Today we’d like to introduce you to Holly Krieger.
Holly, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
My name is Holly, and I’m the owner of Mae Bee Honey Company, LLC. Our company was started in 2018 by my husband and I, with just one beehive. The apiary, our business, and our family quickly grew over the next few years. We are now managing around 11 hives, a flock of ducks and geese, working with many different companies in partnerships while also raising three beautiful children. My BS degree is in Zoology, and I have always had a love for animals, the planet, and conservation. This business has allowed me to feel like I can truly make a difference in many of the areas that I am so very passionate about. By being beekeepers, we are helping to save our pollinators. We plant native wildflower gardens all over our property, and we have it registered as a Monarch Waystation and a Certified Wildlife Habitat. We rear monarchs for release each season and truly try to make a sanctuary here in Medina. Reducing our carbon footprint is very important to us as well. All of our packaging is plastic-free; we source as many ingredients that we can locally and grow as many things as we can for our products on our property. Our free-range ducks have been a new addition over this last year, and they have been such a joy and a rewarding aspect to the business. They have become members of the family, and now that they are producing farm-fresh eggs, we are another step along in becoming more sustainable on our farm.
Moving into other niches of my business came along when I began having excess products, and instead of wasting them, we found ways to use them. I began making lip balm with the surplus wax that we acquired for our honey extraction. From there, the cosmetics took off running. I quickly realized after having three children that I wanted to make sure that the types of beauty products I was using on them were simple, safe, and good for the environment. Those three requirements were hard to come by in a product, so I began making my own. It grew from just a single lip balm to lip tints, repair balms, bath bombs and teas, body butters, soaps, and so much more. Using beeswax in our candles also has been a huge success since it is sustainable, clean burning, and we only use 100% Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils for scent, just like in all of our other products.
Our business has allowed me to accomplish two important things in my life: to be able to stay at home and watch my children grow and leave the world a little bit better than I found it.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back, would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I feel like any small business owner knows that the road less traveled is a bumpy one. Starting from scratch means a lot of things, and you have to take it all in, the good and the bad. The exhaustion is real, but so is the incredible feeling of watching your business and relationships grow. I personally struggle mostly in the aspect of juggling being a small business owner and a full-time mommy of three. There are a lot of really long hours, late nights with both the business and kids, and that can feel overwhelming sometimes. I try to remember though, that my children are watching me work and create and make a difference in this world and do something that I am passionate about. I hope that determination to make a difference is showered down on them somehow and that, although some of my nights are long, and some days my attention may be pulled in many different directions, they grow up knowing that if you believe in something, you can do it. I want them to see the wildlflowers through the “weeds” and chase their own dreams, whatever those may be.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Over the last few years, the company has changed, evolved, and grown. We are a business that sells raw, infused, creamed honey and pollen from our hives on the property. We also have a cosmetic line in which we focus on limited, natural ingredient skin care with eco-friendly packaging. The goal is to reduce single-use plastics in the environment while also creating a product that has luxurious natural ingredients that you can feel good about! We use only 100% Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils in our products and take great care in selecting ingredients that are good for the skin and the earth. Beeswax candles are another product that has gained traction, especially when they are paired with a beautifully made ceramic planter pot made by a local artist in Homerville, Ohio, named Alyssa Osborne. I believe people know us best for a few things; eco-friendly packaging, delicious honey, and no synthetic fragrances. I always bring myself back to a single question when making a new product, would I let my kids use this? If I hesitate or am worried about any of the ingredients in a product, they are removed. If I am not comfortable letting my children use my products, there really is no reason in my mind to make it. I guess that may be what sets us apart most from other companies. I am more concerned about what I put into my finished product and less about my bottom line. I feel that products can have it all; they can look beautiful, have luxurious natural ingredients, and be affordable too.
Are there any apps, books, podcasts, blogs, or other resources you think our readers should check out?
When we are walking the property or are out and about with the kids and find a plant that bees and pollinators are working hard on, we take a picture, of course. The plant apps are so helpful to us, especially the new option that is integrated into the iPhone’s photo features. You can take a quick picture, swipe up, and identify the plant. These apps allow us to bring in more variety for our bees and other pollinators that call our property home.
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/maebeehoneyco/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/maebeehoneyco/
- Other: https://forms.gle/oUknbq7YwtTf5sTZA
Sarah Marie Photography
Trillium Creek Dermatology