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Wrapped or Unwrapped?

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melissa826

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So since I've been making soap I've always done the cigar band wrapped around my soap with the info printed on it.

I'm looking at ordering some new materials and my husband thinks I should shrink wrap instead with a label on the front and back.

My whole marketing is simple and natural. So typically I've used kraft colored paper as my band.

I feel like doing a shrink wrapped band will take away from the old fashioned simple look....and maybe make the soap not look so "uniform" since you'd see the whole bar instead of just the ends?

My husband however thinks people can't possibly like buying soap that is not completely wrapped. I don't even think I would want to fully wrap in shrink wrap if i did, I think i would just do bands with that as well.

My question is, do you have a preference? and why. Has anyone tried both? better results with either one?

Thanks!
 

Donna

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Hi Melissa,
I think it depends on what soap you are making. For CP soap, I prefer the cigar bands or something that lets it "breath" and continue to cure. Also, it allows potential buyers to see the soap. Having a sample bar for people to touch and smell might solve the problem of people handling your soap. Also, there are bags for soap that allow the air to flow. I haven't ventured into MP soap, so if that is what you are making, someone else might be better to advise you on the best way to wrap that.
 

melissa826

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Yes, it is mainly CP..I do do some MP, but it's not my main concern. I like the idea of the sample bar, but I have displays in various stores/businesses and It just seems like a lot of bars out there to have a sample for every kind in every location.

If I did a cigar band that wrapped around the bars leaving only the very end on the two sides open, do you think that would suffice? I can't imagine myself thinking peoples hands have been all over it if just the very ends are open. But I'm not sure how others think. Maybe that type of person isn't in my client base anyways. haha I mean, I'd be way more concerned about who handled the produce you just bought at the grocery store...but maybe thats just me.

I'm thinking of buying a roll of kraft paper and just sticking labels on the bands. Have you tried kraft paper?
 

pamielynn

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Personally, I don't care for the shrink-wrapped look; but that's just me, and many soapers use it. I also really don't like open bars of soap - collecting dust, getting shoved up people's noses. LUSH stores disgust me for this reason (well, other reasons too, but that's a big one).

There are lots of options - boxes, a piece of fabric under the cigar band, wrapping the soap completely (like a gift box). Spend a bit of time on Pintrest and see all the packaging and maybe something will catch your eye.
 

kikajess

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I'm going by what I see and like in the stores. Shrink wrap looks too plasticky to me, but, strangely, I like the look of a bar wrapped in cellophane, like the Pre de Provence display I saw at a grocery store recently. Bars that only have horizontal cigar bands collect a lot of dust. The dust grosses me out more than the thought of how much handling the bars have gotten from strangers. Those cut-it-yourself Zum bar soap displays are horrifyingly dusty and grungy. No, thank you. The soap section at my local whole foods is quite an impressive array. The most eye-catching soaps are in boxes. But there is a line of soap called Good Soap (made exclusively for WF by Alaffia) without any wrapping at all! No ingredients listed anywhere. That is a mystery to me how that is allowed. I like the look of those naked bars. They've got a really nice shine to them. So, in conclusion, this doesn't help you at all, and probably adds complication to your decision making process. Here are some pictures to distract you from that.

Pre de Provence (cellophane):
prov1.JPG
prov2.jpg

Good Soap (naked):
good.jpg

Zum bars (a little grungy):
 

InNae

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If you're selling an all natural soap, the plastic wrapper really is kind of against that. A recycled paper or tissue paper might look good and would allow the soap to cure. You could use a sticker with a logo or ingredients to hold the paper closed.

InNae
 

Susie

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I have an Amish store(and other stuff, so not all Amish goods) nearby. Those soaps are wrapped in Saran Wrap type stuff. The pieces are square and the bars are placed diagonally and all 4 points pulled to the back. Then a simple sticker label is placed on front and back. The rear label holds the wrap closed. I was thinking tissue paper handled the same way would be a great idea. If you want people to be able to smell the soap, just use a single hole punch on what will be the front before wrapping.

Or, you could use the tissue paper to make a fancier bag with frou-frou ties for each bar. But transporting and keeping it looking nice when you are not supervising the display might be more difficult.
 

cmzaha

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I sell at a lot of open air markets and every soap I take including my little flower sample soaps are shrink wrapped. When you have to pack and unpack 4 times a week packaging gets quite beat up and dirty. When my get to looking tacky I simple pull them from the crate and rewrap. I get the thin bags from Papermart and the soap will still breathe through them. I have had many customers tell me they will never buy an un-wrapped soap. My labels are 2x4 and wrap nicely around the soap and the soap design still shows on the edges. In fact I am just finishing up shrink wrapping about 300 soaps for a craft fair this weekend. Soap is sticky and it would just get to dirty sitting around on shelves or packing and unpacking. Boxes are very nice but add a substantial cost to the product at least if you cannot buy by the case or better yet pallet. My soaps also do not fit in the standard soap boxes
 

anani

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I also really don't like open bars of soap - collecting dust, getting shoved up people's noses. LUSH stores disgust me for this reason (well, other reasons too, but that's a big one).

Ditto!! For this reason you couldn't pay me enough to use a LUSH product. The thought of using a product that a hundred people or more have done a noseplant on makes my stomach churn. How is it they can sell their products completely un-packaged and un-labeled?? I've watched their manufacturing videos and most workers are wearing street clothes, no hairnets, goggles or gloves.... blows my mind. BOMB Cosmetics is another company that sells many their products unwrapped.
I do however love the look of the stacks of un-wrapped products (soaps and bathbombs etc.) and wish I could display some of my things that way, but I wrap most everything in cellophane or shrink wrap for sanitary reasons.
 

