your packages---they are like little gifts in themselves. The idea of coordinating all of your packaging & marketing materials is groovey also. Thanks for the link for the kraft labels---I was going to ask that myself :)

  7. Your packaging is always beautiful and really suits your beads. I like the pillow boxes, too!

  8. Thank you for the info about the Kraft labels. I really like them. I always enjoy receiving a package from you. Enjoy your vacation.