When the city of Austin, Texas implemented a ban on single-use bags in 2013, local retailers had to make major changes in their packaging. The Austin bag ban required retailers to offer either reusable bags, paper bags made from at least 80% recycled paper or plastic bags with a minimum thickness of 4.0 mil. Gift shop Monkey See, Monkey Do was on board with the change. General manager Steven Almaguer (at right) says, “Austin is definitely environmentally progressive in several ways and part of the city’s motivation for the bag ban was the amount of litter we see along the highways.”
“I chose Nashville Wraps because they’ve got every bag and box size we need available in 100% recycled paper. I’ve made an effort to promote eco-friendly products from green-minded companies. Nashville Wraps is maybe the most shining example of that with 100% recycled and made in the USA!”
Nashville Wraps Offers Many Choices for Legal Bags
He says that lots of shops around Austin have started charging for bags since the city implemented the ban on single use plastic bags. “I’ve told several shops about Nashville Wraps, since the price is comparable to what we used to pay for the cheap plastic bags. It’s worth every penny for a cleaner, greener town!” See our many options for legal bags.
Monkey See, Monkey Do started 11 years ago with the intention of being a funny-book-shop-meets-quirky-gift-shop in the up-and-coming South Congress Avenue shopping area. Steven explains, “While we still have our fair share of books and quirky toys, we’re always evolving and diversifying our stock. We’ve introduced designer vinyl, art prints and books, practical but inventive housewares, vintage action figures and much more!”
They primarily use 100% recycled brown kraft bags and 100% kraft gift sacks from Nashville Wraps to give to customers at checkout. They also use them to put together donations and promotional packages along with 100% recycled boxes for displays and other packaging needs. To promote their store, they add a custom printed label.
Let Sales & Customers Drive Your Business Decisions
“One of the weirdest things about our shop is that we don’t advertise. Ever. In eleven years, we haven’t paid for ad space, and it’s a sort of badge of honor. Our customer base is strong and ever-growing based on word of mouth and the heavy South Congress Avenue foot traffic. We have great neighbors and hopefully a reputation for great service and bizarrely cute products. We must be doing something right because every year our sales figures get stronger!” Steven says.
His advice to other retailers: “Trust your gut, be yourself, and never stop being a customer. If you see something in a catalog that you would buy, trust that your taste is probably in line with dozens of others and you’ll find your groove and your customer base. Your opinion is important but you need to let sales drive the business. Watch what sells and to whom and listen to what people are saying as they shop. I’m fortunate enough to have a diverse staff and great neighbors that I can get feedback and ideas from and I imagine that most small businesses are similarly lucky. Your friends are resources; use them. And remember, we only have the one Earth, I think!”
If you have never considered recycled packaging for your business, we invite you in honor of Earth Day this month to check out our Green Way brand of eco-friendly packaging.