Theresa Crichlow Shares Her Journey Launching BeeFavored Honey Parlor

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Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business:

Hello, I’m Theresa Crichlow, the proud owner of BeeFavored, a delightful haven known as the Honey Parlor nestled in the heart of Harlem, NY. As a passionate entrepreneur, my journey with BeeFavored has been a remarkable exploration into the world of honey and community. With a deep love for the craft, I’ve endeavored to create more than just a business – I’ve cultivated a space where honey enthusiasts and curious minds alike can come together to savor the richness of this natural delight. The Honey Parlor is not just a place; it’s a community hub where the sweet nuances of different perspectives converge, contributing to the thriving tapestry of BeeFavored. Join me on this flavorful adventure as we explore the diverse dimensions of honey, share in the joy of community, and discover the boundless possibilities that BeeFavored has to offer.

What excites you about being an Entreprenista League member?

Being a member of the Entreprenista League is a source of immense excitement for me. It’s a dynamic community where entrepreneurial spirits converge, sharing a collective enthusiasm for innovation and growth. The prospect of connecting with like-minded individuals who understand the intricacies of entrepreneurship and share a passion for building impactful businesses is truly invigorating. The Entreprenista League provides a platform for collaborative learning, networking, and the exchange of ideas, creating an environment where the seeds of inspiration can flourish. As an Entreprenista League member, I am thrilled about the opportunities to gain insights from diverse perspectives, engage in meaningful discussions, and forge connections that transcend the boundaries of traditional entrepreneurship. The sense of camaraderie within the league aligns with my belief in the power of community, and I look forward to leveraging this platform to propel BeeFavored into new realms of success. It’s not just a membership; it’s an exciting journey of growth, mutual support, and shared victories within a community that understands the unique challenges and joys of entrepreneurial endeavors.

That’s what the Entreprenista League is all about, Theresa! What made you take the leap to start your own business?

The decision to launch BeeFavored was a culmination of my deep passion for honey, a desire to create a unique community space and a personal journey toward entrepreneurship. The idea sprouted from my fascination with the diverse flavors and benefits that honey encompasses, coupled with a vision to share this love with others in a meaningful way. BeeFavored is not just a business for me; it’s a manifestation of a dream to build a haven where individuals can come together to appreciate the richness of honey, learn about its origins, and form connections within a vibrant community. The leap into entrepreneurship was fueled by a belief in the power of community and the transformative impact it can have on both individuals and businesses. The prospect of curating a space that goes beyond transactions and fosters genuine connections inspired me to take that leap. It’s about creating an experience, a journey where each visit to BeeFavored is more than just a purchase—it’s an exploration of flavors, a celebration of community, and a step into the world of honey in its myriad forms. In essence, BeeFavored is a reflection of my passion, a commitment to community, and the courage to turn a dream into a reality.

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

Before BeeFavored, LLC, my background, steeped in diverse experiences, laid the foundation for my entrepreneurial journey. Armed with formal education in small business and practical skills, I acquired the tools for business management. The journey into honey and bees began with a childhood memory of my mother, “the canning lady.” In 2020, encountering bees near her garage led me to a NYC beekeeper. Unbeknownst to me, this sparked the birth of BeeFavored. In 2022, recognizing the community’s desire for a specialty honey store, BeeFavored aimed to redefine the industry with creativity and quality. It aspired to be more than a business, evolving into a community hub fostering connections. Innovation defined BeeFavored’s identity. Diverse honey flavors and seasonal blends showcased boundless creativity, crafting delicious, sugar-free options. Starting the business combined expertise, a love for honey, and a desire to carve a unique space. This reflects a commitment to excellence, a passion for honey, and a determination to create a thriving community hub. BeeFavored’s journey embodies the entrepreneurial spirit, shaping both the business and its founder.

Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?

