VisuaLingual Seed Bombs at Anthropologie

VisuaLingual Seed Bombs at Anthropologie

If you haven’t seen us around town lately, or if we’ve seemed a bit more grimy and disheveled than usual, here’s why — we spent the early part of this year making a bazillion seed bombs for Anthropologie. Allow me to give you a glimpse into our recent past, which at times resembled a really exciting version of hell. Make no mistake, though: we also had fun.

You might remember the scale of our operation last year, when it centered around our dining room table:

So, we knew we had to expand. Things started out innocently enough when we rented a work space a few blocks from our apartment in Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnati for our seed bomb production:

VisuaLingual Seed Bombs at Anthropologie

Then we started producing, producing, producing:

VisuaLingual Seed Bombs at Anthropologie

Michael screenprinted the pouch design in our printing studio at home. Five seed bombs went into a pouch:

VisuaLingual Seed Bombs at Anthropologie

The insert got folded in half and tucked into the pouch, behind the seed bombs:

VisuaLingual Seed Bombs at Anthropologie

The string was tied in a bow, and the appropriate SKU was placed on the back of each pouch:

VisuaLingual Seed Bombs at Anthropologie

Eventually, we had ourselves a veritable seed bomb army, ready to turn any unloved plot of land into a bit of green space:

VisuaLingual Seed Bombs at Anthropologie

Ahh, but we weren’t done yet! Miles and miles of bubble wrap had to be cut in order to pack and ship our seed bombs safely:

VisuaLingual Seed Bombs at Anthropologie

A dozen seed bombs went into each box:

VisuaLingual Seed Bombs at Anthropologie

Eight boxes were packed into each carton:

VisuaLingual Seed Bombs at Anthropologie

My favorite part was when a forklift got involved:

VisuaLingual Seed Bombs at Anthropologie

This was an exciting moment, and I was elated. Can’t you tell?

VisuaLingual Seed Bombs at Anthropologie

Off they went!

VisuaLingual Seed Bombs at Anthropologie

Take good care of my baby, Mr. Truck Driver!

VisuaLingual Seed Bombs at Anthropologie

We laughed, we cried, we picked dirt out from under our fingernails… Fear not, we didn’t do all of this alone. We had the help of almost everyone we know in Cincinnati, plus friends of friends, and also anyone who was misguided enough to visit from out of town last month. Plenty of people who didn’t help us with production gave us sage advice or let us borrow equipment, and we are deeply indebted to all of you. Like they say, it takes a village…

Anthropologie promotional email, April 2010


31 thoughts on “VisuaLingual Seed Bombs at Anthropologie

  1. Hee! Christine, I felt victorious but also really panicked about all the things that could possibly go wrong. It was difficult to believe that this was really happening until I saw the seed bombs online last night.

    Probably the coolest thing is the last line of the product description on the site — yeah, they misspelled Cincinnati, but they named us! Us! Humble VisuaLingual! On the Anthropologie site!

  2. Man. This is sweet! I am really excited for you guys!

    Maybe someone should tell the Anthropologie web folk that they spelled Cincinnati wrong 😉

  3. Kristen, I emailed them about the misspelling of Cincinnati, but maybe you should as well. The Queen City needs to be represented properly!

    Alexis, I think the fact that I geeked out and photographed every aspect of this process, including the truck driver, shows just how small time we really are. We’re just a couple of yahoos up in here, but we’re really excited about everything that’s been happening lately.

  4. That is simultaneously amazing and stressful looking!

    It’s a great idea, so glad you’re able to make something more of it. I hope this does something positive for your energy, ideas, and your hard work!!

  5. Hey, guys! Really, really great product! They’re already a hit here in Birmingham, AL! Thanks for all that you do and congrats on all of your successes!
    Patrick @ Store 468

  6. Hi, Patrick. That’s so amazing to hear! The production I detailed above was intense, but we had a blast and can’t wait to visit our little seed bombs at the local Anthropologie here in Cincinnati. That will be this weekend’s field trip!

  7. …’spreading seeds of information’ about your garden goodies here in Dallas, Texas. Here is a Cowgirl “Congratulations!” to an exceptional product that motivates us to Go Green and Greener for Earth Day and beyond! Thanks to all!
    ~ Anna @str451

  8. Thank you for sending me this link! I always wondered how Etsy artists manage the huge production that chain stores demand. So many screenprints, seed bombs and SKUs!! I can’t wait for my mom to receive her surprise bombs in the mail. Thanks again! xoxox

  9. Wow, congratulations on all your hard work paying off in a big way. It’s incredible to get this behind-the-scenes peek at how these little things get produced. Here’s to further success for you!

  10. Seedbombs are the best, and I admire your effort, but people – think green when packaging, too!
    This is catastrophic – almost Japanese in it’s plastic within plastic overkill.
    Even the muslin bags are going to get trashed after the seedbombs have been thrown, but at least they’re not plastic. How about recycled paper as an alternative? And why use bubble wrap and plastic film when there are biodegradable alternatives? Were the boxes made of recycled cardboard? *sigh*
    Sorry to sound negative, but hey 🙂

  11. Fair enough, and thank you so much for your comments.

    The seed bomb packaging seems to have been a major factor in their success — people really like the look of the miniaturized seed sack. The pouches are made of domestically produced, unbleached cotton, and they’re absolutely reusable. We use them around our house for all sorts of small odds and ends, like office supplies. The paper insert is unbleached, recycled stock, and it’s as small as it can be given how much text it contains.

    In shipping, we err on the side of caution in order to protect the fragile seed bombs. We reuse packing materials, like bubble wrap, whenever we can.

    In the photos above, we were doing our best to balance what we thought we needed to do to protect our products with Anthropologie’s fairly specific guidelines for packing methods and materials. We’re really proud of the fact that we were able to produce, pack and ship everything out on time, and that it arrived safely.

    With more time and resources, we would love to find more responsible packing alternatives and, if you have any thoughts or suggestions for us, we’d love to hear about them. We’re still figuring out our own best practices!

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  16. Where do you get the fabric you made the sacks out of? I’m trying to find something similar to print our wedding invites on and I’m not having any luck. Muslin doesn’t seem to have the same weave.

    LOVE these btw!

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