Made Kind

Made Kind

The Story Behind Made Kind

Tell me a little bit about your business and how it started?

Anita: We sell planet friendly products that are kind to the environment, for home and personal use.

Caroline and I have known each other for quite a number of years – we’ve met when our children were in nursery. At the time we were talking about how Caroline’s daughter was suffering from migraines. I had a friend who had cancer and switched to using natural skin care products. Meanwhile, there was a lot in the press about how cleaners were bad for internal environments, and we were all breathing these chemicals in.

We wanted to work on a project together and came up with an idea of creating home cleaning products that were safe for pets and people to use, but also not hurting aquatic life at all when they go to the waterways, making sure that we don’t make a lot of plastic that ends up in the oceans and doesn’t biodegrade. We decided to create a range of products that ticked every single issue that we thought there was.

caroline's daughter made kind

Caroline’s daughter

caroline and anita made kind market

Caroline and Anita

We made strict guidelines while going through a long process with a specialist manufacturer and created the range of four core cleaning products – and you shouldn’t need anything else, really. We started selling them, and at the same time developed other products that would fit under the same umbrella – natural, refillable and kind to the environment.

We officially launched in November 2020, but we’ve been working on Made Kind for more than a year before that, because our cleaners had to go through stability testing. They don’t have lots of preservatives and toxic chemicals in them, so we had to have them tested to make sure that they don’t get bacterial growth while sitting in the bottle. That period of testing took some time, especially because that was during the pandemic.

There is a lot involved in creating a new brand – much more than you can imagine. – Made Kind

What products do you sell now? Are they all handmade?

Anita: In addition to our home cleaning products, we have created a range of handwashes, hand lotion, soy wax aromatherapy candles, shampoo and very recently – a conditioner.

We use a specialist manufacturer based in the UK who make our cleaning products, so we don’t handmake those. But we do bottle them ourselves in the glass bottles. Handwash and hand lotion, shampoos and conditioners are handmade in the factory in Peak District. We also have aromatherapy candles and room fragrance that we make ourselves.

sustainable products in a stitched box2
made kind environmental friendly products
made kind natural handmade soap
made kind giftset

How important is environmental sustainability to your business?

Caroline: I think what’s great about starting a new business it’s being able to make sustainability a number one priority, especially after having long careers in large corporate businesses where it wasn’t prioritised. At Made Kind it’s in a heart of everything. And we don’t need to backtrack, we can actually be forward-thinkers in terms of sustainability. Every decision we make is about the impact it’s going to have on the environment and therefore how it will benefit us because we all need a healthy planet.

We sell our products in glass bottles which you can refill, eliminating plastic waste. We would never buy polystyrene or bubble wrap and always use slightly more expensive chips made from biodegradable products.

Made Kind Experience With Stitchedboxes

How and when did you come across our boxes? Why did you choose us?

Caroline: I follow Pittch Socks on Instagram and I saw that they were using these beautiful handmade boxes to house their socks in. Then we found out about the heritage and the story behind the boxes. We liked that they are really sustainable in terms of the card being made of recyclable material, they’re handstitched with staples and not glued, and also the fact that they are so sturdy, they can actually be used for years to come either as keepsake or storage boxes. They are not boxes to be thrown away.

The reason why we initially had the idea to put Made Kind products inside the boxes came from a local bathroom and kitchen shop near us who liked the Made Kind products and wanted to gift them to their clients as a ‘thank you’. And we started making up these giftboxes with such products as kitchen cleaners with a nice brush or handwash and pack everything in the stitched boxes.

They were so well received that we just thought “well, what a greatest idea for us to have a gift section on our own website”. And it’s been fantastic for us.

made kind environmental friendly products

What do you use our boxes for?

Anita: We use them for gifting for a number of occasions. For example, “new homes” is a really good set, where people can buy the giftbox of cleaning products. It’s teachers gift time at the moment, so we have giftboxes with sustainable candles or handwashes to choose from.

Caroline: And our customers love the way it’s presented –  a finished item that they don’t even need to wrap, it already has a real luxury feel to it.

How important is packaging to your products?

Anita: The fact we have our logo debossed on the top of the box is really important to us from a branding point of view. People like to save the box, so it keeps our brand in people’s homes. And aesthetically the boxes look very nice. Kraft paper has been a very popular look for a long time.

made kind boxes

What do you like most about stitched boxes?

