We thought it might be useful to document the process of starting an online business from scratch.
Jim Coudal and Steve Delahoyde will periodically post here about issues involving our
product and business plan. Hopefully things will go well but even if the whole thing goes down in flames,
it’ll probably be interesting to watch.
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When it comes to photography, Toronto-based Jessica Blaine is a jack of all trades, master of all. When not expertly and creatively shooting events and portraits, she runs an online shop where she sells prints she's made from shots she's taken with her Holga, operates a studio in one of the creative hearts of the city, and diligently chronicles her work and life on her blog. It would be enough just knowing that there's cool people like Jessica out there doing great work, but we get the extra perk of being able to help her out of the packaging side, being as she's long been a Jewelboxing user. She was very kind in dropping us a note about her work, as well as her experiences using our cases. Here's from Jessica:
"I am a full-time photographer located in Toronto, Canada who has been shooting professionally for eight years. I photograph all things people, whether it be weddings, babies, families, corporate events or editorial for magazines. I love photographing people and cannot imagine doing anything else in my life. Nothing beats seeing the expression on my clients' faces when they receive their images knowing that I captured all of the special little moments for them. As photographers we have an important job as we document all of the milestones in others' lives."
"One of my favourite vendors that I have worked with throughout my career is Jewelboxing. Often the only product that my clients receive from me is a disc with images and I wanted to make sure that when I give it to them that it is something of substance. I looked everywhere for the perfect product before I found Jewelboxing. I love the customization that I am able to do with every disc case that I print. I also love that as I photograph the same family over time they begin to have a collection of my matching discs on their shelf."
Thanks a million to Jessica for being a customer and for sharing her story with us. And here's to hoping there's lots more great work going on in Vancouver, Bedford, Charlotte, Minneapolis, Roseville, Portland, New York, Oceanside, Alameda, Crownsville, Bethel, Appleton, Fayetteville, Kerhonkson, West Hollywood, Washington DC, Miami, South Pasadena, Bude, Kilkeel, Bryan, the Bronx, St. Paul, Toronto, and Grand Rapids.
Bay Area-based Alison Yin is not just a spectacular photographer, but she's also a stellar blogger. For the past two years, she's been writing about her experiences shooting fine art, documentary subjects, engagements, weddings, and anything else she can point a camera at and make look lovely. And lovely the accompanying photos are, often making great use of the wide, expansive space provided by the wilds of California or incorporating the immediate surroundings in clever and interesting ways. As we're an office filled with a handful of aspiring, amateur photographers, Alison takes the sort of photos we aspire to one day capture ourselves (she's maddeningly good with an external flash, whereas we're still getting the hang of it). All that praise now dished out, we were thrilled to find that she had recently posted some images of the Jewelboxing cases she designed for an engagement she'd photographed. Like the rest of her work, it's terrific. And we're very happy to have been involved in her process.
Thanks very much to Alison for letting us use the photo of her case and here's to hoping that people and things are being as nicely lit and captured in Berryton, Sunland, New York, Hidalgo, Los Angeles, Holladay, Turlock, Sherman Oaks, Oceanside, West Monroe, Venice, Hollywood, Pittsburgh, Appleton, Hebron, Manor, Savannah, San Diego, Rochester, Bedford, Waco, Knoxville, Van Nuys, Portland, Saint Martinville, South Pasadena, Camas, Columbia, and Port Washington.
While we've featured lots of great photographers' projects here on the blog and at least a decade's worth of hair and styling has been done within all the films and various shoots we've profiled over the years, never before have the two met directly. That is until we heard from Jon Horton, who recently put together a stellar series of photos for a professional stylist, packaged beautifully for his client using our Standard cases. Here's from Jon:
"I'm a passionate web developer, designer and photographer with an eye for detail and a desire to help people. I'm currently freelancing in Raleigh, NC where I have the opportunity to work on a variety of creative projects. I absolutely love taking pictures, and I'm especially fond of candid shots, fashion photography and soft lighting.
