Marketing Craft Beer Outside the Taproom: Cabarrus Brewing Co.
The craft beer industry is one of the fastest growing beverage markets in the United States. Most breweries, taprooms and brewpubs rely on the public to turn up en masse and partake in the call to ‘eat, drink and be merry.’ But pandemics have a way of crushing large group gatherings.
The same people who would have visited a brewery, must now pick up their beer from a store. It competes with dozens of other brands in the same crowded isle. We spoke with Cabarrus Brewing Company about how they are maximizing visibility in a Covid world.
beer with a community
Cabarrus Brewing Company, located in Concord, North Carolina is deeply rooted in its celebration of local history and tradition. The brewery, known for its quality craft beer and lively atmosphere draws over 7,500 visitors (pre-Covid) each month.
To keep customers happy, the team jumped into action as soon as their tap room room shut down. “Covid has put breweries in a place to look at their operations. They can’t just rely on their tap rooms,” explains Mark Thompson, Chief Operations Officer at Cabarrus Brewing Co.
We wanted the essence of the brand to make it to the hands of the consumer.
Even now, with capacity capped at 50%, they need to fill the void.
selling outside the taproom
70% of consumers form their impression of a brand based solely on packaging. Cabarrus Brewing Co. understood this. “Our marketing team said prominent packaging was the way to go. We wanted the essence of the brand to make it to the hands of the consumer,” says Thompson.
Instead of offering up 4 or 6 packs like everyone else, they decided to shake things up. CompanyBox teamed up with Cabarrus Brewing Co. and Sublmnl Design to create a new 12 pack for their popular Cotton Blonde Ale. The idea was to create a box to mimic their beer cans. “People are used to that yellow can. The packaging needed to be very obvious to the audience,” says Mark Thompson.
“At first it seemed like an intimidating thing. CompanyBox talked us through concepts and we got to hold samples. They made it so easy,” explains Thompson.
To kick things off, the team created a buzz on their social channels by releasing a teaser of the new packaging. Adding this visual aspect instantly got people’s attention.
Once they made the announcement, fans got excited. Cotton Blonde Ale isn’t a new beer, but the larger package provided a better value and saved consumers from making a shopping trip later. The bright yellow also helped the brew stand out in the 400 retail stores Cabarrus Brewing Co. partners with.
The brewery saw an increase in retail sales for the Cotton Blond 12 pack. They were also able to pump up a social presence with unboxing videos. “Packaging is what kept us alive and moving. All breweries need to do this,” adds Thompson.
“Covid is altering the craft beer landscape. We want to offer an additional model for breweries to market their beer,” notes CompanyBox’s founder, Louie DeJesus. “Our in-house team of designers love to get creative with packaging.”
Let’s work together to shake things up. Contact us to collaborate.
New Normal in Education: Custom Packaging Helps Keep Enrollment Steady
Covid-19 is having lasting effects on private educational facilities across the country. Some schools are expecting to see a 25% drop in enrollment for the 2020-2021 year. They know the only way to attract students and keep enrollment steady is to adapt to the new normal: custom education and enrollment packaging. With limited campus visits, admissions teams can use customized boxes to send educational experiences straight through the mail.
Saint Mary’s School is an all-girl college preparatory boarding and day school with students spread over 14 states and 6 countries. With a small student body of just 300 students, Saint Mary’s is known for its close community and collaborative environment.
To gear up for each year, the school holds a special full-day event for accepted students. The private school market is competitive. With families checking out other places, showcasing their community is essential.
Enrollment events were slated for spring of 2020. Then the Covid-19 pandemic hit. To ensure the health and safety of the community, Saint Mary’s made the decision to close their 23-acre campus and cancel this meaningful event.
Then came the question; now what?
They knew they needed to get something captivating in front of the girls to drive enrollment up. The staff came up with a simple concept: since students couldn’t visit, they would bring a little of the school to the newly accepted students.
Saint Mary’s School collaborated with CompanyBox to create a custom welcome box to attract students. The school’s Senior Marketing Director, Heath Hilliker says “The template was super easy to use. I just downloaded it and then popped in our design.”
With the clock ticking, everything needed to be sent out in a few weeks. CompanyBox was able to immediately respond and transform the ideas into a cost-efficient solution to drive enrollment. “The money we spent on the boxes and shipping paled in comparison to what we would have normally spent on an event,” explains Mary Mills, Assistant Director of Admissions.
The design carried their brand colors and logo from the inside to the outside of the box. Then integrated a personal note with a selection of Saint Mary’s swag, weaving in school pride.
