Creating a business that thrives on sustainability and eco-friendly living, Leonie Prater of Humblee Eco hopes to provide her customers with the opportunity to use handmade products that not only look beautiful, but also feel beautiful – not just for you, but also for the environment. Offering a range of reusable Beeswax and Vegan wraps, biodegradable coconut bowls, and durable kitchen essentials, Humblee Eco stays true to its namesake and promotes a sense of humble living through their products.
In anticipation of their appearance at the upcoming Gathered SA Markets next weekend (March 30 + 31), I was fortunate enough to conduct an interview with Leonie via Jenna O’Dell (owner of Gathered SA) – have a read of our exchange below:
Tema: Who are the faces behind Humblee Eco?
Leonie: It’s mainly just me, but my husband does help me out quite a lot.
Tema: Can you please tell us a bit about yourself, Leonie?
Leonie: I am a bit of a greenie. I grew up in rural NZ & have been living here in Adelaide since 2010. I am still working as well as running Humblee Eco.
Tema: How long have you been running Humblee Eco?
Leonie: I started researching & experimenting with the beeswax wraps in February 2018 & after many trials & a lot of errors, I finally came up with my own unique mix. I also started working on a formula for the Vegan wraps & finally launched Humblee Eco in November 2018.
Tema: What would you say about Humblee Eco to someone who may not have heard of you before?
Leonie: It is a small eco business that specializes in making & selling reusable wax wraps that people can use to reduce the amount of cling wrap, which is ending up in landfill & the ocean. We are playing a small part, but it is a part & from small things, big things grow.
Tema: What inspires you to create your beautiful custom designs of reusable wraps? What does the creative process look like?
Leonie: I spend a long time choosing fabrics, because it is important to me to put fabrics together that are visually appealing first & that will take up my mix well & therefore perform well.
Tema: How long does it take you to create your products, on average?
Leonie: It does take a long time, from cutting to labelling, but, if I did just one starter pack, it would take about an hour.
Tema: Do you have a physical shopfront? If not, where are your products stocked at present?
Leonie: Not at the moment, I don’t have a Bricks & Mortar shop. However, I primarily operate my business through my Facebook online store, which is currently being updated to an actual website, from where customers will be able to purchase more easily. I currently have 1 stockist in Hahndorf & enquiries from others that are interested in my wraps.
Tema: What are some products that are popular among your customers?
Leonie: My beeswax starter packs are the most popular. I also sell some coconut dish brushes which are quite popular and currently gaining interest are the lovely coconut bowls.
Tema: How did you get involved with Gathered SA?
Leonie: I had investigated the Gathered Design Market, as it looked to be the ideal venue for my products, but I had not gone further as I didn’t think I would be able to logistically do it. However, I was approached by the organizer (Jenna) & I thought it would be a great opportunity, so I thought ‘just do it’ & here I am, doing it!
Tema: What do you hope for your customers to experience, when they purchase from Humblee Eco?
Leonie: I hope they go away feeling really happy with their purchase & inspired that they are doing something positive about reducing their plastic usage.
Tema: How have you found the journey of your business so far?
Leonie: It’s been very rewarding and challenging at the same time.
Tema: What has been rewarding about being a small scale business in SA?
Leonie: Being in control of the whole process & having that human contact with customers.
Tema: What has been challenging about being a small scale business in SA?
Leonie: Having access to ingredients is for me a challenge as apart from the Beeswax, which is sourced locally, I have to get them interstate, which adds to the overall cost of the end product.
Tema: What do you think helps your business stand out from the rest?
Leonie: I would like to think that through Humblee Eco, we can provide our customers with an attractive quality product at a reasonable price. Our customers are important to us, so if we can accommodate their needs, we will try to do so.
Tema: Why should people support your business Humblee Eco?
Leonie: Our wraps are handmade here in SA, they are durable & most importantly, will work well for them.
Tema: Is there anything else that you’d like our readers and your customers to know about Humblee Eco?
Leonie: Our vegan wraps are made with the same care as our beeswax wraps. We use various waxes sourced from plants and have created our own mix, which I am constantly tweaking, because I am a perfectionist who wants to provide her customers with the very best product.
Interview conducted by Fatema Sitabkhan
Photos supplied by Leonie Prater // Humblee Eco // Reyes Marketing
With thanks to Jenna O’Dell from Gathered SA