"I was recently contacted to do a photo shoot to represent the hair and makeup work of a local stylist, Tara Gardiner. We went with a modern, edgy look, and the photos turned out fabulous. As with all my photo projects, I created a custom Jewelboxing case to deliver the final files. The client absolutely loved the packaging, and all of her friends were wondering how something that professional was printed on a home printer! Jewelboxing is the perfect complement to my business that makes every project a success.
"Delivering photos from a photo session is a must, but who likes a sharpie labeled disc? Insert Jewelboxing here. With every photo session, I am able to design a custom case and label to present photos to a client in a way they won't forget. Jewelboxing is amazing, and using their products has made it so much simpler to create visually stunning packaging that impresses my clients. Thanks Jewelboxing and lots of love for creating such an incredible product!
Big thanks to Jon for talking with us and here's to hoping clients, both the nicely styled and the slightly unkempt, are being impressed in Des Plaines, Chicago, Northbrook, Candler, Glendale, Columbus, Santa Clara, Olathe, Culver City, Louisville, Spokane, Lindsay, Toronto, Ottawa, Charlottetown, Calgary, Los Angeles, San Diego, Sarasota, Livonia, Charlotte, Ortonville, and Allen.
I've never been to Raleigh, North Carolina, but if it's filled with talented and friendly people like Nancy Ray, maybe it's high time for a visit. Nancy's a photographer in the city, shooting weddings and portraits (and working out of her brand new home studio), and has been using our cases to package her photos for her clients. She took a few moments out of her busy schedule to talk to us about her work and why she uses Jewelboxing:
"I am Nancy Ray, a photographer based out of the lovely city of Raleigh, NC. I love all things vintage, timeless, classy and whimsical, and I want to reflect that in my photography. My photographs are based on the belief that they are to be beautiful art, as well as something you can look at in 50 years and fall madly in love with all over again."
"The beauty of Jewelboxing is the freedom it gives you. I create DVD cases that 'wow' my clients, with beautiful images, design and text that fits my branding. They are, to repeat my loves: vintage, timeless, classy and whimsical, because I design them to be that way. My favorite part about Jewelboxing is how professional and sturdy they are, with neither form nor function sacrificed! It is the perfect combination and I get so many compliments on the cases alone. A big internet hug to Jewelboxing for what they've added to my business! I'd recommend them any day."
A big internet hug right back to Nancy, with many more to follow for those who just ordered in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Canton, Brooklyn, Lecanto, Portland, Plano, Raleigh, Courtenay, Port Charlotte, Westfield, Westbury, Smyrna, Sault Sainte Marie, Sacramento, Jersey City, San Francisco, Suwanee, Huntersville, Atlanta, Boulder, San Leandra, Wilmington, Seattle, Baton Rouge, New York, and Union Town.
Given that we make a product that's at its best when great images are used, it's fair to say that we're suckers for well-made photos. All the better when the photographers themselves are great to talk to, like Brenda and Brian Brooks who run Bb & Co. Photography. Taking a few minutes away from their busy schedule shooting portraits and weddings, freelance designing and art directing, and trying to keep up with their two kids, they talked to us a little about themselves and their work:
"Bb&Co. is a husband and wife photography duo based out of the amazing, and very picturesque, Hood River, Oregon. We love to capture people in their element -- the fun, the quirky, the emotional; all of it so beautiful. And you know what? We have so much fun doing what we do. We consider ourselves pretty dern lucky (and blessed)."
"The beauty of our images is magnified by the presentation. We want our clients to be over the moon about Bb&Co Photography and Jewelboxing is a major contributor to that end. Every wedding and portrait session we photograph receives a copy of their original images on disc. Usually, people tend to expect just to get a CD-R, with their names written in Sharpie, shoved in a paper sleeve. Jewelboxing allows us to give them something extra that makes both us and them look good."
"It's always great to receive a gift, but when that gift is wrapped up in a nice little package, it just makes it all the better. Jewelboxing is our nice little package."
Thanks a million to Brenda and Brian and here's to hoping there's some nice little packages being wrapped up in Gordonsville, Rouen, Allston, Wilton, Helensburgh, Manchester, Amherst, Whistler, Akron, Ashland, Calgary, Newport Beach, Anaheim, Hidalgo, New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Glendale, Philadelphia, Scottsdale and Roswell.
