Creative Bag: Good things come in pretty packaging

{A sponsored post by Lorrie Everitt from Creative Bag}

Creative Bag, DIY Packaging

I left my corporate day job in 2005 to purse my dream of starting my own creative business. While working for over twenty years as a visual merchandiser and marketing director for a number of large retail companies, I learned a couple of valuable lessons about selling anything.

First, more often than not, customers are driven to purchase something not because it is needed but because it was packaged so nicely that they had to have it. And secondly, your packaging is an important part of your branding story and the way you choose to package your products says a lot about your business.

When I started purchasing packaging materials for my own creative business ten years ago Creative Bag was my “secret” resource. I approached Creative Bag in the fall of 2011 with the concept of collaborating on some creative projects and I ended up working as creative blogger and packaging expert for them. Honesty, I feel like I’m in my happy place whenever I walk into a Creative Bag store.

Creative Bag, DIY Packaging

Creative Bag is a family owned business from Toronto, Canada that has been supplying custom bags and packaging supplies to retailers, advertisers and marketing companies for over thirty years. Whether you are just starting out and need to purchase creative packaging supplies that you can DIY into something special for your small business or you are ready to invest in custom packaging for a growing business – Creative Bag is your packaging resource. You will find a vast selection of packaging products like bags, boxes, wrapping paper, tissue, ribbon, twine and so much more at Creative Bag’s three retail stores in the GTA and online. If you are looking to save money, most products offer discounts on larger volume purchases.

Creative Bag, DIY Packaging

Your product packaging will be the first thing your customer sees if you are selling on Etsy and your own website, or the last thing your customer remembers if you are selling at craft fairs and markets. You don’t have to use expensive supplies to create great looking packaging. It’s amazing what you can do with custom stickers, stamps and baker’s twine to embellish something as simple as a kraft box or bag.

Creative Bag, DIY Packaging

Magazines approach us every month to feature our products in editorials and DIY projects. I have been invited to appear on local television shows and to take part in workshops and YouTube videos to demonstrate DIY projects using Creative Bag products.

Creative Bag, DIY Packaging

Creative Bag has just launched their new and improved website and is celebrating this week with daily giveaways and product specials. Today is all about doing-it-yourself! Our daily giveaway includes a tote bag that I created filled with lots of DIY goodies that can be used for a display or photo shoot, a Brit + Co diy Ecourse of your choice and a copy of Brit’s new “Homemakers” book. Select DIY products and tissue paper are today’s online specials. Check our website and blog daily for more opportunities to win and save. You can join the Creative Bag email list on our website for weekly updates on new products and special offers.

Creative Bag, DIY Packaging
 

If you are looking for packaging inspiration, follow me on the Creative Bag blog for packaging projects and simple how to tutorials. You’ll also find lots of great packaging and branding ideas on our Pinterest boards and, of course, on the Creative Bag Facebook page.

About Lorrie Everitt

Lorrie EverittI have always led a creative life. With the encouragement of my parents and grandmothers, I learned to craft and sew at a very young age. I graduated from university with a degree in art history and from college with diploma in graphic design. If I’m not creating something I’m working out the details on what I’m going to do next. You will always see me with my camera bag, a blank note book and a fine tip black pen. My computer is my best friend and I spend way too much time on Pinterest. I prefer to read books that teach me something and magazines with lots of DIY projects and visual inspiration.

I enjoyed working for many years in retail as a Visual Merchandising and Marketing Director for a number of fashion and home decor companies. I learned a lot during that time and it gave me the background and connections that I needed to become a branding and marketing consultant, to design products lines for retail businesses and to license my art to giftware companies.

I started a small online business with a close friend that specialized in customizing stationery products that I designed. I love to do workshops and teach mixed media art classes – when I have time. I have sold my handmade products and jewellery making kits on Etsy and in local stores.

My projects have been featured on websites such as Buzzfeed and in magazines such as Somerset Studio’s GreenCraft and Weddingbells. I still dream about someday publishing a DIY creative book although the three “CreativeLiving” (online) magazines that I created for Creative Bag last Christmas came very close to making that dream come true.

When I am not blogging for Creative Bag you can find me posting creative ideas on my personal blog at Lorrie Everitt Studio or planning new things to make and do with my family and friends.

 website |  blog | pinterest | facebook | twitter

Maritime Makers #CraftParty

Maritime Makers, How to Fold a Paper Boat printable instructions by Susan Black Design

Maritime Makers is a new volunteer collective founded when advocates of handmade from Atlantic Canada met at the Etsy Team Captain Summit in Toronto at this February. We saw a need for one main portal to connect the work of Maritime makers and maker culture in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland/Labrador, and Prince Edward Island similar to how OMHG has connected makers globally since 2010, so of course I volunteered to help build and organize it. Along with the help of leaders Fatema (NS), Suzanne (PEI), Janie (NB) and our very own OMHG contributor Alison (NL) we launched the Maritime Makers website this month and are working together to grow our local maker movement!

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The internet has expanded many of our markets and blurred borders between countries and provinces leading to more opportunities for makers both locally and globally. Maritime Makers intends to show the value in Maritime provinces creating an inclusive, diverse, and welcoming definition of regional cooperation, connecting business, organizations, and advocates on every level to strengthen and support our region. Our first collective project is uniting communities, Etsy sellers, and small business supporters to collaborate on Etsy Made in Canada events in each of our provinces.