Reflecting on BeeFavored’s launch, our marketing strategy aimed to create a buzz online and locally in Harlem, NY. Social media and targeted ads played crucial roles, sharing engaging content about honey, and our unique products. Locally, partnerships, community events, and honey-tasting sessions were key, with a referral program encouraging word-of-mouth marketing. Flexibility and adaptability became crucial as we adjusted based on real-time feedback. The financial challenges in 2021, coupled with a transformative moment of faith and a friend’s blessing, led to the birth of BeeFavored. The evolution from BeeLoved to BeeFavored showcased creativity and a commitment to excellence. Owning a business brought recognition of our talents, discipline in energy allocation, and overcoming intellectual challenges. External disruptions became opportunities for adaptability, emphasizing e-commerce for survival and growth. The cautionary note about sharing our vision early underscores the importance of protecting our business essence. My advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is rooted in the reality of perseverance through challenges. BeeFavored, The Honey Parlor, is now a household name, a testament to our hard work and dedication. Here’s to BeeFavored’s continued success and growth!

What is the biggest challenge you have encountered along the way and what did you learn from it?

The most significant challenge I encountered on my entrepreneurial journey with BeeFavored was navigating the unexpected disruptions caused by external factors, such as the global economic downturn and the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. These unforeseen circumstances had a substantial impact on our operations and posed a threat to the continuity of the business. In facing this challenge, I learned the importance of adaptability and resilience. Being able to pivot swiftly, reassess business strategies, and embrace change became essential survival skills. We reevaluated our business model, placing a heightened emphasis on e-commerce and online engagement to cater to changing consumer behaviors. This not only allowed us to stay afloat during challenging times but also opened up new avenues for growth. Additionally, the experience reinforced the significance of building a strong and supportive community around BeeFavored. The relationships fostered during more stable times became instrumental in weathering the storm. The community not only provided essential support but also served as a source of inspiration and motivation to persevere through adversity. Ultimately, the biggest challenge became a catalyst for innovation and strategic evolution. It taught me that in the ever-changing landscape of entrepreneurship, adaptability, and a resilient mindset are invaluable assets. Embracing challenges as opportunities for growth has been a pivotal lesson that continues to shape the trajectory of BeeFavored.

What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?

One of BeeFavored’s proudest accomplishments is the recognition and feature on 1010 Wins Small Business in 2023. This acknowledgment validates the hard work, dedication, and commitment to excellence, innovation, and community engagement. The feature is not only a personal achievement but a collective success, highlighting the positive impact BeeFavored has made. Beyond the feature, the establishment of BeeFavored as a thriving community hub is another source of pride. Going beyond financial success, genuine connections, positive impact within the local community, and shared enthusiasm for honey flavors showcase the brand’s meaningful contributions. Creating a supportive network in Harlem, NY, reflects BeeFavored’s success in cultivating a connected and engaged community, bringing immense pride and joy.

Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?

Absolutely. Maintaining a healthy work/life balance is crucial as an entrepreneur at BeeFavored. Drawing from my experience, here are some tips to achieve this equilibrium: Prioritize and Delegate: Focus on core responsibilities and delegate tasks to prevent burnout and enhance productivity. Set Clear Boundaries: Establish defined work hours, ensuring dedicated personal and family time. Schedule Breaks: Regular breaks throughout the workday refresh the mind and contribute to overall well-being. Make Time for Yourself: Dedicate specific time to activities that bring joy and relaxation, promoting a balanced lifestyle. Utilize Technology Mindfully: Set designated times for checking emails to avoid constant work interruptions and maintain focus. Establish a Routine: Developing a structured routine provides stability in managing both work and personal commitments. Learn to Say No: It’s essential to decline additional responsibilities when necessary to prevent overcommitting and maintain balance. Communicate Expectations: Transparent communication with your team fosters a supportive work environment and an understanding of boundaries. Take Vacations: Schedule breaks and vacations to recharge, allowing for relaxation and a fresh perspective. Reflect and Adjust: Regularly assess your work/life balance and be willing to adjust your strategies as life and business dynamics change. Maintaining a balance is an ongoing process that requires continuous effort and adjustments. By implementing these tips, you can foster a healthier balance, enabling excellence in both your business and personal life.

