Wellpreneurs That Inspire: Carly & Daniel from Beekeeper's Naturals
by Kiki Athanas
July 11, 2017
This Might Just Bee the Most Epic Product Brought to the Canadian Market, Ever.
Bee products - much beyond honey, are all the rage these days, considering our obsession with all things “superfood” - or is that just me? Regardless, manuka honey is so yesterday, and what’s officially in are substances that will literally change your life - in fact, they’ve been diligently tested and proven to do so.
My friend Yasi and I sat down with Carly and Daniel from Beekeeper’s Naturals and while their entrepreneurial journey was interesting to hear about, it was the epic products that they were bringing to market that couldn’t help but steal the show.
Carly, with an impressive background in the health and science field, as well as experience landing a killer “dream” finance position at Goldman Sachs, has always loved the bees. Yup, it might seem a bit odd, but this brainy bombshell has always “been one with the bees”, so to speak. Even in university, it was cheer practice - and then off to beekeeping, like you do!
She says it all really began when she spent a semester abroad, and became very sick, which was a slight ish to say the least, being as she is allergic to antibiotics. Luckily, she discovered the power of bee propolis.
Wait, hold up - what exactly is bee propolis?
Carly is extremely knowledgeable and was incredibly diligent with her explanation of all things “bees” (and that might be the understatement of the century), so in order to not mess up her already perfect description...here’s the info straight from the source:
Propolis is the immune system of the hive. It’s a sticky substance the bees make from collecting plant and tree resins. Propolis has powerful healing properties and is widely regarded as “nature’s antibiotic” for its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anti-fungal effects.
Humans have been using propolis to up their health game since 300 B.C. Propolis has a stronger taste than honey but still has all of its natural sweetness making it the best tasting “medicine” around.
Ever since being literally cured from this magical hive extract, Carly has been on a life-long journey with the bees! Not just researching from the comfort of textbooks (she admits she’s a bit of a nerd), Carly wasn’t afraid to put on her beekeeping suit and veil and get up close and personal with these beautiful life-boosting insects!
With that said, she still followed a relatively more “mainstream” (although admirably successful) life and career, and kept this love of bees to herself for the most part. She found a reliable source where she could continue to dose up on this life-changing propolis from a small-scale beekeeper. Eventually though, her friends caught on and wanted in on the glory. So she become somewhat of a “middle-man” distributor for friends and family - not looking for profits or doing it for any business goals, but rather just to spread the gifts of this wonderful product.
Meanwhile, as Carly continued to soar the finance industry and turn heads in absolute admiration for her success in that field, her little bee product side-hustle was also growing quickly, and it was hard to keep up with both.
Real Life Takeaway #1:
When something is “meant to be” you may interpret the signal as somewhat confusing and difficult to face.
Carly talks about how it was fear that was really getting in the way of pursuing this bee business as a full-time career, as finance felt like the “stable, responsible thing to do”. Furthermore, she had countless peers congratulating her on her success landing a job at such a “reputable firm”, and Carly realized that people would think she’s crazy for giving it all up...for a start-up CPG company at that!
While it was really challenging to step away from, Carly eventually made the move, and is certainly glad she did. With that said, she has no regrets on taking her time to do so, as she is extremely grateful for her past experiences and for the opportunity to work in a large-scale and very structured corporate environment.
What was the official turning point for Carly? Well, Daniel (her business partner - we’ll get to him soon) jokes it certainly wasn’t a one-day decision (Carly doesn’t seem like she’s even capable of making any sort of rash decision), but rather years in the making. Carly explains it simply: “My rule of thumb is that if I’m scared to do something, that means I should probably go ahead and force myself to do it!”
Today, her and the countless customers - who have literally felt the life-changing benefits of the Beekeeper’s Naturals products - are nonetheless pleased with her choice.
So, now on to Daniel - a corporate lawyer turned beekeeper. Classic.
He came across bee propolis from Carly, who recommended he try it after one too many trips dropping bills at the local pharmacy, on cold and flu treatments that were much less than effective - and likely doing more harm than good. What was an overworked, sleep-deprived lawyer to do? Carly knew the answer of course, but didn’t want to highlight that it came from a “natural” source (or her), as that may mess with Daniel’s interpreted legitimacy of it. In other words, like most of us, he wasn’t exactly a believer in “natural” remedies, because, let’s be real: they hardly EVER work.
Whether you call it being skeptical or naive, Daniel admits his initial assumptions about this propolis stuff was all wrong: it worked like a charm.
Eventually going down a similar path and deciding to revamp his concept of “dream job” to bring propolis to the people (and becoming a beekeeper in the process - a non-negotiable requirement for joining Carly’s team) - today, Daniel and Carly are full-blown entrepreneurs in the bee product space, like it or not!
I asked Daniel what the key turning point was for him, and he expressed the importance of influential mentors in his life.
Real Life Takeaway #2:
Let those who are older (and "wiser" - from years of the past experience), inspire you to follow what it is that's important to YOU.
I thought it was interesting to note that while both entrepreneurs seemed to be cautious of how others would interpret their choice to move away from the corporate world, they both took to heart conversations they had with their elders. These discussions weren’t so much about what made the most sense for their careers, but rather they were prompted to think long and hard about what would make them happy, and where they wanted to be years into the future.
Carly noted that someone once asked her straight up: Who do you want to be in 5 years? She looked around in her corporate workplace, and realized that while she admires many of her fellow colleagues and the leaders in her environment, it wasn’t HER path, and that’s what she needed to find and follow.
Hard decisions were made much easier by the countless emails from happy customers, both Carly and Daniel talk about with pure joy in their eyes. Literally, both of them went on rambles about the specifics of several customers’ stories and journeys with Beekeeper’s Naturals products (I won’t bore you with the details, but trust me that their excitement for their customers’ health improvements was truly the cutest thing ever).
Real Life Takeaway #3:
Your market should thank you. All of our discussions with successful entrepreneurs to date share the same insights: they knew they were onto something because their customers made them incredibly aware of just how much they loved what is was they were doing/bringing to them. Yasi and I agree that it’s especially relevant in the case of Beekeeper’s Naturals, as they are literally bringing life-changing products to the Canadian market, and enabling people to heighten the overall quality of their lives. Being and feeling healthy is, EVERYTHING.
While we both prefer for these Your Felicity interviews to discuss the entrepreneurial journeys of the CEOs and founders of companies that inspire us, even Yasi agreed that I should highlight the total amazingness of what it is Carly and Daniel are offering. What that said, I’d really rather NOT share the details of their bee products inaccurately, so I encourage you to click each one of the following products to learn something kind of sort of THE BEST EVER.
Get your credit cards out people, this is WORTH the investment. Mid-afternoon latte or a vile of B.LXR brain fuel? I’ll take the latter, thank you very much.
We’re both super excited to see where Carly and Daniel take this, and we’ll be excitedly following their journey, and feel honoured to have had the chance to get the inside scoop on it all - thanks you beautiful beings!