Meet The Maker: Katie Gamble of Nature Bee
Everyone, meet Katie Gamble. What started as a university passion project in 2018, quickly developed into a sustainable, eco-friendly alternative to single use plastics with Nature Bee, which focuses on eliminating the need to keep food in things like plastic wraps, plastic bags, tinfoil, and other single use materials. Katie’s innovation has gotten her noticed by the likes of Canadian TV personality Jillian Harris, which has even led to her being featured in Jillian’s highly sought after, spring 2022 Jilly box. We sat down (virtually) with the queen bee herself to get the inside scoop on the success, the trials of creating Nature Bee Clean, a day in her life, and everything else in between.
Katie! Thanks so much for chatting with us – I think everyone is super curious to know just how exactly Nature came to fruition. What made you decide to choose food wraps over other sustainable alternatives?
Nature Bee was my final project while finishing up school for the Gustavson School of Business and UVIC! I was inspired by the fact that one small change has a major impact and knew that reducing plastic waste would be a simple alternative that people could easily try out!
Your success is amazing, and we can imagine that getting Nature Bee to where it is now has not come without some roadblocks and hiccups! What were some of the hurdles that you had to overcome while starting Nature Bee?
Thank you! I would say that one of the biggest changes was growing from my parents basement to an actual facility, and then finding and hiring the right staff. Something was also challenging was of course, Covid. We had to adjust our markets and advertising strategy from being previously in store to then online.
Something that we admire about Nature Bee is how committed you are to giving back to your community. What’s one of the coolest ways you have been able to do that?
We LOVE our community and love connecting with them in fun and niche ways. We have been able to support The Mustard Seed, Mamas for Mamas, A Youth at BC Children’s Hospital and their families, as well as Lalmba Canada and Surf Rider!
We can only imagine how many unique uses there are for these wraps, what’s something that they can be used for that people might not know about?
Yes! One of my favourite unique uses for these wraps that many people might not think of is actually opening jars. The grip SO well around the jar and pop them open! I personally love using them for snack packs!
You now have a full team of staff and fulfilment centre for your products, what does a typical day look like for you now when going to work?
Every day is so different at Nature Bee which is one of the things I love. I feel as though my position has really changed and morphed into managing staff more than anything. Apart from the daily business operations and growth it's making sure everything is running smoothly.
I typically start work between 7-8am at the office. I love getting to my emails before everyone else shows up. Then I check in with staff and say hello before the girls start with questions they might have. Typically I spend a portion of the day operating the waxing machine to ensure we have enough stock moving through. Answering emails about business inquiries, ordering supplies, reviewing branding improvements, checking emails and answering any other questions the girls have. I finish up between 4-5pm!
Nature Bee is a huge part of your life, so when you aren’t working on exciting new things, how do you like to spend a day out of the office?
I love to spend time outside! I am always around my family ( my sister has a 1.5 year old), walking the dog, chatting business with my parents, going to the gym, socializing with friends and of course I play slow-pitch a few times a week!
What’s your personal favourite product you have created?
It will always be our beeswax wraps because they have got us to where we are!! I really am proud of our dishcloth expansion and now with Nature Bee Clean I am so excited to show everyone our new products we have arriving!!
What is your biggest goal for Nature Bee this year?
One of our biggest goals in the next year is to grow our brand name by getting a larger contract with a chain store so we can make our product more accessible!! We really believe that our product makes a big impact so if we can make it more accessible our impact grows. Another huge goal is to find a bigger collaboration for our products and donate back to a charity!!
Okay, we’re done with the lightning round questions, but that was fun. Last one – what do you anticipate is next on the horizon for Nature Bee, and what can customers expect to see in terms of new products and exciting sustainability initiatives?
There are so many new things on the rise. We have lots of new inventions for Nature Bee Clean that will be arriving in the next year !! STAY TUNED
Thanks Katie! You can get your hands on your own sustainable cloth and plastic alternatives by visiting https://www.naturebeewraps.ca, and keep up with their exciting sustainability initiatives on their Instagram, @naturebeewraps. Want to see more meet the maker blog posts? Let us know in the comments below!