In spite of the pandemic, enrollment rates for the 2020-2021 school year are continuing to rise. That’s saying a lot considering these challenging times of the unknown.
From the moment the custom boxes arrived, the school saw a strong engagement. Families happily communicated it was an extra touch they didn’t receive from other schools. The Saint Mary’s staff was just as pleased. “We loved it,” says Mills, “It was a perfect look for what we wanted to represent our brand and for young girls to enjoy.”
“We want to make sure that apart from promoting a great education, there is a human touch to admissions – and this is it.”
-Mary Mills | Assistant Director of Admissions @ Saint Mary’s School
DOING SOMETHING DIFFERENT
While most of the country is still practicing social distancing, Saint Mary’s was able to create a connection with a personal touch that helped to drive enrollment. “We want to make sure that apart from promoting a great education, there is a humanlike touch – and this is it,” notes Mills.
The school is now considering developing additional campus visit boxes. “We’re seeing a huge uptick in education and enrollment packaging,” says CompanyBox president Kyle DeJesus. “There’s an opportunity here to make an impact.”
With 36 faculty and staff members living on campus, Mills notes, “It’s been tough to not be face to face with our students and faculty – so now we have to be creative about building a community.”
How can CompanyBox can help to transform your education packaging and drive enrollment? Let’s talk.
Little Heirloom Books: Building Connections with Children Through Reading
“Read good books. Raise good humans. Relish the things that last.” These are the words Little Heirloom Books has fashioned their business around. Co-founders, Camille Close and Meredith Church shared a love for children’s literature and a belief that a high quality book is not always the easiest to find, especially for busy families. They set out to create a monthly book club with handpicked stories, beautiful illustrations and uplifting messages.
The result of their collaboration was Little Heirloom Books; a book club for modern families with minimalist ideals. Choose from one of three subscription types – The Storyteller, The Adventurer or The Enthusiast. Each level adds more curated, quality goods that coordinate with the box’s value-based themes.
However, for Little Heirloom Books, it wasn’t just about the delightful books and objects that went inside the box. Presentation and first impressions mattered to them. We dug deeper into how this special company started, what their design process was and how they select top quality literature.
We wanted to send the best stories, with the most beautiful illustrations and uplifting messages, right to families’ doorsteps.
What inspired you to create a business around children’s books?
Being moms and lifelong readers ourselves, books of all kinds (especially children’s literature) have been a centerpiece of our homes and lives. There’s something about an excellent book that is so powerful: it opens doors to adventure, empathy, trust, courage, and so much more. We’ve been reading to our babies since they were born to share the love!”
“We found that among the books published every year, not all had the quality – both visually and textually – that we wanted to nurse our kids on. Care and deliberation went into choosing children’s books for our own families. We set out to build a box that would align with our values.
C. S. Lewis said, “No book is really worth reading at the age of ten, which is not equally – and often far more – worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.” And we felt to extend that to include picture books. A good book is a good book for all ages!
Talk about the design process and inspiration for your packaging.
We wanted to reflect our name and company values with our packaging. Little Heirloom Books connotes a product for children that is high quality and will stand the test of time. So we wanted our box to have a little bit of whimsy, a little bit of imperfection, and a handcrafted feeling.
We also wanted the design to be timeless. We picked a cheerful but grounded color and kept the palette minimal for simplicity. On the back of the box, we made it easy for people to find us online and included the logo of Page 158, our partner indie bookstore.
How do you choose which books make it into your box each month?
Every box includes a book published within the previous ninety days. To find the best ones, we sort through hundreds of upcoming titles and to be considered for the box, it has to meet all three of the following criteria:
1. The illustrations must be beautiful. We look for enthralling, detailed art with a lovely color palette that draws in readers of all ages. Children read stories through the pictures first, so the illustrations are fundamental. 2. The story has to be just as stellar as the illustrations. The text needs to flow well, be engaging, and draw readers of all ages along. It has to be a story that children will want to read again and again – AND mom and dad won’t mind a bit. 3. It needs to have an uplifting, positive message. The media children consume (including books) shapes who they become. Let’s bring our children up with words that empower and encourage them! Books are also an excellent tool for opening up critical parent-child conversations. We always include discussion prompts for getting the ball rolling.
Why did you decide to use custom packaging for Little Heirloom Books?
It’s essential to us that our customers feel treated when they receive a box. Not just any box would do. We needed packaging that would reflect our brand: high quality with a clean design. Plus, it needed to stand out from their ordinary mail and packages so they would know at first sight that something exceptional had arrived. Presentation and first impressions matter a great deal, and custom packaging made an excellent first impression possible for us.
