Thoughts on Packaging

02009-11-15 | Uncategorized | 3 comments

Last week I emailed Terry at Travertine Spa and complained about his new packaging for the Shea Butter. The product itself was actually improved and my favorite hand cream is even better now, but the new packaging is larger than the old, and doesn’t appear to be recyclable. Terry wrote back that he knew I was going to have a problem with the packaging, but that small companies like his do not have a lot of choice when it comes to packaging. The volume is too low to create custom packaging and the stuff that is available is unfortunately very un-green. I suggested doing a glass container with an interior shape (where the Shea Butter will be) that fits a tea candle. Glass means easy recyclability and the tea-light shape means that some people can actually use the container once it is empty of Shea-butter-goodness. Terry complained that glass would increase the weight and make shipping more expensive.

My second idea was for Travertine Spa to collaborate with Nambe and Santa Fe Candle Company to create a package that contains a Nambe design filled with Travertine Spa Shea Butter and, on the side, a beeswax tea-light from the Santa Fe Candle Company. I would like to see a nice bowl that has an interior shaped for a tea-light-candle, with a top, a lid that seals in the Shea-Butter and, later when the Shea-Butter is used up, extinguishes the candle and protects the candle when traveling. I would design the exterior of the bowl to contain one criss-crossing line that would serve to hold a string in place that would be used to tie the lid to the bowl. The string could even be a rubberband that slides into the criss-crossing lines to hold bowl and lid together, in which case the lines might not be a criss-cross, but a parallel. A bit like the Furoshiki in Japan… to tie up and protect the content. What a great gift this would make!!

I think packaging is a fundamental problem that we need to work out.


  1. Brenda

    My thoughts, this company caters to high end customer already that is probably educated of being -“un-green” as you suggested. #1 Rule – Give the customer what he wants or he/she will go elsewhere. Presentation is very important and educating your customer is important also. Advise your consumer of the costs of shipping and my bet is that the customer will “be happy being green” because not only do their hands feel and look better but they can continue advertising with all their friends that recycle.

  2. Brenda

    Yes, Ottmar, I forgot to say that I like it that your idea incorporates businesses together, especially small business.
    Yes, to repeat a term “you do think “outside the box”.. that is always good.
    Constant movement of changes to create in yesterday’s spark of hope.
    Your friend’s quality product is entitled to quality packaging. I hope, he finds a vendor that will work with him to give him a crafted container for this product. Awe, never give up – it is out there – somewhere in the wilderness. :}

  3. Max

    I think it’s great that you focus on something like packaging, In fact, I wish more people would focus on it, instead of jumping to macro-issues like those discussed at the Copenhagen summit.


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