We have amazing users who sell great products, and we love to tell the stories about their business and how they use ShipStation. Today’s user success story comes from FedEx Small Business Grant finalist, Handcrafted HoneyBee.
Stacia Guzzo, CEO
Tell us a bit about Handcrafted HoneyBee’s mission to empower the next generation of promising young women and how your products do just that.
We want to encourage girls to have big dreams for their future, and to become leaders in their chosen fields by approaching issues in innovative and new ways. As a former teacher, I specifically designed our kits to foster the communication between the left and right sides of the brain by combining elements of science/math and art/design in every project. Every experience that nourishes the right brain/left brain connection helps contribute toward a more balanced approach to problem-solving down the road! I think it’s important for the future generation of female leaders to have a foundation of whole-brain learning to think both creatively and analytically to achieve goals and solve problems.
What’s the process behind crafting a deodorant or lip balm like? How hard is it finding the right ingredients?
When the deodorant or lip balm is made with one of our kits, it’s super easy—we provide all of the ingredients, instructions, and options to customize as well. Everything is also pre-portioned in our kits, so there’s never any doubt that the end result will be something awesome!
Making pre-made skin care is a little different than making in small amounts like with a kit. When we make our line of pre-made products designed for smart women, we usually make deodorants in batches of 400-500 at a time, and that has definitely taken some practice! For example, we melt our beeswax, coconut oil, fractionated coconut oil, and avocado butter in a 100 pound wax melter and hold it at a specific temperature so it doesn’t get too hot. We then pour out enough of the melted base to make about 50 deodorants, mix the dry ingredients of arrowroot powder and baking soda in with a hand-held industrial stick blender, and then add the Vitamin E, probiotics, and any essential oils or other scents. It took a while for us to learn the timing and process for scaling up our production, but we’ve got it down to a science now!
As far as the difficulty in finding the right ingredients—it took several years of refining to get my recipes to the point where I was totally satisfied. The challenge was finding the perfect combination and ratio of ingredients. Now that I have, ordering the ingredients is the easy part!
Let’s say you were trapped on an island and could only take 2 of Handcrafted HoneyBee’s products. Which would they bee and why?
Definitely our pre-made probiotic deodorant in coconut mango scent—it’s natural, super-effective, and smells like happiness. Just because I’m stranded on an island doesn’t mean I have to stink!
I’d also take our clay mask kit. With that kit I’d be able to make two different customized masks—and I’d make one with gentle clays for as weekly mask (did you know clay is one of the most natural and gentle ways to clean your face without soap?) and one for those weeks when my pores have gotten a little too clogged and need some stronger clays to help pull out the dirt and grime from my skin.
How has ShipStation helped you with your business?
Oh my goodness—ShipStation has been a godsend! I’ve been using ShipStation for a few years now, and the time it has saved me has been worth thousands and thousands of dollars. When I first started shipping my skin care products five years ago, I was filling out all of the shipping information manually. With ShipStation, it takes care of all of the most time-consuming parts of shipping a product. I find myself constantly recommending ShipStation to fellow makers.
What’s your favorite ShipStation feature?
Oh, there are so many things! I love that I can import orders from both my wholesale and my retail sites and it’s all integrated into the same shipping options. Visually, it really helps that the time from purchase is color-coded, so I can see if something has been sitting in the queue too long! Finally, I really like the ability to save the package size for a certain product or product combination and have it apply automatically across the board for future orders. That saves me endless amounts of time!
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