The story of how a small business is born is one we’ve heard time and time again. Someone works in an industry for a long time, only to realize they can do it better, with an urge to be their own boss. We often call that “The American Dream”, and Alana Bell has realized hers with the founding of Calipak. Your west-coast packaging powerhouse, Calipak has experience from food to toys, blue to orange, and every shape you can think of, it’s likely Alana Bell has come across it.
“Starting it was the easy part, I’m marketing minded,” says Alana. A mother and wife, she certainly has a lot on her plate, but she loves creating new brands and products, so it was a natural fit. When it comes to branding, Alana says “I always start with a name and a logo.” Branding always comes first whenever she starts work on a project, and she firmly believes the logo sets the tone for everything.
As for advice to other small businesses, her marketing mind really comes out. “It’s good to bombard people with re-marketing, remind people that you’re there.” We at Tailor absolutely agree – about 20% of our marketing efforts are re-marketing – and it’s likely that we’ll see that number increase as we continue to expand our customer base. Alana also recommends keeping your connections alive, as you’ll never know when you need the help (or recommendation) of a former colleague. It’s surprisingly simple to do, a lunch every now and then does the trick. At the end of the day, “you just want to keep yourself out there.”
What’s next for CaliPak? Expansion. Alana is looking to add more packaging test equipment so that she can do turnarounds even faster, and be completely sure that the final product works. The additional equipment is part of an overall investment in the business that she’s making, allowing her to be even more competitive. Of course, the benefit of a small business is that you’re the boss, so she’s able to take her time with the business and spend more of it with her family, which is also what’s next on the horizon. One thing we can say for sure, though, is that if you need packaging or customer insights in building a product, Calipak is the place to go!
Tailor Made is an on-going weekly series where we feature our clients and what they’re doing. Interested in being featured? Email us at [email protected] and we’ll be in touch.