Last month we celebrated our brilliant small business member of the month Melissa Reynolds-Lawrence! Founder of Honey Bee Home, a small team, based in the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham. Honey Bee Home is proud to be a small independent homeware and gift brand with a loyal and ever-growing national customer base. I got a chance to talk to Melissa about her small business and her thoughts on The Resilient Retail Club.
Why did you start your small business?
I’d always loved the idea of running my own brand and it was just a case of deciding what to sell. Interiors and homeware have fascinated me for the longest time and the initial seed of the idea came to me in 2013, eventually launching in 2017. I started my small business because when I was freelancing as a copywriter, working in marketing. I’d seen e-commerce from the inside and figured it would be a fun, interesting thing to do but also a boost to my portfolio, coming up with my own campaigns.
Tell us about your background before Honey Bee Home.
I was (and still am) a copywriter – I’ve worked freelance, in-house and agency side for a variety of brands and types of business, writing everything from product descriptions to website, to social media campaigns and pretty much everything in between.
What’s your best selling product, and why do you think it’s so popular?
My best-selling product is a battery operated lamp. I think it’s popular for a couple of reasons: 1) lighting can do a lot of work elevating the look and feel of a space and 2) it’s battery operated – which is fantastic for people who want to experiment with their room but is also fantastic for renters!
What’s the nicest thing a customer has said about your small business?
That the customer service was some of the best they’d experienced from a small business. And also that the pieces they’d chosen for their home made them love their living space more. That’s what it’s all about for me – helping to love where they live with finishing touches.
What prompted you to join the Club?
I joined the Club after Catherine appeared as a guest on an Instagram live and I wanted somewhere that would keep me accountable and bounce ideas off too. It’s so helpful to find your peers in one place and to have access to Catherine’s resources and the courses.
What was it like running your small business before the Club?
Running an e-commerce small business can be lonely at times. There were some great moments that accelerated the business during lockdowns but sustaining that growth wasn’t easy. I found that I didn’t have many places to turn where people actually understood what was happening in my small business. I’d also get overwhelmed with numbers and stats.
How has being in the Club helped?
Being in the Club has been uplifting. I find myself being more accountable – e.g. the planning sessions that happen every month. I wouldn’t pay attention to my sales and numbers as regularly, if it wasn’t for the Club.
What would you say your biggest win has been from being a member?
Being member of the month is a pretty big win! But I definitely think it’s the insight I’m gaining. The biggest win is overcoming my small business owner anxiety and just not giving up to be honest. I love the planning calls, as it brings me face-to-face with my sales and stats for the month.
How do you feel about running your small business now?
I feel hopeful. I’d really fallen out of love with running my small business and being a member just gives me that boost, week-to-week to keep on going. I’m part of a great community and I’m excited about where my brand can go, if I really put the work in.