Earlier this winter, I went on a whirlwind trip to Germany to investigate the packaging options for our bars. I attended the Paperworld conference in Frankfurt and saw so many beautiful handmade papers form India and Nepal. We currently wrap our bars in handmade cotton paper from India. You can see an example in this picture. We love our packaging and hope to create something similar for the factory. Still, we needed to do a little more research, so I took off to Europe for a weekend of learning about paper.
The more I learned, the more I realized what we have to consider. I think we’ll continue to use paper from India because we love the texture and the imperfections that come from screen printing. The vendors I met gave me a much better picture of the paper making process. The paper is made from recycled cotton rags instead of wood pulp, which makes it eco-friendly. Since the work is done by hand, there are many variables in the production. For example, paper made during monsoon season can’t be easily dried outside. It takes much longer to create and will have subtle differences in color and texture. I actually love these slight variations- they reflect the energy put into each piece of paper. But, monsoon season is coming up quickly and it’s the busiest time of year for these factories. We need to place our first orders soon to avoid this rush. When we have everything together and see our first papers, it will be one of the first steps that makes Dandelion Chocolate feel like it’s coming to life!
At the end of the weekend, I came back with a heavy bag of paper samples and a lot of information that will help us create our packaging. We’re still choosing colors and developing patterns, but I met a few sources for really beautiful paper. It was a short trip, fighting jet lag the whole time, but well worth it.
And, as a fun anecdote, Paperworld runs alongside Creativeworld, Hair & Beautyworld, and Christmasworld in the largest conference center I’ve ever seen. There was a motley, and fairly hilarious, group of crafters from all over the world. The space itself overloaded all of my senses- take a look!