The Genius of Candy Packaging

I don’t think I’ve ever met a person who hates Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.  You would have to hate candy in order to hate that movie, and I don’t see how that’s possible.  You would also have to hate Gene Wilder, which is also not possible.  He may have been in some weird movies sometimes, but I think he really was the Johnny Depp of his time.  Minus the sexiness.  Gene Wilder was just plain not sexy.

Have you ever noticed that the candy packaging is what makes the candy that much more appealing?  Like in the beginning of the movie, Charlie goes to the candy store to buy a chocolate bar.  The candy packaging in that store really is eye candy.  The kids are basically going crazy over everything they are seeing.  The explosions of color and dimensions and textures that all make the back of your throat start to tingle and your fingertips start to itch.  Which one do you choose?

Candy Packaging

The candy packaging conveys what you can expect on the inside.  Lots of bright colors and fun shapes speak of a mysterious concoction that is just as imaginative as it is delicious.  Like the box for Nerds.  The outside is flamboyantly decorated, with some happy-go-lucky, lumpy cartoon versions of the candy having a good time.  When you open the box you have a pretty good idea that you are going to get some small, rounded treats of the same colors.  And then you do!  With a coin he found in the gutter, Charlie wanted a chocolate bar and he went with the most obvious choice: a rectangle covered in a brown paper, accentuated by low-key colors and giant font.  What did he find inside?  Pretty much what was on the outside: a brown rectangle.  Oh, and a golden ticket that wound up changing his life dramatically, but I’m talking about the candy packaging.

I’m not sure why no one has caught onto Willy Wonka’s amazing idea.  The closest anyone has come is probably McDonalds with the monopoly game that they bring out every year where you can win anything from a free hashbrown to a million dollars. If someone said that they were releasing ten tickets in their product, worth however much, they would get bought out just as fast as Wonka did.  Guaranteed.  And they would wind up making way more in sales than they would be giving away.  Of course they would probably need to include a disclaimer that no one would actually be inheriting an entire chocolate factory…

From Bin Liners to Potato Chips

I work for a grocery store without really working for a grocery store. Here’s what I mean:

Have you ever gone to the store and tried to ask someone who was stocking the shelves where something else was, and they were like, “I don’t know,” and maybe even added, “I don’t work here”? You were probably left standing there feeling like a fool but also slightly outraged because surely they were pulling your leg?

Well, I would like to clear the names of any and all stockers who have incurred some bad juju because when they are saying they don’t work for the store, they are being correct.

They work at the store, to be sure, and are usually stationed at the same store all the time, but they actually belong to a different company entirely that deals primarily with stocking shelves. And here’s an even crazier part: the employees, called stockers, have their own designated areas.

Mine was from bin liners to potato chips. If something was running out in toothpaste it wasn’t my problem. If any of the bin liners were getting low it was up to me to locate them in the back storage room, haul them out to the aisle, and stock the shelves appropriately.

Granted, when any of the stockers say they don’t know where something is, there’s a good chance that they are probably just plain old full of BS. Unless you want to know where capers are, or coconut milk, or other odd articles. For those type of things you will need customer service, or you can ask the middle-aged woman who’s basket holds a cantaloupe and vanilla extract (she is probably the type of person that would know). If it’s just peanut butter or cereal or bread, stuff that takes up large to massive sections of the store, then of course they have to know where it is because they walk by it everyday.

Like obviously bin liners would be with the rest of the paper and plastic supplies, and the household cleaning stuff, which is always by the detergents, because that’s just how it’s set up in every store. Now, if you were to come up to me while I’m stocking potato chips and ask where bin liners are I could tell you directly, because I am the one who put them there.

This is just a small taste of what it’s like to work in a grocery store but not for the grocery store. The next time you head out to buy some food, just remember that not everything may be as it seems! And we stockers will always appreciate your patience.

Plastic Shipping Bags and Other Helpful Shipping Suggestions

I recently discovered the amazing invention of plastic shipping bags. This has more or less revolutionized things for me. As the owner of a small business, specifically one that is currently being run out of my home, I am always looking for new ways and ideas to either save money or provide a better service. It’s even better when I can do both at the same time, and this is what I found in plastic shipping bags. Allow me to explain:

  • I can buy plastic shipping bags in bulk. This not only saves me money but it allows me to have a constant supply on hand without fear of running out. I know how long my supply will last me, and I can order ahead of time so that the next couple weeks, or months, will run just as smoothly.
  • I can buy multiple varieties of plastic shipping bags. Buying in bulk is an amazing asset to any business owner. At the same time, having plenty of options is not so much a preference as it is a necessity. When using a product that best compliments the product you are trying to sell, or deal with, you are paying the proper respect to both your product and your customer. Using packaging or shipping materials that are either too small or too big speaks of a lack of professionalism, or a lack of resources. No one needs to know that my business is run out of my guest bedroom because I try to make everything look as official as possible. If it looks like I’m using supplies from my craft closet no one is going to take me seriously.
  • Plastic shipping bags offer added protection to my product. I admit that my sales were quite a bit less before I discovered these bad mammajammas. Sometimes I was getting complaints from customers who were saying that my product had leaked or broken somewhere in transit. Maybe it was the fault of the delivery guy, or maybe it was even the fault of the customer and they just wanted to get their money back. Regardless, I needed to make sure that I had done everything possible on my end. Since I started using the proper packaging and shipping supplies my sales have increased and I have more and more return customers.