We wanted our box to have a little bit of whimsy, a little bit of imperfection, and a handcrafted feeling.
What tips would you give someone hoping to start their own e-commerce business?
For us, it goes back to the community again. We have been so impressed with the generosity and kindness of people both on and off the internet! Every time we have reached out to others, we have received helpful, eager, and friendly replies. We love working with the people we have met through this online business! So our tip is to reach out and don’t be shy! People helping people is what it’s all about.
How does your tagline influence your brand decisions? “Read good books. Raise good humans. Relish the things that last.”
Everything that goes into our box focuses on that tagline. We seek out the best books with the most meaningful messages and pair them with the highest quality of children’s goods. Parents get inundated with tips, tricks, standards and expectations about how to be the best for our kids. At the same time, our children are trying to sort through expectations thrown at them. It can be a lot!
We believe that simplifying and stepping into peaceful moments reading with our kids can truly make a difference. It’s in the quiet moments that we make powerful connections between parents and children, between people and ideas, between our hearts and minds.
By giving our children the best of best – in messages, in time, in being fully present and open with one another – we make a difference. We build connections with our children that will last. We raise children who are strong, brave, and kind. We create a better world. Those are the things that matter most, and what Little Heirloom Books is all about.
Thank you to Little Heirloom Books for taking the time to talk with us. If you’re looking for uplifting literature for little ones, check out their subscription book club options.
SYPCOFFEE: Packaging Designed Around a Company Mission
Anyone who knows about starting a business can tell you this. It’s tough. Being an entrepreneur means thinking through a concept from beginning to end. And the questions! Will it be worth it? What is the company mission? Is it sustainable? How can you build confidence in your brand?
For Craig Margolius, founder of SYPCOFFEE it began as a very clear thought: life is short. It was a “seize the moment” belief that led him to begin a company guided by an underlying mission that superseded the product.
After a sudden personal loss, Craig found himself leaving an enjoyable and familiar corporate environment for the world of entrepreneurship because he asked himself “what’s the worst that could really happen?”
SYPCOFFEE was founded with a mission to help others confidently recognize the special people in their lives. As a coffee and gift boutique they offer handcrafted packages- paying special attention to each tiny detail. You’ll find wax seals, handwritten notes and special cards detailing coffee origin notes and info about elevation, processing method, and flavor profiles. Choose from delicious signature infused sugars to go that extra mile.
CompanyBox caught up with Craig to discuss how he created a business centered on small moments, smiles and customized gifts for the people in our lives.
Our packaging is designed to sincerely leave a memorable impression.
A big part of SYPCOFFEE is focused on allowing customers to purchase gifts for others. Tell us why this is important to you.
Really, the first thing we wrote before starting anything – which we call the SYPCOFFEE Manifesto (that is written inside every gift) – ends with the acknowledgement that a single moment is all it takes to bring a fresh smile, make a gorgeous day or reinforce a beautiful life. Those moments you give to others really could be precipitated by any product or service – we just happen to LOVE helping you do this with coffee. With a love for coffee as a consumer, I knew that as a company, we must be guided by an underlying and very real mission superseding the product. My life experiences helped give proof to this mission.
Your gift packaging is beautiful. Why did you make the decision to invest in unique packaging?
Everything we do is driven by a goal to earn your trust and confidence in gifting. And that trust must be built on ensuring a remarkable experience for you at every step – from ordering through roasting, personalizing, unpacking and of course, tasting. And really that’s what makes SYPCOFFEE so fun for us! There are simply no limits on the multitude of creative ways to imbue a satisfying and – what we’re really striving for! – remarkable impression for you and your recipient.
Handwritten notes are something you don’t see very often anymore. Talk a little about the time it takes to write them. Is it worth it?
As our manifesto states, SYPCOFFEE are ‘handcrafted packages of impending moments’ and handwritten cards are just another way to help guarantee that promise. Handwriting may not be the most efficient or easily scalable way, but we can promise you it will always be THE way.
Talk about the process of finding coffee farms that you trust for your brand.
In the beginning, we aimed to visit each farm from which we sourced and while we are not able to keep this really enjoyable part of the journey up, we do want to ensure clarity and transparency into every unique origin and farm from which we source.
There are so many incredible sources of specialty grade coffee from around the world – and so many amazing people involved to ensure such variety – that every month, you will always find new selections from which to choose. And its true – you may enjoy a given months’ selection more or less than prior – but such consistent variety may help introduce new origins and profiles that you never knew you could enjoy so much!!!
