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I love shopping at boutiques. Not only do they typically have more unique items than larger chain stores, they also take such care in packaging your purchases. Etsy is basically a huge online collection of individually owned boutiques and, in my many Etsy purchases, I have found some very creative packaging ideas. I just recently received a necklace I acquired through one of my regular BNR’s. The artisan recycled a full color ad from a magazine (it was a higher end publication with thicker pages) and folded it into a fancy pouch, tied with raffia. Another purchase yielded a lovely handmade pillow box. More fragile items have come in jewelry boxes of all sizes and colors. When I first started selling on Etsy, I wrapped my jewelry in turquoise organza pouches and packaged them in glossy sea green boxes with a blue mermaid seal. It was a beautiful look, but really did not match the rustic quality of my jewelry…

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This is one of my newest Betty’s, Brandon Bay. It is named for one of the most popular surf spots on the Emerald Island. The vibrant green recycled glass beads and antique brass rose toggle make it a perfect accent for any Irish beach bum (like me!), introduced with St. Patty’s Day in mind. If you would like to view details and more photos of this bracelet, please fee free to click on this link:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/122519004/macrame-leather-bracelet-irish-green

A great deal of care was taken in the execution of this bracelet. Matching the right toggle and leather to the beads to give it both an Irish and a surfer feel; researching and finding the perfect name; and taking just the right photos to capture its true beauty. Not taking care in the packaging of this item is really quite comparable to skipping dessert after a delicious meal. While it is not necessary, it is an appreciated finishing touch.

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After I completed my branding exercises, I determined my image is beach-rustic. An appropriate packaging theme for this image would utilize natural colors and textures. I wrap each item in these unbleached cotton muslin bags – I like that these bags can be re-used – very eco-friendly! I decided to continue to use traditional jewelry boxes since most of my jewelry is made with chunky glass beads and I want to be certain it arrives safely at its destination, but now I have chosen a kraft finish (made of recycled materials!) to better complement my theme. I also tie a fun bow around the box with hemp cord for a finishing touch. I then ship it in a padded kraft mailer (also made with recycled materials).

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In my previous post, Building a Brand, I discussed some of my marketing material. These three items are included with each and every purchase. Of course, I always include my business card (these square ones are from Uprinting). I also tie one of these Dolphin Bead Designs kraft jewelry tags around each bracelet with hemp cord for a personalized and professional accent. I also always say “thank you” to my customers with a coupon card for a 10% discount on their next purchase. These free (only pay $5 for shipping!) mini cards from Moo printing are such a great deal, I am including the link again:

http://us.moo.com/partner/etsy-minicard-trial?utm_source=etsy&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=minitrial

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I love when I receive an Etsy package with some free goodies in it! Most suppliers will often send a few loose beads as a way of saying thanks. I was looking for a unique freebie to say thank you to my customers who make a sizable purchase ($50 or more). This magnet evolved from several ideas. When I recently attended a marketing mixer with some of my fellow Etsians, one artisan suggested I turn my business card into a magnet since she felt it was such an attractive photo. I then started to toy around with the idea of a magnet as a free gift – it is wonderful advertising for my shop. In my branding post, I made a graphic to illustrate the words that describe me with an image of one of my bracelets in the background:

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I really liked the vibe of this graphic, but I was not sure that I wanted to use an image of my jewelry. I decided to be a little more abstract and feature an image of the beach since I market to beach lovers. I chose a photo I had taken at my former home, Ventnor City, NJ, during sunrise. I always loved the soft colors of this image:

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I ran this photo through my Image Chef iPad app to crop it to a square and to add the fun text. I finished with my FOTOLR HD iPad app to add my website address and a little distressing around the edges. I ordered one magnet from Zazzle to test the design, and, I am thrilled to report, it came out beautifully! I also received a discount code with my order for 10% off my next order. So here is the math: I plan to order 24 magnets for $2.17 each after my discount. Zazzle also offers free shipping on orders of $50 or more, so my cost per item will not increase. I think this is a great price for a free gift that really doubles as advertisement.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope I have offered some inspiration in designing your packaging for your craft. I would love to hear about any creative ideas anyone else has through the comments section.

Shanti,
Erin

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