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Pushing the Envelope Beyond Ordinary

Envelopes for Small Business

Posted by Jerry Velona on Sep 22, 2014 3:01:00 PM

small business photo

As we’ve been told forever, small business is the prime driver for economic growth in our economy. While the numbers employed by the Fortune 100 are huge, they tend to plateau at those exalted heights and remain relatively stable once they get there taking into account new hires and layoffs on a net basis.  Large companies tend to grow by buying smaller companies which often results in a net loss of jobs due to the consolidation of resources.   

It makes sense that when you start a company with a staff of one, the potential for exponential growth is large. And in a country as big as the United States with the world’s largest economy (maybe second to China these days but if so, not by much) the sheer number of people starting businesses on a daily basis accounts for most of the new jobs created in the economy and it has been that way for quite some time.

What has changed however is the types of small businesses. While there are still plenty of gas stations,  hair salons, dry cleaners, café’s and the like, the new economy has spawned a huge number of start-ups which require little more than a home office, a computer and some software along with a clever idea.  Many of these need envelopes for sending or receiving products which they distribute; a t shirt, a candy bar, a greeting card, etc.

Elite Envelope gets many hits on its website each week from companies looking for a special envelope for a certain type of application – mostly some type of packaging envelope.  In my last post, I mentioned a company in New York City which was looking for something to mail diapers.  Just this past week I got a request from a company looking for something like a photo store envelope but for the purpose of returning used ink cartridges.  We’re in the process of putting together a template for him. The piece will have consecutive numbering in two different spots in addition to printing on both sides. The flap will have a tear off strip and will have a peel and seal strip to close after the tab is torn off.

There are many other envelope solutions for shipping, fulfillment and other applications that small businesses need.  Some examples:

Expansion envelopes:  These have a fold or gusset on the side which allows them to open in an accordion-like fashion in order to accommodate thick contents like papers or cloth material.  Expansion envelopes can be made in heavy-grade kraft paper (white, brown and grey are the most common colors) as well as in tear-resistant and water-proof materials.  (For more specific information on expansion envelopes, click on the keyword in the right hand column of this blog page.)

Tyvek, Herculink, Fiberkraft and Tri-Brite:  All of the items are virtually impossible to tear which makes them a good choice for sending bulky or uneven items through the mail or shipping channels.  On Tyvek the sizes range from a standard #10 size all the way up to jumbo sizes of 18 x 23 inches. All of these are durable and can be printed with just about any type of graphic design you’d like.  They are also water resistant and very light which can mean savings in shipping and especially postage if you send them through the US Mail.

Bubble lined envelopes:  These are also commonly used to transport fragile or odd-shaped items that require extra protection.  They come in paper or all plastic.  Elite supplies its own version called “Smart Bubble” which features a removable bubble sleeve that can be re-used to protect the item after it arrives or simply recycled.

Fiberboard – These are often referred to as “Fedex” envelopes but they come in heavier weights – very stiff, coated-one-side board which provides an extra level of protection as well as preventing the items inside from folding or creasing; very important for important documents.

Armorpac – This is a relatively new item on the market which combines the tear resistant features of Tyvek with the extra layer of protection of a bubble mailer but at a lower cost.  The product features a soft and light foam lining on the inside of the envelope; not quite as protective as bubble lining but more than adequate for many applications where bubble lining may be more than is needed.  They are also smooth on the outside and look great printed where bubble envelopes have a certain texture that doesn’t lend itself to a nice graphic presentation.

Give me a call anytime to discuss any of these or other possible custom solutions.

Topics: bubble envelopes, tyvek envelopes, shipping envelopes, envelopes for small business, packaging envelopes, smart bubble envelopes

Shipping Envelopes for the Start-Up Company

Posted by Jerry Velona on Aug 21, 2014 10:00:00 AM

One of the fun things about writing a business blog is hearing from people all over the world. We’re a relatively small company producing a product that has value mostly for customers within a couple of hundred mile radius of our plant. The main reason for that is shipping costs. Unless the order is small (10,000 or under can make it reasonable to ship across the country), the cost of freight to deliver envelopes or web printing to a remote location will often render the transaction uncompetitive. There are still many companies like us all over the country and a local vendor is usually a better choice for a large order.

But the global village of the world-wide web brings us all together so it’s not unusual for me to receive a comment on something I’ve written from a far-off land.  Today I got a request from a school administrator in Western Australia asking if we could provide 2,000 printed envelopes to her.  I told her we most certainly could but after checking with UPS found that the cost to ship a case of envelopes to Australia would be almost $600!  I suggested she try someone a little closer.

Another more practical request I received recently from someone who read my blog was from a small business owner in Brooklyn, NY.  She has a business that provides a cloth diaper service to local families among other things. She has a need for a shipping envelope and we’re going back and forth on options and samples in order to come up with the optimum product for her needs.

In the past 5 years or so we’ve seen an increase in the amount of orders we receive online from people doing web searches and contacting us through our website or commenting on our blog.  The printing and envelope industries have always been primarily local and regional businesses mainly for the reason listed in the first paragraph. But the digital world, while taking over some of the functions formerly handled through printed forms and envelopes has also created huge new opportunities for companies in our industry.  Online retail shopping has gotten people used to buying from companies sight-unseen and the trust level has increased due to the ubiquity of the practice. 

Small business, which as we all know is where most of the growth in the economy takes place has been juiced by the internet to the extent where pretty much anyone with a desk, a computer and a dream can start a company. Many of these businesses are directly shipping and fulfilling orders to their customers. And that’s where the envelope part comes in.  There are many options for shipping items that can be contained in an envelope which includes a large percentage of what’s being sold out there.

Envelopes have the advantage of being relatively inexpensive when compared to boxes or other harder packaging. They can be padded with foam or a bubble liner. They come in many different types of paper stock or synthetic and often recyclable material.  They can be printed using all sorts of color with great results

In my next post, I’ll get into the various options that are available more specifically and compare the relative benefits and disadvantages of each. I should have a resolution on the project I’m working on with the New York-based entrepreneur and will fill you in on that as well.

In the meantime, feel free to contact me if I can be of any assistance on your project. Free advice is always available no matter what continent it comes from!

Topics: shipping envelopes, envelopes for small business, eliteenvelope

Yet Another Blog Post

From Jerry Velona - co-owner,

Elite Envelope & Graphics, Inc.

Jerry offers pertinent, often useful information on envelope converting and printing, web printing, direct mail, the post office, songs that have to do with mail and letters, digital overload and much more!

(Non-spam) Comments always appreciated.  Spread it around!


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