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[76] How to Create Professional Packaging with Kara Irvine

Packaging can often be an afterthought – after all, your customer has purchased your handmade item not a box or a bag. This interview outlines a few hows of packaging, and why it can be really important for your business.

It might be time to consider your packaging. Is it still up to date? Does it fit with your brand? Is it cost and time effective?

Putting some thought into your packaging can make mailing day so much easier and help give your brand a more professional look. Plus, people love to receive a beautiful package!

Today we chat with Kara from You Had Me at Woof all about packaging and the process she went through to create the gorgeous professional packaging she now uses for her handmade products.



Quotes and highlights from this Episode:

  • Kara runs an online boutique for dogs and dog lovers.
  • She has always been a creative person and is a painter, sculptor and graphic designer.
  • She was running an online children’s boutique when she came across the inspiration for You Had Me at Woof from a Great Dane named Duke.



  • Know your brand
  • You need to think about your brand colours and try and incorporate this into your packaging.
  • Making a vision board can be really helpful with this step.
  • Do your research
  • Make sure you do your research with packaging suppliers and shop around.
  • Get different quotes on quantities as the more you buy the cheaper it gets.
  • Where are the suppliers located? Shipping of the packaging to you could become expensive if not researched.
  • You should consider aspects such as paper weight, finish and measurements.
  • Most packaging companies should be able to provide you with a proof prior to ordering.
  • Format your design
  • Most will accept Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop.
  • If you have no experience with these types of programs it can be a great idea to ask for help. Someone you know or even someone on Etsy.
  • Consider Shipping
  • Consider how much your packaging will cost to ship to a customer.
  • Larger and heavier packaging costs can add up.
  • Make sure your items all work together and your branding is on par with professional brands.
  • Think about costs
  • Doing your own packaging can be great but it can also take a lot of time.
  • Buying in bulk can save you time and money in the long run.
  • Make it informative
  • Use your packaging to tell your story. Add a logo, directions of use, care instructions etc.
  • Is your packaging recycled or recyclable?
  • Always include your website as this is where you want to direct your customers.
  • Photograph and share
  • Use good lighting and props to photograph your item with its packaging.
  • ‘When someone is buying something online it is nice to show them how it is going to arrive’ {Jess}
  • Encourage your customers to share images on social media.
  • Find Kara online: website | facebook | instagram | etsy


Download or Listen to This Episode

(You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher – just search ‘Create & Thrive’.)


Van Den has written 320 posts in this blog.

Jess Van Den is the editor of Create & Thrive, and has been a full-time creative entrepreneur since 2010. She makes eco-conscious, contemporary, handmade sterling silver jewellery under the Epheriell label, and blogs about her jewellery and other beautiful things at You can catch her on twitter @JessVanDen.



Thanks for sharing your experience and knowledge Kara. I’m inspired to apply this information to the development of the packaging for my new collection 🙂

What say you?