You know those Youtube ‘haul’ videos? The bizarre vlogging of shopping purchases? We only watch them for the packages. There, we’ve said it. We’re sort of suckers for a nicely tooled box.

3g4-pkg-cjrSo imagine our delight when we discovered Katy’s Box was an actual thriving Liverpool business, making boxes a thing of beauty. Turning the art of the package inside out. Making us drool over custom-carved chunks of polystyrene, finely hinged gatefolds – the suspense of the reveal. The art of great product packaging is at the cutting edge of retail psychology. Remember that first Apple iPod product you unwrapped, with its ‘Designed in California’ pay-off? It’s so good (pic r), they’ve even got a patent on it.

Don’t believe the old wives. It’s right to judge a book by its cover.

“It’s more than just a box. As well as lift-off lids I use magnets and other accessories,” Katy Wilde tells us. “They’re customisable, fit a purpose, and set people apart. They’re perfect for businesses that want to be brave with their marketing and try something different with their own clients.”

To prove her point Katy shows us a selection of her boxes. They’re perfectly engineered little beauties, well crafted with high-quality materials – we open a nautical-themed one to find a vintage sailor’s whistle balanced inside, while a more modern design houses a USB stick.

Katy’s also made custom CD cases, DVD boxes (we love the Batman themed matte black presentation box), business card holders, and more.

“Anybody could need a box – since starting with the corporate stuff I’ve also been thinking about artsy places, weddings… They’re completely custom. Recently I’ve been working with a lady that does screen printing at the Bluecoat using material she’s printed herself to wrap her box in.”

SevenSteets demands a dead awkward pyramid-shaped box, and when you open it there are little bottles of Gin inside and chocolates and things.

Katy says it can be done: “I’d charge a lot of money for it! I’ve done all sorts of different shaped boxes in my previous job – I did a triangle box for Blackberry to help promote one of their mouses.”

unnamedThe woman’s got talent, and we want to learn more about her background. A degree in box studies from Box Tech. in – wait for it – the town of Box? (it exists, Google reckons it’s in Wiltshire or something…)

“I’ve travelled everywhere and sold some of my pictures and stitchings in Amsterdam, but not enough to live on. When I moved to London I worked as a print finisher and they’d just started box making. That’s when I fell in love with the art of packaging.”

katy cd

Katy’s Box, though? “People snigger, I was a bit dubious at first but it was Jo’s idea initially!” We point out that it’s better than ‘Katy’s Box Solutions’ which Katy agrees sounds pretty dire.

Hailing from the North-East Katy’s full of praise for Liverpool and how it’s helped her start up her own business.

“I’ve just moved my workshop to Aigburth. I’ve got a big desk with cutting mats, a mangle to squeeze all my stuff, a paper drill, a mini guillotine, self-adhesive on a roll…

“It’s been frustrating at times but it’s getting there. I’ve been going to some helpful ‘Making Business Work’ workshops run by Blue Orchard and making friends with other small businesses which has been positive.

“I don’t think there are many people out there doing what I’m doing now. There’s no-one doing it in Liverpool just yet, it’s a great place to start. It’s taking off in London and is something a lot of people want down there.

“I guess when one company wants to use a box then everybody else does. It’s keeping up with the neighbours.”

Katy’s work is truly box office stuff. Sorry.

Katy Wilde

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