It’s been a minute, but we are BACK today with another DFD Babe Feature!!
If you’re new around here, I have a series called the DFD Babe Feature where I like to tell the stories of incredible women that are chasing their dreams and have started inspiring businesses. On this week’s lineup, we have Maria of the Dandy Bee Company here to tell us a little bit about why she started her all-natural beauty company and how she navigates a busy life as both an entrepreneur and mother.
I actually had the pleasure of working with Maria & her company for an Instagram giveaway and blog post (do you guys remember the What’s in My Purse post from a few weeks ago?), and I can tell you first hand that’s she’s super organized, extremely kind-hearted, open to connecting with others (which is what this is all about, in my opinion!) and hard-working. Keep reading if you want to hear more about her business, values, and advice!😊
Tell us a little bit about the Dandy Bee Company! When did you decided to start your own company?
Hi everyone! I recently launched the Dandy Bee Co., an all-natural body, beauty and home brand that has been years in the making. After taking time off running a blog and women’s accessory line of mine to raise my two sweet kids, I decided this was the year to rebrand and relaunch my company. While it was a little scary and a bit overwhelming, I knew the timing was right and it has always been a passion of mine.
What inspired you to start working on your own business creating non-toxic and organic beauty products?
Dandy Bee Co. was created out of a desire to provide my family with hard working yet non-toxic daily essentials. When my kids were born, I saw these little people who hadn’t yet been exposed to many of the harmful things in the world, chemicals and beyond, and wanted to prolong that as much as possible! I wanted to create a company that was transparent and trustworthy. That is the driving force and our bottom line for everything that we create for our customers!
What are three personality traits you think are key to being a successful business owner?
I think one of most important traits to have is determination. You really need to love and want it. I think sometimes there is this ideal of what running a business is – of getting to call the shots, being your own boss, flexibility etc. But at the end of the day, it is a lot hard, hard work, and hours devoted that may not pay off for a while. Another trait I think that is important is being able to enjoy the process, because success is rarely an overnight experience. For me, my previous company had very little to do with what I am doing now. But, I learned so many skills and lessons along the way.
I grew in my maturity and my vision, and while it could easily feel like I haven’t reached all my goals (especially as a mom who took time off), I know each step including the time off has played an important role in my success today and in the future. The last trait would be to understand and appreciate who you are, and to be willing to delegate. There is no one type of person who makes an amazing leader. Personally, I know I am not the best salesperson, but rather more vision driven and creative. Because of that, it is important for me to find people who I can partner with to help me in the areas that aren’t my strong points.
What’s your favorite part about running your own company?
I love being able to create, to imagine, and to see my dreams take shape. I love the feeling of accomplishment that comes when the hard work pays off!
And what’s your least favorite part?
In many ways, the vulnerability. Putting myself out there and hoping that people enjoy what I’ve created. It makes me strive harder though, and develop tougher skin!
What advice can you give to others looking to start pursuing their passions?
Look for a mentor if you can. Someone who has been there that can help guide you, or at the very least encourage you, through your journey. Test out your ideas on people around you to gauge if there is an audience for it. And become an expert in what you love to do: if you cannot do it to earn money yet, spend some time everyday practicing or experimenting with your passion. One day you’ll find you have developed your specialty!
How do you prioritize time for yourself when you’re super busy with your business? Do you have any de-stressing techniques or self-care routines you can share?
I always try and take weekends off, and if I can’t, only devote an hour or two to work. That time is for me and my family. My husband who is also an entrepreneur has encouraged me that it is possible! I love to read, and will spend at least 30 minutes every night by myself enjoying whatever fiction I can get my hands on. I also find time praying my way of getting whatever is causing me anxiety off my chest. It helps me really dissect whatever issues I’m facing and come up with a game plan on how to tackle it.
Where do you find inspiration?
Honestly, I am a problem solver by nature. A lot of my products are a result of some issue I am, or someone I know is dealing with. Or, if I see another product that I feel like I could improve upon also drives me. For example, my husband’s deodorant would leave this terrible build up on his shirt that I could not get out without major elbow grease. I formulated our own that he (the pickiest deodorant user I’ve met) loves, and the transformation of his shirts has been an amazing side effect.
I also love following other woman entrepreneurs. I once watched an episode of Chef’s Table on Christina Tosi and cried the entire time! It was so inspiring seeing this female who is an expert in her field, and the journey it took for her to get there.
What are you excited for in the second half of 2018 and beyond?
Launching many new products! We have been focusing on our organic lip balms and all the marketing aspects of it to build up awareness of our brand. Now that we have been making some headway there, I can start moving forward with making lots of new yummy goodies available for everyone to try!
And there ya have it!! How unbelievable is Maria, you guys?! That quote right up there ^ might be my biggest takeaway from this whole interview, but I think there’s probably something in there that could resonate with anyone.
Thanks so much for reading and if there’s someone you’d like me to interview next, please let me know in the comments!