MsLisa

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To Wrap or Not to Wrap

I'm with a few others regarding unwrapped soaps and people handling and sticking their noses in them. It's soap, I get that part but still, it's kind of gross to have someone sticking the soap almost in their nose.

I did see soaps that were wrapped in a nice burlap, tied with a simple piece of yarn or jute. I thought that was nice. And it's breathable and people can still smell through it. Just a thought.
 

Jencat

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I don't have a problem with buying soaps that just have a band around them as long as they don't look grungy. If I ever do start selling, I'm not sure what I'll use. I'd rather not use plastic because of the environmental impact.
 

DeeAnna

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Selling when I'm personally there (farmer's market, craft fair, etc.) ... I'd be okay selling unwrapped bars with cigar band labels, because I can control things.

Selling when I'm not personally there ... my soap is going to be fully enclosed with some kind of packaging that shows the product. I like Kikajess' cello wrapped example. I cannot control what the customers will be doing so I need to make sure the product is going to be as clean, sanitary, and not "shop worn" as possible.

Don't automatically assume plastic is always less "green" than paper ... we would have to know how the product is made and distributed before we can say that.
 

FGOriold

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After doing a single craft fair and using shrink-wrap bands on the cold processed soaps - I completely encase them now (with some airholes so the scent comes through and the soap can breath. You can see the soap, smell the soap and it can breath and, most importantly it remains sanitary. Watching how people handle them and touch them to their nose when they smell them goes against my goal of keeping things sanitary. Why is it that people cannot smell something unless it touches their nose??????
 

Momonga

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I also really don't like open bars of soap - collecting dust, getting shoved up people's noses. LUSH stores disgust me for this reason (well, other reasons too, but that's a big one).
Thank you so much for that. :sick: I admit I love Lush! It has never occured to me to stick the soap into my nose, but suppose if one does... it's soap! If it gets germs on it, they'll be clean germs.

So back to serious, I personally have always like unwrapped soaps, even back when I was a naive shopper who didn't know you COULD make your own soap in your home. I would choose the unwrapped over the wrapped because it speaks to me of hand-made and natural and so-very-interesting. And I agree with some that if you want to market a soap as natural, plastic wrap is counter to that message, so I would go with tissue if I had to wrap my soap.

Your husband may be surprised that some of us do prefer them unwrapped. My own husband doesn't even get why you would pay more than 50 cents for a bar of soap, why you would want it to smell like a fruit, or why you want it to look pretty.
 

Krazekelly

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I started out with cigar bands also then went too shirk wrap band so the top and bottom were exposed. Now after several craft fairs I am switching over to completely covered in a cello bag with air holes punched in it. It's not the nose stickers but all the handling/loading & unloading wear also I want to protect them from. I did start putting up a sign asking for people to try not to touch their noses to the products since the next customer may not appreciate their nose prints. :)
 

navigator9

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I originally wrapped my soap with horizontal cigar bands, but disliked how they would slip around on the soaps. So then I started wrapping my soaps with tissue paper, with a vertical cigar band over it, stuck with a dab of glue stick. I like the way it looks, and so do my customers. (At craft fairs, I have an unwrapped end cut as a sample, so that customers can see and smell the soap.) But I can't tell you how much I've come to hate the wrapping process. Each year, I think I hate it more. This past holiday season, I watched every season of Dexter and Downton Abbey while I was wrapping!!! What a combination, huh?

So when I was done, I said, this is it, something has to change. So I got some sample shrink wrap bands, cut my labels to fit underneath them, shrunk them down, and brought a sample of the old style and the new to work with me to see how my customers there would like them. They hated them! I was secretly happy with that, because I didn't like them either. I really like the look of my wrapped soaps, but I cringe when I think of the hours and hours it takes to do it. I've seen other people's soap shrink wrapped, and thought it looked OK, but it just doesn't go with my brand. I like naked bars in some situations, like farmer's markets, but again, it doesn't work for me. Oh how I wish it did!!!!!!!! I think it all depends on your branding, whether banding, shrink wrapping or nakedness will work for you.
 

FGOriold

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My favorite way to wrap round soaps that are not decorative is to use coffee filters. You get a very attractive packaged soap depending on how you do your labels, the soap breaths and the scent can still come through yet the soap is totally encased and stays clean.

SB-CondGFruitH4.jpg
 

batty

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I am having a similar but opposite dilemma. My usual packaging is a cellophane bag folded over, with a large square label holding the folded edge. People who buy from me (family and friends) seem to like it, but I am wanting to change to a cigar band for a craft fair this summer. I was looking at photos of packaging and just love displays with unwrapped cigar band soaps, like the ones in this photo. I was planning to have 1 nude soap in front of each grouping, for people to maul and snort ;) but I don't know if that would be enough to protect the other soap. I can't decide if I should put the cellophane bag over top of the cigar band.

9ff80f999d5aa411a2223af91817d5fd.jpg
 

Numbers

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I started using coffee filters on all my soaps not just the round ones. It's easy to wrap the squares and loaf cut bars like a present then I add my band with printed info. You can smell the fragrances and it keeps the soap out of people's noses.
 

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