A small shop feature
By Laura Ballentine
Otter Cottage is a brand new venture for me, but it’s something I totally believe in and would love to peruse. Throughout 2018 I became much more aware of how many single use plastics, and throw away items we had invited into our lives without a second thought, how it’s become so normal to the vast majority of us that making a change can feel quite daunting. I looked at the swaps we had made, and realised that I would like to be that person that helps educate, inspire and share some ways of being more mindful in our approach to plastic.
It started off with our local communities annual art exhibition, I created a very simple poster showing rubbish I had found on the shore of our island home, and presented viable, easy swaps. I had such lovely feedback from people, people I wasn’t convinced would be particularly interested in my ‘hippy’ ways! So Otter Cottage began, I started with #beeswax wraps which have gone down a storm. At the first craft fair I did I nearly sold out! I was blown away with the interest, and enjoyed every minute of sharing ideas and products with people.
The benefits of using beeswax wraps are in their many, they are a completely chemical free and planet friendly alternative to clingfilm, and can be used to keep food fresh, hold snacks and much more. We have been waxing cloth since the time of the Pharaoh’s in Ancient Egypt, the combination of cotton and beeswax provides a breathable, easy to mould wrap and they can be reuse and refreshed in the home.
In our home we use beeswax wraps for
• Wrapping half fruit and vegetables
• Folding into pockets for holding snacks
• Picnic food wrapping
• Soap while travelling
• Jar tops
• Bowl covers
• Container liners
In 2019 I am going to really invest myself into Otter Cottage, I’m going to continue to make and sell re-usable products ranging from beeswax wraps, re-usable wipes through to repurposed candles. I’m hoping to look into selling in a few local shops, and enrolling in a few more craft fairs, but I’m also going to start selling online, start a blog, and look into expanding my product range too.
I can’t tell you it’s easy, I’m a stay at home mum to my 2 year old son, we’re busy, we’ve got lots to juggle and time is precious. I have to work in the evenings once my son goes to bed, but I’m keen to be part of the revolution that changes the way the next generation thinks about single use products. It’s not about banishing plastic from out home, it’s about using everything to its full advantage and embracing changes for the better.
At the moment you can see my products on my Instagram page @otter_cottage_crafts, but watch this space for what 2019 will bring!