Being a small business is challenging for many reasons, and especially when it comes to branding. Tools such as custom packaging for small businesses are not always readily available, with high MOQs and upfront costs. For Michelle Kreussel, the founder of embroidery and baby goods brand The Fox in the Attic, noissue’s low minimums proved to be the perfect solution for her eCommerce operation.
Small businesses often start from the most unlikely of places. For Michelle, her embroidery and sewing started out as the rediscovery of a long-ago hobby rather than the beginning of a venture. But before long, it had taken on a life of its own:
“It all started in 2010 when I bought a sewing machine on a complete whim, and rediscovered my passion for embroidery. I made my first soft animal toy (a bunny) and a world of possibilities swiftly opened itself up to me; my ever-growing range of hand-made items began to include cats, foxes, dogs, pin-cushions, napkins, owls and even clouds! By 2011 I had begun selling my creations on Etsy, under the name The Fox In The Attic. I haven’t looked back since! My vision is to continue doing what I love while raising my two girls, working from home and building my business and brand.”
For any creative operation, having a consistent flow of design ideas can be a challenge. There is a need to have fresh and interesting additions to a product range, whilst also being cohesive with the style that customers love. By sticking to a few key sources of inspiration, Michelle is able to maintain her signature fun and child-like style:
“My business is essentially me (with the occasional helper/husband/mother/friend) in my home studio, thinking up ideas based on nature, plants, animals and seasonal themes. I illustrate my ideas, paint them, print them, and follow wherever my imagination takes me. I turn my ideas eventually into physical objects like cushions, baby rattles, stuffed toys, and greeting cards. I particularly love colour and fauna and flora, and enjoy incorporating it into my designs for children’s toys and products. My main sources of inspiration are Victorian floral illustrations, and artists like William Morris, Frida Kahlo, and Charles Voysey. My daughters also inspire me every day!”
Having a recognizable style is always the key to successful branding, but so is making sure that all of your surrounding elements work together in harmony! Finding innovative ways of applying your brand identity to your operation is what builds brand recall in your customers, which is what initially drew Michelle towards designing her own custom tissue paper:
“My products are all made and designed using my original watercolor illustrations, meaning that they share a theme and fit together with the same style and medium. I think it's equally important that my wrapping paper, business cards, gift tags, stickers and other packaging all complement each other. However, it is very hard to find a company that does custom tissue paper in smaller amounts for affordable prices!”
High MOQs (Minimum Order Quantities) is one of the biggest barriers for small businesses wanting to invest in custom-branded packaging. MOQs for custom designs can be as high as 1000 units, and such a big upfront cost is often not realistic.
At noissue, we believe that innovative custom packaging solutions should be available to businesses of every size. Our MOQs start out at 250 units for our custom tissue paper and custom stickers to keep fantastic on-brand designs within reach of everyone, from Fortune 500 companies to single-person operations like The Fox in the Attic:
“The design I used for my noissue tissue paper is a selection of designs that are in my illustrations and prints, so I am incorporating my designs into my packaging as well! Showing off my custom wrapping paper on social media has helped to spread the word that I offer something a little different, and that the finishing touches really do matter. People love feeling special and that they’ve bought something unique, and using custom tissue paper does just that!”
In particular, Michelle’s custom tissue paper is a perfect match with her pre-packaged gift boxes. The hand-drawn illustrations pull her brand narrative together in a really cohesive way, giving the recipient a truly unique and memorable gift that celebrates the happy arrival of a little one. As shown above, it also makes for some fantastic marketing content for her social media channels! This ensures that The Fox in the Attic makes a lasting impression on its customers.
For more on the happy marriage between premium packaging and social media, check out our blog!