Challenging Standards in the Feminine Care Industry: An Interview with the Founder of The Honey Pot Co

Challenging Standards in the Feminine Care

Industry: An Interview with the Founder of

The Honey Pot Co

 

Bea Feliu Espada

“I was gifted my life’s work and I didn’t want to take that for granted. I wanted to be respectful of it because it wasn’t given to me for no reason. I felt like if it worked for me it would work for other women. I accepted that thought and assembled the right team and that’s gotten us to where we are today.”

The average woman will use between 12,000 to 16,000 disposable pads, panty liners and tampons in her lifetime. Every time she showers or bathes she washes her “Honey Pot”. The products a woman uses for her feminine hygiene needs are personal and are usually brands she’s been using for a long time. There have been several newcomers to the world of feminine hygiene products in the past several years and I’m glad about it. Only recently have we as women had options for more natural and organic products that challenge those brands that have been on the market for decades.

Almost a year and a half ago I did a clean sweep of my home and got rid of products with questionable ingredients. This sweep included cleaning products, traditional laundry detergents, home fragrance, body care products, makeup and feminine hygiene products. In search of ‘cleaner’, more natural products I came across The Honey Pot Co, the 1st complete feminine care system powered by herbs! They note that every vagina is different, which is why they have 3 different systems, each designed to cleanse, protect and balance, depending on your needs.

The Honey Pot has three different lines to cleanse, protect and balance including feminine hygiene washes and wipes. Their menstrual line includes 100% cotton tampons and herbal infused, CHEMICAL FREE pads (My personal favorite!). They’ve recently added a moisturizing lubricant to their line of products along with herbal infused panty sprays that are free of artificial fragrances or toxic chemicals!

The products are “Made by Humans with Vaginas for Women with Vaginas”

I love The Honey Pot Co so much that I have a “Honey Pot Drawer” containing all my fave products! So, as excited as I’ve been about my discovery of these products, I was even more excited when I learned about the Founder of The Honey Pot Co, Beatrice Feliu-Espada, who was gifted the formulation for the initial wash by one of her ancestors in a dream!

A couple weeks ago I interviewed Bea and chatted with her about The Honey Pot Co, her life as an entrepreneur and what self-care means to her! Check out my interview with her below!

 

Dr. April: Hi there Bea! Let’s talk a little bit about how you came up with the idea for the Honey Pot? What inspired it?

Beatrice: Well, I came up with the idea because of an infection I had for almost a year that I couldn’t get rid of. Literally, one night, I went to sleep and had a dream, kind of right before I woke up in the morning, of sitting down with one of my ancestors and she gave me a list of ingredients. She told me that these ingredients would help me solve my problem. Well, I woke up, I wrote it down, I tried it & low and behold, it worked and that’s what really pushed me to create the line. I felt like if it could work for me then it could very well work for other women that may or may not be dealing with this type of situation. We did testing for a couple of years on as many women as we could find. A lot of those women were having some of the same issues that I was having. Then the opportunity came along to launch at the Bronner Brothers Hair Show in 2014. We attended the show. We took 600 bottles of product and we basically sold out in a weekend. It was crazy!

Dr April: So when you had this dream and your ancestor presented the ingredients to you, did it makes sense to you at the time….the herbs that she presented?

Beatrice: Yes, because some of the things I had been using individually. So with some of the things I had been doing individually, if you add a couple more things to it and have it like a potion, it will act like a medicine and will heal you. It was very simple things: Apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, rose, lavender – very simple ingredients. It wasn’t anything that was super astronomical. It was just knowing to put them together. I also have a history of working in pharmacy for almost 10 years so I knew how to put those type of things together. It was just a matter of knowing “what” to put together.

Dr. April : Well, you know our ancestors knew how to use what they had available to heal themselves. Antibiotics and modern-day medicines weren’t always around!

Beatrice: Exactly, they had to use what was available to them!

Dr. April: So what made you consider turning this into a business? You could have just made the formulation and used it for yourself? What made you take that entrepreneurial leap?

Beatrice: It was feeling like I was gifted my life’s work and I didn’t want to take that for granted. I wanted to be respectful of it because it wasn’t given to me for no reason. I felt like if it worked for me it would work for other women. I accepted that thought and assembled the right team and that’s gotten us to where we are today.

Dr. April: So can you tell us why these products are beneficial to women and how they break the mold compared with traditional products available in the feminine care products industry?

Beatrice: Everything we create at The Honey Pot Co has herbs in it. Everything with the exception of our tampons. I’m a heavy believer in herbs and oils. You should see how I travel! I don’t even travel without essential oils. If I get sick or have a problem I turn to garlic, apple cider vinegar and things that I know are going to work to get you better. That’s just how my brain thinks. In curating the line, I think about it the same way. So I think that we are breaking the mold in feminine hygiene. We’re not just looking at feminine hygiene and feminine cleansing as it relates to the bottom line. We’re not just looking at this and asking how can we make money. I’m thinking, how do I make something that makes sense with the other products I’m using, but also, how am I going to develop something that can change a woman’s life or make her something that she needs. That’s really the way I think about innovation. I’m looking at how to put together the best line to support women in their daily lives. Every woman may not use every single one of the products, but we want a woman to be able to use at least one product out of the line.

