24-year-old Worthing entrepreneur sets up online sustainable homewares business during the lockdown
A 24-year-old entrepreneur from Worthing has used the coronavirus lockdown to set up an eco-conscious homewares business.
Rhianne Jacklin was furloughed from her job at a local aviation business last March and was then made redundant in October – but like others during the pandemic, she set her mind to building a business of her own.
And after many hours working in her garden shed-turned start-up studio which is powered by 100 per cent renewable energy, she launched The Forager’s Cottage, an online retail business that reconnects customers to the natural world around them.
She said: “I got caught up in the home-baking trend like everyone else, but really struggled to keep loaves fresh for long enough to make the most of all that hard work.
“I did some research and thought, surely there was a better alternative to single-use plastic bags?
“Cotton was the answer, so I sourced samples and chose an organic and fairtrade supplier and commissioned an artist to draw the design and launched my first product – The Wheat Fields Bread Bag.”
Rhianne taught herself enough web design to get an e-commerce store launched and online, procured packaging that was entirely plastic-free and invested her last furlough payment into 100 bread bags.
And after a nail biting few months, orders suddenly flooded in one after another, and she had a wheelbarrow full of bread bags packed up and on their way to a flurry of new customers.
“I realised I was on to something and that there really was a gap in the market for sustainable homewares,” said Rhianne.
“The cheap, mass-produced products we are all addicted to simply aren’t built to last. The ‘fast-fashion’ moniker is as applicable to the household names of homewares as it is to their counterparts in the clothes business.”
The Forager’s Cottage designs and crafts sustainable homewares that are built to last, reduce waste and look beautiful in your home.
As well as bread bags, Rhianne sells reusable bags for fruits and vegetables and hand-crafted wooden serving boards and coasters.
Every item arrives at your door in plastic-free packaging made from recycled materials.
Rhianne added: “The Forager’s Cottage is a forward-looking, digital business, but one that’s firmly grounded in the traditional values I think we’ve all lost touch with a bit in recent times. We develop high-quality products that are built to last.”
Find out more at www.theforagerscottage.com.