There are lots of decisions to make when setting up a small business. Packaging being one of them and I’ve been on a bit of a journey with the packaging for Little Rosie Cheeks.
Initially when thinking about the packaging I wanted for the labels, I knew that it had to be ethical; biodegradable and recyclable. Not to mention designed well and desirable. Being a small and new business, I had a limited budget so looked for packaging that I could buy with small minimum order quantities.
I decided on a design that had a recyclable header card and a biodegradable ‘plastic style’ bag for the labels to go into. The process for packing the labels took a long time with this design because the bags had to be stapled to the header card; then folded to a specific size so they were all uniform and finally they needed a wee sticky bit peeled off the back and stuck down. In order to package 1000 label packs, it took my husband and I a full week doing it for four hours an evening. It nearly broke us! As a one-woman business I didn’t feel that this was sustainable, especially if I want my business to grow.
I needed to look for different packaging. When I researched this originally, I found something called Mylar bags and liked the design, however they were not recyclable so I ruled them out. Mylar is a type of plastic; it has a coating and is used for helium balloons. I was putting myself under pressure to change the packaging and so ordered some of the bags to try.
I did love the way they looked especially with our logo on the back. I decided that maybe a reusable bag would be an option. I thought of ways that this bag could be reused in the sewing room to store broken needles, buttons, chalks and around the home to store cosmetics, headphones and loads of other wee bits. I do think there are many things you can do with the bags rather than put them in the bin, however as I wrote a blog post explaining this to customers and retailers, I couldn’t find the words to explain why I wasn’t using packaging that was recyclable. I want to make more sustainable decisions for the business and be proud of what I am doing.
So, I am about to embark on the third design and next part of my packaging journey! This time I’m going to find sustainable packaging, produced in the UK that looks good and is original. Wish me luck!
I’m learning that in business you don’t usually get it right first time, sometimes you have to make decisions before everything is perfect and making mistakes gives you a wealth of valuable experiences. I wouldn’t change that.