Tuesday Tip - An Interview With CathysWraps

I'm a serious multi-tasker and I want my partyware to do the same. This is why I love CathysWraps ~ double-duty vases for weddings, parties and gifts. Even more fabulous, you can coordinate with other party products like grease-resistant cupcake wrappers and gift tags.

I met Cathy Skraba at the Cupcakes Take The Cake birthday bash last year and fell in love with her products! She let me pick her brain a little for what makes her and her business tick.
For you, literally 'inspiration is the mother of invention'; your vases are so fun and unique! Please share with us how 'CathysWraps' was born.
CS - The inspiration for CathysWraps cupcake wrappers evolved from helping my mother solve a problem.

Years ago, my mother invented a pew clip to hang bows and flowers from wedding aisles. The idea was one minute the flower pots were aisle decorations, the next centerpieces and favors thus saving brides money and being eco-friendly. As a graphic designer, I couldn’t help but give the plain pots a face lift and adapt them to hang with ribbon for outdoor weddings and – voilà – faux vases that hang anywhere!

When a gal like me has such a cute flower vase, she’s going to want to have a party. And if she has a party, she’s going to want to have cupcakes. When that gal happens to be a graphic designer, she’s going to want to dress them up! So I designed a little wrap to mix and match with the flowers, and that’s how the idea was born.
What challenges did you face in launching your own business and how did you overcome those challenges?
CS - My greatest challenge is trying to explain the concept of the multi-purpose flower vase, what it is and how it works. I’ve found that pictures work wonders to communicate the triple-duty use of wedding aisles flowers being repurposed as centerpieces and favors.I absolutely love your colors! What inspires your design patterns?
CS - Hydrangeas, peonies and roses inspired the colors. The floral pattern is a pen and ink drawing inspired by lace on my wedding dress and I just think polka dots are happy.I'm all about presentation, what are some of your favorite ideas using your wraps? CS - Beyond the usual cupcakes, cookies, chocolates, candies and nuts (add a white baking liner and you can fill them with anything). I’ve had customers put the cupcake wrappers around votive candles placed right side up & upside down, others fill wrapped votive holders with fresh flowers to use as place card vases, or with paper flowers and table numbers. One customer asked how she might make teacups so I made paper handles from extra paper which led to the idea of making Easter Baskets.

My daughter tells me that after bringing cupcakes to a school party, the boys repurposed the wraps as hats. You never know what people will think of next!

There are many cupcake wrapper companies out there, what is it about your cupcake wrappers that makes them stand out from your competitors?
CS - There are a couple of things that make our cupcake wraps special. The unique scalloped feet lend a bit of whimsy while the specially designed tabs lock securely & quickly. You’ll notice too that CathysWraps are 1.25” tall, this allows standard size cupcakes to be gently nestled in place rather than dropped from above. Plus, it allows beautiful frostings to really show off.

Best of all they are reusable because they don’t absorb grease. For home parties, simply wipe with a damp cloth and tuck away for another day. Lastly, we like that they are reversible and mix and match with our flower vases for beautiful table displays.What is your go-to business tool and/or resource? Do you have favorite blogs and/or websites you like to visit when you have a moment?
CS - My favorite go-to-business resource is a blog. Design*Sponge, is a daily website dedicated to home and product design run by Brooklyn-based writer, Grace Bonney...Grace also runs a national series of meet-ups for women running design-based businesses called the D*S Biz Lady Series. Grace hosts and speaks at these events designed to connect local designers and provide free advice on the subjects of PR/marketing, legal concerns, business/financial decisions and wholesaling.Do you have any new projects on the horizon for 2011?
CS - I do, but it’s under wraps *badum-bum*
And just for fun, you are stranded on a desert island and can take one item and one meal. What would they be?
CS - If it’s a tropical island I’d bring bug spray! For my picnic, I’d bring homemade pizza with caramelized onions, mushrooms, kalamata olives, walnuts and Romano cheese, a nice bottle of red wine and plenty of dark chocolate.

Thank you so much Cathy for sharing with us and if you would you like to hear more of her wisdom, follow her on Facebook and Twitter

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