When Jared Gettinger, founder of Love Nature NYC, decided to create natural bath, body and home products, he decided to not only make sure everything he used was made in the US, he wanted to make sure the brand stayed as local as possible.
Love Nature NYC is based in Brooklyn, NY, Gettinger's hometown, where he makes his soaps, body wash, scrubs, body oils, lip balm and hand-poured candles – using only natural and organic ingredients. The products also come in a variety of scents. Gettinger likes the fact that he knows many of his wholesale customers, as well as retail consumers, personally, so he has mainly been selling his products wholesale, to local businesses.
Gettinger also has another vision for the brand, which is: "to connect our customers to nature through our products and packaging." He paid a lot of attention to every detail, from the natural materials he chose for packaging to the look of the brand's website.
"We wanted consumers to look at our products and immediately feel soothed and relaxed – and have that connection to the natural elements – and then that experience continues when they use the products," he explains, adding, "We hired a fantastic designer to help with illustrations, and help us make that connection with the consumer through the packaging."
Love Nature NYC's package design aesthetic emphasizes the use of natural materials in innovative ways. "We wanted to be as eco-friendly as possible, while reflecting a calming, approachable look," says Gettinger.
All of the packaging is either made from recycled materials whenever possible, or recyclable. One of the candles in the line is packaged in a Kraft paperboard tube, and the other is in a Kraft paperboard carton, and both are made with recycled material. The soaps are wrapped in recycled paper, printed with vegetable inks – for a rustic handmade look that's also elegant and upscale.
But, being green is also a work-in-progress, as Gettinger realizes that besides the learning curve, there also isn't one universal way to be the most eco-friendly, that's right for every brand. "Now, we'll be offering glass bottles for our bath products instead of plastic," he says, describing one major packaging change he wants to make. "Glass can be cost-prohibitive to ship, but we still feel it's important to use glass to help customers more easily identify us as an eco-friendly brand."
Gettinger has found that approaching packaging suppliers can be intimidating, but he has met a few that know how to make a start-up brand feel welcome. "It's always really nice when you meet with a nice company that's willing to help a small business because they understand that you may become a huge customer down the road," he says. "Ultimately, I have found great suppliers to work with," he adds.
Just about every part of creating this brand has been a learning process for Gettinger, but especially the package development and design, Gettinger says. "Your packaging is the way you communicate with your customer. It is so important to know how to create the message you want your brand to convey. That's what we've been striving to do."
Marie Redding is the Associate Editor of Beauty Packaging, a sister publication of Label & Narrow Web.