A new decade, a new direction
It's taken a while for me to gather my thoughts to write an update on our business, and even though it's still not perfect, I thought it was worth it to go ahead and share our news regardless.
Long story short, we have decided to close our wee business and focus more on fostering our creativity in other ways, while also allowing us more time to dedicate to raising our littles.
Fair warning, it's a bit of a read, but I promise to try to minimize the rambling.
When I describe myself as an "accidental small business owner," I truly mean just that. Starting and building this business was not my intention when I began making beeswax wraps almost 3 years ago. I simply wanted an eco-friendly alternative to plastic for my family, and happened upon this little business that you might have heard me refer to as my Passion Project.
And over the past years, this small business has given me so many opportunities to grow and learn, stretch my creative muscles, and try things I never dreamed I would ever do. It's introduced us to so many other incredible small business owners, allowed us to move to a new house, taught us about small business ownership (including dreaded taxes and incorporation), and so much more.
And so, it's with a very grateful heart that we, as a family, made the decision to close our beeswax wrap business.
For those of you interested in a more behind-the-scenes look into the reasoning behind this decision, I wanted to be completely open and transparent, and have shared more details with you below, along with a summary of what you can expect from us as we transition our business.
1. It's simply not that rare anymore.
In 2017 when I made my first beeswax food wrap, none of my family or friends had heard of them before. I was so excited to tell the world about them and to share them with anyone willing to listen.
Fortunately, this is no longer the case. There are so many people aware of the wraps now and so passionate about using them (for all the same reasons we love them ourselves). There are also so many other people and businesses making them now, that we no longer feel the need to also continue to make them.
We knew when we started this little business that we weren't going to be in it forever. As long as we felt compelled to fill this void in the Canadian marketplace, we would continue to dedicate our time and energy to it, and at this time, we simply don't feel as though there is a hole in the market to fill anymore.
2. My creative outlet (i.e. this business) no longer required my creativity.
At the beginning of this business, there was so much to figure out. From the packaging and marketing, to eventually the fabric designs, show booth set-up, and more. Everywhere I turned, I had something to design or create. Dreaming up every small detail from the "happy mail" stamp on our online order packages, to our plastic-free booth at shows was challenging and rewarding.
It was exciting. It fuelled me. And I loved every minute of it.
And now the business is just running itself. Which is a really great place for a business to be, but it's no longer filling my need for a creative outlet. And I am yearning for more. And Will (my husband) is yearning for more.
And so we're ready to explore our creativity in different ways. I also need to acknowledge that this was my Passion Project that was (somewhat) forced upon Will to also be his project. As the business exploded, I needed the help and he was more than happy to provide the support. But it's now his turn to choose what to do with his spare time and my turn to offer him my unconditional support as he has done for me.
3. Our family dynamic has changed and grown, and we feel the need to grow too.
For those of you who don't know, Will and I both have full time jobs, a 3-year-old, and now a newborn. This business was worked on in our "fringe hours" of the day. Vacation time (and at times, unpaid vacation time) was taken to accommodate show set up and staffing, which required an immense amount of preparation time leading up to each one - all done after work when our daughter went to bed.
I felt the show exhaustion a little (read: a lot) this past Christmas season. I thought it was just because I was pregnant and tired, but to be completely honest (and transparent, as promised), I am just really over shows.
It's a lot of work to put into them - between the preparations and the show time itself - and while they were a great way to sell our product, I think our family is just ready to take back our family time.
As Orson Welles said, "If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story."
And so, it's with very full and grateful hearts that we made this decision to end our story here.
I couldn't have asked for a better experience running a small business than the one we have had. I am proud of the product we made, the causes we've supported (i.e. 1 Percent for the Planet), and the example we've set for our children - that if you have a passion and a dream, you can really do whatever you put your mind to.
We want to take this opportunity to thank everyone from the very bottom of our hearts for supporting us on this incredible adventure. It really does take a village to run a small handmade business, and we have found our village in every single customer who has supported us and our dream for a future with no more plastic waste.
So what now?
As we shut down our operations and figure out what is next for our family creatively, here is what's going to happen:
- We will no longer be participating in any trade shows or craft markets.
- We will be shutting down our online shop on January 17, 2020. (If you need to stock up on wraps before then, feel free to place your order. We will be offering everything at a discounted price to clear out of our stock.)
- We will continue to provide stock to our wholesalers as they request more wraps. We still really enjoy making the wraps and love the relationships we've created with our retail partners, so until further notice, we will still be stocking them as long as they want them.
- After January 17th, our website will look a little different, with a focus returning back to the blog.
Thank you again for supporting our small handmade business. I hope you loved the wraps and straws just as much as we did.
Please don't hesitate to reach out on social media or through our contact form on the website if you have any questions, comments, or crafty projects you'd like to recommend we try with all this free time we will now have. In the meantime, I am off to enjoy some well-deserved family time.
- Sarah xo