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Monday, November 18, 2013

Shop & Support Moms - Meaghan and Evelyn

I am so excited to feature these two super mommas and their new business, BeeCH Co. Very awesome items made from a real bee keeper's honey. They are dedicated to not just making extra money for their families, but also building something their two daughters would be proud of. Thank you, Meaghan and Evelyn, for sharing your story with us as part of this month's Shop & Support Moms series. 

This is exactly the type of new small business that I wanted to feature this month on the blog. Everyone wins when you shop and support a local mom team, working to inspire their little girls and do what they love. Enjoy!

To win a prize from these awesome ladies, please comment below or at the Mommy Stories Facebook group! Prize is a FREE chapstick with ANY purchase!

All photos from Meaghan Schoff 

1. How did you start your business? Why did you want your own business? When did you start your business?   
We started in 2012, Evelyn had a baby girl, Harper, in April and I had a baby girl, Caroline, in July.  Not too long after the girls were born we heard of some leading baby products containing cancer causing chemicals, and it struck a chord with us both, especially since I was using those products on Caroline. My mother is a bee keeper and had signed up for a class to make lotions and chap stick out of her beeswax, when I mentioned the class to Evelyn, it’s like a light bulb went off- We both dream of one day either working part time at our jobs or being stay at home moms, so we thought starting our own company could help get us there! From there we brainstormed names of a potential company and what we might offer. 
2. What does the name of your business mean? How did you come up with the title? 
The BeeCH Co. Has a few different meanings. My mother is our beekeeper- and she lives on Beech Ridge Road, so we wanted to incorporate that into our name.  We also wanted to pay a tribute to Caroline and Harper, so we capitalized the C and H at the end of Beech- leaving the word Bee visible to the customer’s eye. 
3. What does your shop specialize in? What is your favorite item to make? 
Currently, we seem to specialize in Bridal/baby shower gifts, it just seems to be the most popular orders we have had and we have so much fun creating custom labels and knowing that we are contributing to someone’s special day. We are both most proud of our Honey Ointment because we are extremely pleased with the feedback from others who have used it. We feel proud that we mastered this one, because it was our hardest recipe to perfect this far. 

4. How do you get inspiration and ideas for items to make? 
Our inspiration is our children and our own family members. 
 We would never make a product with any chemicals in it. We only make products that feel 100% comfortable to use on our own children, so we know it is safe for anyone to use. 
Our ideas mostly come from customers, people will ask us, “do you guys make....?” and we make note of that as something to put on the list of things to make. 

5. How long does it take you to make items? When do you make your items mostly, what time of day? What do you do while creating something - tv on? music on?
It all depends on what we are making, we have spent an hour to four hours on making products. Evelyn and I both work out of the home, 40 hours a week.  We only get so much time to spend with our little girls, and we have vowed that this will not get in the way of bed time rituals, weekend morning rituals, or any special time in between.  We both have the same values and morals when it comes to our roles as moms and wives, and regardless of where this business adventure will lead us- we do not want to lose quality time with our families. With that said- you name a time; we have probably produced products in that time frame. We get together after bed time for the girls, or we get together early on a weekend morning, during a nap time, when daddies are home with them, whenever.  There have literally been times where Evelyn will text me and say “Harpers Napping, want to make something?” and I will get excited with a response of “So is C!” then it’s like, ready-GO and we get some stuff made. We try to make products together, but there have been times where I make a batch of chapstics after Caroline goes to sleep, or Evelyn makes a batch of hand balm for an upcoming shower at her house. We never have the tv on or music. We are best friends, so we use that time as just time to hang, talk, and a lot of laughing.

6. Take me step by step through sending someone's package to them.. what special things do you include in there ? How do you wrap them up? Do you get nervous when you send packages to people?   
I think we will always get a little nervous when we place our product in someone elses hand.  We know that we love our product, so we can only hope that someone else loves it that much also.  We hand deliver a lot of orders, so we package it up in a clear bag, with some ribbon with honey bees on it. We try to keep it simple and natural looking. 

We shipped chapsticks for a bridal shower to Oregon this past winter, and we threw a handful of extras in for the customer, in hopes that she might hand them out to other friends or co workers. I had a cousin order some items from us for her friend who was a military wife, her husband was just deployed and she was home with their three young children. We threw in  an extra Honey Ointment for her and the children as a thank you to the sacrifices she has to make so her husband can fight for our freedom.

7. What is your success rate? How many orders so far? 
We just started a little over a year ago, and for that first year, we spent our time saying- if we are going to do this, we are going to do it right. We did less selling, and more planning and perfecting.  
 We made products and handed them out to friends and family who we knew would give us truthful feedback, we wanted to hear what they liked and what they didn’t like, what they would change or what they would keep the same. We also tested everything ourselves. Lot of trial and error. It is only recently we have started to advertise and have enough confidence in our product to join a local craft fair at the end of this month.  I would say our success rate is great, considering what we have sold. We are totally reliant on word of mouth, and so far that has treated us pretty good!

 8. Why do you think people should buy on Etsy, homemade items? 
Evelyn and I both hope that this business could end up being something great- and we believe that everyone feels that way about their business and homemade items. 
Yeah, you can buy it cheaper on the shelf at a pharmacy store, but you don’t know what it contains.  We can tell you exactly what is in our product and that it was made with hard work, dedication and pride.   
When my husband and I were in Fort Kent for a wedding, we talked to a man there and I mentioned that the town was lacking a popular donut shop, and he said “we had one, but it’s gone, it didn’t make it, because we support local.” I love that.  The only way our business can make it, and one day be handed down to our girls is if people support us. Everyone has a reason for starting their own business, and we think it is only fair and kind to support their hard work adventure.

 9. What are your favorite Etsy shops you buy from? 
We have purchased items from multiple Etsy shops a  couple of our favorites being:  Sniffwhiskers which is a grandpa that makes homemade wooden pull toys for kids and  BagEnvy – which has great custom made diaper bags, 

 10. How does your business allow you to be a great mother?    
We are able to make our products while spending time with our children. They play together at our feet while we do this.  As I stated- we long to be stay home moms/part time workers some day, so this could possibly help bring us to that point.   
We long for the day when our girls can put an apron on and help us make products, and like I said- we hope that one day they will be set up to take it over and have success with it. This business is totally built around them and for them.


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