As volunteer co-captain of the Halifax Etsy team I’ve also been helping to organize fun accessible projects like team meet ups, designing the new website, and our community #craftparty this weekend at Wonder’neath Artist Studios where we are making a rising tide of folded paper boats to demonstrate how makers and the maker movement are an economic force that can lift us all up. Our goal is to make and install over 1000 unique boats made by many hands from recycled papers during our market this September 26th.

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Huge thanks to my brilliantly talented dear friend and neighbour Susan of Susan Black Designs for collaborating on illustrations for this project and a printable tutorial for folding your own paper boats!

Not in Halifax or Canada but still want to participate in this project? Print out the instructions and fold up your own boat! Boats mailed to me will be installed along with ones made during our craft parties and at open craft tables during our market. How neat would it be to show that makers around the world can work together to make art and social change? Boats can be sent by September 20th to:

Maritime Makers, c/o Jessika Hepburn PO Box 1690 Lunenburg, NS B0J 2C0, Canada

I’m excited and honoured to have these opportunities to serve makers directly and improve the quality of life right here in my own backyard. To follow along with this project, learn more about Maritime Makers, or get involved visit our new website!

MaritimeMakers

2015 Maker’s Retreat with Oh My! Handmade

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Gather to make more community, kindness, comfort, friendship, family, warmth, delight and creativity.

When we gather with the intention of nurturing honest connection we make room for real magic. The requirements for making magic are simple: a warm welcome, a beautiful place, kind diverse people, whole local foods for the body, and nourishment for the head, heart, and hands. Our gatherings mix these ingredients up with gentle leadership to leave everyone totally confident we are all makers with everything we need to make more goodness in the world. This tangible magic of creation and community isn’t the sparkles and fairy dust kind but the type that fills us up with warmth and wholeness that we can radiate in our lives and work.

We live in a busy chaotic world full of hustle, our gatherings are an invitation to slow down and savour time well spent. Ours is a quiet revolution built on a movement of moments and small steps with others who value the art of handmaking a life. Curl up into lazy days and conversations that can unravel and reknit themselves into a community. Cultivate contentment and fullness and family through sharing food, creative exploration, story sharing, and group projects.

Hosted at the non-profit owned and completely handmade Hollyhock campus our retreats are open to anyone of any age who makes things, makes change, or just wants to make more goodness in their lives. Let’s bring our families, engage our young people, nurture our elders, inspire our children and ourselves to live full lives, rich with meaning and making.

Register for the 2015 Maker’s Retreat

OR CALL HOLLYHOCK at 800-933-6339

If you are unable to attend due to financial reasons consider applying for the Hollyhock scholarship fund or using the contact form below to contact us with your story to see how we can support you.

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ABOUT HOLLYHOCK

An internationally renowned centre for learning and well-being, Hollyhock impacts personal, professional and social development through over 100 programs. The spectacular natural setting on Cortes Island, British Columbia is an ideal backdrop for transformative experiences. Hollyhock offers a comfortable and safe environment where people can deeply connect with others, gain creative insights, and renew hope that a better world is possible. Founded in 1983, Hollyhock is Canada’s leading centre for lifelong learning, but you can also think of it as a “refuge for your soul”, a place that allows you access to what matters, or simply time to rest, play and achieve wellness in BC. Learn more about Hollyhock.

ABOUT JESSIKA

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As  the founder of Oh My! Handmade Jessika Hepburn has been connecting the head, heart, and hands of the handmade community since 2010. Jessika sat on her first board of directors at 9, founded an arts empowerment camp for inner city youth at 19, and started her first handmade business as a young mom in 2003. A leading voice in the handmade community Jessika has spoken on the maker movement at events across North America and supports makers, creative entrepreneurs, small businesses and companies like Etsy, Bamboletta Dolls, and Playful Learning, while coordinating programs, events, and retreats for makers across Canada all from her 200 year old home in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Learn more about her right here. 

REGISTER FOR THE 2015 MAKER’S RETREAT 

 About Our 2014 Retreat

Our events are built on the belief that if we put our heads, hearts and hands to work we can make anything but if we put them to work together we can make a movement.

We know that we do our best work when no one is the expert but everyone’s expertise is valued and openly shared. Have you ever gone to a workshop and just wanted to spend time really talking with the instructor? Or noticed the juiciest part of most events happens in hotel rooms or over dinner when ideas are thrown on the table and collaborations sparked? We all have unique talents and experiences to share and the power to do just about anything when we cooperate.

As a group we wrote the agenda, led the workshops, and covered vast stretches of conversation about making from the theoretical to the intimate details of what we’ve learned as makers. We made trips to the beach, walks in the woods to forage for inspiration, time to learn calligraphy, papier mache, needle felting, fibre + dye experiments, late nights crafting and talking around the campfire, watching double rainbows and weaving lifelong friendships.

Many of us can feel disconnected from who we are and our place in the world, the role of makers and creators is to show how we can weave those common threads into one blanket by handcrafting lives and communities rooted in creativity and compassion. Making a life of meaning from pieces of our soul is hard work, we need community to patch where we’ve worn thin and remind us that we are all connected, our 2014 retreat did just that and left us all feeling renewed with a reinforced conviction that making matters.

Click here to read Arianne’s participant recap of our retreat on Academy of Handmade 

Click here for photos and a brief summary of our week.