First of all, I'm thinking of changing the name of my soap. The name of my Etsy shop will remain the same - "La Paperie & Cozy" - which is apropos since, in time, I will be offering handmade journals and artwork in additon to my handmade soap. However, I think my soap should have it's own name, as customers will no doubt be scratching their heads as to what "la paperie" has to do with soap. Do you think I should change the name? Or leave it the same? And IF I should change it, do you have any suggestions? I was thinking of either Cozy County Soap or Cozy & Co. Soap …so it would put the "cozy" in La Paperie & Cozy. What do you think?
Predicament number two has to do with PACKAGING! I'm trying to settle on the right kind of packaging for my soaps. Picking packaging is important. It's what people see first, and as we all know, first impressions are important. Currently I hand-wrap individuals bars in pretty printed paper.
I really do love the look of them -- like little gifts. And who doesn't like receiving a gift? The only thing is…the first reaction I notice that people have is to lift the bar of papered soap to ones nose and sniff. Unfortunately, you can neither see nor smell the soap that lay within the wrapping. A pity, especially when the soap smells so mouth-wateringly good and looks like something that you could eat! Another drawback? It's rather time-consuming wrapping each individual bar. I feel any potential customer would like a bit of a preview of what they're buying — personally, I would definitely be more apt to buy a bar of soap if I knew what it smelled like, or looked like. (Of course, online, one must go totally by photos and scent description.) My concern regarding the packaging is mainly for my "in-person" clients, who will be buying my soap from me either directly, or at local craft stores.
The trick is deciding on packaging my soaps in a way that will allow my customers to both smell and see the soap, yet retain that "organic" homemade look, and also save time and money. My packaging options? There are more selections than this, but these are the ones I'm most interested in:
1. SHRINK WRAP
Pros: The least expensive route. Customers can clearly see and smell the soap, without touching the actual soap and damaging it. The label would be my business card inserted in the front of the soap, and sealed in the plastic. They are an instant indication to whether a container has been opened or not. Easy, fast multiple packing.
Cons: I really don’t like the look. Handmade soap that is packaged in plastic loses a lot of its 'homemade' organic appeal.
2. CIGAR BAND
Pros: Inexpensive. Looks very nice. Customers can clearly see and smell the soap, without damaging it (if band is wide enough). I can make my own bands out of card stock - I’m thinking “kraft” paper, which is looks more organic - and design it however I choose. No need for additional stickers or labeling.
Cons: Soap that is ‘naked’ can lose its scent faster, and is more prone to damage (dropping, over-handling, etc.) Cigar bands can also fall off easily, as soap shrinks with age.
3. KRAFT PILLOW BOXES
Pros: These look lovely. Customers can open the end of the pillow box to see and smell soap. Labels would be my business card tied to the box with raffia.
Cons: More expensive. Customers must handle the soap to see it (take out of box). More time consuming as they must be packed AND tied with raffia.
4. KRAFT SOAP BOX WITH CUTOUT
Pros: These look nice. Customers can smell and see a small bit of the soap without having to take the soap out of the box.
Cons: More expensive. Adhesive labels would be needed.
5. HANDWRAPPED BARS (what I have currently)
Pros: These look like little gifts, and are very pretty. Label is my business card tied to the box with raffia, and type of soap is handwritten on the back of the bar with a sticky label (which also keeps the wrapper closed).
Cons: More expensive (I use good quality scrapbook paper). Customers can’t see or smell the soap. Very time consuming to wrap every bar.
I’m still trying to decide. Any thoughts?
(X-posted at The Soap Chronicles)