Updated: Jul 30
Hivessence was just an idea one year ago today. Now, it's a real brand selling top skincare, supplements, honey-based foods and donating to a new charity (Arkearth), which is focused on saving bees, butterflies and hummingbirds!
It was March 21st, 2020. It was my birthday and I had just been laid off the day before. The Covid pandemic had only begun and I had no idea what I was going to do or where I'd be in a month - much less, a year later. I panicked as any 50-something male would about his aging tech career in the middle of the world's worst historical event in half a century. I applied for dozens and eventually, hundreds of jobs. No one called, no one returned an email and no one acknowledged my resume. It all seemed hopeless and dreadful, but then I remembered something - I knew how to start a business from scratch.
I remember hearing a quote from somewhere about "bees" and how, if they were to disappear, life on Earth as we know it, would end. Looking for something bold and meaningful to do, I googled the words and found memes of Albert Einstein attached to the quote. I later learned that Einstein most likely never uttered this, but what it did for me, in that moment, was light a fire of ideas, passion, and it created for me a new purpose. I now had a mission, I was going to help save the bees!
Arista Bee Research
A friend connected me with a nonprofit out of the Netherland which was doing bee research and breeding honey bees that were resistant to Varroa Mites (a global problem to honey bee's survival). After learning about the program and helping create a 501(c)3 in the U.S., I decided I wanted to do something even bigger and bolder. Something which could continue to help Arista but also tackle the other issues facing pollinators. Launching a nonprofit is a daunting task, especially if you're planning to do it full time. Nonprofits - like restaurants and other businesses were facing very difficult times during the 2020 global pandemic and I knew I had to come up with something creative to make it all work.
A For-profit Can Fund The Non-profit Dream
Linking up the idea of a for-profit business to grow a nonprofit wasn't a new idea. In fact, I would later learn about a 16-year old girl in Austin, Texas who started a honey lemonade brand when she was 12 years old! She linked her business to her nonprofit and a few years later, she's now in Whole Foods and Target selling nationwide. A few weeks later, the idea for Arkearth was born (while I was in the shower again) and we now had both concepts to fully develop and grow.
I truly knew the idea could work. People want to donate and to help save our ecosystem. We also want to look and feel good! AND the market is very open for a joint concept like this, so I started researching the skincare market, the history of Burt's Bees, Revlon, L'Oréal, bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, UNESCO, manufacturing, branding... whew, just about every and anything associated with launching both type entities. After testing product concepts from formulated samples, adding honey bee products to some, and personally selecting each product, I came up with 32 unique skincare products, 8 supplements, and 7 honey-infused food products.
Off and Buzzing!
So here we are, a year later at the end of the very beginning. You're now part of the story too! So, welcome to the hive! Shop for yourself, buy some skincare, supplements, or other honey-based products. Your contribution will help save the bees, butterflies, and other pollinating species! Thanks for reading and thanks for your support. :)
David M Burrows, Founder "Look Good. Do Good. Bee Good" - Hivessence / Arkearth