Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wrap It Up - Retailer Ready

Wrapping soap is a dilemma for me and probably for many other soap makers. It's a constant tug-o-war between style and practicality. If you are thinking about selling your soaps wholesale to customers who want your soaps labeled, this is something that needs to be weighed.

I know I want my soaps to be seen and the artistic nuances to be admired and to have the soaps exposed so people can smell them. On the flip side, if I were to provide soaps wholesale in bars (right now I offer wholesale in loaves), I'd need to weigh all of my options. Exposed bars aren't necessarily what the retailer wants and it might end up damaged....then what?

Wrapping a bar completely allows the bar to be packed consistently for shipping, minimizes damage during any shifting...whether it be in shipment or shelf shifting...etc. In this way, your soaps are not seen so your packaging must be so appealing that it blows people away, or your bar will remain a lonely dusty skeleton on that shelf until it is thrown away. Do we want that for our babies? OK, this choice means serious artistic uniqueness. It can be done and the choices are HUGE!

Here are a couple of examples of beauty that I came across with all sorts of wrapping jobs.


Here are packaging ideas for soap makers provided by The Ponte Vedre Soap Shoppe website. Each packaging idea is marked with a number. If you are interested in finding out more, go to their site to see the details of the wrap job.


This person from Memory Makers bought soaps plain from Good Fortune and decorated them herself for her own wedding. They are so cute!

I went to Good Fortune so I could show you their soaps, but I couldn't pull a graphic from the site. They wrap their soap with a card and what looks like a hair tie to hold it all together. Very smart.

Here is an example of a full wrap with no band or personal touch. Still...quite elegant.

Tokyo Milk Paper Wrapped Dragonfly Soap at South Moon Under

There's a do-it-yourself tutorial at Creature Comforts, where they show how to wrap soap with step by step instructions (measuring, cutting, ribbon, stickers....)

Then there is the tissue wrapped soaps:
Soap by Gianna Rose

The metal box (which I haven't yet seen) done by Scottish Fine Soaps

There's the boxed soap/ A dear friend of mine, Lisa Devo, is co-owner of The Soap &Paper Factory and their line is stunning looking. Their soap in a box is shown here:

Fabric is a beautiful choice as well:
Wrapped in hand batiked fabric at Me Naturally

So how do you wrap your beauties and are you thrilled with the outcome? Do you have a blog post you'd like to share? I think wrapped soaps are beautiful any way you slice it, styles and difference are fantastic. I love to see it all.

But I'm extra hungry today.


Heathen's Hearth said...

We started out using shrink wrap. It was a matter of convenience, and we sold 100% online, so everyone got to see the beauty before they bought it.

However, recently we have started branching out, and I knew we were going to need something pretty, yet in keeping with our shops overall theme.

So, now they are wrapped in plain white tissue paper with a black cigar band style card stock strip around them, with a white label that details all the information about the soap.

Simple, yet elegant. (And less expensive than shrink wrap!)

heidi - bodygoodies said...

i looooooooove the soaps in the tins. surely expensive to do, but what a gorgeous presence! very smart. protects the soap, says what it is right on the tin, and ... you can open it without damaging the packaging... to have a peek. awesome!

IMO this particular tin is more appealing than a tin or box with a simple label on it. the colors and lettering make a statement themselves. great branding, marketing. you get a feel for the company just by the style. love it.

Anonymous said...

Those all look so nice. The printed rubber band is genius!

I sell my soap in boxes with a cut-out. Customers can sniff and get a little peek at the soap. Here's an example in the third picture:

OK, but if I go the wholesale route I'd really like to have the customer be able to see the entire soap. I've steered away from cello bags or shrinkwrap because I wanted to stay with recyclable packaging. But now I'm researching a new biodegradable shrinkwrap from National Shrinkwrap. It looks promising.

Body Language Soaps said...

Since we sell online, wholesale and at shows, we needed to keep our soaps fully wrapped. We receive so many compliments on our packaging, so we must be on the right track!

We wrap our soaps in plastic, but don't actually shrink the wrapping. Then each soap type has a completely unique label with the design based on its scent. These labels also match the coordinating lotions, scrubs, etc, so it's easy for the customer to go through our line and find the 'matching' products for their favorite scent.

Picture of wrapped soap:

dcyrill said...

Thanks for this post today. I needed this inspiration for a project. All gorgeous. :)

Bullfrogs & Butterflies Baby said...

Thank you for a great post (and great responses!). This is an issue I've been wrestling with for many months now as I'm in the process of launching a new B&B line in my boutique. These ideas are fabulous!

