Fed up of using cling film? We talk to the founders of this company making a reusable plastic-free alternative.

Want to banish single-use plastic cling film from your life? Enterprising entrepreneurs Carly Catalano and Fran Cusden have set up a site to help you on your planet friendly mission. Carly and Fran make reusable, biodegradable Beeswax wraps, the eco-friendly alternative to cling film and tinfoil. Their form of natural packaging is made from 100% cotton, organic jojoba oil, pine resin and local beeswax in the Cotswolds. Here, Carly discusses the challenges of selling online a niche product that takes time to make.

I came up with the idea when… I was living in Australia quite a few years back. A friend of mine had been experimenting with beeswax and cloth making lampshades and eventually just using them as food preservers. A year on from that when I had moved to the UK I was getting really sick of using cling film. I was even washing it and trying to re-use it. That, of course, doesn’t work as cling film only gets its static when you first pull it from the box. I then remembered about beeswax wraps when walking through the Stroud market. There are many local beekeepers around here who sell their honey and small blocks of beeswax. Fran and I thought we would buy some and see how we got on with making some waxed wraps. From there it turned into many hours of research and development to create the product it is today.

The biggest challenge is… trying to keep up with the demand of a niche product that takes time to be made. We are in a world where everything is supposed to happen instantly. We hand make the wraps to a high quality and I think some people don’t realise that it is a slow process. I also think it can be challenging making sure that we have enough stock to create the product. As we get busier, the more materials we need to have on hand to carry out all our orders.

The average day is spent… either in the workshop making wraps or sitting behind a computer doing admin and marketing.

The team consists of... 11 lovely, local people and Fran and I.

My favourite quote is… “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, don’t settle.”

I am where I am today because of… the support of my family, friends and my loving husband.

I am who I am because of... all the people who have supported, laughed, cried, travelled, played music with, danced and loved me unconditionally.

The best advice I've been given... It is to believe in yourself and your abilities. You can do whatever you set your mind too.

In five years I’d like to be… able to find a life and work balance so I can spend more time with my family.

The thing no one ever tells you about running your own business online... There is a lot of stuff that goes on behind the scenes that the customers don’t see. The business is busier than the small screen on the computer. There is a lot of work and dedication that makes an online business a success and constant, ongoing work to make sure your website is seen.

The websites I most frequently use are... I think the only thing when I am not doing work on my computer is watching Netflix. I don’t often have time to browse the web.

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Click&Boat: Fancy a holiday on the water? You need to know about the leading platform that links boat owners to wannabe sailors.

April 2019