In 2018, wife and husband duo Natasha Lawyer and Brett Bashaw set up shop in Vermont after purchasing a ten-acre patch of woods with a tiny cabin. They christened it the ‘Sugarhouse Homestead’ because of an old stone sugarhouse foundation they found in their backwoods. With a mutual passion for ceramics, the cabin slowly became their pottery studio, and thus Sugarhouse Ceramic Co. was born.
As an e-commerce brand, Sugarhouse Ceramic Co. sells handmade ceramics, art supplies, and other home goods. Natasha, a former designer at Anthropologie and studio artist, brings a minimal and authentic aesthetic to the brand. Brett brings his business savvy to the table and a passion for well-made craftsmanship.
Featuring clean lines and light colors, Sugarhouse Ceramic Co. sets themselves apart from other brands in the ceramic scene with their modern surface designs. This unique style reflects throughout their online presence and packaging. “We don’t work with wholesalers, and we don’t sell to shops or resellers,” Brett says. “Since we don’t have a physical presence in retail, packaging is 100% vital. Without packaging, we wouldn’t have a business.”
Making the Switch to Custom Packaging
For Sugarhouse Ceramic Co., one of the most popular items are paint palettes. Natasha and Brett initially used standard, brown cardboard boxes to ship out the paint palettes to customers. While they added branded postcards and stickers to enhance their boxes, both Natasha and Brett aimed to elevate their packaging experience one day. “We always had the dream of creating our own branded box,” Brett says.
After deciding to make the leap into custom packaging, Natasha and Brett set out to find a packaging provider. The team wanted to stick to corrugated packaging for its recyclability. When packing their products, they don’t use any plastics or non-recyclable protective packaging, such as packing peanuts. With a mutual commitment to sustainability, the duo found a packaging partner in Fantastapack.
Natasha and Brett settled upon the Regular Slotted Container as their desired box style. The Regular Slotted Container is one of our most popular shipping boxes. All flaps have the same length, and the two outer flaps meet at the center of the box, ready to be sealed with tape. For shipping paint palettes, this style provided the perfect solution for Sugarhouse Ceramic Co.
The result of their packaging design reflects the brand’s minimalistic and modern style. Printed on PurePrint Matte™, the design uses a faux Kraft print to simulate the natural look of Kraft material and a reversed out white to make the all-over artwork standout.
What’s Next for Sugarhouse Ceramic Co.?
Sugarhouse Ceramic Co. continues to grow online, with no signs of slowing down any time soon. At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Brett had initials concerns about its effects on sales. However, those concerns never took shape. “Our sales were through the roof ... It's gotten to the point where, as soon as we put it on the site, it sells,” he says. Brett credits the power of local business communities supporting one another.
Brett’s best advice for aspiring business owners is to make sure you love what you’re doing. “You need to have passion for what you do. I love being a business owner for the autonomy, but it’s important to recognize that you’re never off,” he says.
Ready to Elevate Your E-commerce Packaging Experience?
If you’re ready to make the leap into custom packaging, Fantastapack’s easy-to-use platform enables brands to design and order full-color custom boxes, product labels, and retail displays with ease. With no minimum quantity requirements, brands can order as many (or as few!) as they need, and test out the look and feel of their packaging without breaking the bank.
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