June! The sixth month of the year, and usually considered the first month of summer. And we LOVE Summer!
Tourism is starting to increase in our beautiful state of Maine and we're back to seeing smiling faces of local friends, and NEW, visiting from all over the country. As we adjust getting back to our new normal, we couldn't be more excited for a summer filled with small business and maker "Pop Ups"! <Watch for our Events Calendar coming to our website soon!>
We're always seeking to carry quality coastal home decor and natural apothecary that's 'good for the soul' in our Candle Bar and Boutique. And, as I wish we could offer it all, we just don't have the space. In efforts to still support and promote products I use (and LOVE!), we hope you enjoy reading about my friend Wendy and her Made in Maine products! Her Body Butter is the best ;)
- Tell us about your business and what you do (name, location, type of business).
Our business is Beedandy. We are located in Sanford, Maine. We handcraft all natural small batch products for body, bath & home.
We purchase all of the individual raw ingredients and personally weigh, measure and mix every recipe and hand pour, fill, seal and label each and every item we sell. Ingredients include: beeswax, botanicals, dried herbs, hard butters, liquid oils, naturally colored clays, pure essential oils. We use only basic ingredients that you can pronounce and trust, resulting in safe, effective, affordable and eco-friendly products.
- When did you open your business and how did you get started?
We started in 2014 with no intention of starting a business. I was hooked on another company’s clove lip balm and they stopped carrying that scent. So I researched how to make my own. I called those lip balm Wendy Beeswax (play on my name Wendy Bee) Lip Balm, printed labels on my computer onto sheets of address labels. The recipe I made created so many lip balm that I took the extras to work and started handing them out. The response was so positive and included lots of “You should sell this. I would buy this”. I realized this could be the start of something and decided to research what other products I could make for us. Before I knew it the idea had taken off and I was a business owner.
- What is your favorite part of being a store owner? Least favorite?
My favorite part is simply being a part of the small business community. It’s a remarkable group to belong to. The support, friendships, camaraderie are beyond compare to any other group of people I’ve ever been associated with. Running a small business is not for the faint of heart, and being able to be a part of such a large social network of like minded individuals that truly understand that is so valuable.
My least favorite part is wearing all the hats. I just want to do the fun stuff: make and sell products. I don’t always enjoy being the buyer, bookkeeper, social media manager, accountant, shipping department, delivery woman, advertising director, bill payer, etc.
- From where do you draw your inspiration and decide on the products you want to offer?
We only create and sell products we use. If we aren’t going to use it, we aren’t going to make/sell it.
Our primary goal is to make products that are safe to use. Minimal ingredients. Yet effective. Your skin is the largest organ in your body and absorbs the products you put on it in 27 seconds (don’t quote me on that exact number haha!). So many people watch what they eat yet continue to use traditional store bought skincare products full of toxic ingredients. We’ve been grateful that we’ve been able to educate so many people over the years on the importance of reading labels on their self-care products as thoroughly as they do the ingredients label on their food.
- What values does your business embody?
We are a small business started on the belief that what you put on your body is just as important as what you put in your body.
Our biggest core values are kindness and positivity. On our social media platforms we do: Shop Share Sundays, Dance Moves Mondays and Feel Good Fridays. We sell shirts and stickers with our custom Bee Kind logo. We really try to be a bright light, both on a personal level and through our products. We want our business to make people feel good.
- Is your business a full time or part time venture? Do you have plans to grow/expand?
Part time. I have a few per diem jobs as an OT, and my husband works full time for the city. I would love to grow and expand, especially in the wholesale/resale market. But jumping all in is very scary. And I honestly do love that balance that working from home some days and going to work some days offers me. It’s healthy to get out of the house and use the degree I worked hard for. And there is definitely such a thing as too many days in a row working in my basement making products and filling orders ;)
- There are many challenging that come along with running a small business. What is your biggest challenge and what is your biggest reward or success?
My biggest challenge is wearing all the hats and managing my time. I don’t delegate well. And I’m a bit of a procrastinator. Especially because I work from home, so sometimes I get sidetracked doing laundry or emptying the dishwasher (or let’s be honest, sitting outside in the sun on a nice day). When I have too long of a to-do list I end up getting lost in it and instead of being super productive I flounder and do little bits of many projects, but don’t actually get anything done. And then I beat myself up over it. It’s hard to be your own boss and not judge yourself.
My biggest reward/success is still after all these years, that I create something that people enjoy. People actually get excited to use products that I’ve created. They get so excited and are so happy with the products that they tell other people. That’s mind blowing and I don’t think I will ever get used to it. I make it and people want it.
- How do you spend your time when you aren’t in your store or creating your product?
I work per diem as an OT both in a hospital and in an acute neuro-rehab hospital. I help people relearn how to perform daily tasks to be able to care for themselves after an injury or illness. It’s an extremely rewarding profession that I’m honored to be able to do.
We keep bees. We are up to 5 hives this spring. This is our 4th season as beekeepers.
In our apiary we have an ever expanding orchard with peaches, cherries, raspberries, blueberries, elderberries and soon to include pears. We also have 11 chickens.
Spend time with my husband, family, friends and our dog Jane. We enjoy being outdoors (hiking, paddle boarding, gardening) and working on projects on our little homestead we’ve created (which are endless).
- How did you discover Sea Love Candles & Company?
I met Stacy when she came up a shopper to the Maker’s Market and was so kind and friendly and made sure to introduce herself. Instagram has allowed us to better get to know each other on a less personal level. And living just a town apart, we’ve been able to meet up on occasion to “talk shop”. Sea Love Candles are a featured product in one of our curated gift sets (self-care themed set).
- Where can people go to find more about your business (website, social media accounts)?
beedandy.com (no www at the beginning)
IG: @beedandy_shop (most active)
FB: @Beedandy (rarely haha!)
Thanks for spending time with us Wendy! I'm so happy we can share you and your Story with our Sea Love Tribe! I can't wait to visit you and your bees soon!