Sometimes, a big milestone in life lends itself to the beginning of a new venture. Just ask Shem and Lara Gott, the duo behind Mr. B’s Necessities.
Back in 2012, the couple was going through so many jars of baby food after their son Abraham was born, they decided to start using them to make candles for their friends instead of throwing them away. Those small gifts became a big hit. And with encouragement and a lot of help from friends, a business was born.
They got a storefront and started building wholesale and online retail featuring their 100% plant-based candles. Now today, Mr. B’s is flourishing. Their small-batch, all-natural handmade product line has grown to include everything from shampoos, deodorants and charcoal soaps to lip balms and aromatherapy roll-ons.
Simple, clean & warm
While Shem has big plans for Mr. B’s, he gravitates toward a small business look and feel. The company is 100% family operated. The company name is his son Abraham’s nickname. And he wants his customers to know that. He wants them to know where their products are coming from and who is making them.
“I make every single product, ” Shem said. “But, I kind of like that—literally touching every product we make in order to make sure that it’s really high quality.”
So, it comes as no surprise that the Mr. B’s brand image is simple, clean and warm.
“We wanted our tagline, ‘Scented by Nature,’ to look hand-drawn, almost like calligraphy,” Shem said. “It’s a feminine brand, but the label draws a little bit from masculine roots, my son and myself.”
The evolution of packaging
Simple and sleek, Mr. B’s packaging has come a long way since the beginning. The company started by using small tags attached to apothecary jars. To get a cleaner, simpler look they moved to placing labels directly on the containers.
As for his full product line, he attributes a large part of his success to presentation.
“I think the psychology of a shopper is [such] that they simply need to see the product and have an immediate, emotional response to it,” he said. “That first initial pop, which comes from the label, is 90 percent of the emotional attachment.”
Finding the perfect fit
Presentation isn’t the only reason Shem likes WePrint labels—especially those with white and clear film finishes. The moisture-resistant material is a huge plus, especially for items like his aromatherapy roll-ons that can have oil run down the side of the container. With film labels, there is no smearing of ink like with some other labels.
Along with durability, the wide variety of shapes and sizes available is also important to Shem.
“I don’t have a ton of items, but I have a small army of containers,” he said. “Can I get a clear label? How about matte or gloss? Sometimes, I need a round label, other times rectangular. It’s all about versatility.”
When asked if he had any words of wisdom for those new entrepreneurs, Shem spoke of starting small.
“In the beginning, I would buy big,” he said. “I’d buy 10,000 labels, spend a whole lot of money, and then I’d end up throwing half the labels away if I rebranded or changed a sentence.”
Now, Shem operates with a greater degree of foresight. He uses sheet labels so he can order lower quantities and make changes when needed, and roll labels for larger orders.
“I save my templates directly to Avery, then have [them] printed and shipped to me.”
Shem has his eye on the prize including accounts with Sprouts or Whole Foods and the ability to fill large-scale orders.
“That sort of has to be the direction for any craft-based business in order to be sustainable,” Shem said.
But true to Mr. B’s roots, Shem has other smaller aspirations, too.
“It’s so important to maintain that heart, that life, that smallness,” he said, “which is really at the core of good quality.”