Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Zani Northrop, Owner of HIVE 324 LLC., located in Kalamazoo, MI, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Hello! We are HIVE 324, and we create CBD + Non-CBD Self Care Products. We range from Bath Bombs, Shower Steamers; Hemp Derived RSO Pain Balms all the way to Emulsified Coffee/Sugar Scrubs, Body Butter, Lip Balms, and CBD Drops. Our products are great for kids, grown-ups, and all those in between! We thrive on helping people feel their best at any age.
Tell us about yourself
HIVE 324 was created in 2019 while on maternity leave after having our second baby. Our friends opened a hemp dispensary, and I thought it would be neat to create a CBD Lip Balm to place near check out and was quickly asked if we could create CBD Bath Bombs. The maker bug essentially bit me, and I haven't stopped creating since. My family is always my motivation, but as the years tick by and as we become more well-known in our community, my customers have become my motivation as well. Knowing I've helped them in some way has touched my heart in more ways than I can express.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
At this point in my business, I'm most proud of my ability to remain transparent, learn to set boundaries, and being able to pivot when necessary. From the seller's standpoint, I am SO PROUD of the return customers we get, whether online or physically, joining me at a market and, of course, sending friends and family our way because they have benefited from our products! Word of mouth is HUGE!
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 work/life balance, setting boundaries, and not falling under the pressure of trying to make everyone happy. Our society is so used to that "instant gratification" that they quickly forget there's an actual person with feelings, a family, and their own set of trials and tribulations behind the small business. I've been most fortunate that I haven't had to deal with rotten people, but there is still that pressure to remain on your "A Game" at all times.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Research & Development. Never stop learning your trade.
- Support small businesses whenever you can (i.e., shop, root for, and learn their story). They will be your biggest cheerleaders!
- Give yourself grace. You will have great days, and you will have mediocre days. Don't put too much pressure on yourself (because society already does that). But also be willing to put the work in. You got this!
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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