There are simply no limits on the multitude of creative ways to imbue a satisfying and remarkable impression for you and your recipient.
What has custom packaging done for SYPCOFFEE?
Our packaging is designed to sincerely leave a memorable impression. We strive for it to be of such high quality that gift components may be reused and remembered long after the last cup of SYPCOFFEE. For example, this is why all of our giftboxes are handcrafted here in the US from brushed Birch and Pine Wood…and why our soy candles are poured in very easily cleaned and reusable Lowball Glasses! How could one possibly discard, nevermind forget your beautiful gift!?
What tips would you give someone just starting their own e-commerce business?
From the beginning, the below components have always helped us:
(a) Meet 1 new person a day – the perspective gained in listening to someone new can have a remarkable effect on your drive and creativity, both personally and professionally (b) Always stay open and flexible. We started with a single gift, available online only. Through customer feedback, inquiry and critique, we now offer corporate gifting, gift delivery, wholesale, event services and even opened our first Gift Boutique proof of concept. Without a constant willingness to pivot, we would never keep discovering additional opportunities (c) Most importantly, make certain you are always having fun! And working hard really should be immensely fun if there is an underlying joy in what you do.
David & Bear owner Sean Webb wanted to help all parents by providing products that were affordable, stylish, long lasting and easy to use. He also wanted packaging that could be reused to store particular products.
If you know kids, you know they have a few universal talents: a. Using their imagination b. Having fun c. Making messes
Every parent out there knows that the secret sauce to keeping kids busy involves combining a + b with (hopefully) a minimal amount of c. We recently printed packaging for David & Bear, a company that developed a product around this exact recipe.
The family-owned company, named after Sean’s two boys, offers a fort building kit that works just about anywhere. (All you need is a blanket.) We spoke with Sean about how he got started in this e-commerce business and how their Fort Builders kit works to encourage kid’s imagination and playfulness.
We wanted packaging made of sustainable and recyclable materials that is dual purpose, for shipping and for first impressions..
Talk beginnings. How did you get into products for children?
As parents, we were inspired to design products that help little ones use their imagination, be creative, and provide Mom and Dad the accessories they need to make parenting easier. We offer blanket Fort Building Kits, Multi-use Car Seat Covers and Nursing Covers in various designs. We designed all our products to be affordable, stylish, and long lasting. These were important features we could not find in balance online or in retail stores. Another passion of ours is for full-time mommies, whether they stay at home or commute to work, they are always on call, and we want to provide a helping hand by offering products that are practical and easy to use.
Why did you decide to use custom packaging? How does it add to your business?
The David & Bear Fort Building Kit fits perfectly inside a strong and durable custom designed box. We wanted packaging made of sustainable and recyclable materials that is dual purpose, for shipping and for first impressions. Both have their own unique requirements.
Shipping requires a box that is strong and durable to get the product to our customers just as it left our facility, in perfect working order. However, most poly mailers or other shipping material need to be disposed of once the product reaches the customer. By working with CompanyBox, we were able to provide a practical use of our box. We incorporated a fun & lighthearted, outdoor camping inspired design that is also used to store the pieces of our product when not in use. From our research, it’s important for our customers for storage and grab-and-go purposes. Most multi-piece toy products are easily lost because the package the customer receives will be disposed of since it’s not designed to be kept or used as storage. As easy as it is to build a fort, its just as quick and easy to put away and store for the next playtime with the unique quick tab release.
All kids love creating forts! Tell us more about your product.
We were inspired to design it to help little ones use their imagination and be creative. The fort building kit provided them with this unique ability. We wanted to offer the product to other Moms and Dads out there that needed something simple, yet effective and affordable to build play forts.
Building pillow and blanket forts was something we have the best memories of as kids and we wanted to create something that made enjoying forts for our kids easier and simpler. The Fort Kit provides the perfect solution for this. We love how David & Bear’s® Fort Building Kit is compatible with any size blanket, and because the accessories compact easily for storage, its portable and small enough that it fits perfectly in a drawer or cabinet when not being used.
Most Fort building products on the market today are expensive, elaborate, come with many pieces, or do not provide the strength to be very long lasting. To solve this, we invested in the largest, strongest, and most durable suction cups available from our suppliers (This isn’t your average suction cup! They are about the size of your palm, over 3.5 inches in diameter!) We coupled this with strong elastic ties that flex and twist to anchor the blanket to the suction cup and window. Using the kit, a fort can be assembled in less than 30 seconds and will be able to withstand tugging and stretching when your little ones are playing and crawling around inside.
