‘Goat Milk Stuff’ Family Featured on NBC’s TODAY Show

Segment Shows How Family of 10 Pulls Together to Operate Soap Making Business

Mike Leonard of NBC’s The Today Show recently interviewed one of our many fabulous customers, the Jonas Family, about the unique soap making business they own and operate on their three acre homestead in rural Indiana. The story about Goat Milk Stuff aired Monday on the show’s Leonard’s Look segment.
Continue reading “‘Goat Milk Stuff’ Family Featured on NBC’s TODAY Show” »

Traditional vs. Online Marketing Techniques Explored in New Column for Converters

‘eConversion’ Published in Label & Narrow Web Magazine, Written by LL Staffers

I think most of you would agree with me that businesses across all industries need an online presence in order to survive in today’s competitive marketplace. The narrow web industry is no exception. If you are a converter, you probably know you need to move your marketing campaigns online, but might be having trouble getting started because you don’t know where to start.

Perhaps you have turned to the Internet for help, but were overwhelmed by the information you found. You might have found a lot of conflicting information, and didn’t know what sources to trust. You may have tempted to read information that was so technical, it might as well have been written in hieroglyphics. Frustrating!

I hear you, and so does James Lowry, our General Manager here at Lightning Labels. In order to help converters bridge the gap between traditional and online marketing techniques, we have created a column for Label & Narrow Web Magazine called eConversion.

James and I are excited about this fantastic opportunity to encourage our fellow converters to take their first steps into the eCommerce arena. Our online presence has been instrumental in the success Lightning Labels has enjoyed from day one. Now we would like to give a little something back to the narrow web community by sharing a few things we have learned through our adventures on the web, as well as break down new online marketing techniques for you into digestible action steps.

Even if you are not a converter, but are wondering what eCommerce is all about, you still might want to check out our column. I especially encourage those customers of ours who are charged with wearing the many hats of an entrepreneurial small business owner to read eConversion.

Finally, it is my hope that you find the connections between traditional marketing methods and online ones as fascinating as we do. We are always intrigued to run across a new online tool that is based on a traditional marketing method, yet makes it less tedious to implement. Such tools often yield higher returns than the traditional methods they are based on, and allow you to track ROI with greater accuracy.

Finally, James and I would value your feedback on our new column. Please feel free to send us an email or two to let us know what you think about eConversion and what you would like us to cover in future issues of Label & Narrow Web, or leave a comment below.

Our Lightning Fast Service Just Got Faster!

Lightning Labels now ships most orders in just 2-3 days.

Standard Turnaround Time for Label & Sticker Orders Now 2-3 Days, Offered at No Extra Charge

Lightning Labels is pleased to announce that we are now shipping most custom label and sticker orders in just two to three days following proof approval.

Our increased turnaround time, which is now standard at no extra charge, has several benefits for our customers. Our ability to get orders out the door even quicker than before is especially helpful for customers who regularly order small quantities of our labels and stickers. Here are just a few ways these businesses can benefit from our faster service:

  • Ability to meet last-minute business demands
  • Makes JIT inventory management easier to implement, as we can print small quantities of labels and stickers as needed in a minimal amount of time
  • Minimizes risk of inventory spoilage, including situations where labeling must frequently be updated to comply with regular changes in government regulations
  • Allows labels to be changed frequently for marketing reasons, such as testing different packaging designs

What really excites us about being able to print orders in only two to three days now is that we can better serve customers that are creating a niche for themselves in their respective markets.

“Through our quick turnaround service, we are able to help our customers offer their customers small quantities of private labeled products in a hurry, which makes our customers more successful at what they do,” said Lightning Labels General Manager James Lowry. “We like it when everyone wins in this business.”

Cutest Animals Ever

LL Employees Reminisce About Company Mascots, Share Pet Photos

Millie & Fred, the Original Lightning Labels Mascots

Millie (pictured here) and Fred were the original Lightning Labels mascots.
Millie (pictured here) and Fred were the original Lightning Labels mascots.

Even if we don’t all have pets of our own, the Lightning Labels Team adores animals. Especially cute ones. We love animals so much, in fact, that Lightning Labels once adopted two cats from a nearby animal shelter and made them its official mascots. Millie and Fred, who were six years old at the time, even had their own office at the Lightning Labels production facility, complete with cat beds, toys, and plenty of food.