Caroline: We like the relationship we have with the people at Stitchedboxes. It’s a real personal touch when it comes to ordering and following the whole production process. We have been drawn into the process in a really lovely way where we can see, touch and feel how they’re made. It makes us feel more connected to the product. We love the fact that they are handmade, and we have seen people who work there for years and years, who put their passion into it.

Can you describe your experience with Stitchedboxes in three words?

Honest, Passionate, Reliable. 🙂

How do you see the future of Made Kind?

Anita: We have many different avenues that we are pursuing to bring our brand to more people – that’s what we would like to do. Retail sales are very important, but we also sell to wholesalers, hotels… We supply lots of local businesses which we really love doing.

Caroline: And I think we would love more businesses to buy our giftboxes to pass onto their clients because for them it’s a personal touch and shows their appreciation to their clients. And also their clients like the fact that it’s a sustainable product. So I think there’s a lot to go for us in the gifting area.

caroline and anita made kind

We Can Become Your Special Box Maker


Ochre & Flax

Ochre & Flax

We recently interviewed an incredible candle maker, based in South Devon, Ochre and Flax.

Jo Dymock, the founder, has spared some time to answer some questions on the business so far, what is to come and her experience with Stitched Boxes.

Can you tell me a bit about Ochre and Flax and how the business came about?

I’ve always made candles – my older sister received a candle making kit for her birthday and I was fascinated – I finally got my own a year or two later after some serious nagging! As an adult, I continued to make candles for myself and as gifts.

I started using the ritual of lighting a candle to help me find the joy in the ordinary little routines that make up my day, and via a long circuitous route involving a couple of mini-businesses, three children, divorce, a couple of house moves and a lot of introspection about what I really wanted to be when I grew up (answer: happy, calm, fulfilled), Ochre & Flax was born, created to help others live life on purpose and find those little moments of joy in the everyday.

ochre and flax candles
ochre and flax candle box

What is the meaning behind the name ‘Ochre and Flax’?

Naming the business was by far the hardest part of the whole enterprise! I wanted something that felt rooted both in the local area (I live in South Devon, between Dartmoor and the sea), as well as feeling very much ‘me’. Ochre used to be mined and used in nearby Brixham, to protect the canvas sails of local fishing boats and gave them their distinctive red and orange colours.

My favourite colour palette also happens to be those particular shades of yellow, mustard, brown and orange that ochre creates – you’ll see those colours crop up frequently in my branding. The flax portion of the name came because I try to make my business as sustainable as possible, in terms of raw materials and minimising waste. The flax plant is a constant reminder of how efficient nature can be – flax provides us with fibres for linen, flaxseed, and flax oil, as well as being rather pretty to look at – making it a pleasing reminder of how much we can do with the resources around us if we put our minds to it.

ochre and flax logo

How much does environmental sustainability mean to you and the business?

I think it’s simply not possible to have a business these days and not consider sustainability. I also recognise that any business will have some impact, so rather than religiously sticking to a single principle like ‘I will be entirely plastic free’ I try to weigh up every single decision within the business on its own merits, making the most sustainable choice I can within the limitations of a small business, and considering reusability alongside recycling.

I use only pure essential oils to scent my candles, plastic-free packing materials, and soy ink printed tissue and stickers, and one of the reasons for choosing Stitched Boxes was not only because of the recyclable nature of the boxes, but because they are robust and pleasing enough for my customers to continue to use as functional boxes long after the candles are burnt – a recyclable but flimsy cardboard box still feels wasteful to me, and I’d rather my customers have something reusable. I also offer refills for my candles, as even though the glass jars are recyclable, they can also be reused almost infinitely before even hitting the recycling chain.

candle stitched boxes

What is your proudest moment as a business so far?

Every December feels like my proudest moment when the business goes bananas with Christmas orders. It shocks me every single time, and I am filled with the most enormous thrill, realising that this is something that I created from the ground up, stuck to my principles on when it came to sustainable packaging, pure essential oils (far more expensive and trickier to source and work with than synthetic fragrances) and a million other tiny decisions.

I find it astonishing that I turned this idea in my head into something that people know about and choose to return to year after year. Nothing makes me happier than one of my oldest customers ordering candles for their family gifts for the third year running!

The future of Ochre and Flax, what do you see?

