Vendor Spotlight: Wellie and Co.
Here’s another spotlight blog post of our amazing vendor, Wellie and Co. Our marketing director, Jennifer Lyon, sent Lisa Schneider, Wellie and Co founder, a few questions about the work she does. Here are her responses!
Can you tell me a bit about your business?
Wellie & Co. was born while sharing lunch with a dear friend in the spring of 2017. I've always had a keen interest in the environment and have clear memories of riding my scooter around the neighborhood, picking up litter when I was a kid. While lamenting the state of our increasingly toxic and polluted world that fateful day, my friend suggested we stop moaning and start making a difference. Several google searches and many trial batches later, we had developed our own version of beeswax wraps. Friends and family loved our Wellies, so we launched them on Etsy a short time later. Buoyed by our success, and tired of throwing out plastic produce bags, I ran back to the R&D lab (my kitchen!), dug out my sewing machine and Wellie bags were born in time for the Waterloo Region Etsy Holiday market in November 2017. When I sold out of all wraps and bags before the end of that very fun and exciting day, I knew it was time introduce Wellies to the world outside of Waterloo Region. The year 2018 was a very successful one for Wellie & Co. I became the sole owner of my Wellie business and attended 8 handmade markets.
What products do you currently produce and how are they different?
I produce and sell beeswax wrap and bag products, affectionately called Wellies. They are an alternative to plastic wrap and zip lock bags and are used primarily for food storage and lunch bag items. I use only organic cotton, organic jojoba oil, local beeswax and pine resin. Each Wellie is made by hand in the kitchen of my home.
Wellies set themselves apart in three significant ways:
1. The ingredients I use are organic or locally sourced where possible.
2. My wraps are quite pliable due to the fine quality of the cotton used.
3. Most beeswax suppliers offer only wraps. I offer 4 different size bags as well:
+ snack (great to pack snacks like almonds or cheese cubes in lunch bags)
+ sandwich (ideal for packing sandwiches or bagels or even storing mushrooms and other small bunches of produce in the fridge.)
+ medium (perfect for storing medium size items like 1/2 a small cabbage, washed greens, celery sticks, carrots, etc)
+ large (ideal for keeping large produce items like salad greens, kale, broccoli or herbs fresh in your refrigerator)
What kind of materials are used to make your products?
Unbleached organic cotton sheeting - sourced through a company called Simplifi Fabric, a small family owned company located in Iroquois, Ontario that carries only organic fabrics
Jjojoba oil - organic, cold-pressed and unrefined. Country of origin is Isreal
Beeswax - purchased from a retired couple in Alma, who run BeeHaven Apiaries.
Pine resin - from a company in Georgia, Atlanta who use sustainable, green forest practices and are attempting to reinvigorate the turpentine industry in the US while reducing imports from China.
How Many People Involved in Production?
Just me. Occasionally my friend helps me with some of the sewing but 95% of the work is done by me.