Introducing DBL Feature
As the brainchild of graphic designer Laura Hammonds, Dbl Feature (pronounced Double Feature) is an eCommerce apparel and accessories brand based in Birmingham, Alabama. With a tongue-in-cheek, kawaii pop art style influenced by Japanese culture, Laura was inspired to start her own brand from her love of comic and anime conventions while in college.
Upon graduation, Laura knew she wanted to start selling her own custom merchandise and products. After months of building a convention-ready portfolio, researching manufacturers, and a successful Kickstarter campaign, Dbl Feature was launched.
Recognizing the Need for Custom Packaging
When Laura began selling on Etsy, she used padded bubble mailers as a cost-effective packaging solution to mail her shipments. It’s not uncommon for new eCommerce businesses to opt for plain packaging when they first start out. “I really couldn't justify making custom boxes during my first year of sales, because I honestly didn't know how the business would go month-to-month,” Laura says.
However, she soon found that her products — specifically her enamel pins — were easily bent due to the lack of protection from the bubble mailers. Laura then made the switch to standard-size mailing boxes that she purchased from Amazon. In the effort to dress up the plain brown boxes, Laura chose to add stickers to her packages.
Image Source: @dblfeature
Over time with her growing popularity online and on the convention circuit, Laura needed custom packaging that would safely handle her products while reflecting her distinct brand on the inside and out. “My sticker method was coming in around $0.75 to $0.90 a box, so I knew I wanted to be around that price point or even lower when looking at making my own packaging,” Laura says.
Laura began the strenuous process of finding the right eCommerce packaging provider, carefully researching both local and overseas printers for pricing. She soon realized the cost of having custom print plates manufactured for traditional flexo packaging would be too expensive for her budget. She needed a custom packaging solution that would not only be cost-effective but would allow her to easily change out her packaging design.
Her solution? Digital print.
Leveraging Digitally Printed eCommerce Packaging
Digital print holds huge advantages for up-and-coming eCommerce brands. One of the key differences between digital compared to analog methods (such as flexo or litho-lam) is that the digital ink is applied directly onto the box material. No print plates or additional tooling is required to produce your custom packaging, allowing for drastically reduced order minimums and increased graphic design flexibility. Since digital print is capable of printing the entire CMYK color spectrum for the same amount of production time as it would need for a simple black-and-white logo, packaging designers can create full-color, eye-catching artwork without incurring additional costs.
Fantastapack was specifically created with eCommerce brands like Dbl Feature in mind. By choosing Fantastapack as her packaging provider, Laura was able to create adorable, custom printed boxes to match the look and feel of her brand — enhancing her customers’ experience through packaging and taking her brand to the next level.
What’s Next for Dbl Feature?
Laura plans to continue building her brand in 2019 and beyond. Her goal is to attend and vend at more conventions around the country. She also has plans to get into wholesaling this year and designing products for her online shop related to gaming, with eight Kickstarter campaigns in the works to help bring her vision to fruition.
Her biggest advice to other aspiring young entrepreneurs is to crowdsource your idea. “Even if you have the money to fund it yourself, there is no harm in setting up a campaign! You will get an immediate response from the market to know if your idea is worth investing in, and it will save you time and money in the long run,” Laura says. “I launched my first Kickstarter and Instagram on the same day. I had 0 following outside of my friends and family. By the end of my first campaign, about 7 of my backers were people that I knew and 50+ were people that happened upon my campaign!"
Ready to Take Your Packaging Game to the Next Level?
Are you ready to upgrade from standard boxes and bubble mailers to give your customers a packaging experience worth sharing? With only fractions of a second to make a good first impression, packaging can influence your brand perception, online reputation, and can even factor into your success in the eCommerce marketplace.
Unsure of where to start? We invite you to download our free FlipBook, featuring package design inspiration, material samples, and a 15% discount on your first order (see the Flipbook for details).