Mountain Moon Wax Co. by Ricardo Gomez

Inspired by the refreshing scents found in her hometown of Bozeman, Montana, Lauren Phillips started Mountain Moon Wax Co. to capture the essence of the mountains in her hand-poured, small-batch soy candles. From the get-go, Lauren knew the importance of product differentiation and cohesive branding as a means of standing out in a crowded marketplace. “It’s important to pick a lane and stick to it without limiting creativity to resonate with customers,” she explains. That’s why Mountain Moon Wax Co. candles use the finest ingredients, often sourced locally and housed in unique vessels, such as their classic whiskey glass that can be refilled or repurposed once the candle has burned away.

The Challenge
“We were looking for a sustainable packaging option that offered a premium feel and was entirely customizable,” says Lauren. “Product packaging is a huge investment. If you want it to look great and keep it affordable, buying in bulk is essential.” Having used traditional boxes in the past, Lauren considered a fancier box for this upgrade but wasn’t satisfied with the customization options she knew would elevate her brand identity. “You can’t be chaotic as a brand if you’re going to earn loyal customers.” In addition to an improved unboxing experience, she wanted to catch the attention of stockists looking for distinct brands to fill the shelves of their retail stores.

In line with a consistent brand, any packaging she landed on would also have to stand up to the sustainability ethos upon which Mountain Moon Wax Co. was founded. “We strive to be as sustainable as we can as a business,” declares Lauren. “We reuse materials, work with earth-loving companies, prioritize natural products, and recycle everything we can.”

The Solution
After considering several other eco-friendly packaging options, Lauren ultimately went with The Paper Tube Co. because of the customized and collaborative creative design process. “I love that they make it easy to create truly unique reusable paper tube packaging,” she says. “I wanted to express the magical way a full moon hangs over an evening mountain range silhouette here in Bozeman. White lettering on the dark, clean, black tube represents the light of the moon peeking through to share about our company and products. The proof is in the small details—first impressions count on the shelves, there’s no doubt about it.”

The Process
“The Paper Tube Co. team was beyond helpful and patient in this process,” explains Lauren. With no previous experience in design and a very full plate attending to her burgeoning business, Lauren was worried she wouldn’t be able to devote the time necessary to get the best results. “I was working with unfamiliar design platforms so things took longer for me during the design process,” she says. “But I never felt pressured. They walked me through every step, answered all my questions for months and months, and were always respectful, kind, and patient. Beyond the final product, the team was wonderful and turned a potentially stressful experience into something that was extremely manageable.”

The Payoff
Since launching her beautifully branded packaging, Lauren has secured several new retail locations and finds stockists and customers are taking her company much more seriously. “Retailers are immediately impressed when they receive our samples,” boasts Lauren. “It looks so much more professional. I am so pleased to have elevated our brand beyond a homemade, DIY brand aesthetic.”

Now that her investment in new packaging is paying off, Lauren has time and energy to devote to other aspects of her enterprise. “As a young business, we have already invested so much time and money experimenting with various materials. Making a solid packaging choice makes it easier to shift our focus to explore other developments, such as product expansion and new seasonal scents.” The time she has freed up by taking packaging off her to-do list is even making it possible for Lauren to write a grant to seek funding for an exciting opportunity to make her own in-house essential oils.

Since her new paper tubes were designed to perfectly fit the classic whiskey glasses she pours candles into, there’s no temptation to search for new vessel options. “It’s so easy to get distracted seeking something better,” she says. Since they are easily refilled or repurposed and unlikely to be tossed after use, Lauren is even more committed to the whiskey glass candle choice than ever before. “I can relax now that our packaging upgrade project is complete. The tubes are a perfect fit.”

Designed by Ricardo Gomez