Tag Archives: packaging

2 Recent Projects Completed at Asulia

asuliablog-2 recent projects completed at asulia

Asulia Dumpling Packaging

We launched Asulia’s new website! The design process, including packaging design, has been months in the making, and I’m so excited that the design portion is all set now. Two major projects have been completed. Only a million more to go.

This journey so far has been more rewarding than I ever thought it would be, and I know it’s only just the beginning. As an entrepreneur, you really hit the highest of the highs and lows I’m thankful to be able to come through. My days are often challenging on all fronts, from bootstrapping everything to learning new things quickly. Time seems to fly by because of all the work that I need to do. I can’t tell you how often I find it’s suddenly the afternoon and I’m still in my pajamas and haven’t eaten anything. My new goal is to create a standing desk so I can get a work out in no matter what. As I write this post, I’m at a makeshift standing ‘desk’, a stack of storage boxes! On the plus side, I did manage to eat brunch today :)

asuliablog-2 recent projects completed at asulia

Next on the list is getting things lined up for Asulia’s Kickstarter fundraising campaign to go live. Dumpling packaging is finalized, Asulia’s video is back in the editing room, and I’m working on rewards. Sourcing custom-made things for rewards without knowing exact quantities has proven to be more difficult than I anticipated. I feel fortunate to have the help and support of my advisors and friends as issues like this come up.

Stay tuned for more on our Kickstarter campaign!

Summer Fancy Food Show

Above, pics I snapped along The High Line in Manhattan en route to Wong, the big apple’s first Asian restaurant to emphasize local and seasonal fare. The food was amazing! I highly recommend going if you love delis Asian food and supporting our local farmers.

Clockwise from left to right, whole raw lobster hand shelled using high pressure, whole grain vermicelli, black alkaline water, my new must have hot sauce! Just a small sample of products from the food show.

Last week, I went to the Summer Fancy Food Show in NYC. Although I’ve been before, the sheer enormity of it is overwhelming each time. Food companies near and far from around the world were in attendance. I felt like a food nerd, in awe of all the brands I love, talking with the founders, and discovering new products that are coming to the market. I loved every minute of it, even if it gave me heart burn at times. One of our staffers came along with me to the show. One thing that has stuck in my mind is her comment about how she’s been paying attention to the people in the industry and noticing how nice they are. I can tell you from first hand experience that people in food are really great! I think creating food is a universal, fulfilling and relatable expression of creativity that also has the ability to evoke emotion, and it brings out the best in its creators.

Asulia is not ready to exhibit, but we hope to be soon! While I was looking, chatting, and, of course, eating at the show, I discovered a company with packaging all too similar to what we’ve been working on. This means we’re back to the drawing board. When I got back home, I immediately went to work and sketched out a bunch of new design layouts and sent them to our packaging designer. My obsession with aesthetics probably doesn’t help the cause, but I’m determined to make it beautiful and unique.

This means delays in other areas. Our crowdsource funding video can’t be finalized until the packaging design is complete. Launching a crowdsource funding campaign without finalized packaging is possible, but it’s far from ideal, so we’re going to wait until we get it right. When you launch, you need to be able to show supporters that your project is not just a figment of your imagination, but that it’s real. I also want to be able to deliver the dumplings to supporters right away, since the whole point is to get the project sent out.

Our permanent website has been coded, but the new revised packaging will also have an impact on the final site. As a result, we will not hit the launch button for our permanent home until the packaging is finalized, so we can tie it together with the website design and create a cohesive look and feel.

I recently came across Inc magazine’s videos you should watch before you start a business. I loved Simon Sinek’s comment about motivation that people “don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” I can’t wait to share my story when our permanent website launches! It’s the reason I get up every morning and push forward when people think I’m crazy for not switching to a shelf-stable product. I have no doubt that I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing, right here, right now.

if the box fits

Shopping for the right food packaging is like shopping for new jeans. There are so many options to choose from. What these dumplings need is to find the right fit, comfort and look. CCKB or KB, CMYK or PMS? Printed or stickers? Window or no window? Reverse tuck, straight tuck, standard folding, clam shell, and more… Then there’s pricing. Unlike buying the perfect pair of jeans, which is a one-time cost, the right packaging is not. It’s a per box expense. Yes, economies of scale will bring down the cost, but when you’re starting out you don’t need gazillions of boxes. Most printers out there will print small quantities, but it’s super pricey so the alternative is to sticker in the beginning or you can decide not to print photography. I love looking at the Dieline for inspiration.


I’ve been fortunate to connect with entrepreneurs who have been in business for many years. While I’m surrounded by foodie entrepreneurs who have made it, advice from other wise business friends has not gone in one ear and out the other ear. Being in the food industry is challenging. When I look at the numbers, a slight change can make you or break you. Here’s how I look at it though, if the only products that made it on the shelves was determined by the highest turning items say snacks for example, then there would never be anything new to discover in grocery aisles or at farmers markets.

I think I’m finally getting to a point of finalizing the logo. Production costs are higher than anticipated, but I’m focused on decreasing the cost of goods so the final retail price makes sense for buyers. It’s a fine line.  At least a wheat wrapper is now an option!

Veggies working it

Photo shoot day! It was rather odd to be scouting attractive veggies at the grocery store. When it came time to ring up my items, the guy bagging groceries started bending the greens on the carrots. He nearly gave me a heart attack! I said “whoa, can you please not bend the greens on the carrots, they will photographed this afternoon.”

Yesterday, I took a trip to a local art supply store to pick up a roll of white paper for the background. I ended up buying a yard of canvas as well because I thought the white paper was too transparent. In the end we didn’t need the canvas since the lighting was so bright. The pretty linen paper on the walls caught my eye and I took at some options, but decided I wanted to keep the look simple, clean, and about the ingredients.

I have been debating on whether to use photography and or illustrations for packaging. Seeing the ingredients and dumplings captured exactly how I envisioned the photos to look made me smile ear to ear. No illustrations at this point. I’m trilled about the photos today! Even if the direction of how I styled my food photography was off. I loved every minute of the process! What I thought would only take a 2-3 hours took about 7 hours of work which didn’t include the trip to art store, going to two different grocery stores to scout veggie and commuting to my photographer.

I’m a lucky gal to have talented friends. Many thanks and shout out to my friend and photographer, at Graham Winslow Photography.

New Years Eve

New years eve afternoon and I’m at a Starbucks writing emails, vetting out different packaging design ideas, and ways to get the look I’m thinking of. I want it to show personality, with a focus on the ingredients while being a bit whimsical, clean, and modern.

I canceled my $40 YMCA gym membership last month to save money. Ever since, it’s been home workouts with the occasional splurge on a $5 vinyaysa or hip hop yoga class at Back Bay Yoga. This morning I busted out an oldie but a goodie of a workout DVD, tae bo kickboxing! It takes a bit more self-discipline to gym it at home. The same goes for entrepreneurship.  Ultimately, the buck stops right here cuz it’s just me at this point. There’s no one to point the finger at. I focus on finding a work-around to my problems.

I’m happy that the samples I received from a potential printer last week are up to par! Plus they run on 100% wind power which is why I hope this relationship with this printer works out. I found them reading Packaging Digest that mentioned their work with a food company.

Things take time. Actually, more time than I thought it would. I’m still waiting for a lawyer friend to draft up a non-disclosure agreement that I need. Life events and the holidays have been making things move at a snail’s pace. I’ve also reached out to friends who could possibly help out with illustrations and photography. Although, I’m still undecided on which medium to use. It’s good to be different, but it’s also important to study why other companies have chosen to stick with traditional food photography.