At PLANOLY, we're devoted to beautiful design and nothing makes our hearts swoon more than gorgeous work from talented people (not to mention, from our very own PLANOLY community)! Enter Georgette Packaging -- it's a brilliant company that offers stunning design and packaging options for businesses to help build their brand. We all know that a great logo and design goes a long way for businesses, whether you're a full-on bakery and cafe or a small ice cream shop. Georgette Packaging makes decision making easier and much more fun for businesses. They have supplied amazing brands, including Jenna Rae Cakes and Le Cordon Bleu, with much success. We sat down with Georgette Packaging's founder, Sarah Landstreet, to find out how she got started and why branding is essential more than ever for every business (big or small) today!
Tell us about yourself and how Georgette Packaging came to be.
My name is Sarah Landstreet and I'm the founder of Georgette. I'm a mechanical engineer and have an MBA. I've worked as an engineer in packaging manufacturing, and my first business was a bakery in Northern Ireland. Georgette is an intersection of my two careers -- engineering/manufacturing and being the owner of a small yet ambitious food business. I just couldn't believe how hard it was to buy small quantities of branded packaging that everybody uses -- boxes, cups, bags. That's why I started Georgette Packaging.
What type of clients do you work with and what do you do for them?
We work with food and beverage businesses across North America and a few beyond, including Hawaii, Singapore, Los Angeles, Australia, Norway, and Puerto Rico. These include ice cream companies, bakeries, smoothie shops, clothing retailers, cafes, coffee roasters, and tea shops. We help them design and manufacture the style and quantity of branded packaging their business needs to flourish and to compete with the big guys. If you don't put your brand on your product, you're not giving your consumers the ability to market for you!
Walk us through your designing, branding, and manufacturing process.
Most of our customers know what products they're looking for, for instance, a cafe may want a 6 pastry box and some coffee cups. Pricing for these standard items is on our website. You can get your order started there after deciding what options work best for you. If you want more custom sizes, like ice cream boxes, clients just email us. Once your order is decided, you can either work with your own designer for the artwork or with our art team. We make sure your designs are eye-catching and photogenic as possible to help maximize the marketing potential of your packaging! We know what it takes to make packaging iconic. Once the artwork is complete, your packaging is manufactured either right here in Ontario, Canada or if it's something more obscure, we will work with our partner factories in the U.S. or overseas. Next thing you know, your stunning new branded packaging shows up at your doorstep, and you've just taken your business to a whole new level!
How would you describe your approach to design compared to other companies?
We're different from most packaging companies, which generally focuses just on logistics and manufacturing because we know how critical it is to start with a terrific design. Designing a 3-dimensional object is very different from web design or the more traditional types of graphic designs because people interact with packaging in very specific ways. Since Instagram is the largest source of food business trends, packaging needs to work in that context. We design specifically for our packaging to market your business as best as it can. We work with some of the best-known food businesses and packaging designers in North America, therefore we have a lot of data and experience on how to make that happen.
How did you establish Georgette's brand voice and identity? How would you describe the style of your brand?
We want our brand to exist comfortably with our customers' brands so we try not to have one specific aesthetic. We love embracing a variety of style directions that we show on our social media. With that said, the values behind our brand are highly specific: we put tremendous effort into manufacturing beautiful and functional products, and we care about design. This means we want to be involved in the design conversations that happen before your packaging goes into press, and we want to be part of the adventure that is marketing and growing your brand and business.
Why is good branding so important and what role does packaging play into branding a successful business?
I actually can't stress enough how important it is for a small business to have a memorable, thoughtfully crafted, and well-communicated brand. There are so many new businesses opening right now that if you don't get people to fall in love with what makes you totally unique and wonderful, it's going to be tough to survive. Branded packaging is just an extension of that effort. Every time a person comes into your shop or buys from your business, they have an opportunity to market for you. Give them that chance! If your brand isn't on your product, or it is, but only in a desultory way (like a smudged stamp) you're not giving them much to work with. Be bold and unforgettable with that opportunity!
We adore your work and also your Instagram! How has social media played a part in your growth and how do you connect with your audience/clients to keep them engaged or inspired?
Instagram has been a wonderful platform for us to engage with a broad, but geographically disparate group of business owners. We want to convey the message that branded packaging can be easy and fun to source; and regardless of the size of business you have, we can work with you. Since our products are so visual, Instagram is perfect for that. We do encourage our customers to share their packaging and to set great examples for their own clients to do the same. We are very appreciative when they tag us! We want to be a supplier that our customers are proud to call theirs.
What has been the proudest moment of your business so far?
It had to be the night I found out we were accepted into YCombinator, the world's top startup accelerator program in Silicon Valley!
What advice do you have for aspiring people wanting to get into your field?
If you're looking to start a food business or are growing an existing one, feel free to give me a call! We love helping out in any way we can! If you're interested in packaging manufacturing itself, I've personally learned what I know by working in factories myself. Nothing beats immersing yourself in the place where a product comes into being, regardless of the industry. The other alternative is to come work for us -- we're hiring salespeople! :D