From cleaning lady to big-box stores: How The Honey Pot Company was started
After struggling with bacterial vaginosis for seven months, Beatrice Feliu-Espada set out to create a natural remedy to her problem. “I had a seven-month bout with BV and yeast infections because my vagina was all out of whack. I was doing a bunch of things outside of taking different prescribed medications, in search of relief,” says Feliu-Espada.
There are many women who battle these issues, and for longer with fewer options for remedies, as their bodies grow immune to antibiotics. “I was determined to put together some of these ingredients that I was using singularly in order to form a medicine for myself and go from there,” said Feliu-Espada.
Feliu-Espada worked for several years as a pharmacy technician at Whole Foods, giving her a bit of insight on products she could mix that would help her infection. With access to body and skin care employees, and holistic, natural products, she began mixing. After testing multiple mixtures, she had finally created and tested a product that worked, and thus The Honey Pot was born.
“The product was a lot stronger back then, not that it isn’t strong now but I have dialed back some of the levels in order to sell to retailers. I started to use the product and I noticed I didn’t have any odor, the discharge started to disappear and I was getting better. Once I realized I was better, I said to myself, ‘B, you should probably create a company out of this because so many women are probably going through the same thing,’” recalls Feliu-Espada.
After testing and launching her product at Bronner Bros. International Beauty Show, she risked a $20K investment to order the bottles, ingredients, and equipment. In a weekend, with just 600 bottles of product, The Honey Pot sold out and the movement began.
Feliu-Espada came to Atlanta where she worked as a pharmacy technician for eight years, as well as owned a cleaning business, laundry, and an organizing business. “I’ve been working on The Honey Pot Co. since 2012 and formally launched in 2014,” reveals Feliu-Espada. Securing a spot in Target was a lot of work, and Feliu-Espada exhausted many options in order to get the buzz about The Honey Pot Company out.
“Building a buzz, a lot of it has been through pure word of mouth. We did a couple of trade shows which got us out there and March 2015, we received an email, I will never forget,” says Feliu-Espada. “We received an email from the buyer at Target, because she had heard about our product. I was like OMG! After I came to, I realized what was happening, and I emailed her back. We got on the phone to have a meeting and I presented the brand to her. A couple of days later she expressed interest in it and said if we were going to move forward we had to hire a broker. I asked for suggestions, she gave it to me. Anything she told me to do, I did it. It took a year to work [on] the deal though. Then April 2016, we launched to 11,000 targets in the U.S., including Hawaii and Alaska.”