Interview With Julie Rickaby From Bumble Wrap

Interview With Juile Rickaby From Bumble Wrap.

Having studied Furniture Making, which is a dying trade requiring rare skills, it is important to me that my products are handmade in the UK. I feel strongly about supporting other small businesses and I feel now more than ever we need to showcase the talents of other crafts people.When I was creating Willow Leaf Gifts I always knew that it would never just be wooden items. I wanted to diversify and give my customers a range of hand selected beautiful quality products.

One of my ‘go to’ events is the Spring and Autumn Fair which, prior to Covid 19 was held at the NEC in Birmingham. It is quite a vast show but it allows both mainstream home and garden suppliers and much smaller artisan craft makers to exhibit their items alongside each other. I was searching for something that would sit well next to my handmade chopping and serving boards and by chance stumbled across ‘Bumble Wrap’. I was immediately intrigued by the product, the beautiful patterns on the fabric and its very tactile properties. It is also massively eco -friendly  as it replaces the need to use plastic wrap and cling film - something I am particularly keen to embrace.  I spoke at length to the owner and producer of Bumble Wrap - Julie Rickarby and as we chatted I soon knew that this product would fit perfectly in my product range. 

Since February 2020 I have stocked a range of ‘Bumble wrap’ and my customers have loved them. All the feedback I have received has been so positive and once  a customer has used Bumble Warp they rarely go back to cling film or the old  plastic wrapping. Julie and myself have  a great relationship and she has very kindly agreed to do an interview for my blog. I hope you enjoy reading it below:

Tia: How did you come up with the idea/concept of your business?

Julie: What feels like ages ago now, we were looking at ways to reduce plastic in our lives generally. I remember doing a Tesco shop and leaving, having spent about £11 - there were so few products that we would usually buy available without plastic. So the search was on. The only condition from my son was that he could keep his lego!

Changes we made and loved, included getting milk delivered in glass bottles, ordering our fruit and veg from a local supplier , all plastic free or in biodegradable packaging.

Shampoo bars were more difficult, my sister, Kirsty loved them but my longer hair struggled. The option to use refills was available at Alligator in York, Bishey Weigh and the Little Green Weigh.

I then came across wax wraps being made in New Zealand. It was a revelation. So easy to make and so effective but what I hadn't realised is how fresh they kept the food.  


Tia:How did you learn to make bumble wrap ? 

Julie: At first I used beeswax and had some available because my son and I had spent a weekend working with cappings that a local beekeeper gave us. Over time the mix has evolved to incorporate tree resin and jojoba oil.

Tia: what makes Bumble Wrap unique?  

 Julie: Primarily it's the mix that we use which keeps the wraps working well. Our customers love the designs that we choose and we add to the designs on a regular basis.he beeswax has anti-bacterial properties and the jojoba oil has anti-fungal properties giving a food wrap which is breathable, washable, compostable and very importantly it looks pretty. Above all, our Bumble Wraps are easy to use and can safely wrap almost any food items in your kitchen

Tia:  what is the best thing and worst thing about running your business ? 

Julie: Best thing is having the freedom to make decisions and organise your time. It has been a huge learning curve the past 2 years and covid has presented a real challenge. But we are getting on with it!

The worst is the lack of time.  People said to me that it must be great running your own business setting your own hours. And it is but I found that I was working 15hour days and it wasn't until lockdown that we slowed down.

I hope this gives you a bit of insight into bumble wrap and how it is made. Many thanks to Julie Rickaby for doing this interview with me. 


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