We are excited to shine the Sistahbiz spotlight on Beatrice Dixon, Co-Founder and CEO of The Honey Pot Company. She took the time to share some elements of her entrepreneurial journey with us and the lessons she has learned along the way.
For those of you who don’t know, Beatrice Dixon started the world’s first plant-based feminine care line with a $21,000 loan from her brother and Co-Founder. Her product line started with “The Normal Wash” but is now a full line of products ranging from wipes to menstrual cups and postpartum healing pads. The Honey Pot Company’s products are now sold at major retailers including Whole Foods, Target, and Walgreens.
Let’s see what gems Beatrice is dropping on us:
What areas of business did you have the least experience in when you started?
Marketing and raising capital.
How did you handle the learning curve and ensure the business succeeded in that area?
I employed people with experience in marketing to help me where I needed assistance. I also learned on the job about how to raise funds with the help of my fellow Co-Founder and brother Simon.
Can you tell us about a great failure or disappointment that you learned or benefited greatly from in your business?
This year when we didn’t have enough inventory to supply our website was a great disappointment both financially and from a customer service standpoint; however, we remained transparent with our customer base via social media and email marketing and kept them engaged every step of the way until we reinstated our inventory levels.
How have relationships impacted your business most? What advice would you give entrepreneurs about how to manage business relationships in your industry?
Relationships are the foundation of any business’s success. Building and establishing connections helps to foster a strong partnership so that when things go wrong or you run into some issues, you have that support system to help you navigate and make it through. As for how to manage your business relationships, I suggest maintaining weekly calls or meetings with those key vendors and contacts to ensure you keep them in the loop about what’s happening so they feel more invested in your business.
How did the backlash from Target’s Black History Month series change you?
It didn’t change me—it actually just showed me who I am as an individual and how amazing our customers and community are. It made me even more aware of the tremendous responsibility I have to further grow my company and continue to offer the best hygiene and menstrual care products on the market.
What advice do you have for businesses who are attempting to land wholesale deals with big-box companies?
I would tell them to build their business online first. Create a solid community via social media and really perfect your company via your eCommerce channel first before jumping into retail. Retail is a very big deal and has a lot of variables and moving parts so you don’t want to jump into retail before you’re truly ready.
At what point did you know you were ready for a Target deal?
Honestly, I knew we were ready when we created our prototypes for the meeting. That’s when it became real. I knew that Honey Pot had the ability to change the game and I am so glad that we pressed forward.
If you could go back and prepare for your business journey again, what would you do differently?
There’s not much I would do differently. I believe we are where we are because the universe wants us to be there.
Can you share your initial experience with co-packers and fulfillment companies?
Most of my initial experiences were researching co-packers that have expertise in the type of products you’re seeking to create. A lot of the time, you’re interviewing the labs or co-packers to better understand what their capabilities are. As for fulfillment centers, it’s the same process. You need to be clear on what you need from the fulfillment center before reaching out so you can assess their capabilities. Also always ask for references for both fulfillment centers and co-packers!
What is your morning routine and how do you take care of you? E
very morning, the first thing I do is wake up and pray. Next, I work out virtually with my trainer if I am out of town or in person if I am in town. I shower, eat a healthy breakfast, and drink water, and then I get my day going!
For the visionary who’s making products in her kitchen, what should she be doing now to prepare to scale?
She needs to really perfect her formulas and find ways to keep her costs as low as she can. She needs to build her customer base by selling online, partnering with influencers, getting some press and mentions in blogs, websites, and other publications. She needs to create a strong community so that when she’s ready to scale—she has a platform and the support of her community to help her maintain and move forward.
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