So much – I’m fairly sure I have more ideas than I have years left of life in me! But the next big project is one I’ve had dancing around my head for a while; to create a gorgeous (Stitched Boxes) presentation box with a small-UK-business-made journal, my very favourite brand of fountain pen, a mood-boosting candle, and a detailed for planning out goals and dreams for the year ahead, creating a life lived on purpose and full of ways to find joy in those ordinary moments. I’m aiming to get them launched before Christmas, with a view to spending January on some really gentle planning and goal setting for 2022.

Your Experience With Stitched Boxes

What was the purpose of the Stitched Boxes purchase?

I recently launched a new range of Daily Rituals candles – four blends designed to support finding joy in the ordinary moments throughout the day, from the first moments of a morning routine through to falling into bed at night.

I wanted to present them in a way that felt beautiful but also practical – I wanted a box that would transport them safely and feel like a real treat to receive and open, but also feel useful for reuse after the candles were gone. I am planning to work with Stitched Boxes to create a smaller duo box for my seasonal blend candles later in the year, as well as larger gift hampers (lots of ideas brewing!) as I think boxes tie in so beautifully with my brand and ethos.

ochre and flax stitched boxes

Why did you choose Stitchedboxes and would you recommend us?

I chose Stitched Boxes because I felt really welcomed by both the website and the communication I had – I have so often tried to source materials for my business and felt my custom wasn’t valued because I have a small business, and it can often be tricky to find a supplier who is happy to work with small quantities. I changed my order about five times before confirming it, and the customer services team were incredibly helpful each time, never making me feel like I was wasting their time. Obviously, I would recommend you, but a little bit of me wishes I could keep you all to myself!

We Can Become Your Special Box Maker

Lumos Apothecary

Lumos Apothecary

Can you tell me a bit about Lumos Apothecary and how the business came about?

Born on our dining room table, Lumos Apothecary is made up of husband and wife team, Cathie & Tom. We both worked full-time in demanding jobs, meaning we didn’t get much quality time together. Whenever the rare moments happened, we would cosy up in front of the open fire, eat and drink something yummy, and always, always lit a scented candle. This got us thinking… maybe if we made our own we could eventually work for ourselves and enjoy much more ‘together time’.

Supporters of hand-crafted items for many years, we wanted to create a luxury (yet still affordable) range of products to evoke positive vibes in spaces and basically just make the world smell a little better! Founded in November 2019 after months of experimentation and testing to get our candles just right, we launched our range of luxury hand poured, 100% natural soy wax and cruelty-free candles. Each one is made by hand in small batches in our studio just outside Sheffield and Cathie now operates Lumos full time….so we’re halfway there!

Christmas candle gift box
Lumos Apothecary candle box

Why is local and ethical manufacturing and materials important to you?

Ethical processes are at the heart of everything we do. As strong believers in ‘rewilding the world’ – we want to offer a range of luxury products that don’t come at a cost to nature. We ethically source as many of our ingredients and packaging as possible from UK suppliers and we always make sure that they’re vegan friendly.

Where possible, we like to obtain our materials from Rotherham or Sheffield so the transport requirements are as low as possible. We walk to the post office every day with our parcels and even hand-deliver some local ones on foot too. Our packaging is all reused, recycled, and/or recyclable too and we are working to improve this further all the time. Finding a supplier as close by as Stitched Boxes who happen to make such high-quality recyclable products was a real find!

What are you most proud of?

Launching a couple of months before COVID-19 hit and managing to keep afloat throughout the pandemic was no simple task. Scented candles are there to be sniffed first hand so having our craft fairs cancelled and the possibilities of opening a shop crushed, we’re just proud we’ve made it through and are growing all the time. We know our families are really proud of us too and this means the world.

Lumos Apothecary candle boxes

What’s next for Lumos Apothecary?

Good question! We are hoping to grow organically and both be able to do this full-time in a few years (at present it’s just Cathie’s full-time hustle with Tom being amazing and doing all the website jobs in the evenings after work!) Ideally, we’d like to open a shop in the near future and run candle-making workshops in our studio. We are frequently adding new products and scents to our range and love experimenting with bold new creations.

Your Experience With Stitched Boxes

What do you use your Stitched Boxes for?

We use our Stitched Boxes for two lovely things – our monthly candle subscription boxes and our beautiful range of ready-made gift boxes. We are just about to add a third, larger size box into the mix too for bespoke gifts.

sustainable candle box packaging

What do you love most about Stitched Boxes?

