This is a guest blog by Jessica Lewis, co-owner of KRAFT and JUTE, which provides personalized kraft-sleeves and wedding favors using 100% recycled paper. Co-owners Melisa and Jessica are hard working wives and mothers; Melisa is due with baby #2 in December! She is a professor of business and marketing at Edinboro University and is currently working on her doctorate. When not running around after toddlers, Jessica sews sample CD sleeves for clients and runs her own photography business – Live: Beautiful Photography. Melisa and Jessica happen to be cousins who grew up together in northwest PA and have fond memories of playing in the tractor-tire sandbox on their grandparent’s farm.
The process of starting a new photography business is overwhelming for many new photographers. Many get weighed down with setting up a website or blog, finding a proofing site, creating a good workflow, managing a business, designing a logo, developing their brand… oh yeah – and taking and editing pictures. It is a lot of work and with so many different options, it is easy to lose track of time and become frustrated with trying to find the best solutions.
This process of being overwhelmed and frustrated is what led us (Melisa and Jessica) to develop Kraft and Jute. Jessica, photographer of Live: Beautiful Photography, wasn’t happy with the choices of Digital Negatives/DVD Slideshow packaging. We tried using the standard slim jewel case, but it screamed “cheap.” We thought about buying a 5×5 trifold from White House Custom Color, but were overwhelmed with trying to put together artwork and figuring out a nice layout. We knew we couldn’t spend a fortune on really nice custom packaging, but at the same time, we understood the value of a great presentation to the client.
So what better way to solve your own problems – create something for yourself! And that’s just what we did.
We created our own custom, eco-friendly, packaging for digital negatives in which we drew a lot of inspiration from two different websites: Caroline Ghetes and The Paperieboutique
The whole process was organic. We had tons of different ideas swimming around in our heads, but decided (encouraged by economics) to use the resources that were around us – kraft paper, our printer and a sewing machine. The feedback and ideas from friends and family were also key in developing our own professional packaging solutions. We knew that whatever the end result, we wanted something that was simple, yet beautiful.
You can see where we are now in the process by visiting our website, KRAFTandJUTE.com. Yes, this is still a process! We first posted some listings of the packaging products we had created in our Etsy shop. The response from fellow photographers was overwhelming. We were very excited to see their logos and brands printed on our simple CD/DVD sleeves. They looked amazing! We strive to fulfill custom packaging requests from professionals like you that need something that will make their brand stick out (but not lose a fortune in packaging costs).
We continue to build on our standard packaging solutions but also work on a one-to-one level with photographers all over the world to make something that is unique, simple and beautiful for them.
Kraft and Jute products have expanded from the simple CD sleeve to now include: CD/DVD sleeves, double sleeves, custom printing, print sleeves, print folders, and deluxe gift bag packages (for the total presentation). There are so many more new product ideas in the works – just not enough time to do it all at once!
We have produced over 5,000 CD sleeves for photographers and brides since July 2010 and were just featured in the latest addition of Design Aglow's Issue 11, “Presentation Perfection: Packaging That Inspires.”
Our clients LOVE the eco-friendly kraft and jute packaging. We hope you will be inspired to discover or create something beautiful for your treasured clients too!
SPECIAL OFFER: Receive 10 free Simple Stitched CD sleeves with every order of $15 or more until November 30. Mention the following code: “PicSeshu”.