While it was a slow start, it wasn’t long before Michelle was getting repeat customers, her wraps being sent all over the world.
ANZ customer story
Standing in a market on a cold, wet Christchurch day isn’t most people’s idea of fun. But they’re not Michelle Horn. Her passion for sharing her handmade beeswax wraps sees her out selling her wares in rain, wind, sun and sometimes a combination of all three.
Michelle had dabbled in producing her own honey for a few years and was selling it at markets around the region when she stumbled across something entirely new.
"I was set up next to a stall selling bee products and they had these wraps which I had never seen before. I was fascinated by them and thought they could be a good thing to do with the beeswax that comes off my hives," says Michelle.
What followed was months of trial and error as Michelle, a self-confessed perfectionist, tried different recipes and measurements and spent a fair amount of time ‘googling’. She finally ended up with a wrap she was ready to take public. The beeswax wraps are created in Michelle’s home kitchen in what is a painstaking labour of love. The colourful, 100% cotton fabric is cut out to a pattern, before being brushed with a mix of pine gum, beeswax and coconut oil. It is then baked in the oven for a few minutes each side. But to make the cut for sale, it has to be perfect.
"If I am not 150% happy with it then I don’t want them to be out there. I’ve had times where I’ve done a wrap so many times it’s ridiculous," laughs Michelle.
But taking the wraps out of her home and putting them up for sale was a different thing all together.
"The first time I took them to market I was so nervous. I knew it was a good product, but the biggest challenge was setting up at the market and thinking ‘is anyone going to buy my products?’"
While it was a slow start, it wasn’t long before Michelle was getting repeat customers, her wraps being sent all over the world. And she quickly went from selling just a couple of wraps a day, to selling up to 20 packs at a single market in the weeks leading up to Christmas last year.
The growing sales have been helped along by ANZ.
"Getting the bank on board and using FastPaydisclaimer has definitely made a difference. There would have been sales I would have missed out on without it."
Michelle is determined to keep the prices of her wraps down – she wants everyone to be able to afford her wraps and enjoy the benefits of going plastic free. But she admits, seeing her wraps for sale more broadly would be the icing on the cake.
"For me it isn’t about the money, but it would be great to see my wraps in gift shops all over the world and I could think, I made that."
And while Michelle is able to keep on top of the work load now, it might not be for long.
"It’s definitely grown over the past year and now I have got people recognizing me and coming back so it can only get bigger. It would be lovely to see the business grow so I can work in it full time or have someone to help with it," Michelle says.
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