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I Couldn't Stop Thinking About This Unexpected Feedback

Did you know that I personally read every single email that we receive at Handcrafted HoneyBee? Every. Single. One.

All of your questions. All of your suggestions. Every story you share with me. Every bit of feedback. It means the world to me when you write.

I value everything you have to say to me. Even when we disagree.

That's why I was so grateful to have received the following email last week. It really forced me to take a step back & think carefully about how we convey what this business stands for. The message was brief and to the point:

I picked up your Create Your Own Deodorant kit this morning and was so excited about everything on the package until I read the line "to help a girl feel smart." I don't understand why you would exclude boys from a product like this (or from all your products), and I'm disappointed. After a generation of increasing support for girls, boys are struggling today. There is no need to gender this kit.


He seemed to be trying to make three points:

  1. If you want to help girls feel smart, that means you don't want boys to feel smart.
  2. As a society, we've done enough for girls already. It's time to start focusing on boys.
  3. Besides, what's the point of making this a kit "for girls"?

I am sometimes asked why Handcrafted HoneyBee is focused on girls and women. But this was the first time anyone had ever implied that we were actually doing boys a disservice by selling skin care kits designed for girls!

I wrote a brief reply to the author of this email, but I've been thinking about his comments all week. And I feel like I owe a fuller explanation to you.

Anyone can have fun with a Handcrafted HoneyBee skin care kit

…but they are specifically designed for girls.

Our kits are for everyone—girls & boys, children & adults can all enjoy the process of making their own skin care. They can all benefit from the high quality ingredients each kit provides for making great skin care products. They can all learn from the information we include in every kit and the supplemental lessons we offer online.

But our kits are designed for a very specific purpose—to help a girl nourish her gifts, unlock her potential, and dream big for her life.

That's a big mission for a little box, but I've seen the power of our kits in action. In emails. In photos. In person.

A girl proud of herself and what she accomplished with her own hands.

A girl excited to open a kit that feels like it was made just for her.

A girl who looks on the back of the box at the illustration of a HoneyBee Heroine like Valeria or Maïa and sees herself.

Do I wish all of those things for boys too? Of course! As the mother of two curious, adventurous, intelligent boys, I want to see them embrace their gifts and fulfill their potential. I can't wait to see what they have to offer this world.

There are plenty of companies and organizations out there who are actively working to help boys grow into leaders and creators and designers and explorers. And I'm so glad they exist, for my boys' sake.


But our company is dedicated to a world where our girls grow up to be leaders and creators and designers and explorers too. Where women stand with men and use their gifts to build a better world.


That is our mission. This is who we serve.

I've always taught (and will continue to teach) my boys this: you don't have to change everything about the world. Find your own circle of influence – the place in which you'll make the most profound impact. Dedicate yourself to making that small pocket of the universe the most incredible place it can be.

Let others be inspired by and learn from your example, influencing their own pockets and expanding the circle. Imagine what an amazing place this world could be, if we all focused on making our circles of influence work for the world's greatest good.

We are a company focused on supporting girls and dedicated to a better world for all. And I couldn't be prouder.

This post was originally written for Handcrafted HoneyBee newsletter subscribers. If you're interested in receiving weekly stories, behind the scenes glimpses and exclusive offers, sign up for Bee-Mail here!

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