We incorporated a fun & lighthearted, outdoor camping inspired design that is also used to store the pieces of our product when not in use.
We love the designs you created. Talk about the design process and inspiration for your boxes.
We focused on lighthearted designs inspired by children and art, that feature bright colors, shapes, and animals. Mosaic stained glass and giraffe pattern spots are features of a few of our designs. CompanyBox made the iterative design process easier than ever before, with their online design portal, no minimum order quantity (MOQ) requirement, and a very helpful and knowledgeable staff available to discuss any questions we had on processing and printing our designs.
One of the best parts of working with CompanyBox was the ability to iterate through our designs and receive samples in a matter of days. This made getting our products to market much simpler and easier than we had anticipated. They don’t outsource to overseas suppliers, cutting out the middle-man and extra fees, which we discovered was hard to find in a custom packaging supplier.
What tips would you give someone hoping to start their own e-commerce business?
Reflect on why you are interested in creating a business. Finding out why you are passionate in the industry you have chosen will help propel your business to success. It is this passion that will drive innovation, creativity, and a well-established investment strategy.
Conduct market research and invest in an area that isn’t over saturated, and on products that solve problems and provide a good value to your customers. Partner with suppliers that provide great value and work hard to do so. Most importantly, incorporate a way to serve others and give back!
Interested in creating custom packaging for your story and business? We want to be a part of your story. Also, check out David & Bear through Amazon Prime and their “How To” video on YouTube.
Jubilee Plant Box on the Benefits of Plants and Custom Packaging
To celebrate Earth Day, CompanyBox asked the plant experts at Jubilee Plant Box to reflect on the benefits of greenery, how their custom packaging helps with customer experience and running a start-up business on the side.
Custom packaging is important for a business like ours that has a strong brand that needs to be communicated at every touchpoint with our customers.
Co-founders, Liv and Casie met at a job interview and later learned of their shared plant love. After moving to Cleveland, Ohio they spoke more about the scientific benefits of plants and how they could create something that gave others joy in life through gardening. Together, they started a community of loyal plant lover
What sparked your decision to focus on plants?
We have both been involved with plants in some way since we were young. At this point in time, we are two very busy women working for startups and realized that plants actually acted as a self-care ritual for us. Plants have many scientific benefits but for us they provided a healthy responsibility that did not require a screen. We had many people reach out to us to help diagnose their sick plants, ask how to get their own plant collection started, etc. After a glass of wine celebrating a raise, we decided we could turn this into a business.
Tell us about your subscription box! What is typically included?
Jubilee Plant Box is a quarterly subscription box that combines the scientific benefit of plants and natural beauty products to promote self-care in a less traditional fashion – delivered directly to your door! The Jubilee Box comes with 2 succulent plants, beauty product(s), and a piece of artwork all sourced from small women-owned businesses. The Plant Box comes with 2 succulent plants. Both boxes include care instructions and identification for each plant, Jubilee stickers, and stickers to place on the plant pots (gotta name those new pals!).
You decided to run a subscription business, what are the benefits of doing this over a traditional e-commerce site?
For us it allows us to fulfill orders on a quarterly basis versus on an ongoing basis. We both work full-time for startups so we didn’t have the bandwidth to continuously ship products every single month. This also helps us keep inventory lower so we can run this out of the space we have without needing any storage.
Why did you decide to use custom packaging?
We wanted people to feel like they were getting the “Jubilee experience” when they received our box. We want people to feel joy, feel the excitement to learn, grow, and care for new plant pals. Custom packaging is so important for a business like ours that has a strong brand and needs that to be communicated at every touchpoint with our customers.
How does your packaging add to your business?
It definitely makes the brand come together as a full product. In my own opinion, I do not think our product would be taken as seriously if we did not have the packaging we currently have.
Where do you find inspiration?
We find inspiration in many places – while doing activities we enjoy such as being outdoors gardening, the internet, people that we know or meet, articles we find to be inspirational, and loads of lady bosses. We may even see a shade of a color and get inspired!
Make your mark with custom boxes with CompanyBox. We love working with businesses of all sizes to create a new and memorable touchpoint for your own customers. Any color. Any size. Any amount.
How Custom Boxes Help Popular Media Site ‘Her Campus’ Engage with Clients and Community
From day one, we have the pleasure of developing custom packaging for all types of clients. We ship them off to you, with a hope they will be a part of your brand’s story. And it’s those stories that are our favorite. We love to see what you’re doing with custom packaging and what it’s doing for your business.