Stitched Boxes attracted us initially for many reasons. Expertly handcrafted – check. Local – check. And the good quality – check again! We’d seen that Stitched Boxes had created the luxury gift boxes for another company we admire and once we saw the quality first hand, we knew we wanted to feature them in our business. The staff are friendly, helpful and it turns out one of them even lives on the next street – who knew!? A fabulous company all around.

Would you recommend us to other companies?

Absolutely! In fact, we’ve already had a number of enquiries from companies asking where we get our beautiful boxes and do our best to spread the word.

We Can Become Your Special Box Maker

Map & Poster Boxes

Map & Poster Boxes

The New Premium Box Range

We’re happy to showcase our new range of boxes!

We’re introducing a range of map and poster boxes, the images show our triangular style which is a simple clamshell design with the lid attached and secured with a flap insert. Another design is a rectangular box with a removable lid, fitted over another external box for added protection.

These boxes are available in a range of different materials from chipboard, greyboard, kraft and more with varying degrees of thickness to suit your needs.

map storage boxes
poster storage box
storage boxes for schools
poster boxes for museums schools archives

These also could be useful for archival storage with double-sided Kraft Lined acid-free/pH neutral board or premium quality archival folding boxboard. We offer our archival board in several card thickness options with standard alloy wire stitches or with specialist rust-resistant brass wire. Suitable for museums, schools, archives and more.

Get in touch with us to learn more about these on 0114 262 6257!

Brendan Dawes | Produced for Use

Brendan Dawes | Produced for Use

Can you tell me a bit about Produced for Use and how much work goes into the artwork you sell?

I created Produced for Use as an outlet for the physical things I wanted to make and release into the world, free of outside pressures, client requests and the like. As an artist I mainly work on commissions in the digital domain for clients around the world — though sometimes these are also physical like the installation I created for Airbnb at the Sundance Film Festival. 

Whilst I love this work and am lucky to have wonderful clients, I also wanted to sell my own physical items that were considered and beautifully crafted, combining modern techniques such as code with more traditional techniques. I only release new things when I feel the product is right and in my own time, free of market pressure. These are my shelves and I decide what goes on them and when. Each product goes through a myriad of iterations to get it right. I like to live with something for a while before I say, yeah this is it. For Morfff, it was sat in our hallway, being used everyday for almost six months before I decided to manufacture it. I’m not in a hurry.

stitched boxes for brendan dawes
produced for use case study

What are you most proud of, and what’s the next chapter in your story?

Well I guess having a piece of work — Cinema Redux — in the MoMA permanent collection in New York. Since it was acquired by MoMA it’s been in four MoMA exhibitions, plus the work has appeared in countless other exhibitions. I made that work one rainy Saturday afternoon back in 2004 and just put it on my website for people to maybe bump into. That’s why I love the web — the real web, not Facebook I mean — because you can put your stuff out there and you just never know who’s going to see it.

For the next chapter, as always, I’m just trying to concentrate on getting better — learning new things, tools, processes and the like that I can use in my practice and on PFU products. I’m taking my time to go deep — really drill down into stuff to really craft the output. 

Do you have another addition to your catalogue coming up in the near future?

Yes I do. Again it’s been something I’ve been playing with off and on for maybe a year now, but I wanted to find a way to get it right. Now I’m happy with it and PFU-006 will be released at the end of September. It’s quite different to the other things but those that have seen it have straight away asked how do I get one?

stitched box logo blind stamped

Your Experience With Stitched Boxes

How do you like your Stitched Boxes and what do you use them for?

I love them. Originally Morfff  — my concrete letter holder — came in a standard printed box, but over the following months I grew to hate it. It was devoid of any kind of personality and just felt wrong for the PFU brand. I asked my friend Ashleigh Armitage — designer at Sheffield’s wonderful graphic designers Dust, who also designed Notes to Myself for me — and she said she’d seen these Stitched Boxes at a trade show. I hopped on over to your site and knew straight away this is what I was looking for.

They looked utilitarian but had a warmth and charm to them, and after getting a sample made-up I knew they would be perfect for the new Morfff packaging. It makes me smile when I package up a new order with these boxes. I also encourage people to reuse the box instead of recycling it. I’m certainly looking to get more boxes done for other products in the future

We Can Become Your Special Box Maker