When we picture the type of entrepreneur who is steering our world towards a more sustainable future, we picture Nature Bee Beeswax Wraps ’ Katie Gamble. Katie’s company provides a “simple, natural, and beautiful alternative to plastic wrap” in the form of beeswax-embedded food wraps. Without a doubt, it’s a product whose time has come.
Like many thriving businesses, Nature Bee started out in a basement. In Katie’s case, it was her parents’ basement in Vancouver Island, BC. She was a Bachelor of Commerce student at the University of Victoria, and Nature Bee was her final project. Her goal was to launch a product that would enable her to take a stand against the destructive year-over-year production of single-use plastics.
The challenges came early—but they were the challenges that walk hand in hand with success. “As I was establishing the company, I ran into trouble keeping up with demand. And I didn’t know what the right moves were. Like what markets I should expand into.”
Katie soon learned that “honing in on people who are just eco-friendly” wasn’t her best course of action. She spent four to five months experimenting with social media advertising before she gained the traction she was seeking.
“‘Eco-friendly’ is too niche, and besides, everybody can use this product. I found that by creating education-focused content, I gained customers. Things like videos about how to wrap food in beeswax wraps. Our product definitely needs to be paired with education; so many people aren’t aware of what it is.”
Of course, connecting with the right sustainable suppliers was important for the identity and function of the new company. In particular, finding a local—like, five-minutes-away type local—beeswax source was a major coup. That source is Country Bee Honey Farms, a producer that focuses on helping the bee population to grow.
“Country Bee will be our beeswax supplier for as long as we’re in business, I hope. They really care for their bees. And it was so important for me to be able to visit the farm and see what they do, and know that it aligns with our mission.”
Another sustainability-oriented supplier that Katie connected with after that first flush of growth was, of course, Great Little Box Company/Ideon Packaging (GLBC). “As soon as I knew we had to upgrade our packaging, I reached out, and everything we’ve done together since has been a great success.”
The folding cartons and corrugated packaging that GLBC created with Katie “helped us establish a level of professionalism. It helped our products to become recognizable. And it’s all been very seamless and affordable.”
When Katie considers what’s essential to communicate about her business, she doesn’t hesitate to answer: “Our values—Sustainability, Education, Community, and Impact—are key to what we do. From the start, we built ‘giving back’ into the business.”
Nature Bee’s customers and the community of Saanichton feel the ripple effect of those values. From Katie’s efforts to educate consumers about alternatives to single-use plastic, to charity initiatives like Helping Hands for Liam, Nature Bee is driving positive impacts.
Another group feeling the benefits of this forward-looking business are the women who work for Nature Bee. As it happens, every single team member is a woman. And Katie didn’t even plan it that way.
“All the people that aligned with us happened to be women. I do feel so empowered and supported by working with women. We’ve built a non-hierarchical family culture that’s so special.”
As one of the clients to share our Sustainability values with us, Nature Bee is a total inspiration. We’re so proud to be helping them fulfill their mission—after all, that’s how we fulfill ours.