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BFP: What do you do?
RC: I am the founder and CEO of Distant Village Packaging. Founded in 2000, Distant Village designs and produces sustainable presentation packaging for small to mid-sized companies. Impressive packaging results from a brand-focused design approach and all-natural handmade packaging made by artisans from rural villages. As an example we make presentation packaging for fine chocolates, gourmet, tea, jewelry, organic clothing, spices, and much more.
BFP: What is the best part about your job?
RC: Everyone Wins! Clients get amazing brand-building packaging, and artisans have stable work while earning fair trade wages in their hometown communities. This eliminates urban sprawl while providing continuous economic support to artisan communities, and increased sales for brand owners of authentic sustainable products.
BFP: What has been your greatest challenge?
RC: Quality staffing. As we grow we have been challenged with staffing for sales and contract designers. We are seeking more growth in Europe. It is essential we have authentic and sincerely sustainable-minded people in our company, while also being talented in their professional capacity. At times, it is a challenge to find them, especially in foreign countries, like England and France, where we do not yet have an established network or presence.
BFP: What advice can you give others who want to implement similar initiatives?
RC: Be persistent yet flexible. I recommend keeping your ear to the ground to listen to clients and other important influencers to gain awareness of market needs. However it is important to remain flexible, while not compromising your mission and intentions.
BFP: If someone wants to do what you do, where should they start?
RC: Gain an understanding of the market needs and determine customer needs. Playing off the real estate mantra, I believe the three most important things in business are customers, customers, customers.
BFP: Finally, what do you hope to get out of being part of this community?
RC: I’m grateful for BFP creating this community of like-minded people. I hope to be part of the BFP community to help, serve, learn, and share. As socially-conscious businesses we share a common purpose. If there is a way to be of service to BFP and this community, please contact me.
Thank you to Rich Cohen for taking the time to do this interview.
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