It makes it easy to get up in the morning and come in to Jewelboxing HQ thanks to people like Sara Flemming. Not only does she use our cases a ton, she has a blast doing it, and what more could you ask for in a customer? After running across some of her photos on Flickr, we dropped her a line asking if she wouldn't mind telling us a little about her work and her experiences using Jewelboxing. Here's her reply in full:
"For a few years now, I've been using the Jewelboxing system for two things: mix CDs (really!) and event photos.
"The Jewelboxing templates let me play designer just a little bit and, with the mix CDs, it's fun matching the mood of the mix with the sleeve, insert, tray, and disc art. Being able to stack two CDs in the Standard case is a major plus; y'know, sometimes you just have a mix that's too much for one disc! (:
"With the event photos, the templates give me a chance to showcase some of the photographs, previewing what's on the disc for the recipient. The paper for all the inserts and even the disc labels take color really well, whether I decide to go with bright blue skies, fresh off the farm peaches, or deeply shadowed black and whites.
"After nearly a dozen projects (mostly event photos), the process of putting a disc together is quite quick: choose the photos, edit the event or mix information, print, punch out, and go! The whole system lets me present my work my own way, with full control from start to finish. I love that."
Thanks much to Sara and here's to hoping mixes are being made and events are being photographed in Portland, Somerville, McMinnville, New York, Chicago, Vancouver, Pittsburgh, Brooklyn, Palm Springs, Ann Arbor, Spring Hill, Cary, Palo Alto, Carnarvon, Washington DC, Ridgefield, Lincoln, Madison, Richmond, Great Barrington, Corvallis, Pasadena, El Segundo, Glasgow, San Diego, Bethlehem, Denver, Carouge and Zurich.
While we think that everyone who writes into us about their Jewelboxing projects are a big deal, rare is the case when we talk to someone who has been selected for the highly-coveted spot in an Apple testimonial. So it was with Sara France, owner of the aptly named Sara France Photography, based out of San Diego, California. Sara's long been a Jewelboxing customer and we've been thrilled from start that she thinks so highly of the system to include it in the process of her attention-grabbing work (she even sells her own Jewelboxing templates, should you be interested in using her photos). You'll learn a lot about Sara in the Apple profile, so make sure you read that. For the short summary and the reason she chose to go with Jewelboxing, here's straight from the her keyboard to you:
"I'm a Southern California based photographer, capturing weddings, portraiture, and commercial photography all over the world, landing features in many publications including Modern Bride, Ceremony Magazine and San Diego Style Weddings. I think my passion for people, photography and business have created the success I've had with Sara France Photography, which runs with just two people, myself and an associate photographer."
"Jewelboxing was such an obvious choice for me with the unique, clean, and modern look of the cases along with the system being completely customizable, allowing us to make each case unique to the client without costing us a lot of time totally rebuilding the layout -- our clients love that. I am very particular about products that leave my studio because every one of them is a marketing piece for my business and the Jewelboxing has the same high quality in their product and service that I demand for my clients. I created my own layout in pages for the DVD cases and they are such a breeze to print and assemble. The people at Apple were just as impressed with the finished product as I was and decided to feature my cases and business on their site."
Here's to hoping profiles are being drafted as we type this for all those in Savannah, Yonkers, Chicago, Waterloo, Atlanta, Jersey Shore, Jeffersonville, Toronto, Cincinnati, San Luis Obispo, Pasadena, Southfield, Brooklyn, Mansfield, New York, Valley Center, Lake Oswego, Fresno, Sunnyvale, Petaluma, Columbus and Minneapolis.
