Your Online Business

Most businesses are shifting to an online business model. It seems like brick and mortar storefronts are on the decline more and more in every town. People enjoy searching for a product at home, filtering through thousands of options, reading reviews, and then making a final decision all while they are sitting on their couch at home. This means marketing has also started to shift. More and more advertisements for online stores are popping up all over social media. Influencers are even being sponsored by these online businesses to show off their products.

One thing that most of these influencers have hit on is the packaging of their products they are receiving. Plain, cardboard boxes seem to be a thing of the past when it comes to these popular millennial and Gen Z websites. Almost any box is colorful or has a cute little logo from the company. It may just seem like novelty, but it really seems to get the attention of buyers.

Aesthetic has really seemed to be the word of the decade. Everyone is focused on how something looks and if it matches their personality or their style. Cardboard boxes are just another way companies can appeal to consumers. If there are cute ads of a model holding their beautifully decorated box, then more people are likely to check out that website. Amazon uses this with their “smile” packages. Everyone associates these boxes with Amazon, which is just a marketing scheme for them. Some companies even change up their design depending on the season or the holiday. So the boxes then become sort of a collectors item, and people are more inclined to buy at certain times of the year.

Even the size of the box is something companies have to consider. Are they just going to have one medium size box that every item(s) gets shipped in. Or will they have multiple sizes with multiple different designs? These are things to think about when thinking of marketing or branding.

Next, companies need to decide how these are going to get stuffed. They could look into fun, colored shredded paper. Or they could choose packing peanuts or maybe even inflatable fillers. Maybe each item could be wrapped in pretty tissue paper. The same amount of thought that goes into the outside of the package should go on the inside. Companies should always consider adding extra inside the boxes. A little friend referral of 10% off your next purchase really keeps the customer coming back to their site.


Holiday Candy Sales

I absolutely love sales, and we all know there are no sales like after Christmas Day sales. As much as I love sales, I equally hate marketing ploys that increase prices only to mark them down, so the true mark down price is not actually as good as one might think. When shopping for sales don’t forget those online sales too. Two years ago I was searching online sales and found some really nice evergreen wreaths for nearly free! The original price was over $50 a piece and I got six wreaths for $48. Needless to say I was ecstatic when the arrived and they were quite nice in quality. This experience helps me to remember to check online sales every year.

Now think about the savings I made on candy boxes! It was immeasurable how much joy I got out of the candy that I found for extremely cheap.

And guess what? I was able to put all that candy to use by making specific holiday wreaths for my friends and family and inserting their favorite candy boxes into the garland. Talk about everyone being pleased! The latest projects coming from the Wreath Shoppe are two wreaths, one is being donated to a fund raiser for a small Christian School called Miss Holly’s House and the second is a wreath for a friend who’s young daughter passed away, leaving a husband and three small children. And what’s cool is that everyone wins when it comes to this sort of stuff, because it cost me next to nothing to buy and produce.

It only takes looking on the bright side of things, letting your hands do the work when crafting, and trying to spread good cheer to everyone in your life. Without positivity and love, where would we be? Absolutely in a darker place than even some seem to think we’re currently in. Whether your hobby is wreaths like mine or you enjoy making other things with your hands (or brain!), try to incorporate it into your holiday experiences. You’ll be surprised at what you find you can do for yourself and for others.

So to you and your post-holiday shopping, I say “good luck and Merry Christmas.” May you enjoy all aspects of your Christmas shopping, both before and after! And may you welcome others into your home with open arms and most importantly may you find the holidays spiritually exciting and grounding.

A Valentine’s Surprise

People all across the United States are already making reservations for February 14. They are buying little gifts, pre-ordering flowers, and purchasing new outfits for their little date night. It does not matter if this is your 2nd date or your 20th year of marriage, most people really get excited for Valentine’s Day and what it means to them.

Valentine’s Day is not an important holiday for my partner and me. We value showing our love every day rather than picking a few days a year to show our love to each other. Little things matter more to us than anything else. My partner shows me love by doing the dishes even when it is not their turn. Taking the dog out alone when I do not want to bundle up and join. He does my laundry when he knows I am running low on work clothes for the week.

Big, fancy dinners do not excited us. Actually, we would rather prepare our own meals at home because we really enjoy cooking together. Food is a big part of our lives together. We have completely changed our diets to better fit our ideals and beliefs. One surprise I have considered for Valentine’s Day is candy boxes of chocolate. We really enjoy chocolate, but have to hunt to find chocolate we can actually eat. So loading up on candy boxes for a few months would definitely be worth it.

