We started out really, really small. I had no idea what I was doing. (I'm not sure I do even now). But we learnt really really fast, that people are really really sick and tired of waste. Reusables are the way of the future, and the future has arrived.
Years ago I made about 80 reusable gift bags out of Christmas fabric because I was sick and tired of the mess on Christmas morning. I was sick of spending hours wrapping gifts, only for the wrapping to be pulled off in half a nanosecond and chucked in a big pile. That pile was often dumped in the recycling bin with no thought of sorting out the unrecyclable papers, or removing the sellotape. Who has time for that on Christmas Day anyway?
I was also sick of being the mum of 5 who did all the shopping, cleaned the house so that all the relatives could come to our place for festivities, put up all the decorations, made the three-foot gingerbread house (not kidding), planned the meals, shopped for the meals etc etc ad nauseum. I was so busy prepping the turkey and getting the pav in the oven on Christmas Eve that the thought of three hours of wrapping made me physically wince. Sound familiar? Some years I am more anal than others (did I just use that word? Yes, I did. Moving on). But I want Christmas to be perfect as a cosmic way of making up for all the crap we go through during the year. I know I'm not alone. Mums are mums the world over... we love our families and we want Christmas to be perfect but why does it have to be so stressful?
Reusable Christmas bags saved me. They made wrapping an activity that went from 3-4 hours, to 10-15 minutes. And there was no mess!!!!!!!!! Can I say it again for people in the back seats. "THERE WAS NO MESS". And the icing on the cake was that my bags looked pretty.
Bags took away the stress, they took away the rubbish and they looked gorgeous. I seriously wondered why the whole world was not doing this already.
So armed with good intentions and a sewing machine, I took my bags to the Wānaka Sunday market on Labour weekend 2020. The rest is history.
Our website went live that day and within 12 hours I had sold out all of my initial stock. Two weeks later, we had gone viral on Facebook and I hired 12 women to sew like the wind for seven weeks solid. Our post on the Chooice page (the largest FB group in NZ) was the most liked, commented and shared post in history. We were getting orders from Australia, Canada, Singapore, Norway, the UK and the Pacific. Reusable Christmas bags became a 'thing'.
So we are growing... we decided to Go Big and print our own fabric so that our bags will be unique and unrivalled in beauty. We are also really happy to be producing NZ-made reusable gift tags, reusable tissue paper (hint, it's not tissue, or paper) and the ultimate Christmas tradition, reusable crackers that actually crack open! We've named them Re-Crackers and we predict they will be a game changer.