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The Honey Pot Co was born out of an ancestral dream and is now available across Target stores nationwide. How did Beatrice Feliu Espada launch the first ever plant-based menstrual care system and why is it a home run? Find out in our chat below.

Q: Beatrice! Thanks for the time. I first discovered your Honey Pot products at Essence Street Style in Brooklyn. There was a crowd of people surrounding your booth so I went over. I quickly became one with the crowd–oohing and aahing over your clean design and your extensive, intentional product offering focused on vagina health. Very cool, and very different. What gave you the initial idea?

Beatrice Feliu Espada: I suffered from an almost year long bout with BV (bacteria vaginosis) back in 2012. It was a vicious cycle of doctor’s visits and antibiotics and I grew so frustrated every time the infection came back. One night I had a dream where one of my ancestors gave me a recipe for a natural wash that would help me get rid of BV. I woke up and made that recipe the very next morning and the rest is history. I knew the product worked because I used it on myself. I figured if I could heal myself, I could certainly heal other women. We launched The Honey Pot Company two years after I had that dream and here we are today with washes, wipes, pads and tampons and so much more.

Q: When it comes to holistic vagina health, you’re there. Your tampons and pads are made without pesticides, chlorine, BPA, dyes and dioxins. Your washes are gynecologist approved. Your postpartum pads are made to soothe soreness and calm cramping. And these are just highlights. How do your personal values inform the mission to provide products that cleanse, protect, and balance for vaginas?

Beatrice Feliu Espada: I would never compromise the integrity of my product line to make a quick buck. I am all about transparency from my ingredient deck to the way I run my business. I believed from day one that it was possible to create a line of products that were healthy and functional and I won’t stray from that. I want women to have healthy choices and that’s what The Honey Pot Company brings to the table. Healthy, affordable, natural options that actually work and are safe.

Q: How did your background experience help you launch your brand?

Beatrice Feliu Espada: Several things qualify me to be the founder and CEO of The Honey Pot Company. For starters, I have a background in pharmacy which means I know how to compound different ingredients and make formulas. I also have a retail background in that I worked at Whole Foods in the Whole Body section and was able to get a lot of good research and development with the customers that came into my department. I know retail really well so I understand how to get products into stores and the impact that has on overall sales and brand awareness.

Q: And you are your own customer. Triple threat! Sometimes brands that have a deep product line like yourself get categorized for the most popular or unique thing they offer. What do you do to avoid being categorized as the “plant-based tampon brand” or the “mommy-to-be” brand?

Beatrice Feliu Espada: Straight out the gate we branded ourselves as The Honey Pot Company which means we make all types of products for your honeypot. We have set out to make natural, healthy alternatives to some of the most popular conventional products on the market. We are all things vaginal care and menstrual care and have even spread into sexual health. We are solely focused on the vagina so we want our customer to know that she’s made a good choice when choosing our products.

Q: Nice. Makes sense to me. Touching on fundraising, when did you decide to fundraise, what was that process like for you and what advice do you have for those that wish to follow in your footsteps?

Beatrice Feliu Espada: We had to raise capital the second we got the Target contract. You’re talking about going from making products in-house to having to hire co-packers and moving thousands of units versus hundreds. Money is pivotal to the process of building a CPG (consumer packaged goods) brand. There’s so much money involved in ordering inventory and marketing and sales. In regards to advice, you are going to have to leave no stone unturned when it comes to seeking money. You can’t be shy or timid. You also need to prove your case and it can’t be that you’re asking for money without any proof of concept. We had proven our product could move way before we raised.

Q: You’ve mentioned that Target was one of the first mass-market retailers to invest in clean skincare. Since you hit the shelves with them nationwide, what shifts have you noticed in terms of how the clean skincare market has evolved? Who is getting shelf space? Newer brands like yourself? Are more legacy brands evolving their product line…or just updating their marketing?

Beatrice Feliu Espada: We love Target for taking a chance on a new upstart such as ourselves. It was a risky move but a rewarding one for both the consumer and for the industry as a whole. We have noticed that many legacy brands have shifted their product offerings in direct response to the shift in consumer demand for healthier options. There are a lot of new brands popping up all the time as well. We believe there is enough out here for all of us to prosper and we love that women have way more options.

Q: Moving beyond Target’s doors, where do you see the clean skincare industry going? What will it look like in five years?

Beatrice Feliu Espada: I see it becoming the new conventional option. I think most brands are going to have to offer a cleaner, healthier alternative if they want to stay relevant. I think all retailers will offer clean options in order to stay competitive. I also think there will continue to be new innovations in the clean skincare industry in regards to ingredients, technology and performance.

Q: I’ve heard you talk about skin food. Is a plant-based diet the best? What’s your opinion on how we can best feed our skin?

Beatrice Feliu Espada:  Plant-based is definitely the way to go as your body processes plants, herbs, vegetables and fruits much easier than animal based products. I believe in using products on my skin that are safe enough to ingest hence the essential oils and natural butters and creams.

Array of The Honey Pot Co plant-based products including mommy-to-be, pads and moisturizing lubrication

Q: Moving beyond Target’s doors, where do you see the clean skincare industry going? What will it look like in five years?

Beatrice Feliu Espada: I see it becoming the new conventional option. I think most brands are going to have to offer a cleaner, healthier alternative if they want to stay relevant. I think all retailers will offer clean options in order to stay competitive. I also think there will continue to be new innovations in the clean skincare industry in regards to ingredients, technology and performance.

Q: I’ve heard you talk about skin food. Is a plant-based diet the best? What’s your opinion on how we can best feed our skin?

Beatrice Feliu Espada:  Plant-based is definitely the way to go as your body processes plants, herbs, vegetables and fruits much easier than animal based products. I believe in using products on my skin that are safe enough to ingest hence the essential oils and natural butters and creams.

Q: 36 states still tax menstrual products. What change would you like to see when it comes to period progress and vagina health and education?  

Beatrice Feliu Espada: I definitely look forward to seeing the menstrual tax become a thing of the past. I also look forward to seeing more progressive laws ensuring women and girls worldwide having access to adequate feminine care. Also we need to improve sex education across the board. So many young women today still don’t know how their bodies function so we’re adamant on the importance of teaching and educating girls and women about their vaginas and vulvas.

Q: I love that you’ve teamed up with #HappyPeriod to help increase access to period supplies. How do you leverage your brand power to reduce stigma around menstruation and vagina health?

Beatrice Feliu Espada: We have created a platform where our customers and followers can feel safe discussing their most intimate issues without any ridicule or harassment. We’re also super excited to be partnering with #HappyPeriod as they are doing the work that really impacts women out in the world!

Q: Which product do you think flies under the radar, that you want to give some props to?

Beatrice Feliu Espada: I would have to say our regular herbal pads fly under the radar the most. I think it’s because many of our followers have heavier flows and aren’t sure or confident that the regular pads will keep them safe and leakage free.

Q: What do you think of a curated website that features only brands run by people of color, women and LGBTQ individuals?

Beatrice Feliu Espada: I think curated sites are a great way to showcase new brands from people of color. We love promoting those types of sites.

Q: Thank you so much for your time and sharing you story with us. Is there anything else you want to share or say?

Beatrice Feliu Espada: Thank you for giving me this opportunity to highlight my brand! We want to make The Honey Pot Company a household name.

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