Granted, hindsight is twenty/twenty, and there are some things that you have to learn the hard way. The important thing is that I am actually learning, and taking what I’m learning to heart. I think that is what produces success, whether or not you own a business or just in everyday life.

The Thing About Bin Liners

Some bins work best with bin liners (like refrigerator bins… Google these if you have never never heard of them before. I hadn’t until very recently, but everything changed since then.). Some bins require bin liners (like trash bins. I guess they could probably go under the first category, but no one really just throws trash in cans anymore without a bag, and that’s because the result is nasty and disgusting).

Some bins don’t need bin liners at all. Consider Tupperware bins, or the Rubbermaid kind. Bins that don’t need the plastic reinforcement because they are secure enough and strong enough to protect whatever they are holding. In the case of my home, it’s going to be clothes that are too big for my kids (labelled Boy 5T winter, or Girl 24 mos. summer).

Bin Liners1

If it’s not stuff for them to grow into it’s what they’ve already grown out of: baby 0-12 mos., and baby gear- tub, wraps, bottles, etc. This is what my basement looks like. My basement also has a litter box, which I should really start buying liners for. And my basement also has a tote full of catfood, that I should also get some sort of liner for because even though it is in a plastic container something about it still attracts bugs and we have facilitated the start of some sort of small beetle colony somewhere in the vicinity. Not that I’m complaining.

I used to live in an apartment on the ground floor, a really crappy place, it was so drafty that we couldn’t even tape up those plastic sheets around the windows in the colder months because the wind coming through the cracks would blow it down. Insane, I tell you. Also, the grass grew to over one foot tall before it was cut, and it was not uncommon to almost step on a rabbit or a freaking snake on your way out to the car. The point is, though, that this crappy apartment had an ant problem, and the ants congregated to the cat food. Poor thing couldn’t even eat because her food was crawling…

The thing about bin liners is that they can be super helpful and handy, like in the case of the ones for the refrigerator, which work some kind of miracle in preserving fruits and vegetables. They can be considered a household staple slash necessity if you are like a normal household and believe in putting your garbage in a protected can. Whatever the case, there are a plethora to choose from, and they each have their own story and purpose. Just like everything else on this place, for goodness sake.

Custom Shipping Bags for Everyday Use: Part 2

As a kid I always really loved that song Auld Lang Syne. It’s got a bit of a haunting-ness to it, and it always gave me the chills. Loosely translated, it means “for old times”. This doesn’t have much to do with custom shipping bags, but it’s the beginning of the new year and I wanted to put in a plug for 2016. And now: custom shipping bags, and how you can use them for everyday projects, purposes, problems, etc.

Custom Shipping Bags

I was talking in Part 1 about how, if you are like me, you probably have a nice stash of custom shipping bags accumulated from the holiday season: grocery bags, both plastic and paper (we already talked about what to do with those), bubble bags from the Precious Moments figurines your grandmimi still sends you every stinking chance she gets, poly bags which were for making up little Christmas sacks that your kids could pass out in class, and some really snazzy eurototes that most of your presents came in because you are an adult and it is assumed that you no longer like to tear up wrapping paper. Before you throw all of that stuff away, let’s talk about different ways they can be used now that the holidays are over.

Custom Shipping Bags

The bubble bags. I use those to wrap my ornaments in. You have probably put all of your ornaments away by now, and I don’t blame you for not wanting to drag out the boxes simply for the sake of repackaging. So if you don’t want to throw them through the attic hole so that they are waiting for you next year, use to protect precious objects in your china cabinets and what not. If not, the kids love these things.

All of those leftover poly bags, that make such cute little handouts, can safely be tucked away and used for birthday favors in the future. Or for passing out samples for your home business. And of course all of those eurototes can be put in an actual plastic tote for when you need to wrap something. If the eurotote is blatantly holiday-themed, you are just going to have to wait until next year to reuse them. Or, once again, there is something about the simplicity of such a thing that is charming to a child. My kids play with these things for hours. Whatever the case, don’t be frustrated by leftover custom shipping bags. They don’t have to be a one trick pony; get creative!