But the best plan we have come up with is waiting until AFTER Valentine’s Day to purchase our candy. Fifty percent off candy for getting it one day later? Absolutely. It really helps that Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday this year. The candy will go on sale on the weekend! Just in time for our weekly trip to the grocery store. We just have to be sure to be quick because I’m sure everyone else has the same idea we do.

There are so many different ways to show someone you love them. Do not get sucked into society’s way of thinking that only specific days are for showing love. Little trinkets or meaningful notes are nice on Valentine’s Day, but they are more appreciated on a random Wednesday in May. We should value our time together no matter what time of year it is. I say get the discounted candy the weekend after, order some take-out (or cook your own meal), and just enjoy your time together.

The Year of Fifty Boxes

Every year my mom has nine Christmas trees up before December even comes around. I guess you could say Christmas is her absolute favorite holiday. Each tree is a different size, shape, color, theme, and even position. That’s right. She has an upside-down Christmas tree. Well, actually, that one is just a year around a tree that is displayed all year long. The decorations just change according to the holiday: Valentine’s Day, 4th of July, Halloween, etc.

It brings her unrivaled joy to decorate her entire house. And seeing her with that joy plastered on her face brings me unrivaled joy. I’ve learned from her to feel for others’ emotions more than I ever have before in life. And because of that, I can experience her joy with absolutely no effort at all.

But I digress (and often!). With all of those trees come along cardboard boxes to store all of the ornaments. Oftentimes, people don’t think about the effort needed in putting up amazing holiday decor. Not only do you have to dedicate time to put it up (and when I say time, I mean like at least two weekends for my mom)–you have to dedicate just as much time to take it all down once January rolls around!

There are some hobbies out there that I just can’t get into, but for whatever reason, decorating for the holidays isn’t one of them. Perhaps it’s because my mom instilled a love in me for the holidays. Or maybe I see her work so hard during the winter to make her house look pretty, and it just inspires me to put forth effort in my own life. I’m not really sure what to make of it, but it’s one of those qualities you find in yourself (of your parents) that you end up loving more than you’d ever realize. Why would anyone want to truly spend their time working on their house in their free time in the freezing cold?

Because they want to, of course! Whether it’s the gorgeous and shiny ornaments you think of when you hear the word “Christmas” or all the cardboard boxes associated with storage, there’s something beautiful about people finding exactly what it is they love to do and going hard at it. You can’t fault anyone in life for pursuing a passion of theirs. Because no matter how they got there or why they love something, the fact of the matter is that they love it.

Does Anyone Truly Like Wrapping Gifts?

Wrapping gifts is one of those tasks that everyone sort of knows how to do, yet only a few truly enjoy the process. I mean, even if you went around and asked everyone you knew if they enjoyed wrapping gifts, the majority may say they like it, but their answer is always tied to liking it because they like giving gifts. Conflating the two usually means they wouldn’t just go out of their way to wrap gifts for fun unless there was a gift inside, meaning that enjoying the process is typically dependent on giving the gift.

And trust me, I’m one of those people who will flat out tell you that I’m not a fan of wrapping gifts. In fact, my partner and I decided this year for the holidays that we would just go out on a mini shopping adventure together and get things we thought the home needed. And I put emphasis on the word need here, because we’re trying to cut back on our expenses of gifts and things that are considered extra.

Still, I understand that I’ll still be wrapping some gifts that we got for my parents and her parents this year. And so, the dreaded process still looms.

I have noticed, though, that wrapping things is so much easier when you’ve got quality packaging supplies. If you choose to skimp on the materials, however, you’ll be met with a poor attempt at wrapping simply because the tape doesn’t stick well or your scissors weren’t sharp enough to make a straight cut.

So, if I had any advice to impart on you about wrapping gifts, it’s to go out and get some top notch packaging supplies. It may seem like a decent amount of money spent only on wrapping, which can be discouraging, but if you think about how you’ll get years of use out of your supplies, the expenses almost seem negligible.

Make sure to get things you know you’ll use, though. If you end up picking out different colored sharpies and fancy scissors that cut a certain pattern, reevaluate if you’ll actually use them. There’s no point in having much else outside of strong, adhesive packaging tape, a solid black magic marker, sharp and reliable scissors, and the best boxes around. (Of course, the boxes can be grabbed up for free depending on where you look. Just be sure to say no to weak, old boxes that look like they’re falling apart.)