Working on my business during lockdown.
It's been a while since I've updated the blog despite the fact I promised myself I would post more often. The World has changed so much in the last year, last time I updated you all the pandemic had forced a national lockdown resulting in me having to close up shop for a while. We've had further lockdowns since then although I have been able to remain open for orders throughout those. I've switched to offering delivery only so my customers don't have to make non essential trips to collect their orders and I now have a shop on my website for postal orders. This proved to be a big hit in the run up to Christmas! Especially my hot chocolate bombs, I sold over 400 of them across November and December!
Pivoting the business to offer postal treats and teaming up with other small businesses to offer treats for Valentine's and Mother's Day, (available on the website now so check it out!) gave me the kick up the backside I needed to start looking at my packaging and other things within the business. I wanted to try and make the most of the time I wasn't working on orders, especially when weddings haven't been able to go ahead. I'm usually so busy dealing with admin and inquiries, buying ingredients and supplies, creating celebration cakes and delivering wedding cakes that the less important things just pile up on my to do list. With big gatherings not allowed and my weddings all postponed, I decided to make the most of my time by focussing on my website - adding the shop was one of the results of this! A big thank you to everyone who has supported me with placing orders, sharing my posts and letting people know I am here, it is so appreciated!
Aside from adding the shop to my website, the biggest thing I have focussed on is BRANDING! I've done away with all the packaging I was using and I've started transitioning to new packaging using my business colours - orange and black! I wanted my packaging to be cohesive but also luxurious, when people receive a Bake To The Future order I want them to feel like they've been treated, especially when they have been sent as a gift to them from a loved one or friend. It was definitely a challenge sourcing boxes in the sizes I needed in black, they aren't as easy to come by as you would think! The majority of my boxes and packaging, including the bags that local orders are hand delivered in, are supplied by The Tiny Box Company. They are all fully recyclable which was important to me because I'm trying to be more eco conscious and environmentally friendly. All boxes are tied with orange ribbon supplied by a florist wholesalers and I add a logo sticker supplied by Lost Designs By Jenny. I have different size boxes for biscuits, cake hearts and cakesicles, treat boxes and chocolate smash hearts and the hot chocolate bombs are wrapped in black cupcake cases and individually bagged and tied with black or orange ribbon. All my ingredients labels are backed on to black card. I've tried to take every detail in to account, orders are secured with black and/or orange tissue paper in side each box with a logo sticker. I include a business card and leaflet with each order as well as a printed invoice which excludes the total paid just in case it is a gift.
I also looked at more luxury options for packaging orders. The first of these was my Hot Chocolate Bomb Selection Boxes which I offered at Christmas. They were a HUGE success! I wanted to offer something that felt expensive when received as a present. Each wooden crate was hand painted black and lined with black shredded tissue paper.
For postal orders there is secondary packaging to take in to account, orders are packed in a cardboard box with bubble wrap and/or air packs for added protection. But I wanted to carry my branding across to the secondary packaging too. So every box is wrapped in black postal paper, (bought from The Tiny Box Company) and secured with logo parcel tape - one of my absolute favourite finds! I was mega excited when I came across Sticker Mule! They offer a large range of logo and personalised goods and the shipping tape is fab! You cut it to size, wet the back using the sponge it comes with and then lay flat on the parcel and smooth down. It adheres super well to the parcel, secures the parcel paper thoroughly and it looks brilliant because it has my logo on!
I've received a lot of compliments about my packaging since making these changes and I really hope it makes every person who receives an order from me feel super special! I'm slowly making changes to the rest of my packaging so eventually all cupcake and cake orders will go out in black boxes too! A massive thanks to the companies who have supplied me with just the right thing for my little rebrand. Check them all out below!
Order Boxes and Bags, Postal Paper:
Cardboard Shipping Boxes:
Logo Shipping Tape:
Ribbon and Tissue Paper: