My business cards have arrived with my brand new logo ready in time for Packaging Innovations at the NEC this week. I’m there on Thursday – stop and say hello if you see me.
(from early 2015)
A Barnsley entrepreneur who has set up her own packaging consultancy can trace her fascination back to her teenage years.
Sarah Greenwood, who has already gained contracts to develop packaging for a high street supermarket and a small cosmetics company, admits to collecting biscuit tins as a teenager.
“I know it sounds a bit geeky, but I loved tins when I was a teenager. My fascination started with my dad’s old fashioned Oxo tin. I loved the branding. And pretty soon I had a collection of tins of all sizes and I used to make boxes out of paper,” said Sarah, who went on to study physics and then polymer science at the University of Sheffield.
After working for BP Performance Films, a packaging manufacturer and printer in Darton, and a short spell in the automotive industry, Sarah worked on developing packaging for Asda in Leeds and then Fox’s Biscuits in Batley, before being made redundant just over a year ago.
“I wasn’t sure what to do,” admits Sarah. “But then I attended the business start-up programme called SmartStart and that really got me thinking.”
The SmartStart programme is managed by the Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre (BBIC), at Wilthorpe, working in partnership with Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council. It has helped more than 200 businesses set up over the last two years with free business advice and workshops.
Greenwood Packaging Consultancy is one of about a dozen companies that graduated from SmartStart to the Genesis programme, which gives Sarah free shared office space at the BBIC, as well as access to a dedicated business coach for up to12 months.
And the contracts have already started to come in, with a start-up cosmetics company employing Sarah to design packaging to send luxury cosmetics through the post, and a bakery in north Wales asking Sarah to design wrappers for bread and rolls to supply a major supermarket.
“The work is fascinating as I get to be involved from the initial design stage all the way through to production. And I get to work with everyone from designers to production managers,” said Sarah.
“The support from the Genesis programme has been brilliant. Six months ago I wouldn’t have dared take on big projects, but the business support available through the BBIC means I now have the confidence, as well as the skills, to do the work.”
BBIC business development manager James Herbert said: “Helping Barnsley entrepreneurs set up successful businesses within the borough is the whole point of the SmartStart and Genesis programmes. So it is brilliant to see that Sarah is doing so well and has a lot of potential for the future.”
For many packaging professionals Christmas 2014 was done and dusted weeks, if not months, ago and some of us are working on Christmas 2015 already. With less than a week to go, here are my favourite (and not so favourite!) picks of the season:
1. Glass Bauble – Molton Brown Scented Washes
A beautiful glass bauble designed to be hung from the tree from a classy looking closure. What initially looks like an unnecessary box protects the product from breakage during transit and makes it easier to wrap.
2. The Old-Fashioned Sweet Tin
Slowly but surely, the traditional tin of sweets is being replaced by colourful plastic tubs. Tins are now more upmarket novelty affairs – such as M&S musical Christmas tree or alarm-clock shaped tins available in Debenhams (pretty but not much cop for keeping things in). That’s why it’s so refreshing to see the good old fashioned Quality Street tin is still with us. It comes with a decent 1kg weight of product as well – at £7, much better value than buying two tubs of 400g for £4 each.
3. Jagermeister Gift Pack
It’s a bobble hat in a box, with the bobble sticking out of the top! That’s all there is to say. Oh, there’s a miniature of the liqueur in there too.
4. Body Shop Lollypop
An unusual, fun looking pack. With a recent Which? Report warning consumers about poor-value gift sets*, it is good to see that the cost of the gift set of 5 lip balms is the same as buying them individually, giving the perception of value, if nothing else.
*although they only managed to name two packs.
5. Worst pack of the season – HP Gift Pack
The physical packaging itself which looks fine and seems to protect the product well, but the description of what’s inside is the issue here. The contents include a ‘Man’s Mug’ and the gift on display in the ‘Gifts for Him’ Section in Asda (similar gifts are also in Tesco etc). A more suitable description would be ‘Tea Lover’s’ mug or something similar, surely?
6. Ferrero Rocher – Various
This year Ferrero have produced a gift pack for almost every price point including Christmas tree stars, a kit for a DIY Ambassador’s Reception-style pyramid, and my favourite, a giant Ferrero Rocher. The merchandising units for larger stores are made from foil-backed corrugate and look absolutely stunning.
If you need help with the development of your packaging for 2015, please contact us.
Happy (Packaging) Christmas!
Greenwood Packaging Consultancy