You can buy wax cloths on our shelves for some time now, they are a great alternative to aluminum foil or plastic foil. But only few of us know the background story, which is actually very interesting. We drank virtual coffee with Irena Prezelj, who makes these amazing FOOD WRAPS and is a driving force behind the BeeZeeB brand.
Irena hello, you have created a sustainable product that solves the problem of disposable plastic foil and aluminum foil. Please tell us how the idea for FOOD WRAP start?
I got the idea for FOOD WRAP while browsing the internet. I have been making Christmas presents for the whole family and friends for several years now and last year I had the intention of sewing nets for fruit and vegetables. I looked at ZERO WASTE posts and also came across instructions for making wax cloths that replace plastic and aluminum foil. The idea seemed immediately great to me. I had all the necessary supplies at home and when the New Year’s hustle settled down, I started making the first cloths. I distributed them to my friends and we started to use them enthusiastically. Since I had been searching for an idea for how to refocus my career for a long time, it didn’t take long from making the first cloths, to ending my original business activity.
What did you do before FOOD WRAP?
I had a candle making business before. The main part of our production were grave candles. Candle business pays an environmental contribution for every candle sold, but the fact that I place a product that unnecessarily pollutes the environment has put a greater burden on me every year. Waxed cloths are a complete opposite of the previous activity and it is my pleasure to do something good for the environment with every cloth sold.
“I had a candle making business before. The fact that I am placing a product on the market that unnecessarily pollutes the environment has made me more burdened each year.”
Are you planning any more environmentally friendly products in the future?
FOOD WRAP is likely to be joined by FOOD POCKET in the next year. It will be a waxed bag for storing food or something else. Otherwise, all the food can be wrapped in waxed cloths, which are also much easier to clean, but when you go to the market, it is practical to put your salad or other vegetables in a personal waxed bag.
“If you pronounce the name of our new BeeZeeB brand phonetically, it means “working bee” in English. This is definitely me this year.”
How did you spend your summer? Probably just working?
This year has brought a lot of changes to my life and that is why summer has been a really working one. I completely shut down my old business. This was a very big step for me and this year we did not have time for vacation. It turns out that the name of the new brand, which suggests beeswax, which is the main ingredient in waxed cloths, was well chosen. If you pronounce the name of our new BeeZeeB brand phonetically, it means “working bee” in English. This is definitely me this year.
Are you looking forward to fall and all the colors it brings to us? You announce new motives for FOOD WRAP, can you tell us more about it?
Autumn is one of my favorite parts of the year. Nature is rich in the colors and fruits of the seeds we sown in the spring. Everything is slowly calming down. This is not the case with BeeZeeB, as a new collection is in the works, which will be on the shelves of the IKA Store immediately in early October. The cloths are folded into four new combinations. They will bring autumn and a touch of winter, something for romantics and those who like freshness. Also new are the individually packaged 33 cm x 33 cm SINGLE WRAP cloths.
Do you also take care of the environment and use reusable products and make sure you don’t produce too much waste and how?
At home I have been gradually introducing various, environmentally friendly, waste reduction measures for many years. I believe in the individual responsibility of each individual, and even when we talk about a global problem such as pollution, everyone has to swipe before their doorstep. We have only been buying fruit and vegetables from a farmer for a few years now, we no longer buy yogurt in plastic, but we take glass pots to a nearby farm where they make us yoghurt, we replaced paper towels with bamboo, which I can wash …
Do waxed cloths last long?
I made the cloths I have at home and started using them in February. As I repeatedly roll them, they are still like new. I place the cloth between two baking sheets and rub with a roller. This should be intense rubbing. The wax on the cloth warms up, reattaches, and becomes more malleable. I recommend this to all users so the life of the cloths will be very long.
“The cloths are folded into four new combinations. They will bring autumn and a touch of winter, something for romantics and those who like freshness. Individually packed wipes are also new.”
What do you wrap in your FOOD WRAP at home, and which is your favourite motive?
We have quite a stock of wraps at home and we pack everything in them. Bread, cheese, salad, half an onion, lemon or avocado, peppers, carrots … I also wrap a little lunch for work in a cloth. When we wait for guests, I place the dishes on the table in bowls covered with cloths so that the snacks do not dry out before the guests arrive. My favorite is the green cloth that is part of the Lemon collection.
What gives you motivation in life?
I like to create beautiful things. However, if my product is useful at the same time, this is my motivation for the future.
At the end I would like to ask you how you evaluate us, our cooperation, communication and everything. Are you satisfied with us, our vision and presentation of your products? Would you change something?
It is a great pleasure and pride to work with the IKA Store. Before I started making cloths, I browsed the store several times and admired all the beautiful products. I appreciate your professionalism and friendliness. Through you, I also get to know new marketing techniques such as Instagram and learn daily.
Spring or fall? … Spring
Sea or mountains? … The sea
Favorite vegetables? … Cabbage, I make it often, in a thousand and one way, is healthy and inexpensive
Black or white? … White
What could we not live without? … Without swimming, I love swimming
Irena, thank you so much for taking the time to answer the questions. Your entrepreneurial journey is really interesting and we are glad that we can work with you, you are an inspiration to many!