One of those businesses is Her Campus, a lifestyle brand and media site dedicated to providing aspiring female journalists and marketers with the skills and experience they need to launch their careers after graduation. Their sister company, InfluenceHer Collective is a tight-knit community of influencers and brands that send out custom “survival kits” to members. But here’s the best part; Both businesses are run 100% by women and the 12,000+ contributors are entirely made up of college journalists spread out across 11 countries.
The founders, Stephanie Kaplan Lewis, Annie Wang and Windsor Hanger Western met while working on a lifestyle print magazine. At the time, they were focusing specifically on Harvard college women.
“We decided to bring the publication online to modernize it and allow us to reach a broader audience.” says Wang. “We realized there was this need in the media industry for lifestyle content by college women for college women. After experiencing success with publication, we wanted to do something bigger that was not just a publication at Harvard, but a platform that would allow anyone to create a similar magazine on their campus.”
Their venture has led them to be named as the Number One Media Site for College Women by Forbes, Top Small Business of the Year by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, and Entrepreneur Magazine’s list of The Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America
We recently caught up with Annie Wang, Co-founder and Creative Director of Her Campus, to talk more about her business, finding inspiration, and how she uses a custom designed (and downright awesome) subscription box to engage with their clients and community of women.
We believe in storytelling through graphic design, and custom packaging is another way to expand on our brand’s standard of excellence.
Tell us more about your subscription box.
Our InfluenceHer Collective survival kits are an extension of our Campus Survival Kits. Both kits are a fun way that we engage both our clients and our community of college women. We work with clients to send product to our community, and they in turn create content surrounding the kits. It allows our clients to reach a niche and new audience, test new products and promote their brand while allowing our influencer community to be on the cutting edge of new trends and brands while building their content portfolios.
Why did you decide to use custom packaging? How does it add to your business?
Custom packaging takes our products to a completely new level. We have a genius and award-winning design team that I lead, and they are integral to every campaign we launch. We believe in storytelling through graphic design, and custom packaging is another way to expand on our brand’s standard of excellence that our members and clients expect.
How do you promote Her Campus?
The success of Her Campus can be largely attributed to our chapters. We have over 380 chapters around the world producing original editorial content on HerCampus.com. The hands-on experience our students gain working on their chapter teams leads them to land their dream jobs and important connections. We also have multiple events a year — from our tentpole Her Conferences in New York and Los Angeles, to College Fashion Week in Boston and New York, to our B2B College Marketing Summits.
We have immersed ourselves directly in the college market, engaging with students on social media, and have truly embodied the approach of 360 marketing that spans digital, influencer, on-campus, experiential and insights.
Both kits are a fun way that we engage both our clients and our community of college women.
Where do you find inspiration?
As someone in a creative field, it’s incredibly important to constantly seek inspiration and intentionally make it a part of your day. Inspiration for me comes in many forms, from scrolling through my Instagram feed, to reading Architectural Digest (I like getting inspired from “unrelated” art disciplines), to consuming a large diet of articles on leadership, productivity, and best practices related to my responsibilities. I moved from Boston to Miami a year and a half ago and this was the best thing I could have done for myself in terms of gaining inspiration, thanks to the totally new culture, weather, green spaces, and creative energy of this city.
What is one piece of advice you like to give young women?
Be outgoing and be confident in who you are and your ideas. Network, network, network. We like to describe our team as overachieving, entrepreneurial, action-oriented, innovative, collaborative and passionate, because we feel that these are the qualities of successful women, and I would encourage those looking to break into their dream field or find their dream career to embody those traits as well!
One of my favorite quotes is: “Entrepreneurship is not a sprint, it’s a marathon,” and that’s so true. Sometimes winning just means getting through another day and moving forward. Starting your own business can be daunting at times; focusing on what you can do each day to move the needle, and trusting the team you have built, will lead you to success.
Would you share one of your secrets to success?
We at CompanyBox know that daunting feeling. We have felt it ourselves and we see it with many of the companies we work with. That’s why we love telling your story. Because, if Annie, Stephanie and Windsor can take an idea and turn it into a successful media site for college women with national content, countless campus chapters, bloggers, events, conferences, apparel and even a book, then you can do something great with your idea too.
Interested in creating custom packaging for your story and business? We want to be a part of that marathon with you. Visit us at CompanyBox.
To many people, a scone is a dense, dry biscuit-like cake. It brings to mind images of a quaint afternoon English tea. But with the revolution of the cupcake and then the donut world, why not create an updated version of the scone? That’s just what Hala Yassine and Farrah Haidar did with their company Seven Sisters Scones.
