Built in the Blue Ridge: Prestar Packaging

By Patrick McKee - Anchor

CHRISTIANSBURG (WSLS 10) - When you get a gift, you typically think about what is inside the box, but, a Christiansburg company looks at the box itself.

From packages for games and toys to gift cards and clothing accessories, Montgomery County based Prestar Packaging makes rigid boxes appealing to the eye.

“We make rigid boxes, so think game boxes, like a monopoly game box,” says President Anne Chrisman.  “We take chipboard and we take paper and print the paper, we laminate, we glue it to the chipboard.”

They custom make boxes for board games and DVDs as well the Emmy Awards.

Their products have even made it to our nation’s capital with boxes that hold ties, given out by the President of the United States.

One of the special products the company has made is these boxes for the U.S. House of Representatives.  Flags that flew over the Capitol after 9/11 were placed in these and given to the families of the victims.

While these boxes got the company into the manufacturing business, it saw large growth from the changing habits of consumers.

“I sit back and look at what's going on in the economy,” said Vice-President Craig Chrisman.  “I look at the trends, the current trends that are going on and that kind of inspires me.”

It’s inspiration that brought the gift card box to the world.

Over the past nine years, more than six million of these have sold in stores across the country and in 15 different nations.

The design was even awarded a patent, a rarity in the box making business.

“It is rare in our industry to get patents because most things are just boxes, the same style, we're looking at a square or rectangle type box.  But this is a unique design,” said Anne Christman.

A unique design built by a loyal group of employees in a place they are proud to call home.

“We want to stay here.  Montgomery County was the place we wanted our business to be when we first started and we love the area.  We have great employees that we get from the area,” said Anne Chrisman.

Great employees, producing a quality product, while waiting for the next hot trend.

“There’s quite a few things that we're working on right now that are top secret, and I do see that causing us some expansion in the future, new product lines, new developments in certain areas of packaging that we've been asked to look at by some of customers,” said Craig Chrisman.

It took a couple of years to get the design right for the gift card boxes.

They turned to pop up children’s books for inspiration.

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