Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Harry and Heath Bennett, Founders and CEOs of Bennett Brothers Balm, located in Saugus, MA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
In May 2016, our friend and classmate was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. We knew right away that we wanted to help. We learned that cancer patients' lips and skin could get dry and chapped from chemo treatments, and that is when we created Bennett Brothers Balm, an all-natural, vegan lip and body balm.
With help from our parents, we started researching recipes and testing different ingredients until we came up with the right formula for our balm. It was really important to us to use only the best, natural, and organic ingredients in our balm so that it would be gentle enough for cancer patients' sensitive skin. By July 2016, we were up and running, and by August, we sold enough balm to make our first donation in the amount of $587 to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA. A few months after launching our lip balm, we added more products, including a balm that helps with nausea called Tummy Troubles.
For the past few years, we have been working with a number of nonprofits across the country that carry our products. In addition to selling online at cancer fundraisers and craft/holiday fairs, our balm has been included in chemo care pouches at cancer centers throughout the United States, as well as toiletry pouches for teens at a local Boys and Girls Club. Bennett Brothers Balm has even made it all the way to India to help support the charity, Children are Angels from Heaven! We love partnering with organizations that share our mission, and we hope to continue to make new connections and work together in the fight against cancer.
Bennett Brothers Balm is made by our family, in our kitchen, always with cancer patients in mind, and 100% of our profits are donated.
Tell us about yourself
We were inspired to create Bennett Brothers Balm in 2016 when our friend was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma at just 11 years old. We couldn't believe that someone so young, active, and healthy could have cancer. It seemed impossible. We knew right away that we wanted to do something to help him feel better and also raise money for cancer research. We learned that cancer patients' lips and skin could get very dry from chemo treatments, so we decided that making and selling a lip balm would be a great idea!
The past seven years of our lives have been dedicated to raising money and advocating for pediatric cancer research because we truly believe in this cause and the importance of helping people and giving back to our community. Billions of dollars are spent each year to fund cancer research, but childhood cancer receives only 4% of federal government funding. Without money to fund life-saving research, new treatments will not be found. We believe that children deserve more than 4%!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
We have received many prestigious awards for our work and have donated more than $43,000 to cancer research and patient care in New England.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The hardest thing about being a business owner is finding the time to work on orders and keep up with social media marketing when we have school, homework, sports, and extracurriculars. Our busiest time of year is around the holidays, and sometimes we have to put off spending time with our friends and family because we are working.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Come up with a good idea that caters to a specific unfulfilled market.
- Get advice from someone you trust; in our case, it was a friend who owned her own business and our parents.
- Have fun, and never give up!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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