It’s one of the questions I am asked most frequently when people find out that Handcrafted Honey Bee is a finalist for the Martha Stewart American Made awards.
What will you do with the money if you win?
We were Martha Stewart American Made finalists last year as well, and at the time, I found it very hard to answer that question. Our business was less than a year old, and we were doing so much to try to get things off the ground. I wanted to say to people: “What won’t I do with the money? I’ve got a list a mile long!”
But I’ve got a better answer this time around. This past year has been a chance to grow, to learn, and to focus on what really matters. If you have been reading our blog for the past few months, you have been watching us clarify our message and distill our purpose. There’s a reason we are doing that in public. We want our customers and friends to be a part of that process. We want you to be a companion with us on the journey.
You Gotta Have a Plan
Goals are important. They provide us the focus, direction, and drive to do the hard work necessary to succeed. But a goal is not a destination. A goal is only a milestone along the path.
In this busy world of distractions, with commitments pulling us in multiple directions, it’s impossible to get anywhere without clear goals. To be successful, we have to stay focused on our goals.
But unless those goals serve a larger purpose towards a long-term destination, we can easily find ourselves wandering about aimlessly from goal to goal. Or worse yet, we can find ourselves spreading our energy and effort thin in an attempt to work towards several goals at the same time, feeling spent and accomplishing none of them.
In order to know your destination, you have to understand your “why.”
Growing Up and Growing Into Our Why
So much has happened in the past year for our little family business. We merged our previous bath and body business with Handcrafted Honey Bee. We took up the challenge of selling at 10 shows in 15 weeks. We were even invited to pitch our products to some amazing retailers at the Etsy Wholesale Open Call Event (read all about it in our 3-part series here, here, and here).
But perhaps the most important thing we did was to start writing more–a lot more–about who we are and what we believe. At the beginning of the year, my husband Robert and I committed to writing weekly. In the summer, we wrote 30 reflections and essays during a month of daily blog posts that had little to do with skin care and everything to do with self-care.
We wrote and we wrote, not because we had something to say, but to discover what we had to say. By writing so intentionally about the larger ideas behind our purpose, we were able to dig deep and uncover the reasons why we make DIY skin care kits and all-natural skin care products.
We love crafting beautiful things, but we love creating memorable experiences even more.
We value deep, long-lasting relationships and we treasure every moment we get to spend with the people we love.
We believe that substance counts for far more than appearance, that knowledge makes us stronger, and that few things feel better than trying something new and succeeding.
We know that the sweetest laughs are the ones shared with old friends.
We make skin care that matters. And we want to help you do the same.
Telling the Story More Effectively
So, when people ask me what I would do with the money if we were selected as the winner of the Martha Stewart American Made Audience Choice, I tell them this:
We want to help people all over the country to share in our vision. And the best way to make that happen is to redesign our packaging.
Packaging may seem a small and incidental thing, but think about it this way: it took me nearly 100 words just now to tell you what Handcrafted Honey Bee stands for and what our products are all about. Now, a picture may be worth 1,000 words, but we need our packaging to say the right 1,000 words.
With the cash we would earn from winning Martha Stewart American Made, we will hire a professional designer to help us tell that story better. A better design will align the way our product looks with what our company stands for. We strive to make our DIY skin care kits feel like a present from the moment you open it, but with a redesign, it will also look like a well-chosen gift when you place it in someone’s hands.
And with a design that communicates more effectively, we can continue to put our kits on more retailers’ shelves, so that you can find Handcrafted Honey Bee at a store in your town.
Don’t worry. Even if we don’t win, there is still a redesign in our future. But winning Martha Stewart would mean that we could start working on it now, and not several months from now.
Going the Distance
I truly believe in this vision for what Handcrafted Honey Bee is, what we stand for, and what we can become. We came in second place last year, and I know that we have what it takes to win the Audience Choice this year. If you would like to help us get there sooner, then cast six votes every day for Handcrafted Honey Bee.
I can’t wait to show you some of the preliminary designs and give you a glimpse at the changes as we make them happen. I just know that whatever comes, it’s going to be amazing!