Industry Experience - Start Up | Premium Goods | Sustainable Manufacturing | Non-profit | Fine Wine & Beverage | Specialty Food | Education | Cannabis | Agriculture | Enology | Premium Housewares & Furniture | Fine Jewelry & Gift | Fine Dining & Hospitality
Currently, I am remotely consulting for a non-profit in Texas, helping them to refresh their marketing strategies and establish clear messaging. I’m also doing volunteer marketing work for the upcoming BLDPNW 2019, B Corp Leadership Development Conference.
I’ve worked with progressive companies focused on modern branding such as Crate & Barrel, Owen Roe Winery, and Whole Foods. Working for these companies taught me how to think critically and precisely about what honors brand identity, and what does not.
In 2008, I co-founded a mission-driven business in my garage. Within 8 years, the company was selling $6.5+ million per year and had appeared on both ABC’s Shark Tank and Beyond the Tank. The company changed an entire industry’s marketing model through our social media strategy, SEO, content curation and development, e-commerce presence, thoughtful collaborations, local and community events, and non-profit partnerships We literally could not keep up with the demand.
When that company, Bee Thinking, first began producing hives, I quickly noticed a tremendous gap in the industry. All of the established supply companies had been around for many decades, and in some cases, one hundred plus years. Each touted one “right way” to keep bees, based in using chemical treatments and medications. None of them had updated websites, any sort of resonant branding or consideration of social media, and no messaging or efforts toward SEO.
We wanted to impact the market by leading with our values of sustainability, premium quality, finest design, simplified product line, natural management, and giving back. We did that by using clean and progressive aesthetics, engaging copy, strong photography, beautiful videos, and sharing our genuine passion for our work with our community and audience.
Having worked at a number of family owned, premium companies, I understood the value of our story. I earnestly framed and communicated our company’s path as we grew, and included our customers in our growth, our natural beekeeping values, and story of the ‘little company that could’ via social media, national appearances, blog posts, and email marketing. This created a fervent customer and follower base invested in our story, as well as many informal brand ambassadors across many mediums.
We concentrated on visually depicting our raw materials—the forest and lumber, and our subjects—the bees. We employed modern, minimal graphics to create an ubiquitous visual brand that would utilize the natural beauty of our products for our customers and followers. We extensively utilized lifestyle photos to depict the sensory experience of beekeeping, something that was not being done in the industry at that time.
Within a few short years, the company that began in my garage was steadily making giant steps in the industry and getting noticed. We revolutionized a millenia-old industry, breaking the path for companies such as FLOW Hive (with whom we eventually partnered), and permanently changing the way existing companies conducted business. Bee Thinking eventually ceased due to not being able to meet the ever growing customer demand.
After the closure of Bee Thinking, Bee Built rose from its ashes and brand creation began again, this time with a different narrative and tone. Bee Built continues to lead with the values of sustainability, immediate fulfillment, giving back, and the premium products and design.