One of the things I never could have anticipated when I started out on the road of entrepreneurship was the incredible number of ups and downs.
Emotionally, mentally, physically–you name it. We've experienced huge Highs and Lows over the last few years.
It's one of the most amazing parts about having a Big Dream. It's not always going to be an easy path. And it's not always going to feel insurmountable. Rather, the path to Big Dreams are usually an interesting mesh of easy and hard parts, often overlapping one another.
So it was, one day early last week, when I was holding the tension of exciting product launches & incredible customer reviews alongside the never-ending list of expenses & one-too-many emails from prospective retailers that said, "Sorry, we already carry lip balm kits."
I felt that familiar internal tightrope walk between Hope and Discouragement. I think everyone who has ever worked toward a Big Dream has felt that exact feeling. Many times over.
And then an email landed in my inbox.
Kids Product of the Year 2016
"Congratulations! We're happy to inform you that your kits have been chosen by moms and educators from around the country to receive awards from the Creative Child Awards Program!"
I had submitted all of our kits to this particular awards program a few months back, and was later asked to send two of each kit out to the Creative Child headquarters for happy-yet-rigorous scrutiny.
For two days, mothers and educators from all over the United States met in Nevada to play with, analyze, and discuss thousands of toys.
I had no idea what to expect, but I figured that we'd never have a chance at winning if we didn't at least give it a shot. And that shot paid off.
I read the rest of the email excitedly. It informed us that the Creative Child Awards Program had awarded us the following:
I repeated the phrase over in my head: "Kids Product of the Year."
Our Lip Balm Kit had been chosen as the best product in its category.
I thought about moms and teachers holding our kits in their hands, turning them over thoughtfully.
Reading about our natural ingredients and emphasis on learning.
Considering that each and every bottle was hand-filled, every kit hand-assembled in our studio in California.
Thinking about the story behind the making of the kit.
Thinking about the story that lies ahead, in the hands of a little girl with a Big Dream to become a scientist or graphic designer or architect or mathematician.
I'm still smiling.
Check off one point firmly and definitely in the "Highs" column.
Why the Difference Matters
When I announced our award on the blog earlier this week, I also thought a little bit about one of the "Lows" I had mentioned earlier. Some stores have said to me, "I'm sorry, but we already carry lip balm kits, and they're cheaper than yours."
I don't think it's an accident that moms and educators appreciated our work above the rest this year. These store owners are right: those other kits are cheaper. And not just in the "less expensive" way.
They are made with cheaper ingredients. Our kits are always petroleum-free.
They are made with a cheaper attitude toward health. Our kits are always paraben-free, phthalate-free, aluminum-free, and propylene glycol-free.
They are made with a cheaper attitude toward our economy. All of our products and kits are made in the USA, and all of our raw material suppliers are USA-based.
I feel pretty strongly about what makes us different than those other lip balm kits–in fact, I'm proud of it. I believe it's worth the extra couple of dollars. I believe that it matters to our customers.
I believe it matters to you.
Learn more about our collection of award-winning Create-Your-Own Skin Care Kits by visiting: handcraftedhoneybee.com/kits
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