All such valuable tips! What’s a piece of advice you can share that you wish you’d known when you first started your Entreprenista journey?

One invaluable piece of advice I would share with my past self at the beginning of the BeeFavored journey is to embrace the concept of delegation early on. As an entrepreneur, it’s common to want to handle every aspect of your business, given the personal investment and passion involved. However, recognizing that you can’t do everything yourself and learning to trust others with certain responsibilities is key to sustainable growth. Delegating tasks not only frees up your time for strategic planning and higher-level decision-making but also allows your team to contribute their unique skills and expertise. Surrounding yourself with capable and dedicated individuals can enhance the overall efficiency and effectiveness of your business. Moreover, understanding that delegation is not a sign of weakness but a strategic move to optimize resources is crucial. It enables you to focus on your strengths and the aspects of the business where your unique skills shine brightest. In essence, my advice to my past self would be: Don’t hesitate to share the workload, trust your team, and allow them to contribute their talents. Delegation is a powerful tool for growth and sustainability in the entrepreneurial journey.

What have you achieved recently that you’d like to celebrate with our community?

BeeFavored is thrilled to share recent achievements that highlight our commitment to positive transformation, community engagement, and environmental stewardship. We firmly believe in the power of education and mentorship as catalysts for change. First and foremost, BeeFavored is dedicated to equipping formerly incarcerated young individuals, particularly focusing on female hires, with the necessary tools to excel in the food service industry. Our goal is to nurture leaders within these communities, fostering personal and professional growth. Understanding the crucial role of bees in daily life and ecosystems, we strive to connect individuals and communities to their environment. Through interactive events, community science programs, webinars, honey bee Hive Dives, and more, we invite everyone to join us and let their passion for pollinators take flight. Generosity is a core value at BeeFavored, and we take pride in donating samples of our honey and tea products to local businesses, non-profit organizations, friends, families, and pop-up shops. Our commitment to giving back extends to supporting causes such as autism organizations, outreach programs, feminist business empowerment groups, and volunteering with organizations like the All Stars Project in New Jersey, where we focus on inspiring children and their business aspirations. Moreover, BeeFavored hosts free online and in-person events designed to educate, engage, and inspire environmental stewardship. Centered around celebrating our favorite pollinators, these events not only create awareness but also foster a sense of community and shared responsibility towards our environment. Recognizing the importance of building and maintaining strong customer loyalty, BeeFavored is unwavering in our dedication to our customers. The relationships we nurture are integral to our success in the business arena, and we are grateful for the ongoing support. In summary, BeeFavored’s recent achievements reflect our commitment to holistic impact—from empowering individuals through education and mentorship to fostering environmental awareness and giving back to our community. We invite everyone to be a part of this journey and celebrate with us!

What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?

BeeFavored’s future is bright, marked by a commitment to growth and innovation. Initiatives for the next few years include diversifying product offerings with new honey blends, teas, and spices. Expansion beyond NYC is planned, opening stores in strategic locations. Community engagement remains a priority, hosting events like honey-tasting sessions and workshops. Online presence will be strengthened for broader accessibility through e-commerce. Exciting collaborations with local artisans and businesses are anticipated, creating unique products. The commitment to social impact will continue, supporting causes like autism organizations and mentorship programs. Emphasis on sustainable practices involves exploring eco-friendly packaging and responsible sourcing. The customer-centric approach remains a priority, actively adapting to preferences and ensuring a welcoming experience at the Honey Parlor. The upcoming years hold promise for BeeFavored, with a dynamic blend of growth, innovation, and community engagement, positioning the brand for lasting impact in the honey and specialty food industry.

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