“They were really cute. They used to sit in my lap,” recalled Cari Goldman, our Graphic Designer. “I miss them.”

Scott Coan, one of our Pre-Press Technicians, developed a special bond with Millie. Her favorite place to “work” in the office was Scott’s lap, and he used to carry her to the printer and back. Scott did, however, have to occasionally set boundaries with Millie.

“When she wanted to ride my shoulder all of the time, I sort of laid down the law,” Scott recalled.
Fred had a mellower disposition, which most employees attributed to his multiple health issues, including diabetes.

Although Lightning Labels no longer has bonafied animal mascots, many of the company’s employees have equally adorable pets at home that are cherished members of their families. The photos below show you just how precious these animals are. I hope you enjoy browsing these cute pet photos as much as I did.

Bugs & Essie

We are not sure what Bugs has his eye on in this photo, but one thing is for sure: Bugs is not going to let it get away.
We are not sure what Bugs has his eye on in this photo, but one thing is for sure: Bugs is not going to let it get away.
Essie's shyness just adds to the adorable quality this little dog posseses
Essie’s shyness just adds to this little dog’s adorableness.

Our General Manager, James Lowry, owns two pets. Bugs is a somewhat mischievous, fun-loving cat. Essie is not quite as outgoing, and her shyness only adds to this sweet little dog’s charm. And as you can see from the photos of the two, James’ daughters are gifted amateur photographers.

Diamond & Majik

Diamond, an Arabian stallion, apparently has a sense of humor
Diamond may be retired from his career as a barrel racer, but he apparently hasn’t lost his sense of humor as evidenced by the smiley face “accessory” he is wearing in this photo.

Majik loves to cuddle up his owner's lap almost as much as he loves catnip
Majik is a quite the princess, both in looks and manners … if princesses are allowed to indulge in catnip, that is. (It’s only two or three times a week, Majik claims.)

Cari says that she owns a horse and cat, although I have a suspicion that it might be more precise to say that they own her. She has had 17-year-old Majik, a.k.a. The Furry Little Overlord” for over 15 of the feline’s 17 years.

“She may be old, but she’s spry, and she’s quite adept at making her demands known,” Cari said.
Majik “sweetly” greets Cari each morning with, “Get out of bed and feed me now!” In the evenings, Cari serves as the personal taster of Her Highness, meaning that she tastes the food on “Cari’s” dinner plate before serving it to Majik. One of twice a week, Majik indulges in a bit of catnip.

“I shouldn’t call my mistress a junkie,” Cari admitted, “But behind her back I do refer to her as ‘Stoner Kitty’.”

Cari characterizes her 20-year old Arabian stallion, who is retired from barrel racing, as a big puppy who is always happy to greet her and her family. One of his favorite past times is checking the family members’ pockets for apples and carrots.

“Once he’s finished them, he has to settle for plain grass, but he’ll stuff his face anyway,” Cari said.

Apparently, Diamond is also quite smooth with the ladies and well-mannered with everyone in general. Unless food is involved.

Gigi & Grover

Gigi the Keeshond pictured in her full glory
Gigi the Keeshond pictured in her full glory.

Gigi showing off "her" pet cat
Gigi showing off “her” pet cat.

R.J. Kniss, one of our Customer Service Representatives, is quite attached to his goofy pets. Gigi, a gorgeous Keeshond, and Grover, a tabby cat, are great friends who have quite a bit in common. They both like to cuddle up and take long naps together, share Gigi’s cookies and water bowl, and jump on the bed. They also like getting their butts scratched, and are turned off by yuppy pet food.

Sophie & Allie

Tammie's Shiba Inu loves the snow, but might benefit from a pair of "Doggles" to protect his eyes.
Tammie’s Shiba Inu loves the snow, but might benefit from a pair of “Doggles” to protect his eyes.
Allie is the cutest cattle dog mix we know. Aww ...
Allie is the cutest Cattle Dog mix we know. Aww …

Tammie MacLachland, our Customer Service Manager, is a true animal lover. About the only websites she ever visits for fun on the Internet have funny pet videos and cute animal photos. Therefore, it is only natural that she has two dogs of her own (and wishes that she had more). Sophie, a Shiba Inu, and Allie, a Cattle Dog mix, have similar tan and cream coats. They love to play and relax together, and have been spotted napping together.

