We're kicking off the new year with an interview of an amazingly inspirational gal - Stacia Guzzo of Handcrafted Honeybee. I first met Stacia through a business group we both belong to and I instantly fell in love with her products, her mission, and her story.
If you haven't heard of Handcrafted Honeybee, you must take a minute to visit their shop! They're all about inspiring and empowering girls through fun DIY skin care kits that are based on STEM principles - Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. For those of you who don't know, in addition to running Charliemadison Originals, I am also a scientist.....I have two daughters who love science and have done their share of science fairs over the years......and I believe with all my heart that our future generations of girls can do anything they set their minds to......but it all starts with that one little spark of curiosity, encouragement, and inspiration!
Tell us a bit about what you do.
Hi! I’m Stacia Guzzo. Along with my husband Robert, I’m the owner and founder of Handcrafted HoneyBee, a business that creates educational skin care kits for girls. I design our kits to engage both sides of the brain by incorporating lessons in science, art, math, and design elements—but even moreso, the goal of our kits is to inspire girls to get excited about the subjects they love and have big dreams about where pursuing those passions can take them. In addition to our kits, we also create handmade skincare for smart women (and the men they love). Many of our skincare products also have fun “geek chic” elements, like neurotransmitters stamped on soap or cool lip balms packaged in fun pocket protectors. Every one of our kits and skincare products is 100% handmade in microbatches out of our home studio in Tehachapi, California—something of which I’m very proud.
Who inspired you to start your own business?
I’m a bit of an accidental entrepreneur! I was a formerly a teacher before we moved to a more rural town and started a family. Shortly before getting pregnant with our first child, we also got our first beehive. That first honey harvest also yielded beeswax—and from that beeswax I made my first lip balm. Throughout my pregnancy and during the first year of my oldest child’s life, I learned more about skincare, refined my recipes, and began selling in local farmers markets and stores. That first lip balm was made over 6 years ago, and my business has certainly morphed from then to now, but I can say that where it has ended up has brought together my greatest professional passions—teaching and creativity!
What’s your best tip for juggling your mama and business responsibilities?
The more I get out of my brain, the better. So I use both traditional and technological tools to help me do just that. I’m a particular fan of the Passion Planner. The fact that it has both a business and a personal element has really helped me see my priorities for both on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. From a technological standpoint, my husband and I frequently use Evernote to keep our Handcrafted HoneyBee thoughts organized—everything from timelines to blog post ideas to templates for emails.
Tell us one special thing you do together as a family—whether it’s a weekly celebration or an annual tradition?
We’re about 3 hours south of the Sequoia National Forest. Every few months, we drive up there and go on the Trail of 100 Giants together. We started when it was just my husband and myself, and over the years we’ve been joined by 3 different dogs and our two sons. In the early years we carried our kids in baby carriers, but now at 4 & 5 years old they’re getting old enough to walk the whole trail themselves—and it’s amazing to see the wonderful new things they realize and discover each time as they grow. On the way back home, we often stop at the Kern River so the kids can splash around and we can get snow cones. It’s a fun family day that always resets us even in the busiest times.
What do you do to take care of you so that you’re the healthiest mama you can be?
As a woman with fibromyalgia, I’ve learned over the past few years that if I don’t take care of myself and stay on top of my health, it can have disastrous consequences for my business and my family. I always have to make sure I have enough sleep, and I track this using a FitBit to make sure things don’t get too off track. I also have a trampoline in my kids’ playroom, so when they are playing I can get some jumps in (which is great exercise and good for my lymphatic system!). Finally, I do my best to take time to play. Playing with my kids can be one of the best de-stressors out there.
What inspires you to keep doing what you’re doing every single day?
My husband. Everything we do is rooted in our teamwork and mutual goal to grow this business to support our family. When things get tough—when I’m exhausted, or anxious, or stuck—he’s the one that helps me talk through it and dig deep. I’m so appreciative that he’s my partner in life and in business.
We are quote lovers around here and would love to know what your favorite quote is!
“Your future is whatever you make it. So make it a good one.” -Doc Brown, Back to the Future III
And finally, Stacia's top ten:1-Favorite food: My Mom's cheescake
2-Favorite color: Purple
3-Coolest place you’ve traveled: Amalfi Coast, Italy
4-Favorite book: Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis
5-Household chore you hate to do: Scrubbing the shower
6-Favorite place to shop: Etsy
7-Place you’d most like to visit: Ireland
8-Favorite room in your house: My kitchen - not because of the decor or the physical space, but because it is the place where the most conversations, the most bonding, the most fun happens. It's our place of connection.
9-Favorite movie: Sliding Doors
10-Your guilty pleasure: Dark chocolate