Is there anything more enjoyable than photographing buildings and other feats of architecture? You can keep your scenic landscapes and moody portraits; for us, we love trying to capture the perfectly straight lines, the way the light bounces off a column, or the sheer size of a gigantic room. We couldn't begin to comprehend the hours we've spent down at the Illinois Institute of Technology here in Chicago, shooting Mies' masterpieces, or the collective hard drive space dedicated to snaps we've taken of the beautiful Chicago skyline just outside our studio window. So understandably, we were excited to hear from Jeff Kroeze, a photographer in California who makes his living getting beautiful shots of some the interiors and exteriors of gorgeous buildings. After taking some time to view the amazing work he has posted on his site, here's the info we got from Jeff about using the system:
"I'm a photographer in Newport Beach, CA, specializing in architectural and travel images. In the competitive Orange County market, Jewelboxing has proven itself as an elegant solution for packaging impressive DVD portfolios destined for new clients. The system allows for great flexibility in design and production. Whether running off 1 or 100, there's no minimum order to worry about so each one can be customized. I sent out my first batch last week to a great response. They look so classy I want to keep them all for myself! I had a lot of fun with this project and I thank Jewelboxing and Coudal for making it so easy. You'll be getting another order from me soon."
Here's to hoping the f-stops and ISO settings are working out perfectly to capture the lovely things in Garland, Kalamazoo, Tracy, Round Hill, Jefferson, Houston, Roswell, Toronto, Fort Washington, Loveland, Duluth, Ruston, Brooklyn, Burbank, Omaha, New York, Canton, Tujunga, Monroe, New Milford, Flushing, Yarraville, Miami, and North Vancouver.
People have used Jewelboxing for pitches to major, big league clients, like pro sports teams and multi-million dollar retail sponsors. Or motion graphics firms delivering a final project to be displayed on the gigantic screens in the 50,000 seat stadiums. But while not everything involved with sports has to be so grandiose, it's still important to always look your best, as we learned in this write-up by a recent first-time Jewelboxing user:
"A soccer mom contracted me to shoot her kid's all star game. It was a standard two camera set-up -- not a lot of flash. I tried to ESPN things up a bit, tossing in a running scoreboard and suchlike. In the end, though, the project still felt light. Sturdy, but light. I needed to knock the first impression out of the park to justify my commission."
"I purchased some Kings -- my first order from you guys -- and bought some stock photos. The inner tray and disc just blended so nicely and the whole thing had a really good weight, as opposed to paper sheaths and the usual jewel casing, it felt like it belonged on a shelf for display. I sent them out and my client immediately contacted me for two more sets."
"*cheesy grin, thumbs up* Thanks, Jewelboxing!"
Let's hope the grins are as cheesy and the thumbs are as high in Middleboro, Ladera Ranch, Glasgow, Tallahassee, New York, Detroit, Boca Raton, Reutlingen, Portland, Geneve, Grand Rapids, Carolina, Amityville, Nashville, La Mesa, Maple Ridge, Saint-Avold, Lake Oswego, Liverpool, Breckenridge, Elmwood Park, Copenhagen, Anchorage, Spring and Sewanee.
If you ever find yourself having a rough day, we've found the perfect solution: Erin Vey's photography. Her work is bright, touching, and colorful, even when it's in black and white. She's able to beautifully capture those millisecond-long moments that elude the vast majority of us with cameras, and that's the reason she's been so successful and in demand. So it stands to reason that, when she decided to start offering her clients DVD slideshows packaged in Jewelboxing Standard cases, that they'd follow artistic suit and be just a joy to look at. And that they are. Here's from Erin:
"A Seattle native, I work as a natural light, on-location photographer. Most of my clients are babies, children, and families, and when I’m lucky I get to work with my biggest passion -- dogs."
"I recently added the ability to purchase DVD Slideshows & High Resolution Digital Negatives to my pricelist and was looking for a unique way to showcase them. I wasn’t satisfied with the options at my local office store and wanted something with a WOW factor. A friend referred me to your site, I watched the fun video, and was instantly hooked."
"The Design: After many iterations of design concepts, and my husband saying “just pick one!” I settled on this design. I think it is simple yet whimsical. The content of the client slideshow determines the color of their case based on the general tone of the outfits chosen during the photo session. Clients who purchase the High Resolution Digital Negatives receive detailed information inside their booklet on how to make the most out of their images. What a perfect package!"
