Beatrice Dixon is a health-conscious entrepreneur and founder of The Honey Pot Company who describes herself as an intentional leader who thrives on living authentically and on purpose.
An industry disruptor and leader Beatrice started out with an in-home, plant-based recipe gifted to her spiritually in a dream by her ancestors to cure bacterial vaginosis, and turned it into a million-dollar business.
With the motto, “made by humans with vaginas, for humans with vaginas because it takes one to know one” Beatrice is intentional with building and scaling her business, expanding her plant-based products and disrupting the flow (in a great way) of what is being offered to women consumers when in comes to feminine care and hygiene.
Her Agenda: How did you get into making products for humans with vaginas?
Beatrice Dixon: The mother of invention is necessity. I was having an eight-month stint with bacterial vaginosis and I couldn’t get rid of it. I tried everything that you can imagine to get relief and one day I went to sleep, and right before I woke in the morning, I had a very vivid dream with one of my ancestors. We were sitting at a table talking and she gave me a paper that had a list of ingredients on it, like a recipe. She told me the things I was doing individually and suggested if I put all of these things together it’s going to act as medicine. She said not to worry that when I woke up, she would make sure I’d remember. When I woke up I remembered everything and I wrote it down. I had to assemble all of the ingredients and do all of the things but if it was a Monday when I made it by Friday the bacterial vaginosis I had went away.
Her Agenda: Your product is a plant-based product that is very niche so with it being something that you pursued as a response to an issue you had, did you feel like this was something that was your calling, or do you feel like it was something that you stumbled into?
Beatrice Dixon: I feel like when you’re a person that lives as authentically as I do, I don’t do shit unless I like it. I don’t connect to things because I’m a committer, so if I’m going to commit to something, it’s because it is within my life path to do. So, if you’re asking if Honey Pot is my life’s work? Yes, I believe in it, it is the first example of my life’s work. Also, natural is becoming less of a niche and becoming more of what the general market is going to look like because consumers are really demanding, especially Millennial consumers and Gen-Z consumers, that brands make products that aren’t going to be toxic and make people sick. I work really hard to make sure that when we’re developing products, I take a lot of responsibility for the humans that are going to be using our products because the last thing that I want to do is put them in a situation anything similar to what I was in.
I don’t do shit unless I like it.
Her Agenda: What does intentional and authentic leadership look like within your company?
Beatrice Dixon: Being intentional. How do you want to impact the world? What is the change in the world that you want to be? Those are the things that I focus on that help us to be authentic. As far as driving the ship, being the CEO of a company you have to really drive the ship. You have to make the direction. You have to give your team the focus. It’s really understanding what your stake is in the world. Why is it that you’re here? Why do you want to be, what do you want to be? How do you want to be? And to really care about that. You know what I mean, like we know we don’t just do this for money right? But at the end of the day if we’re really going to make the impact and take the responsibility to put the types of products that we’re putting out into the world it has to really be about the movement and getting to the money just has to be what shows you that you’re being successful right.
Her Agenda: What was your career prior to starting The Honey Pot Company?
Beatrice Dixon: My first initial launch path into my career was right out of high school. I did some college but I never really liked it. Right out of high school I worked as a pharmacy technician and I did that for almost 10 years and I worked in all different types of pharmacies so I did hospital, I.V., narcotics, oncology, you name it within pharmacy I did it. And then from there, I got tired of being around sick people, sounds kind of crass but I got tired of being in a toxic environment. I think that Western medicine has a place. It’s necessary but I think if you don’t also understand how holistic medicine has to team up with that then there’s a problem.
I wanted to change my environment. I went on to work for Whole Foods Market for three or four years. I went on to work as a food broker, so I went from being a customer at Whole Foods to Whole Foods being my customer. I worked for 100 brands and I would sell those brands into retailers like Whole Foods. So then I went from doing that to working at a start-up and I worked for a kale chip company. So my career path really set me up to do what I do now.
Natural is becoming less of a niche and becoming more of what the general market is going to look like because consumers are really demanding, especially Millennial consumers and Gen-Z consumers, that brands make products that aren’t going to be toxic and make people sick.
Her Agenda: What are some of the challenges that you’ve faced so far in the build-out of The Honey Pot and with those challenges, how do you feel they have prepared you to further on with your future product launches?
