15 July 2019

Frances and her washable wipes

Over on my Instagram pages recently, I created a photo gallery for an online sewing bee. It never fails to amaze me how talented and creative our makers are and of course, photos of wonderful creations came rolling in.

The one that stood out for me was Fran's homemade facial wipes. Fran had crocheted round cotton, washable wipes and packaged them in a small glass preserving jar.  Sometimes I think the thing that elevates a particular product is its packaging.  The preserving jar was a wise move because it presented the wipes in a recyclable container, you could clearly see the product and it looked sweet - something you'd love to have on your dressing table or in the bathroom.

I've known Fran for a while and she often pops up in the craft bees we have online. It was no surprise to know she started her own blog, FrancesLeeStudio, where she writes about producing wonderful items like household linens, dresses and tops.

This is one of Fran's gift box products.

"I started my blog FrancesLeeStudio mainly because my daughters wanted me to become familiar with using the internet of which I knew nothing. I used my own name as I wasn’t clever enough to think of something ‘catchy!’ Eventually the blog became a way to document my sewing, knitting, craft and homemaking journey and I became involved with the online sewing community which has opened up a whole new exciting and supportive world," Frances said.

Recently, Frances was accepted as a supplier of her facial wipes at her local refill shop, Triskle Bodycrafts, which sells a range of natural personal and home care products. They stock refills of shampoo, hair conditioner, body lotions and home cleaners, all with a distinct focus on sustainability, no waste and good value.  No doubt Fran will add to her range. I love seeing creative people making all manner of things that they can sell at markets, shops and online.

The number of refill shops, specialising in natural and ethically sourced products for home and body care, has been growing fast these past few years.  I've been going to one of the oldest in Queensland for the past 20 years, it's called Simply Good, located in Morayfield. They also have another store in Alderley.  Simply Good stocks only food items such as bread flour, nuts, grains, legumes, seeds, spices, tea and coffee. But if you look around you'll also find stores with shampoos, body and hand wash, soaps and household cleaners, as well as a wide range of organic wholefoods.  It's certainly improved a lot in recent years and it makes working in our kitchens easier when we have access to an wide range of nourishing ingredients.

Look around your local area and see what's available now.  If you have none of these stores nearby, there are a lot of them online. Just Google what you need, check the prices and you may be able to get exactly what you want without leaving your home, although I much prefer supporting my local shops.

If you're like me and have been using these kinds of stores for a while, do you have any outstanding independent shops that you recommend?  I'd love to read about it in the comments.
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