I feel like we spend a lot of time talking about packaging here at Atlas World HQ. And I mean just that: we talk about it a lot. Actual change is slower to happen—making changes to how we package things is a huge commitment, both in time and resources.
I’ve made it my mission (which means I. Will. Not. Shut. Up. About. It.) so now it has to be everyone’s mission to decrease the amount of filler paper or bubble wrap or plastic bags we use—most orders are made up of yarn, not Fabergé eggs. Yarn bouncing around in a box is still going to arrive intact as yarn. The Fabergé egg might arrive more, uh, scrambled. But whenever we stuff a box full of paper to keep something from moving (unnecessarily), I feel like we’re sending you something you have to figure out how to get rid of.
Yarn is also better off packed quite tightly into a smallish box. That’s really the safest way to ship it. Nothing shifts, nothing bends, nothing breaks if there’s no extra room in the box. My dream pack is ten skeins of Atlas in a 10 x 8 x 4 box. And it can be done.
During last year’s Holiday Shop, we discovered at the absolute last second that the Window Bird Feeder—you know, the one on the cover of one of the lookbooks—was about three-quarters of an inch too large to fit into any box we already had billions of. So we reluctantly added an additional larger box size, then watched in horror—HORROR!—as every single bird feeder order that rolled in was accompanied by an amaryllis order or a felting kit order or a Soak Basin Bundle order, which meant we’d need an even bigger box that was basically going to end up just full of paper filler. It was the biggest disappointment of my life since Donna Reed replaced Barbara Bel Geddes on Dallas.
Postal rates are largely determined by weight—but also by total size, and no matter what we tried, these bird feeders tipped the shipping fees into extraterrestrial territory. Frankly, I was ready to ban birds altogether. I was so excited when we finally sold out of bird feeders that I sent out engraved announcements to the entire Atlas staff announcing it.
Ever since the Great Bird Feeder Scandal, I show up at product meetings with a tape measure. Ha ha, that’s a lie. I don’t show up at product meetings!
There is currently a stack of new packaging options floating around the warehouse; most of them are variations on puffy padded paper bags that sort of roll up at the end and seal. They’re perfect for small orders of yarn, so the general feeling is that we’ll switch over one or more of them before the year is out.
So don’t be surprised if you see a few different packaging styles arrive in your mailboxes over the next few months. We’re trying things out. But I promise to not cram an acrylic bird feeder into one. I already tried.
How to enter?
Step 1: Sign up for our weekly newsletter, Snippets, right here. If you’re already subscribed, you’re set.
Step 2: What’s the most awkwardly-shaped or -sized thing you’ve ever packed to ship? Or received in the mail? Tell us in the comments.
Deadline for entries: Sunday, March 21, 11:59 PM Central time. We’ll draw a random winner from the entries. Winner will be notified by email.