Beatrice Dixon: Well there’s always so many challenges. Initially, the challenge when we got in Target was getting to the yes from the buyer. It went from solidifying the yes, to finding the money to produce the products to fulfill the buying orders.
Her Agenda: Target, was the first big retailer that you got into?
Beatrice Dixon: Yeah, Target was the first and they really committed. They committed to putting us in 1,100 stores. Normally when brands go into Target they are like, ‘Oh, you just take 250 stores’ but that wasn’t the case with us. So we really had to go out and find the real money. My brother and CFO was in the music industry. He had a lot of music industry money around him. And we were really lucky and fortunate to be able to tap into that and we raised $725,000. You know and overtime when you’re in the startup world it’s like going to school. It’s like you’re getting a Master’s degree but in real life. So the challenges are always there but they’re always different.
Her Agenda: How many retail spaces are you in right now?
Beatrice Dixon: We’re in nearly seven thousand stores. And that’s Wal-Mart, Target, Walgreens, CVS, we’re in Urban Outfitters, We’re in Netcom which is basically a retailer that provides for the military. We’ve seen a lot of growth just since March.
Her Agenda: So you feel like those challenges really prepared you because they’re always ever-changing? They’re just kind of setting you up for the next challenge, basically?
Beatrice Dixon: Yeah, absolutely. Being comfortable with the stuff that you don’t know because it’s so much that you just don’t know. But as long as you’re open and ready for whatever that brings then it normally works out. But things don’t have to be perfect, and that’s the beautiful part about it.
Things don’t have to be perfect, and that’s the beautiful part about it.
Her Agenda: As a woman of color you’re operating in a space that’s mostly dominated by major brands like Tampax and Kotex. How do you keep a positive mindset and remain on the cutting edge in your strategies and product rollout?
Beatrice Dixon: You know Honey Pot isn’t trying to be Tampax or Always or Kotex or Summer’s Eve. What we’re working to do is basically to be the alternative to those things.
Her Agenda: Do you see yourself as a disruptor? Because [have you noticed] how they have all started to change their branding to try to redirect their branding to the natural customers to bring them back?
Beatrice Dixon: We’re definitely disrupting, but that’s the part that’s dope about being the change in the world you want to live in, right? Then you really start to impact the world. So it’s dope that they’re doing those things. By all means, they are competitive. We compete with them but they’re multi-billion dollar brands. So there’s a bit of realism that happens behind that, but we aren’t trying to be that and I think that that’s one of the biggest and most important things for us is that we stay focused on what we’re trying to be at Honey Pot. We’re trying to be the natural alternative. We’re trying to make sure that we take care of the people that need the type of products that we put out into the world. And so we stay focused on that.
Her Agenda: So what has been one or two of the most rewarding parts of this journey?
Beatrice Dixon: The most rewarding thing is the humans that we serve. We strive to make sure that we’re creating products that they need. For me that’s the thing that makes me the proudest or happy about, I don’t get the words you know, but I feel a lot of gratitude to be able to be in this space to be able to develop products for humans that work for them. It’s my pleasure to do it. I don’t think that it’s the other way around you know. I’m just lucky to be in that position to be able to put products out like this into the world to be able to raise money to be able to invest in these products to be able to sit on the shelf next to the people that I’ve looked at forever. I don’t know if proud is the right word. I feel more gratitude. And I feel more humbled to be able to be in the situation and the room that I’m in more than anything.
Her Agenda: Where do you see The Honey Pot company in the next coming quarters and even three to five years?
Beatrice Dixon: I see us really developing a more robust product line. I see us continuing to make a really robust catalog of products that are going to continue to serve the people that need it. Everybody may not be able to use everything that we have but we have something out there for every human with a vagina. I can’t really talk about another really huge thing that we’re doing yet but just aligning and creating ways for the people that we serve.
Her Agenda: And are there any philanthropic things that you’re involved in or any ways that you personally give back or that the Honey Pot is involved in?
Beatrice Dixon: We work with #HappyPeriod, we’re supporting her with period products. #HappyPeriod is an organization that bands together and passes out feminine care to homeless women to sex workers to shelters, secondary homes where people are in transition, etc. Chelsea’s really dope. We also donate to an organization called Afripads, and we sponsor about five girls per month. We’ve been doing that for years now and then assisting them with learning how to make their own reusable menstrual pads that so they can actually go to school and go to work while they’re on their period.
[Editor’s note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.]