We worked with Stratis Wear, a locally-based company, on packaging prototypes for their retail field test kit.This client highlight focuses on Stratis Wear, a PNW-based company that produces a niche product in the retail sector. These local makers are a prime example of a start-up with a great idea in need of strong marketplace branding…on a budget. At United, we have decades of experience working with entrepreneurs and small businesses to make marketing (and in this case PACKAGING) a priority as they dig further into their business plans and prep for product launch.

Like so many small businesses who are looking for quality printing that will scale as their customer base and inventory increase, our client at Stratis Wear was looking for a practical, smart, adaptable and LOCAL resource provider. United stepped in to help create packaging pieces that elevates their brand and establish a creative prototype looking toward the future. Co-Founder and Chief Creative Office Patrick Hook took some time recently to expand on how his working relationship with us here at United took form, and how that defined the course for Stratis Wear’s current retail branding.

We worked with Stratis Wear to create thoughtful, flexible packaging elements that would scale up efficiently.First, tell us a little about Stratis Wear and what type of products you make.

Patrick Hook: Stratis was founded by two former colleagues, Zach Price and Patrick Hook, almost by accident. We were a couple of guys who knew literally nothing about how to make socks. All we wanted were luxurious, ridiculously comfortable socks. We realized other people might also want insanely comfortable socks. Someone needed to make those socks, so we started Stratis there on the spot to make the most comfortable socks on the planet. Our quest for comfort led us to discover yak cashmere. Yak cashmere rivals the softness of the finest cashmere. The incredible warmth, breathability, moisture-wicking, and anti-microbial properties were created by nature to protect the yak from some of the world’s harshest environments. Coincidentally, these are also great features to have in a sock! 

We wanted to do more than just make socks though. We wanted to do our little part of bettering the world around us the best we could. We wanted a company that stood for something good. We are striving to do our part to do more than just “sell stuff”.  When you buy Stratis products, not only are you getting insanely awesome socks, you’re helping create jobs locally and abroad, encouraging positive social impact and championing a love of our planet. It’s these very pillars that we’ve built our core values on. We build socks we love and wear everyday. Our hope is that our socks have a place in all your best weekend adventures and favorite memories no matter what they are – big or small, near or far. We love what we do and hope you will too.

What are/were your primary considerations when choosing a vendor to work with on this project?

PH: As a small start-up that is bootstrapping this endeavour price was, of course, a big factor. Beyond this obvious point though, I really wanted someone local that could handle the full suite of packaging components we needed. I wanted a one-stop-shop that was willing to work with us on our small quantities and limited budget. I felt like Carrie really understood our position and was supportive to bring it to life regardless of how big or small of a company we were.

Working with local vendors for packaging can make prototyping less frustrating and more affordable.What type of consultation process did you engage in with us to kick off this idea? 

PH: I come from an extensive packaging background so I had a really good idea of what I wanted, but I needed someone I could trust to understand this vision. I met with Carrie to give her the elevator pitch for not just what I wanted for packaging but also explained the vision for the company as a whole. I was really looking for someone that “got us” and the importance of why we were making the choices we were. We talked through ideas and bounced around various solutions until we came up with a plan for what we’re using today.

How did you find your working relationship with us here at United? 

PH: United has been an extremely open, willing and flexible partner as we’ve stumbled and fumbled our way along. It’s been nice having someone that understands the hiccups that businesses can face. Throughout it all though, whenever I’ve had a question or needed something as simple as a small reprint run, United has treated me like an old friend.

Packaging elements should be affordable. We’ll work with you on materials, design, templates and volume considerations from the get-go. Retail branding is important. Exploring trends, sustainability and practicality should be part of the conversation. Perfecting prototypes doesn’t have to be frustrating. In fact, we think it should be fun and provide a valuable learning experience for everyone involved, both client and vendor. Working out the kinks, getting the color profiles just right, cutting with precision and finding efficiencies with repeatability is vital to a successful packaging project.

Our goal at United is really simple: we want your product to shine and we want “scaling up” to remain flexible as your business continues to grow and prosper. Local makers working with local vendors is a win-win.