Hutch Honey was conceived last year by four upper school juniors, now seniors, in my entrepreneurship class as a way to sell the honey produced by the bees on the Hutchison Farm.Kaia Starks ’18, Hannah Daniele ’18, Rachel Kimery ’18, and Kellie Taylor ’18 researched honey labeling and packaging requirements, pricing and health regulations, and successfully pitched the concept to our on-campus store manager, Mrs. Bess Bartusch. After selling out within hours in the Buzz Shop and generating a lengthy wait list of customers chomping at the bit to get the next fresh batch of sweetness, the co-founders immediately began to think of ways to use more of what our bees produce.
Kaia, Hannah, Rachel, and Kellie hit the ground running this semester meeting with me and Mary Riddle, Hutchison’s horticulturist, to strategize the expansion of the Hutch Honey product line. Mrs. Riddle shared that although the honey supply could sometimes be unpredictable, there was an abundance of beeswax on the farm that could be used to produce a myriad of products! The girls met a few more times to talk through their next steps and unanimously agreed that adding a line of lip balms and body butters was the direction that they wanted to go. They decided to call the new line Body Bees.
“My friends would totally buy lip balms and lotions,” said Kaia. Together, we looked up recipes and talked through the pros and cons of using different essential oils. “Let’s do something minty,” said Rachel. “No, I think clean is better.” “Nah, everybody loves rose.” “Why don’t we just make some testers and let our customers decide for themselves?” We all agreed that was the best suggestion yet.
Two weeks ago, our girls set up a product testing table in Labry Hall that included two samples of body butter (lavender lemongrass and grapefruit lime orange) along with three samples of lip balm (sweet orange, spearmint, and grapefruit lime). The response was overwhelming as Kaia and Hannah had done a great job urging their classmates to stop by the table in the convocations leading up to the event. Hannah made all of the posters for the tables, Kaia oversaw the creation of the product feedback survey, and Kellie and Rachel set up the display samples the day of the event. As the smell of lavender permeated the halls and classrooms, we watched faculty, staff, and upper school girls delight in our creations.
Recently the girls met to discuss the feedback received and plan the official launch of the new Body Bees product line, which will be Thursday, November 30 at the Holiday House Market in the Wiener Theater Lobby. The Holiday House Market, hosted by Hutchison Invests, will provide budding entrepreneurs in Upper School with a forum to showcase and sell a variety of products and services they have made or conceptualized to the Hutchison community. Shopping hours will be before the Winter Music Concert from 4:30-5:20 pm and then after from 6:45-7:30 pm. Come out and see for yourself the greatness that is being cultivated in the halls of Upper School!
Inspiration for these projects came from the girls’ involvement in Hutchison Invests, the newest co-curricular program in Upper School that provides girls with the opportunity to explore the world of entrepreneurship. In addition to experimenting with entrepreneurial ideas, participants learn how to think creatively, collaborate, and take calculated risks.
ABOUT KIM WARE
Kim Ware is the director of the Hutchison Invests program. She also teaches upper school economics. Mrs. Ware holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from The University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, and a Master of Arts in Education from Union University. She previously served as the Director of Placement and Student Affairs at Veritas College Preparatory Charter School.