Hot Home Business: Custom Candy Wrapping

Want to work from home but not sure what you can do? The Hot Home Business Directory helps you find a business to run out of your home, lists the skills you need to do it and tells how to get started and where to get more information. Read on to find out if this Hot Home Biz is for you!

What You'll Do: Create custom candy bar wrappers for promotional purposes and as gifts. You will design personalized wrappers to use for birth announcements, party favors, wedding receptions, shower gifts, business promotions and so on. You can also sell the candy wrappers to use as marketing tools or client gifts on holidays such as Valentine's Day, Christmas and Easter.

Skills You'll Need: According to Melanie Westmoreland, founder of Candy Wrapper Designs, based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, it helps to have some artistic or visual skills, as well as the ability to work with a graphics software program such as Adobe Photoshop. However, you can purchase templates for wrappers on the Web and through catalogs if you're not artistically inclined. Organizational and marketing skills are also very helpful, as is the flexibility to satisfy customers' requests when they become demanding (think: stressed out bride-to-be's).

Equipment and Supplies You'll Need: A computer, color laser printer and graphics program such as Photoshop. If you plan to offer the option of adding personal photos to your wrappers, you will also need a scanner. High-quality semi-glossy paper is also preferable to create a high-quality, professional look. If you choose to supply the candy bars with the wrappers, you'll have to purchase a large supply of individual or miniature Hershey or Nestlé chocolate bars, available from warehouse stores like Sam's Club or Costco.

Start-Up Costs: A high-resolution computer and color printer will run around $1,500 to $2,500. Scanners can be purchased for as low as $49. A digital camera is a nice extra if you plan to take the photos for the wrappers. These start at $200.

How Much You Can Make: Charges generally range from $1.50 to $4.95 per wrapped 1.55-ounce chocolate bar (a regular size Hershey bar), but the larger the order, the lower the individual rate per bar (for 300 bars with the same wrapper design, the price can go as low as 80 cents). Miniature bars are less expensive, but customized chocolates (as well as CDs, wine bottles and special shapes) demand a higher price. In Portland, Oregon, Say It Sweetly owner Katie Hart adds a one-time charge of $5 to scan a photo or other image and place it in an existing design. For a custom design, she charges a one-time design fee that ranges from $30 to $75, depending on the complexity. Shipping charges are extra.

How to Break In: Westmoreland suggests offering a couple of "freebie" jobs to get your product and business name noticed. Design wrappers for a friend's wedding reception or your child's soccer team and place your contact information on the back of each wrapper. Get in touch with wedding and party planners, event planning services, trade show organizers and professional fundraisers as potential customers and send them samples.

How to Market the Business:

  • Print up business cards and brochures or catalogs and leave them with local florists, catering halls, and corporate offices or planners. Doctors' offices, including OB/GYNs and pediatricians, are also good spots to distribute brochures, since personalized candy bars are great for birth announcements and baby showers, or as kids' party favors .
  • Rent out a booth at a school or community fair or wedding showcase, distributing your marketing materials and exhibiting samples.
  • Exchange ads with other women in your area who have home-based businesses. Other resources include day care centers, churches, schools, sporting facilities and gift shops.
  • Sell the idea of personalized candy bars as a creative way for small businesses to promote themselves or send a "thank you" to clients and customers on special days of the year.
  • Create a Website that displays a few sample wrappers and promotes the potential of using candy bars as a marketing tool or personalized party favor.

    Resources:
  • A1CandyBarWrappers.com -- supplies and ideas
  • CandyDirect.com -- wholesale candy supplier
  • CandyWarehouse -- chocolate bar wholesaler
  • Candy Wrapper Designs -- design templates
  • Custom Candy Bar Wrappers -- ideas

 

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