Their story is one of trial, error and persistence (as most good stories are). Hala started baking scones for her family and suggestions began rolling in for new flavors. Soon it was clear a business could be made and Hala began selling at farmers markets and then in 2015 opened a store in Johns Creek, Georgia. People liked this new type of scone. Flavors like Fig & Goat Cheese, Banana Toffee and Honey Lavender were intriguing and delicious. They even have gluten free options.
Custom packaging is important for a business like ours that has a strong brand that needs to be communicated at every touchpoint with our customers.
Once their online site went live, it was clear shipping would be a huge part of their business. And you can’t ship delicate products without using boxes. So, there was one question remaining. To use custom shippers or that same old brown box?
We wanted our customers to feel like they were getting something special; like they were part of a family.
hala seven sisters
“We wanted our customers to feel like they were getting something special; like they were part of a family. In the store, we can do that easily using signage, staff, etc… But, when you mail something out to the world, all you have speaking for you is your packaging. We wanted to design one that was functional, informative and beautiful.”
CompanyBox believes in cool packaging. So of course we were happy to help create custom boxes for Seven Sisters Scones. We also got a chance to ask Farrah a few questions about their business.
Seven Sisters…are there really seven sisters involved!?
Yes, there really are seven sisters! Two of us are involved every day. The others are involved tangentially.
We read about how Hala first started baking scones at home. What a great story! How did you go about finding the right combinations and ingredients for new flavors?
It took a lot of testing and work! Hala is constantly creating new flavors and flavor combinations. We look everywhere for inspiration – the seasons, what’s on trend in the baking industry, customer feedback, etc… We often hold tasting parties in the sconedom and talk about the flavor, texture, smell, look and taste of the scones.
The menu looks so delicious! What are some of your favorite flavors?
Personally, I like savory more than sweet. Beer & Cheese is one of my favorites.
Do you have a company motto?
We may be small but we are mighty!
What is the hardest aspect of running your business?
Organizing time. It seems like there is always some small thing pulling at your attention. Being disciplined about what you focus on is key.
What is your favorite part of running your business?
Honestly? Building a place that supports people – our employees by providing a positive place to work; our customers by providing a top-notch product; and our families.
We at CompanyBox believe your packaging is more than just a box. It’s your chance to make your first impression count.
Never under-estimate the value of packaging. Packaging gets you the first sale. What’s inside gets you the second
haidar seven sisters
“Never underestimate the value of packaging. Packaging gets you the first sale. What’s inside gets you the second,” says Haidar. “We once delivered boxed lunches to a large catering client. The next time we came in, we heard employees saying, “OMG! The red box place is back!” Packaging sticks with people, especially if they love the product.”
Visit Seven Sisters Scones to place an order. (We tried out the mini scone sampler and they are so yummy!)
And don’t forget to up your packaging game with custom boxes from CompanyBox.
With the winter season upon us, dry skin is at the forefront of many people’s minds. But to Allan Holiday MD, it was something he thought about more than just in the winter. As a physician with over 25 years of experience he saw and treated people with diabetes. He noticed that dry skin was a common thread among his patients and set out to provide a safe, simple solution for everyday application. And that is how Toad Skin Solutions was born.
Located in the heart of the great plains, surrounded by the Flint Hills of Kansas, Toad Skin Solutions LLC launched its website just this year. They prefer to buy organic, fair trade products and products made in the USA.
We wanted to know more about this unique company and how custom packaging adds to the experience for their customers. First we asked how he went about finding the right combinations and ingredients for each of his products.
The box has a good sturdy feel and well made. It also reflects on the brand we’re creating.
allan S&N Design
“I really studied skin and damaged skin and came up with a list of things that go wrong with skin that I could help with and then worked with a formulator to work out the details of the products. For example, there are several ways to help skin. (By using a) barrier/protective, or drawing water into the skin and replacing lost oils and nutrients. Each cream is designed for a specific purpose, and the ingredients are very safe, proven and work well.”
Allan worked with the team at S&N Design from Manhattan, KS and the duo produced the eye- catching images you find on their website. To take their brand to the next level, they chose to design custom boxes for their products with CompanyBox.
“The custom boxes are very high quality and help make an exceptional first impression. The graphics and printing were designed to be used with all four kits so it’s a savings not having 4 different boxes. It’s like getting a present in the mail and they get to open the outer package and then the cool present inside is a well-made high quality custom box. They will also keep the box to store their kit and other products. The box has a good sturdy feel and (is) well made. It also reflects on the brand we’re creating.”