Here's to hoping that people are perking up when they get a look at whatever is being made in Pittsburgh, Chicago, Arlington, Milton, New York, Santa Monica, Brooklyn, Astoria, Orem, New Albany, Lombard, Perth, Hialeah, Saint Paul, Niceville, Toronto, Turlock, East Wallingford, Milwaukee, San Francisco, San Mateo, Winnepeg, Dobbsberry, Morton Grove, Seattle, Columbus, Bakersfield, Boulder, and St. Charles.
This happened to us once before, where we were poking around the internet and wound up on Flickr, doing a search for any "Jewelboxing" tags that might be out there. Last time we found the terrific Iowa-based photographer Bradley Spitzer, who had used our cases to put together a sampling of his fantastic work for musician Alli Rogers. This time around, we were very pleasantly surprised to find a couple of more tags up there (which we'd like to think says something about our little product, because, really how often are people sticking up photos of those bland "regular" cases?).
First we found the wonderfully talented Rachel James who's been using Jewelboxing to "satisfy [her] need to be creative and to stand out from most photographers in the Netherlands." She'd posted a couple of photos of one such project she'd put together for a couple named Harry and Ingrid who were married back in May. Assembled using the Photoshop brushes by Jason Gaylor, like her photo work, the case is a thing of absolute beauty.
The second tagged group we found was by another photographer (no surprise there, being as it was Flickr), Dan LaMee. He had this collection of photos of a shared mix disc he'd made entitled "Manhattan Skyline on a Sub-Freezing Day in December," featuring said skyline and one of those cool Verbatim vinyl-looking discs instead of the printable ones we include in the kits. We did a little more research and tracked down another project Dan had put together last year; another mix, with another vinyl disc, but this time focused squarely on Valentine's Day.
The running theme for these great happened-upon finds? They look fantastic. And although we're 99.999% sure the reason they look so fantastic is due to the all of Dan's and Rachel's talents, we'd like to use that .001% and say that Jewelboxing helped highlight their skills.
And we're hoping that .001% is helping everyone out right now in New York, Princeton, Durham, Chicago, Louisville, Newark, Seattle, Phoenix, Washington DC, Miami, Salinas, Salt Lake City, Baton Rouge, Sunnyvale, Sheridan, Calgary, New Albany, Champaign, Timonium, Plano, Atlanta, London, San Francisco, New Haven, Montreal, Pittsburgh, Pasadena, and Oakland.
We ran into Jewelboxing user Bradley Spitzer completely by accident. We were looking around on Flickr for a long lost photo we were pretty sure was laying around somewhere, tagged for some event we'd all been at. But that's neither here nor there, because we followed a "Jewelboxing" tag and there was Bradley's work, in all its well-designed, photographic splendor. We were so impressed by his case, along with his other photography work (check out his "My 50 Favorites"), that we tracked him down and asked if he wouldn't mind sharing some info about the project. Here's the scoop:
"The project that you saw on Flickr was an interesting one. I was a volunteer photographer at a indoor, 24 hour music festival at the end of December. During the festival there were a variety of established artists and young ones as well. One of the artists, Alli Rogers, has a local connection (not to me) and is just beginning to take off. After getting back from the festival (and recuperating, 'cause it was incredibly tiring) I noticed on her website that she just had some horrible live photos."
"So I contacted her management company and asked if they would be interesting in having the photos for any future promotion. They said yes. I knew about Jewelboxing and decided to buy a set of Kings because I wanted them to actually hold onto something physical, professional. Nothing's come out of it yet, but it was definitely worth the time and energy it took to put it together."
If you're anywhere in the Midwest and looking for a photographer, Bradley's your guy. The man has loads of talent to spare, and we're thrilled that he used Jewelboxing to highlight his work. We're also very happy for everyone in Sparks, Venice, Hudson, Santa Monica, Mount Hawthorn, Mukwonago, San Mateo, Praha, Coral Gables, Wood Dale, Burbank, Mankato, Miami, Sydney, East Eallingford, Carlsbad, Saskatoon, Louisville, Washington, Plano, Chicago, Rockford, Manhattan Beach, Oakland, Baltimore, Dallas, El Segundo, Dayton, Cincinnati, Kennesaw, and Culvery City.
