Business Name: Leabee Wraps Website: www.leabee.ca Established: 2018
Can you please fully explain your business or product line?
Beeswax Food wraps are an Earth-friendly alternative to plastic wrap. They are made with 100% organic cotton as the base. I melt down Manitoba beeswax, add in tree resin and jojoba oil and infuse this mixture into the fabric with a heat process.
With the local maker community continuing to grow, what makes you stand out from the rest?
Leabee Wraps are made Locally with Local ingredients. Now, more than ever, it is important to support local businesses. With that being said. Leabee Wraps are also made with lovely designs, and a reliable recipe that will not only make food storage more beautiful but also, all your produce will stay fresh longer. Even that half avocado, when wrapped in a Leabee Wrap, will be green the next day!
What made you realize that you had a product that could be shared with others?
In an effort to live more sustainably and more in line with my values of being environmentally conscious, I was searching for an alternative to plastic wrap. I stumbled upon beeswax food wraps at a health food store and gave them a try. They were fantastic! So, I decided to make it a DIY project. My kids and I decided to make some beeswax food wraps for ourselves, but also as gifts for our friends and family.
They were so well received that it wasn’t long before friends of friends were asking us to make some beeswax wraps for them. We decided that perhaps there were more people like us out there, trying to reduce their impact on the environment. So we started a company together called Leabee Wraps. The first three letters of the name are an acronym, one letter for each of my kids; Leah, Emily, & Aaron, with “Bee” for the Manitoba Beeswax in each wrap.
I have been so pleased to see how well-received our Beeswax Wraps have been, especially in Manitoba. It feels amazing to be putting something out into the world that is making it a better place.
What has been your biggest success as a maker? Biggest struggle you’ve overcome?
I have been a stay at home (and homeschooling) mother for the past 17 years. Starting and growing this business has allowed me to develop and grow skills that I didn’t realize I was capable of developing. I am so thankful for this journey as it has shown me I am far more capable than I previously believed.
I now have my products in over 60 retail locations, and provide employment for other women in the area, as well as a full-time job for myself. I have done this all while holding to my core values, and that is a powerfully positive feeling.
One of the biggest challenges at the beginning was bravery. Simply going to a local store and asking if they would be willing to sell my products took a bit of courage.
The other challenge is to make sure I was at a good price point with my product. Oftentimes, new business owners forget to factor their time into their costs. The costs of the materials plus your time plus a reasonable margin for profit is what you should charge, not just “what will people pay for this?” Knowing how to price your products is a very challenging process.
Any advice that you would tell someone hoping to start up their own business or product line?
My advice would be to do something you love. Also, be brave! Make that call, have that conversation, put yourself out there.
I would also suggest that when pricing your products, to make sure to account for your time, you are worth being paid for your time, not just your materials.
Don’t be afraid to ask for advice from people who are further down the road than you or have more expertise in areas where you struggle. Often new business owners will start a business because they are passionate about the thing they are creating. However, business ownership comes with a lot more responsibilities and a wide range of tasks. Don’t be afraid to ask for or to hire help where needed…..you may be a wonderful painter, but a terrible bookkeeper for example. There are people out there who enjoy the parts you are not great at, as long as your business can afford it, let them help you so you can be free to be creative.
Please share any upcoming events (physical events, virtual sales, etc.) that you think Winnipeggers would be interested in!
Although we did enjoy a wonderful show with Third+Bird in October, there are no other physical events on our calendar for this year. However, you can purchase your Leabee Wraps from our online store leabee.ca.