One decision was to use a toad as their main image. They explains more about this branding, “The top layer of the skin is sometimes called the horny layer, being rough, dry and scratchy. The skin on the horny toad’s back is very rough and scratchy and has a unique ability to retain moisture. The horny toad’s tummy is very soft and smooth, which is the goal of any skin moisturizing product”
With a motto “It’s ok. It’s ok to take care of yourself”, Toad Skin Solutions demonstrates how much they care about their customers. “As a physician I noticed most people usually worry about others and put themselves on the back burner. People often seem reluctant to be kind to themselves and almost neglect themselves sometimes. I like the motto because it lets people know it’s ok to care for yourself and it’s not selfish to do so.”
In fact, Allan’s favorite part of running his own business is knowing he is making an impact. “I like treating the customers like royalty, being honest about what we can do and providing a very safe solution to common problems. I think of all the people with painfully dry skin from diabetes, work, and weather. I enjoy knowing I’m being helpful in their lives.”
A special thanks to Allan Holiday for talking about his company and explaining why packaging is instrumental to making his brand stand out.
Want to give your packaging that something extra? Build your brand by visiting companybox.com
There is a great podcast from NPR called How I Built This. It focuses on innovators and entrepreneurs and the story behind the successful businesses they have created. If you want to be inspired and have a chance, give it a listen.
One question the host, Guy Raz always asks is “how much of your success is from luck?”. Some people credit their luck, but most attribute their booming business to hard work and dedication.
Have you ever thought about what traits make an entrepreneur? Or what makes a successful business? It can’t just be luck-
The Huffington Post published a blog article back in 2016 entitled, What Makes a ‘Good’ Entrepreneur? The author points to words like Creativity, Passion, Tenacity, Flexibility and Focus. And this article by Forbes in 2015 says entrepreneurs have a greater capacity for pain and discomfort than most. They can stay up later, work longer hours, and stay more focused.
Regardless of what the secret sauce is, we love working with all the entrepreneurs who come to us for help with building their brand. It is so fun for us to hear people’s stories and see what they are working on—knowing they are determined to make their business work and stand out among the crowd.
The Boy Box is one such business. The owner, Elizabeth started out with an idea and worked hard to turn it into a startup company. She answered a few questions for us… AND *BONUS!* keep reading to find a special offer!
What was the inspiration for creating your business? How did you get started?
I grew up in an entrepreneurial family and have always wanted to start my own business, but needed the right concept to inspire me to take the leap. Being a mother of three boys I have always been disappointed trying to find adorable, stylish, yet practical outfits for them. It is difficult to find a complete outfit with matching accessories like hats, scarves and bow ties. I decided to take matters into my own hands and use my eye for design, creative and organizational skills to set out to create boxed sets of clothing that make shopping and coordinating stylish outfits for boys a breeze. After months of sourcing the best platform, products, and manufacturers …the Boy Box as born.
We love the look of your clothing! Take us through the process of creating a new collection.
We design and manufacture all our own items exclusively for The Boy Box. Kids play hard, so I aim to create boxes that are not only adorable, but practical too. Our items are worn, washed and played in several times by my own children to insure the highest comfort and quality. Usually an outfit comes about by finding a fabric I love and I take it from there. Although our demographic is boys, many of our items are gender neutral. We try to avoid your typical football or truck graphics and silly slogans like, “Mommy’s Little Linebacker.”
What is the hardest aspect of running your business?
The hardest part of running The Boy Box is finding balance between being a business owner and a Mom. Previous to The Boy Box, I was a stay at home Mom and devoted 100% of my time to my boys. Now they are in school aged, but I still have to work hard at scheduling my day to be sure business is running smoothly and that I am able spend quality time with the family.
What is your favorite part of running your business?
I love nothing more than seeing a customer post a picture on social media of their child in one of our items. They are always adorable!
How would you rate your overall experience with CompanyBox?
The shipping was fast and the quality is top notch. I love our boxes.
elizabeth the boy box
I give CompanyBox a 10! I worked with Chad during the design and order process. He was fantastic and very patient. He helped me work through some issues that I had with my graphic designer and made sure everything was perfect for me. The shipping was fast and the quality is top notch. I LOVE our boxes.
If you know a little boy in your life who could use The Boy Box, Elizabeth is offering 25% off your first box with the code COMPANYBOX (P.S. Many items are gender neutral, so they even work for girls!) Visit theboybox.com to see more.
And don’t forget to visit CompanyBox to start building your box and your brand!