In the beginning, you have to do it all. There’s no money to buy anything, but you need everything!
We wanted to stand out, we wanted to let the people know that we were open for business!
I love it when we hand-stamp our boxes, bags and envelopes. It’s so us…handmade. But in the beginning, it was as much necessity as it was branding.
Early on, we had more time than money! Bailey was still in High School, but once a week she and I did the hand stamping of the labels we used on the first version of our bags. We developed some pretty efficient processes for pushing through a few hundred at a time. I remember how they’d be laid out in rows drying on the shelves down in the basement production area.
Today, Bailey is an expert at executing the Just-In-Time inventory model, and I believe the early days of making “just enough” labels is to thank!
When you start a business, you have to develop your look….this is how we got started at MFJ!
We used chalkboard paint on everything so we could blast our message to the gazillion of people that drove past that little jerky shack everyday. Everyone in town knew about that little jerky shack on the edge of town!
We had fun with it too!
When we started the Farmers Market stands, we continued the chalkboard theme.
I believe that it was this little jerky shack, and our chalkboard branding that allowed us to communicate with our customers in a way that was fun, young, innocent and heartwarming! These things helped our customers cheer for our success!
You can see, over 4 years later, we are still using chalkboards as part of our look.
So when you’re just getting started, keep in mind that you’re earliest branding choices, are likely to stick with you for awhile!
You don’t have to spend a lot of money, if you don’t have it, on your look. It’s much more important to get out there with what you have at that time and build from there!