South Bank Commute, a montage by Jim Green, wins File Magazine's Wide Screen contest and a Jewelboxing system.
We'll make a decision on the Mom or Dad With Design Skills idea shortly. See the previous post if you're interested in taking part.
The warm feeling we have about humanity these days is due mostly to our new friends in Devizes, Staten Island, Anchorage, Simi Valley, Lexington, Clovis, Thornton, Palm Bay, Wien, Barcelona, Binghamton, London, Somers, Tupelo, Lakewood, Chicago, Ottawa, Glasgow Merseyside, Brisbane, Delray Beach, Minneapolis and Plano.
All images in the 'panoramic style' will be considered, including those taken with a panoramic camera, those that are composed of several images and carefully grafted together (such as the photo at the top of the page), and those that are not (such as the photo directly above). Verticals are fine.
It would take a wide shot indeed to contain all the love we feel for LA, Seattle, Hays, Worcester, Playa Del Rey, San Jose, Carlsbad, Chicago, Iowa City, Palo Alto and Staten Island.
Start a blog. Buy a product. Defend the ancient city from the marauding hordes. We're impressed too. Cheers for Tour of Gondolin.
Other cool but not exactly-the-same-way-cool cities include LA, Ft. Lauderdale, Silver Spring, Germantown, Portland, NYC, Toronto, Madrid, Chicago, Wichita, Saint Paul, Salt Lake City, Atlanta, Rome, Ann Arbor, Minneapolis, Manhattan, Copenhagen, Spokane, DC, Venice, Philadelphia, Martinsville, St. Petersburg and Grand Rapids,
We're trying a little something different this week. We've sold lots and lots of Jewelboxing systems to people who want to get organized by making sweet-looking photo-archives of their family pictures and to send them out as gifts to their friends and relatives. In many cases this, like lots of other things, is motivated by the birth of a child.
One of our favorite weblogs anywhere is Heather Armstrong's Dooce. Heather and Jon recently introduced a beautiful daughter, Leta, to the world. Heather takes a lot of pictures. Heather's readers are more than likely young parents. Young parents take a lot of pictures. See where we're going here?
We're glad to be sponsoring Dooce for the next couple months. We tried to keep our ad as tasteful as the rest of Heather's site and if you click on our ad there, you'll go to an alternate JB home page featuring a picture of my boy Spencer. They way we see it, it's nice to target an ad for an audience but perhaps it'll be more effective to target the site to that audience too. We'll see.
Babies are born everywhere, but the cutest ones are born in Burbank, LA, NYC, Chicago, Redmond, Tampa, Toronto, Austin, Carlsbad, Houston, South Pasadena and Montreal.
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Completely Complete Introducing The new Jewelboxing Studio
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3. Rafael Macho
4. Heavenspot Studios
5. Eyeball NYC
9. Marcel Duchamp
11. Alex Gould
13. John Caserta
15. Ben Saunders
16. SetBuild Project
Most Popular Entries:
Making JB Comps in P'Shop
How To Ship Finished Cases
Dawson's How To Video
A Paper Revolution
What a Mom Made
One Thing Leads to Another
How To Be a Hero
Bags of Air
Between a Little and a Lot
Sweat Shop Book Club
The Whole Studio
Previous 12 Entries:
Birds of a Feather Design Together
A Long Hike for a Great Cause
'Tis the Season for Seasons Past
"Something of Substance"
It's All the Talk in Delray Beach
A Walk Through Wedding Season
Important News for the Home Brewer and the Thirsty: Our Disc Labels Find a Valuable New Use
Coming Soon: An Exciting New Pack and Ship Experience
Now Available in Belarusian
The Power of a Good Valentine's Mix Disc
The Whole Enchilada:
Thanks For Noticing:
A List Apart
A Penny For
Alert But Not Alarmed
Blog of the Day
Design is Kinky
File Me Away
Grand Text Auto
Green Cine Daily
I Feed You
The Life and Times of Sooz
Living With Music
Loop – Behind the Scenes
Now Hear This!
The Red Ferret Journal
The Sachs Report
This Boy Is Toast
Tick Tock Design
What Do I Know
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