Diva Spotlight: Honey Bee Holistics

 

Business Owner: Melissa Carr
Business Name: Honey Bee Holistics
Website Address: Year Business Was Founded: 2007

Tell us about your business:
My name is Melissa Carr. I live in a small town in the Washington State Valley of the Cascade Mountain Range called Concrete. It is a small town without any stoplights that you would miss if you weren’t paying attention on your drive around the scenic route of State Route 20! I moved here four years ago when my husband of 6 years and I decided we wanted to establish ourselves in a small community with old time values and friendliness. At the time we knew we wanted to start a family, but would have to continue our 9-5 jobs to build up savings before children. So I continued my job as a Sales Merchandiser and drove all over Washington State calling on many clients, despite the additional 45 min I added to my daily commute to get to the freeway! I always knew that I wanted to be a stay-at-home-Mom when I had children, so I set out preparing for the birth of my first child three years in advance by building my own business. One day I became allergic to my usual bath soap that I had used for many years. My skin had changed now that I was approaching my thirties, and my body was telling me it was time for a change. I researched how to make my own cold-processed soap and organic lotion for myself and my family. I wanted to share my great products with others who probably suffered from the same ailment as me, and also did not have many choices for organic chemical free alternatives way out here in the mountains. So Honey Bee Holistics was born on March 26th,2007.

In my sunflower decorated kitchen, with all of my hopes and dreams of being a Mom who could stay at home, I made 7 batches of soap that first time. It just so happened that there was a Farmer’s Market in town that was opening up the last weekend in May. I immediately called the organizer and signed up for a booth becoming a lifetime member of the Concrete Saturday Market. It was located right in town and was held every Saturday until Labor Day. I was so very excited then as I started to make hand illustrated labels and ventured on to making more products to sell at the market that I knew my family and others would use.

During this exciting adventure I continued to work my sales job full time while making my products inthe evenings and weekends. My husband was concerned I was working too hard, but I gently reminded him that it was all for my new job coming in our future of being parents and I a stay-at-home-Mom. Over the next few years I saw myself, as well as my business, grow each day as I taught myself about herbs and their applications, scouring all of the used book shops and thrift stores for any old books on soap making and herbs. I soon introduced homeopathic tinctures, salves, lip balm, household cleaners, laundry products, and clay products to my product repertoire. Each item has a story that tells of my progress from a small operation into a genuine licensed business with a customer base that is growing
across the US by word of mouth and my Mom who is a big advertiser.

In August 2009 I found out that we were expecting our first child. My mind started to race as I prepared the last batches of soap to be ready before my daughters birth. She was born on May 5th, 2010. I was so excited to now start my journey I had been preparing for these past years. I took my earned maternity leave from work of three months and then submitted my resignation after 6 years. It was a scary step, but a proud one that I felt well prepared for now! I am now a proud Mama to a beautiful baby girl, Aria Rae who is 9 months now and growing so fast! She makes everyday worth my efforts to work hard at my business so I can continue to stay at home with her, my dream come true!!

Everything I sell is handmade by me and is made with wild-harvested herbs or herbs that I grow on site here on our shared farmland in the valleys of the Cascade Mountains. I will never use any chemicals or preservatives,EVER! Only pure ingredients that are safe for my family and yours! If I wouldn’t use it, I won’t sell it! I have built my own website for marketing/selling my products online as well at http://www.honeybeeholistics.com. Honey Bee Holistics is also featured in two other online shops:
1) http://www.honeybeeholistics.etsy.com and
2) http://www.honeybeeholistics.artfire.com

What has been the biggest challenge in your business and how have you dealt with it?
Keeping on track! It is easy to get off track while raising my daughter, but a to-do list each day and a dry erase board in my office with the daily list of orders helps to keep me focused!

What would you say has contributed to your business success?
Organization, constant perserverance, and a positive atitude. Just because one person doesn’t see your vision, doesn’t mean you let thatdeter you, it just reminds you that there are 100 other people out
there that will see it like you!

What advice would you like to offer to other women/moms who arethinking about starting a business?
Get organized, and have confidence! You are the main reason why people buy your product, because they believe in you! It takes you believing in you before others can!

What is your favorite tool/resources you use for your business and why?
Always have business cards with you, it is your arsenal for spreading the word!

Share one business goal you have for your business:To become well known in Washington State as a leading provider of Organic Bath & Body products!

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