When Cassie Rinehart started Design South in Charleston, South Carolina, she began small, creating personalized nursery prints for family and friends. Eventually, she took things to the next level and opened an Etsy shop as a side hustle while working a full-time job as Senior Art Director at an ad agency. Soon enough, her desire for freedom from the daily 9 to 5 grind won out and Cassie took a risk, trusting that her hobby could become her bread and butter.
Every step of the way, Cassie has learned to leap first and figure the rest out as she goes. And so far, it’s going quite well. “Most of the time, I find myself thinking backward,” she reflects. “I try to begin with the end in mind, working backward to create that reality as best I can.”
When it came to packaging, Cassie knew the generic kraft mailing tubes she was using did not match the personalized experience her customers were receiving at every other touch point. Working closely with parents to match nursery colors and bedding swatches created a superior customer experience that set Design South apart from its competitors. “I wanted to be sure my customer felt as special when the prints were delivered as they did throughout the design process,” Cassie explains. “But I figured I couldn’t afford what I wanted.” And yet, just like every other step of her entrepreneurial journey, Cassie simply didn’t know what she didn’t know.
“I assumed my business was too small to justify the expense of custom tubes. After the first call with Paper Tube Co., I figured we were just brainstorming and I’d have to eventually tell them I couldn’t afford their product. I had no idea they would be so affordable.”
–Cassie Rinehart, Founder of Design South
As a small business owner, Cassie’s success was dependent upon her ability to manage her expenses while providing her customers with responsive customer service, excellent communication, and a superior product delivered on time and in excellent condition. “I started out using regular plain kraft mailing tubes and they were very expensive,” says Cassie. “Prices were constantly changing and the tubes were generally unreliable. Stickers and labels wouldn’t stay on consistently, and I never had time to do the research necessary to get the best pricing.” Busy keeping her head above water, Cassie didn’t have a chance to look for an alternative.
Eventually, she applied her “leap first, figure it out later” strategy and got curious about the possibility of up-leveling her customer experience with branded tubes. After filling out an inquiry form with Paper Tube Co., the art director in Cassie was excited, while the business owner was hesitant to get her hopes up. “I assumed I wouldn’t be able to afford something so perfect,” Cassie admits. “The first call with Paper Tube Co. was such a breeze. In the back of my head, I knew there was no way I’d be able to afford what they were presenting. Thank goodness I was wrong. The pricing was a total no-brainer,” exclaims Cassie with a smile.
“Working with the team was so inspiring, they were a dream from the start,” says Cassie. “The biggest hurdle was creating the design. This was a huge challenge for me.” Although quite familiar with design, the application was totally different for Cassie. “The whole process was so unfamiliar,” she explains. “Just like every other entrepreneur I know, I was so busy, working around the clock. Literally, when one ball dropped, there would be another to pick up. I was frustrated learning something new and wanted to hand the whole process over and let them do it without me.”
During the package design process, Cassie became aware that after 6+ years in business, Design South wasn’t fully branded. “It was a disappointing realization,” admits Cassie. “But thanks to a productive feedback loop, the Paper Tube Co. design team took my ideas and ran with them. In the end, I developed my brand completely and we worked together to choose a packaging design my customers and I love. The payoff has been enormous for my business.”
When she received the tube prototype, Cassie realized the time and effort she put in was totally worth it. “I found getting the perfect color to be one of the biggest challenges,” Cassie reveals. “I was nervous to choose the right Pantone color and took my time deliberating about swatches. I needed it to be gender-neutral, not too red, and not too pink. We landed on the ideal shade of coral. The end result couldn’t be more perfect.”
With new branding fully in place and an exceptional unboxing experience, Cassie is proud of what she accomplished by improving her packaging, “This solution was a lateral move in price but a game changer in quality and appearance.”
More than Paper Tubes
At The Paper Tube Co., we’re thinking beyond the tube. Although many customers come to us with branding firmly in place and mood boards and style guides to back them up, we also offer complete design services that go far beyond packaging. Our new Print Kit makes it easy to bring concepts to the table with the goal of developing a visual brand, in tandem with custom packaging, that is the true expression of your business identity.
“Paper Tube Co. was elite, a dream to work with from the start. Thanks to a productive feedback loop, the design team took my ideas and ran with them. In the end, I developed my brand completely and we worked together to choose a packaging design I love. The payoff has been enormous for my business.”
–Cassie Rinehart, Founder of Design South