As I go over in my online class, Stationery Business 100: Start Strong, assembly is the act of putting your products in packaging. I know it sounds super exciting (right up there with doing your taxes), but if you are thinking about starting a paper goods company, this is some vital information that you will be glad you read!
Click through to read the stationery assembly tips we’ve gathered over our almost 8 years in the business…
There are infinite ways that you could assemble your products depending on what kinds of products you have and how you design their packaging. I’ll go over a few of the more common formats, though:
- These are normally slipped into a cellophane sleeve with an envelope.
- For folding cards, we like to slip the envelope inside the card, so that the back of the card shows through the cellophane on the back.
- Sealed or unsealed cello bags? We prefer sealed as it also protects cards on store shelves from being handled by shoppers. Unsealed, however, requires less labor and costs slightly less.
- The little strips of plastic that you peel off for the sealed cello bags are a pain to deal with. Some prefer to toss them into a box or trash can. For me, this doesn’t work as well because they tend to fly right back out and/or stick to my fingers from the static electricity. I prefer to have a big loop of tape on the table next to me that I stick the strips of plastic to. UPDATE: Katie from Trade Show Boot Camp let me know that you can now buy cello bags from GTbag.com that have anti-static strips making this whole process a lot easier. Thanks Katie!
- This process is very similar for art prints, only instead of an envelope inside a card, we put a piece of backing board behind the print. We also use a sticker label.
- For rolls of gift wrap, assembly is a bit of a chore.
- Our process: We wrap 3 sheets of wrap around a rigid paper core, slip a plastic tube over that, then use a heat gun to shrink the plastic tube tightly onto the roll. Finally, we apply a sticker label.
Remember product assembly can take lots of time. If not your time, you’ll need to pay someone to help out. (Although I know lots of paper company owners whose parents, sisters, spouses, etc… did a lot of assembly for them when they got their start. And that includes me!) I only do assembly these days if we’re really in a pinch with a big order and tight deadline, but I still enjoy it. I set up my station, turn on a movie, and get into a zone.
Remember to keep in mind the assembly time factor when figuring out overhead for each product as well as turnaround for larger orders. It can often take as long or even longer than it took to make/print the products.
For more in depth information, you can find our Stationery Business 100: Start Strong class here.
You might also like Top 5 tips for your National Stationery Show booth.
Due to popular demand, we’re working on a brand new class called Shop Biz 100: Online, Pop-Ups + Bricks and Mortar. To stay in the loop, sign up for our Creative Business newsletter here.
Photo by Jessica Peterson for Sycamore Street Press.