Amy W said...

I still love my Smell Through Shrink Wrap!!

You can see the soap, and still smell it through the wrap.

Heidi said...

I love this post!!! Wrapping has always been my Achilles' heel. I've found very few information on the web or in books.

Thanks for the info :D

Suds Handmade Soap Co. said...

This is a great post! Every soapmaker struggles with packaging at some point. I absolutely love the beautiful and unique packaging that can be found between the many different sellers. As soapmakers, we are all creative by nature... and that really shows in our packaging! Every company has their own style and their own feel that they want to reflect. As for our company, SUDS, we tried several different options before finally settling on these. You can view and enlarge the pic of our packaged soaps here...

Body Natural Soap said...

For my whole sale customers and now for even my craft shows I shrink rap. I purchase my Shrink rap bag in bulk online They are less than .01 per bag. I put the label inside with the soap. Printed on cardstock and seal it up. For the winerys I seal the sides closed but for other shops I leave the side open a little so that the customer can smell the soap. Packaging is under .01 cent and is not time consuming. This helps when you have to put out a couple hundred bars.

Michelle said...

Amy, I agree. Smell through shrink wrap is a good idea, especially for those who do craft shows. Too many fingers touching.

di Palermo Body said...

Packaging is so very important when you are selling a high quality product. When you are selling to wholesalers who will representing your products in their store, the consumer does not have you there to tell them how great this product is so the packaging must speak to them. You want them to see your vision and want to experience your brand. Soap packaging can be so unique, I love that. It took a little while for me to come up with mine but I'm rather happy with the result.

Take a look.

das A und O said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
das A und O said...

I put mine in these cute little paper bags usually used for tea or spices, with a round cut-out for smelling and looking on the front and the label on the back.
I like that the soaps are visible and sniffable and at the same time tidily wrapped and ready to give away. In addition, it's paper and thus recycable.
You can see them here.

Anonymous said...

I'm just here to enjoy the view. ;) I do admire those artistic wrap jobs!

ApronUnlimited said...

I use shrink wrap for my soaps, but I really enjoyed all the different wraps. Great pictures.

Christian said...

Very informative post! Thank you for all of the fresh ideas...

Jan said...

I just love the box used by The Soap and Paper Factory, sure wish I could buy some of those for my soaps:) I make my own labels to wrap around my soap bars, but would really love some beautiful boxes to use for a gift line. I live in Australia and haven't been able to find any as yet. Another great post! Thank you.

Naiad Soap Arts said...

Wow - perfect timing for the post as I am in the middle of redoing all of my packaging. You have posted so many great ideas - Thank you for taking the time to do all of this research! I must say I am a sucker for pretty paper.
Here is some of my current packaging that is too time consuming and getting redone:

I am simplifying but using bolder papers to get a nice finished look without the bloody fingers from tying those little raffia knots.

Rose & Root said...

Thanks for the post!

FuturePrimitive said...

you've had so many comments already, but I just had to! I have been wrapping my soap in cello bags with an info card inside (with full ingredients list), then tying the bag with garden string.
My soaps sell on sight in shops (as well as scent) so I need folks to be able to see them inside the packet. I'd love to wrap more naturally, but then there would be a dust problem. So hard to know what to do. I shall endeavour to sort out some packaging I'm 100% happy with. May take me some time.
A great post jo x

Lori at The Nova Studio said...

fantastic blog post joanna... what a great source of inspiration and information. thaanks for sharing! :o)

O Bella Naturals said...

Hey Joanna! This is Betsy, I met you at your shop yesterday - thank you for all the wonderful advice, you were so nice to chat with me for a while! I'm loving your blog, I figured I'd jump right in and participate! A few days ago I blogged about the packaging and such for my shop - fabric, hemp, recycled packing paper and handmade labels!

Check it out

Thanks for the post, I've seen a few of these products around and really admired their work, I love the packaging they use as well!

Can't wait to try your soap!


peepla said...

I have recycable cello bags...was using them for melt and pour and will use them for cp once fully cured. It keeps all the many scents from mingling. Nothing worse than the overpowering scents of peach, downey *type*, 7up cake, black, and coffee fighting it out in your nose. Think perfume counter where something spilled into something else...its too much for a small space. The cello completely seals in the scent...right before they are put in a postal pack...I use a hole puncher to make a "scent vent". The downey *type* was a custom order.....and ya smells just like it....and I perfer the more flowery scent of snuggle.