It was 2012, and Beatrice Dixon was running out of patience. She’d been dealing with chronic bacterial vaginosis that returned almost monthly, and doctors continued to prescribe medication that was more of a quick fix than a long-term solution.
Dixon felt she wasn’t being heard, so she began to do some research on her own — which was overwhelming in its own right.
“I was in this perpetual state of taking medicine, going back to the doctor and getting another prescription,” Dixon says, “which then led to the doctor’s office of Google. Which is not the one that you want to be in. You don’t want to be on Google trying to figure out what’s going on with you.”
Dixon began alternating between medication and holistic remedies she researched online, but she saw no significant results. Then, her grandmother spoke to her in a dream.
She describes how her grandmother (whom she never got to meet) was sitting across from her at a round table. The room was all white, with just the two of them at the center.
“I remember her telling me, ‘I’m not here for us to have a conversation. I’m not going to be here long,'” Dixon recalls. “‘You need to memorize what’s on this paper, because this is going to solve your problem.'”
Dixon woke up with a kind of urgency she’d never experienced and began immediately jotting down the ingredients that came to her in her sleep. Dixon began collecting the aforementioned ingredients at Whole Foods, where she worked at the time, and after a few days, she created her own formula.
After the fifth day of using the formula, Dixon was entirely cured of her BV.
“It had literally gone away,” she says. “It was crazy. That was the moment when I realized that this is what I was going to be doing for the foreseeable future.”
“It got to the point where people were saying, ‘Look, I can’t take this for free anymore.'”
After Dixon perfected her formula, she knew she had to share her discovery. Because Dixon had only raised financing from family and friends and had created the product in her own kitchen, she couldn’t afford a clinical trial — so she ran her own.
Dixon didn’t ask for money in exchange for her homemade product, which ultimately became The Honey Pot’s bestselling The Honey Pot Co’s Normal Wash. Instead, she asked that people review the formula and give her feedback on how well it worked or didn’t.
Her friends and family were hooked.
“It got to the point where people were saying, ‘Look, I can’t take this for free anymore, take some money,'” Dixon says.
That’s when Dixon knew she was onto something, so when news hit that the Bronner Brothers Beauty Show was coming to Atlanta, she took it as her chance to expand her reach.
“It felt like the best place for us to launch because there was nothing but humans with vaginas walking around,” Dixon laughs. “So we went to the hair show. We made 600 bottles. We sold 600 bottles. It was insane.”
Image Credit: Courtesy of The Honey Pot
“There was no plan B either, so this s**t had to work.”
This was in early 2014, only about a year and a half after Dixon made her first Honey Pot product. The business began to grow, and despite increasing demand, The Honey Pot company continued to operate out of Dixon’s kitchen for another two years while Dixon kept her full-time job at Whole Foods to make ends meet.
Through 80-hour weeks and tireless work, Dixon never wavered from her mission, certain that women needed her product in their lives. “It was really hard,” she recalls, “but I always knew that no matter what, we were going to be okay. There was no plan B either, so this s**t kind of had to work.
In the early days of Honey Pot, the team traveled to trade expos and natural hair shows where they’d give out products to people who were interested in their plant-derived approach to feminine care. One of those early recipients was a hairdresser, who was so impressed with the product that she told her client about it. That client was a buyer from Target — the rest is history.
The retail giant got wind of the company by 2016 and presented Dixon and her small team with a proposition to sell their products in their stores. It was the expansion Dixon had always dreamed of — literally. By the time Target decided to sell the products in stores nationwide, the company had produced around 24,000 bottles and made nearly $250,000.
From there, The Honey Pot continued to grow not just as a business, but as a platform to empower other women of color to “reclaim their wellness.”
Dixon and The Honey Pot launched its Reclaiming Wellness campaign in 2020, wherein the company — in partnership with Target — travels to historically Black universities and hosts seminars and talks on wellness and encourages women to “reclaim” their power when it comes to their bodies.
Image Credit: Courtesy of The Honey Pot
“As you grow as a business, it’s important for you to understand where you are, but also understand where you want to go when you have more resources.”
One of Dixon’s main initiatives is to address societal stereotypes when it comes to being a woman of color in the U.S. — particularly, she says, fighting against the problematic belief that “Black women are stronger.”
“That’s the mantra that creates an environment for Black women to be dying [during] childbirth more than anybody else,” she says. “We’re helping women understand that [they] don’t have to continue to die.”
Although the Reclaiming Wellness campaign is only in its third year, the initiative has been Dixon’s goal since starting the brand in 2014. Before 2020, Dixon didn’t have the capital to launch Reclaiming Wellness, so as the company grew, she jumped at the opportunity to finally carry out what her overarching mission was from the start.
“As you grow as a business, it’s important for you to understand where you are, but also understand where you want to go when you have more resources,” she says.
Now, in its third annual campaign, The Honey Pot is partnering with Target and traveling to Clark Atlanta, Howard, Prairie View A&M and North Carolina A&T to host panel discussions with specialists in both medicine and education to help women gain ownership of their well-being.
Dixon hopes that The Honey Pot will continue to not only serve as a resource for women to understand their bodies and find the treatment they need but also become a vehicle to pass information down to future generations.
“It is a very tribal thing, to be able to pass information down, and that is literally built into the fabric of Honey Pot — us being able to educate and empower women on what they need,” Dixon says. “From the beginning, we were focused on it being a generational thing. But what that’s grown into now is that it needs to be a generational thing as it relates to education, to self-love, to self-respect.”