Sassy & Oakley

Sassy is as photogenic as she is beautiful.
Sassy is as photogenic as she is beautiful.
Oakley, a Lab mix, takes a moment to ponder life
Oakley, a Lab mix, takes a moment to ponder life

Scott adopted Millie after she retired from being an office mascot at Lightning Labels. And although Millie is no longer with him, he enjoys spending time with his pets Sassy and Oakley. Scott rescued Oakley, a black Lab mix, from the Boulder Human Society three years ago. About six months after welcoming Oakley into their home, Scott and and his wife adopted Sassy, a beautiful cat with Persian looks. Oakley’s hobbies include walking and playing in the snow. Sassy, on the other hand, prefers sitting in the sun and getting her hair brushed.

Scout

Scout, a blue merle Sheltie, enjoys a warm Autumn day amidst a grove of Colorado Aspens.
Scout, a blue merle Sheltie, enjoys a warm Autumn day amidst a grove of Colorado Aspens.

My own dog, Scout, is a four-year-old Shetland Sheepdog with a blue merle coat. My “pretty boy” is extremely friendly and loves to get attention by performing tricks … especially when there are treats involved. Although he has a ton of energy, he also enjoys snuggling up next to me on the couch when I am reading or working on the computer. His favorite hobbies are running, snowshoeing, solving puzzles, and chasing squirrels. A gift from one of my sisters who has a dog named Atticus, Scout is named for a character in Harper Lee’s literary masterpiece “To Kill a Mockingbird”. Spending time with Scout brings me immense joy.

Need to Boost Sales? QR Codes Might Be Your Answer

Learn More in the Spring 2011 Edition of the Lightning Flash Newsletter

The Spring 2011 edition of our newsletter, The Lightning Flash, focuses on QR codes & how you can leverage them to grow your business

The latest edition of the Lightning Flash is now available online! You can download a print-ready PDF of our popular quarterly newsletter, or read individual articles online.

This issue of the Lightning Flash covers:

• QR codes – what they are and how to leverage them to grow your business

• The “anatomy” of a QR code

• Great Divide Brewing co. explains how combining great beer, quality labels and excellent treatment of employees made them one of the best brewers in the world

• New website features that make it even easier to do business with us

• A brief article from our General Manager, James Lowry, discussing how you can benefit from using QR Codes

To  read past editions of The Lightning Flash, visit our Newsletter Archives. To get an instant quote for your label order online, visit the Lightning Labels website; or call us toll-free at 1.888.685.2235.

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An Open Letter to HP Indigo from Mother Nature

April 22, 2011

Dear HP Indigo,

I have been meaning to write you for quite a while … ever since you launched your first digital printing press back in 1993, actually, to tell you how much I appreciate you. It seems that whenever I have a few minutes to sit down and catch up on my correspondence, a crisis comes up and I have to go rescue my precious darling, Earth, from humanity. *sigh* It seems that race is always having accidents that hurt my poor baby! The last time I pulled out my laptop to write you, in fact, one of their oil wells exploded off the shore of Louisiana before I even had time to log on to to the Internet. It was such as mess, I tell you. About 4,900,000 barrels of crude oil were spilled into the Gulf of Mexico!!! But I digress …

HP Indigo, thank you for being so kind to my Earth. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate it. In short, here’s why I heart you:

    1) Your digital printing process minimizes the amount of waste produced, and the United State’s EPA doesn’t consider any of it hazardous. Unlike traditional printing processes, digital printing doesn’t use printing plates, photographic films, and all the associated disgusting waste that those things produce. I know this pleases you as much as it does me, since you don’t have to deal with disposing toxic chemicals, storing previously printed plates and film, and other hassles like fume extraction.

    2) Your presses use HP ElectroInk, which isn’t full of toxic elements like lead, cadmium, mercury. ElectroInk is so safe, in fact, that it has received a lot of awards … including the prestigious Nordic Swan ecolabel.

