My Jars. My Self

My twelve sided 9.5 ounce jars had my heart. Elegant, they are the perfect size for the perfect presentation of jam. The faceted front lent some flare yet did not require too much special planning when designing the label. So when Fillmore Containers told me they were out of the twelve sided 9.5 ounce jars until after 4th of July, I felt a small pain. Just a small one.

I am trying to look like a professional over here! And switching jars mid-batch doesn’t really scream “I’ve got it together.” But I needed jars since I had gallons of strawberries at home in my second fridge. There was no waiting until after the 4th of July.

The 9.5 ounce hex jars are a fair tradeoff—they are a comparable size and show off the jam nicely. But the shape is a bit unflattering to the labels. And after all I’ve gone through with the labels, I am not about to start futzing with them now. Again. And again.

Centering the labels on one of the jar’s flat panels just doesn’t have the same effect as with the twelve sided jars. At least not for me.  I tried centering the labels on one of the jar’s angles, but I think the presentation may be too unconventional for folks.  I liked it, but it did look a bit odd.  After feeling doomed to a life plagued by unprofessionalism, I realized I needed to lighten up. It’s just a jar, after all. There are people being killed in Iraq and Sudan and Pittsburgh. If a hex jar instead of a twelve sided jar encompasses the mass of my life’s problems, then bring it on baby! I can handle it!

And my customers should be able to handle it to. After all, isn’t this what it is all about? We don’t need to be force fed corporate food status quo. What’s the big whoop if some jars are one style and some jars are another? The jam is the same. Or maybe it isn’t. I have my recipes which I follow but each batch is truly a new adventure. I am not making jam in a climate controlled facility, but rather a real life kitchen. There are no lights and indicators to tell me how things are going. I have to personally engage with the process of cooking. The jam takes my attention. The process is a commitment. Once the fruit is picked, I have to follow through to the end when it is vacuum sealed in jars.

If there is waste, I personally feel it. If there are errors, I personally correct them. I oversee the whole process and there is a certain level of trust forged between me and my customers.

Sabjimata is not mass produced and it is not meant for the masses. This is human made jam intended for purchase by individuals who value the personal touch of knowing your food’s maker.

When I was in the feedback getting stage of the label design, a friend of mine commented that she didn’t like the 2” diameter design because “it didn’t tell her anything about [me].” Well, this should now give it away. I am prone to asymmetry, feel more centered with an unconventional presentation and am used to being outfitted in unflattering styles.

There you have it: The story of my life summed up by a jar.

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