T h e S T R E A M by MSBNC
NOVEMBER LADY BOSS:
LAURA CARMANY | Owner of The Wholesome Hive
Laura Carmany finds "harmony" in being an entrepreneur, a wife and mother, and something of a time management superstar. Just as Laura integrates all her roles, her product line from The Wholesome Hive can integrate skin care, home care, and holiday gift giving in an all natural way. Stay tuned to find out when you can meet Laura and test her products at a Pop-Up Shop later this month.
Q. Name & Location of Business?
A. The Wholesome Hive, North Canton, Ohio
Q. How long have you been in business?
A. 4 Years
Q. How did you get started?
A. The Wholesome Hive started as a hobby-turned-business in 2013. My husband learned to be a beekeeper while serving in the Peace Corps about 12 years ago and decided that he’d eventually love to have hives of his own. Once married in 2008, we traveled for a few years, first to Alaska and then to Ecuador. When we found out we were pregnant with our first son, we decided to put down some roots in our home state of Ohio. Planning to be a stay-at-home-mom, I desired to learn more about my husband’s hobby. To acquire new hives, he would remove bees that were inhabiting people’s houses or trees, and along with that he would bring home the honeycomb that had been built up. I knew that beeswax came from honeycomb and I knew that useful products were made from beeswax. So I started researching what I could do with the beeswax. I was intrigued to see many of the same ingredients, in different proportions, in these recipes. I started by experimenting with lip balm, vapor rub, and deodorant. I gave them out as gifts to friends and family, and I got a positive response from everyone. Having an entrepreneurial spirit, I decided to make a small business out of it. It was something I could do out of a workshop at home and still be with my children. I started by selling at local farmers’ markets, which I still do. Since then, I have also started an online store, have attended many other urban markets as well as have started stocking products in various retail stores.
Q. What background have you had?
A. Degree in Business, Marketing, and Spanish – lots of research about the all natural body care industry.
Q. What is your objective in business?
A. The Wholesome Hive strives to be a self-sustaining small business that focuses on the physical well-being of the local customer through the education and use of high quality, homemade, chemical-free, all natural body and home care products.
Q. What are some challenges you have overcome as a woman in business?
A. There have been many challenges along the way, mostly with balancing my schedule between being a mom and a business owner, but I love to embrace the fact that I can offer a high quality, sustainable product that is also cost effective for most people. It can also be a challenge to ‘convince’ people to try a new product for their skin when they are used to their routine, but once they do, they usually come back to try another product.
Q. Why do you choose to own a small business?
A. Owning a small business provides a flexibility in schedule and allows me to first be a mom and then a business owner. Because I have strong time management skills, I am able to get a lot accomplished during the kids’ nap times and bed times!
Q. Why do you think it’s important to shop local?
A. It has been encouraging being in Northeast Ohio while the ‘Shop Local’ trending is catching on. Knowing where products are produced, trusting the manufacturer, and building a relationship with that person is something special that you don’t always have an opportunity to do. I have loved getting to know my customers and also researching and designing new products to fit the needs of customers. Getting positive feedback about the products as well as providing a different way for me to be in the community and participating in the economic growth of the region is exciting, and I hope that this helps to teach my children at an early age about the basics of commerce, customer service, using quality ingredients to maintain a quality product, and perseverance to reach a goal.
Check out Laura's business, The Wholesome Hive here