    3) HP Indigo presses are manufactured to ISO 14001 Environmental Management Standards. This doesn’t surprise me at all, since HP has quite a reputation for being environmentally responsible. I don’t want to inflate your ego or anything, but do you know that Fortune Magazine (yes, THE Fortune Magazine), named your company oneof the world’s 10 corporate “Green Giants”? No lie.

    4) I also want to thank you for minimizing the amount of ozone that your presses produce. It really was intelligent of you to put super efficient charcoal absorber cartridges in your digital printing presses. But I am not surprised … you have always been smart.

    I could go on all day about why you are so great, but today is Earth Day. That means that people around the world are throwing celebrations in honor of my sweet baby. But they aren’t giving Earth presents they bought in stores. And thank goodness for that, because Heaven knows that Earth barely has room to store anything else these days! What they are doing instead is educating people about how to take care of Earth. Isn’t that a fabulous gift idea? And to be honest, it is about time someone help me start taking care of Earth again. Earth is getting older, and it is becoming increasingly difficult for me to take care of my darling all by myself … especially with all these trips to the emergency room! So I better sign off and get to those parties. I will write again soon, though … promise.

    In the meantime, sweetie, keep up the good work. You are doing a great job!

    Love,

    Mother Nature

    Call for Entries: TLMI Competion for Narrow Web Converters

    Tag & Label Manufacturers Institute Logo

    Deadline is June 30, 2011

    If you are a narrow web converter, then you are probably a member of the Tag and Label Manufacturers Institute (TLMI). And if you aren’t, I encourage you to consider becoming one. TLMI membership offers many benefits to narrow web converters, including the privilege of entering the association’s prestigious annual awards competition that is now accepting entries.

    The deadline to submit entries for TLMI’s 34th Annual Awards Competition is June 30, 2011. Last year, there were approximately 300 entries. With the opportunity for each company to submit up to three entries per category or sub-category (there are sixty-eight this year), the odds of winning aren’t too shabby.  And even if you don’t win, entering the contest offers you the benefit of having your work evaluated by industry experts. For more details, download a brochure on the TLMI website.

    Irish Beer Label Upcycled as Fashion Accessory

    Guinness Beer Label Preserved as Belt Buckle

    While surfing Etsy the other day, I ran across this beautiful belt buckle made from a Guinness beer label. We print a lot of gorgeous product labels here at Lightning Labels, and I always wonder how many of them get saved. I would be very pleased if some of them ended up getting being preserved as wearable accessories like this one.

    Proof That Collecting Wine Labels Can be Simple & Inexpensive



    Perhaps you have considered collecting wine labels, but thought that removing them was too complicated or involved costly tools. Indeed, a number of gadgets that have been designed expressly for this purpose can cost as much as a nice bottle of wine, including Hinkley Cellar’s The Note Wine Label Saver. Depending on which gift set you purchase, this tool ranges in price from $39 to $79. And if you don’t know what you are doing, you are likely to fail in your attempts to remove wine labels right off the bat, even if you have a fancy tool to assist you in the process.

    The truth is, collecting wine labels can be simple and inexpensive. All you need are a few household supplies, which many of you probably already have on hand, and a little knowledge. The video above, which was originally posted by rdhayes06 on YouTube, proves it.

    Here are the supplies that rdhayes06 says you need

    1. Empty wine bottle with label intact

    2. Can of Goof Off or similar solvent

    3. Paper towels

    4. Small bucket of water

    5. Razor blade Continue reading “Proof That Collecting Wine Labels Can be Simple & Inexpensive” »

    Dscoop Launches Slick New Website

    Visit the New Dscoop Website

    Dscoop’s new website is as as easy to use as it is easy on the eyes.

    Tailored towards members of the Digital Solutions Cooperative, a global community of HP Graphic Arts users and experts, Dscoop.org’s new features include:

    • Customizable user profiles
    • Personalized news feed and digest emails
    • Discussion forums and listservs
    • Ability to edit membership directory listings
    • Integration with major social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter
    • Mobile app downloads for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Palm devices
    • A resources archive that includes past conference proceedings, Dscoop Quarterly issues, and webinars

    Continue reading “Dscoop Launches Slick New Website” »