Dr. April: So did you know BEFORE you started The Honey Pot Co {or} while doing your research when developing your products about all the pesticides and chemicals that are used in growing of the cotton and manufacturing of some traditional feminine care products?

Beatrice: It comes through being in the natural foods industry for a while when I worked for Whole Foods. I know that cotton, tobacco and corn are in the top 3 of products that are genetically modified. So it came through research and learning about what is really being done to our crops.

Dr. April: So, I’ve been buying your products in Target and Whole Foods. I literally have a Honey Pot Drawer that I keep all my products in lol! Tell me about the process of getting your products into retail because I don’t think most people realize what really goes into getting products into retail. You can’t create a product, produce just 1,000 units and think that will work with a major retailer. How long did that take you? That’s a HUGE move!

Beatrice: It takes a lot! In the beginning, when we got the “Yes” from Target, it was cool until I’m like “Oh sh*t, now I gotta go figure out how I’m going to get the inventory!” You can’t just buy 10,000 units. You have to buy 50,000 units or more.

Dr. April: See, that is mind-blowing to me! 50,000 units at one time!

Beatrice: ….well, I’m buying 10X that now! So, yes it is mind-blowing

Dr. April: But, you’re doing it and that’s so awesome!

Beatrice: It becomes easier. The challenges we have are being able to “rob Peter to pay Paul”, sometimes to buy inventory to supply 5,000 stores right away. It’s always a puzzle with trying to figure out how you’re going to be able to fulfill the orders you have to fulfill, make more product, etc. It’s challenging and I don’t ever see it not being a challenge, but it’s what we signed up for when we started this business.

Bea Feliu Espada

Dr. April: So, I’ve been talking a lot about self-care lately and my upcoming empowerment events are focusing on self-care. What does Self Care mean to you?

Beatrice: Self care starts off with how you feel about yourself, how you love yourself, how you respect yourself, how you honor yourself, how you see yourself before you wonder about how others see you. Then it trickles out to what you use on your skin, how do you take care of yourself, what do you eat, who do you love, who loves you back? Do you offer yourself kindness? Do you love yourself enough to where you can love other people? That’s the constant self-work that I’m doing to really make sure I’m honing in on what it means to be who I am and what it means to love me and respect me. I’m just now learning that. I feel like self-care starts at both a conscious and subconscious level. It has to start internally first.

Dr April: Lord knows you cannot pour from an empty cup!

Beatrice: You’re right. You can’t! You have to figure out how to fill your cup back up.

Dr. April: What are some of the ways that we, as informed women, can share the benefits of your products with others?

Beatrice: I thinks it’s as simple as telling somebody. Ask them to try it out and then tell somebody else. Social media is another great way. We appreciate any word of mouth that we can get because a lot of our business comes from word of mouth.

Dr. April: What do you see for the future of The Honey Pot Co?

Beatrice: We are going chain-wide in Target. We are already in certain Target stores around the country (over 1,000 of them). In Whole Foods – we are in both the mid Atlantic region of the US and in the South East (TN, GA, South Carolina, North Carolina, AL). Our products are also available on our website. Very soon we will be entering into another mass market retailer and you will see our products on those shelves as well! (Update: Since this interview was conducted in March 2019 – that major retailer is none other than Walmart!!!)

 

********************************************************************************************************

Dr. April: I hope you’ve enjoyed my interview with Beatrice Feliu-Espada, Founder of The Honey Pot Co. You can check out The Honey Pot website HERE to purchase your products or pick them up the next time you’re in Target, Whole Foods, or Walmart. (Here in Nashville, I’ve also spotted them in The Turnip Truck Natural Grocery Store as well!)

 

Do yourself a favor and start following them on Instagram too :-).

 

Dr. Carmen April Dr. Carmen April is an entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a Nashville Emerging Leader (NELA) Award Winner, a Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient, is a Graduate of the New Leaders Council Institute – Nashville Chapter and is a 2018 Nashville Power Moves Award Winner. She is a Podiatrist and Owner of The Foot And Ankle Healthcare Center, PC in the Nashville area. She is also the creator and owner of Ann DeVeaux, an online fashion boutique donating a portion of its profits to feminine hygiene products for victims of sex trafficking and abuse. She is a Reiki Master, a Law of Attraction Practitioner, and an advocate for the power of positive thinking! Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on Leadership & Life Leadership for College Students and Young Professionals and is the creator of the “Design Your Story” Women’s Empowerment Series.

2 thoughts on “Challenging Standards in the Feminine Care Industry: An Interview with the Founder of The Honey Pot Co

  1. My Friends and I love Honey Pot, but I do not shop at Walmart and the products available at Target seem to be slimming down and it’s rather frustrating. I will not give up on them and plan to use them for my daughters once they start their cycles, but I wish the focus of our companies wouldn’t be to get into Walmart..

    • Thanks for checking out the interview, Shauntel! They actually made a major announcement today that they are now in all Target Stores nationwide! I bought some from Target around the corner from my office just last week! You can also purchase directly from their website http://www.TheHoneyPot.co . As an entrepreneur, I totally understand the push to get into Walmart and a variety of different retailers…..you HAVE to go to where the customers are! You may not personally shop at Walmart, but MILLIONS of others do. When women look at their options for feminine care products on the shelves, it’s important that they see healthier alternatives there :-)!

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