30 Under 30: Saanichton-based Katie Gamble is using Nature Bee to buzz on sustainability

Gamble launched Nature Bee to make eco-friendly beeswax wraps.

Katie Gamble, 28

Founder and CEO, Nature Bee

Life Story: It’s not often that someone wins BCBusiness accolades two years in a row, but just over a year after taking home a Women of the Year award in the Rising Star category, Katie Gamble is back in our pages. It shouldn’t be terribly surprising—after all, Gamble’s Saanichton-based Nature Bee, with its sustainable home goods, just keeps on growing.

Gamble, a UVic commerce grad, started the company to combat against single-use plastics and created Nature Bee’s flagship product, eco-friendly beeswax wraps, in 2018. Since then, the company has also launched Swedish dish clothes and concentrated cleaning tablets.

“People are my bread and butter, that’s what I love: hiring, managing people, getting to hire people different than me and build it together,” says Gamble. “Although it’s a challenge, it’s an exciting one. It’s about managing sustainable growth in terms of what’s the right step to take on, how many contracts, those kinds of things. Growing sustainably and consistently has been a challenge.”

Asked over the phone how she thinks her fellow employees would describe her as a leader, Gamble thinks for a couple of seconds before going straight to the source and putting a staff member named Abby on the spot. “I would describe her as encouraging and super supportive,” Abby says without a moment’s hesitation. “The glue that keeps us all engaged.”

You can’t quite hear Gamble blush through the phone, but you can feel it: “And I would describe myself as chaotic. That was very kind of Abby.”

Bottom Line: Nature Bee has close to a dozen employees and is in some 350 stores in North America (and one in Switzerland), including Whole Foods.