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Perfect French Nails - from a box

Jewellery boxes for the beauty industry

Whatever makes you beautiful deserves a beautiful container

JulyMarge Verpackung 3

Case study July & Marge: Beli-Luu

Perfect French Nails - from a box

Jewellery boxes for the beauty industry

Whatever makes you beautiful deserves a beautiful container

Cared-for hands make a good impression. For women, nails complete the look. French nails, which contrasts a white nail tip with otherwise pink nails, are a classic look, but one that is difficult to achieve by yourself. This is why Jovana Vatralj, after what felt like an interminable number of nail sessions, invented a practical painting device for her mother Maja Vatralj. The device, originally designed for home use, soon became a hit on TV under the name Beli-Luu and is now an established cosmetic product.

As Beli-Luu is reusable, it is supplied in a cardboard box with a telescope lid that is easy to open and close. The design is by Maja Vatralj and the boxes are produced by folding box manufacturer Ebro Color. The bottom section of the telescope box is completely black and the top is white. The box is printed with the Beli-Luu word mark in a glossy finish. The word mark is also shown in a small cursive pink font that creates a pattern on the white cover.

Whatever makes you beautiful deserves a beautiful container. The French nails painting device with its Ebro Color box.

An idea for use at home

"Beli luk" means "white arc" in Serbo-Croat. It therefore describes perfectly painted French nails. Getting a perfect result without a second pair of hands to help out is quite difficult. Maja Vatralj knows this from his own experience. "I love French Nails and always wear them. That is why I was always reluctant to go to a beauty salon to have them done. You can, of course, buy a variety of aids. But none of them really worked for me. I had to get someone to help me. Usually, it was my daughter."

Daughter Jovana Vatralj did not always have the time to help – so she put her thinking cap on. As a skilled mechatronics technician, she was able to design a painting device consisting of a latex strip inside a small plastic frame. The finger is pushed into a V-shaped hollow and out through the front. While held in this position, the nail can be painted evenly. If some nail varnish misses the nail, it is caught by the Latex strip or the plastic frame. The result? A perfect white arc on every nail.

Although they only intended to use the idea themselves at home, mother and daughter found the device so practical and unusual that they decide to try to market it under the name "July & Marge", They chose the name "Beli-Luu" for the product because it reminded them of the Serbo-Croat white arch. In addition to a suitable internet sales outlet – distribution was to be online only – the product needed a suitable packaging idea. Maja Vatralj, a graphic designer by trade, got to work. It was important to her to have a box that could be used for shipping the product as well as for keeping it in. It therefore had to be both attractive and sturdy. Maja rejected the option of plastic or foil. A simple cardboard box would be best. It was also important to have a manufacturer who was not too far away. "We wanted to offer a product that was completely 'made in Germany'. I was also keen to have a reliable contact person whom I could call at any time or meet face-to-face,", explains Maja, who hails from Stuttgart.

A box 'made in Albstadt‘

Maja found their box manufacturer about an hour south of their home town. Ebro Color is a well-established family business, based in Albstadt, which manufactures custom cardboard boxes in small and very small production runs. Maja was anxious about visiting Ebro Color for the first time. "We drove to Ebro Color with our product and our ideas in our luggage. No one knew us, no one knew our product, we hadn't sold a single nail-painting device, but we just knew we could not launch the product without the right packaging." The founders of July & Marge felt that they were in good hands once they arrived at Ebro Color. Maja has always had a clear idea of what their cardboard box should be like: "The feel and appearance of the packaging must be high quality. It should be something in which our customers would be proud to keep their Beli-Luu."

In discussions with Ebro Color in 2013, July & Marge opted for a telescope box 8.5 cm square. The lower part of the box is completely black, with a short description of the product in white letters underneath. They did not neglect the interior of the box. It contains a white inlay of white board in a matt finish, printed with the small pink Beli-Luu word mark and recessed in the centre to take the nail painting device. The recess helps keep the product secure in the post. The upper part of the box is also matt white with the pink Beli Luu word mark. The eye-catcher on the lid is the prominent, shiny black Beli-Luu logo. "A cardboard box normally has either a matt or a glossy finish; both at the same time does not work," says Ebro Color customer advisor Thomas Valet. "We can only achieve a result like the Beli Luu box by using what is known as a 'drip-off' coating. Ebro Color is one of the few folding box manufacturers able to offer this."

JulyMarge Verpackung 2
One product, one box and a great team – July & Marge rely on folding boxes from Ebro Color.

A TV star

After their visit to Ebro Color, July & Marge submitted an order for the production of 1,000 boxes. What happened next surprised everyone. In September 2014, July & Marge were invited to present their product on the entrepreneur's show "Höhle der Löwen" ("The Dragons' Den"). The dragons were impressed with the presentation of the product in its elegant Ebro Color cardboard box. In the end, Judith Williams from the home shopping channel HSE decided to invest in July & Marge.

After the TV show had aired, July & Marge received thousands of orders for Beli-Luu. Maja Vatralj ordered more packaging from Ebro Color, which the manufacturer supplied quickly and efficiently. As of today, July & Marge have sold 20,000 Beli-Luus in the folding boxes from Ebro Color. "After the show, we naturally received lots of attractive offers from box manufacturers. But we didn't want to change our supplier. Why should we? We started with Ebro Color and have always been really happy."

The rush has since subsided somewhat. Beli-Luu is now established and demand is steady, which has allowed the mother and daughter team to manage the delivery of their products themselves. Ebro Color delivers the boxes to Maja and Jovana Vatralj flat packed. They unfold them, put the Beli-Luu inside, include the instructions and some tissue paper, and send the product off to the customer. "The feedback we have received, from the Dragons in 2014 and from our customers today, is always the same: Beli-Luu is an extraordinary product. Everything about it is right.

JulyMarge Verpackung 3
An idea for home use that made it big on TV: an appearance in the German "Dragon's Den" brought in a rush of orders for the nail-painting device in its Ebro Color box. Approximately 20,000 have been sold to date.

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Ebro Color GmbH
Ehestetter Weg 10
72458 Albstadt