Bee Green

The 2017 Beeswax Spa Products Debut… they completely sold out!

The 2017 Beeswax Spa Products Debut… they completely sold out!

In 2017, I told y’all about some inspiring young entrepreneurs who created a honey business from our hives at Hutchison School. These incredible girls were able to grow their business in some creative ways. In 2018, the girls launched a line of beeswax spa products, like lip balm and body butter. They experimented with recipes and came up with their own marketing and sales plans. The spa products were a hit, and the demand far exceeded their expectations.

The initial cohort of bee business girls graduated last year, but there is a new group of girl bosses taking charge. This year, they wanted to put beeswax to a greener use, so they decided to create plastic-free kitchen packaging.

They started out by researching all of the problems with single-use plastics. They were shocked and saddened by the information they uncovered about plastics in the ocean, but it motivated them to get to work. The girls melted beeswax and pine resin together, and they used paint brushes to lightly coat a piece of cotton fabric.

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I got to test out the beeswax food wrap at home, and I loved being able to cover bowls of leftovers with a sustainable alternative to plastic wrap.

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These young entrepreneurs are still perfecting their recipe and methods, but they are going to launch their product at Beeline Bazaar at Hutchison School on March 2nd. If you’re in the area, come on by and support these young women and their green bee business!

Happy growing,

Mary Riddle

Growing Young Entrepreneurs

The school where I work has a fantastic new program called Hutchison Invests. The program trains young women in social entrepreneurship, providing valuable services like business incubation, mentoring, and internship matching. Hutchison Invests is directed by an incredibly talented colleague of mine, Kim Ware. 

Kim reached out to me several weeks ago wanting to collaborate on a project for her young entrepreneurs. Social entrepreneurship and eco-friendly gardening seem to go hand-in-hand. We put our brains together and decided that we'd ask the girls to come up with a marketing plan to sell some of the honey that I was pulling off of the hives at the school farm. The girls took to the project like, well, bees to honey, and their results astounded us. 

These young women researched federal, state, and county health requirements to ensure that we were in compliance with all regulations. They designed a honey label that met those standards. They designed their own packaging. They researched honey pricing and helped determine what our break-even point would be. Then, they filtered, bottled, and labeled an initial prototype batch of about fourteen pounds of Hutchison-made honey, and took it to the Buzz Shop, our on-campus gift store.

The girls had already prepared a pitch to share with Bess, the Buzz Shop manager. Two of the girls prepared slides with consumer benefits, along with a proposed price (and class commission for their stellar marketing work!) Bess agreed to carry the honey, and they sold out in THREE HOURS. 

The girls are finishing up their exams this week before they leave for the summer, but they are already making plans about expanding their honey line this coming fall, and potentially adding other hive products like beeswax candles and lip balms.

It's a joy to work with such impressive young women and innovative colleagues.  We're going to be restocking our honey soon, so if you're in the Memphis area, make plans to come to the Buzz Shop this summer to try some of this honey for yourself. There can't be a more delicious way to support the work of young entrepreneurs. 

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