Meet The Feminine Care Segment’s New Television Star
Since it began airing three weeks ago, Target’s commercial starring entrepreneur Beatrice Dixon has appeared during the Super Bowl, Academy Awards, “The Bachelor” and “The Tonight Show Starting Jimmy Fallon.” However, The Honey Pot Company founder and CEO hasn’t seen it on television.
“I don’t watch TV, and I’m not really a person that’s connected to social media. I try to disconnect from that as much as possible. I saw it through a link they sent us, and I had people sending me video of it recorded on their phones,” says Dixon, who traveled from Atlanta to Target’s headquarters in Minneapolis to film the advertisement in the midst of a cold and cloudy stretch last month. “It was humbling because I didn’t necessarily understand the gravity of it. I didn’t realize it was going to be on national TV the way it’s been. It’s crazy, but really amazing.”
While Dixon hasn’t caught the spot on TV, she’s detected its impact on her plant-driven feminine care brand, which has experienced a sales spike on its website of at least 20% and business lifts percolating across its retail network at Target, of course, but other chains such as Walgreens and Walmart, too. The commercial launched at an opportune moment as The Honey Pot Company will roll out 10 items, including a boric acid and herbs suppository, menstrual cup, panty spray and organic cotton tampons, to Target to boost its selection carried by the retailer to almost 20 products.
Befitting Dixon’s no-holds-barred personality, the Target ad running through Black History Month until late March or early April touches upon the role of being a woman of color leading a brand that goes beyond establishing a sustainable, growing company. In it, she says, “The reason why it’s so important for Honey Pot to do well is so the next black girl that comes up with a great idea, she could have a better opportunity. That means a lot to me.”
“I have to do well so the next black girl that goes into a room of venture capitalists with a CPG business has a chance.”
Asked by Beauty Independent to elaborate, Dixon says, “My competitors have raised $85 million. I can’t think of a consortium of black women that has raised $85 million. When you look at the real shit of it, that shit is real. I have to do well so the next black girl that goes into a room of venture capitalists with a CPG business has a chance. When you pitch to a company, you say, ‘I’m building this company after The Honest Co. model or the Shea Moisture model.’ You have to show something that aligns with you. They already don’t understand you. Being a woman is hard enough, but being a black woman? A lot of people have reacted [to what I said in the commercial], but the facts are the facts man. You can’t look at that statistic and not infer that Honey Pot has to be successful.” She continues, “It’s a lot of pressure, but I’m here for the pressure.”
Among The Honey Pot Company’s competitors that have raised significant sums are Rael, The Flex Company, Cora and Lola. They’ve drawn an estimated $20 million, $7.7 million, $13.5 million and $35.2 million, respectively. Procter & Gamble acquired period care specialist This Is L. in 2019. The Honey Pot Company amassed $3.7 million as of last year from investors including New Voices Fund, the investment vehicle created by Sundial Brands co-founder Richelieu Dennis to support businesses owned or managed by women of color. The capital the brand has secured places Dixon in a rare club of around 50 black women who have attracted $1 million-plus in investment.
“I thought we would be able to raise more and, in my mind, I wanted to raise more, but things are what they are and circumstances are what they are. It’s also based on where your business is at. At that time, our business wasn’t where it is now. A lot of times investment firms have a benchmark for where your company has to be before they invest. We are at this really beautiful place where our company is getting to the numbers we have to get to raise more, and that’s probably going to be able to change everything,” says Dixon. “I’m happy that we didn’t raise money the way that I thought we originally needed to. We would have given away more of the company than we needed to. That’s not to say that it’s not hard to run our business this way, but it forces us to be intelligent and make the best decisions possible.”
“The biggest thing for building a brand in-store is to really understand your supply chain. If you don’t understand your supply chain, you are setting yourself up for failure.”
This year, The Honey Pot Company is on pace to close in on $20 million in sales. It’s available at roughly 1,800 Target doors, 2,200 Walmart doors, 500 Walgreens doors, 100 Whole Foods doors and 101 Wegmans doors. In addition, the brand has Urban Outfitters, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Amazon presences. Amazon is responsible for around 5% of its sales, but Dixon is aiming to triple business on the e-commerce platform this year. Fountainhead Marketing Engineers handles The Honey Pot Company’s Amazon enterprise. Around 30% of the brand’s sales are from its website. Later in 2020, The Honey Pot Company expects to expand in the grocery channel.
“The biggest thing for building a brand in-store is to really understand your supply chain. If you don’t understand your supply chain, you are setting yourself up for failure. A big part of understanding that is having the right people that work for you with the right background. It’s important to employ people that have done this before and have built consumer packaged goods companies,” says Dixon. “We’ve had to hire a workforce that really understood the supply chain. We really have had to put a lot of our dollars behind making sure we are investing and almost over-investing in our inventory, and we have to be in a place where we have to constantly think ahead.”
The Honey Pot Company’s Sensitive Feminine Wash is its bestseller. Although the brand’s competitors have extended their product ranges outside of feminine care, Dixon says, “Our whole business is centered around vaginas…We want to put all of our energy toward what we do really well.” Discussing feminine care as a whole, she notes, “Clean feminine care was a segment that was kind of left behind, and it’s getting attention because people are starting to understand all the nasty chemicals and dyes in conventional feminine care. Supply is going to catch up with demand. I think you are going to see more clean feminine care companies sprouting up.”
With consumer demand poised to climb for feminine care products, Dixon envisions further mergers and acquisitions in the category, and her brand being a part of them. She says, “We are here for now to do the grunt work to get it on the shelves and to get it promoted, and make it as big as we possibly can. I hope, within five years, the brand has been acquired by a company that can really put it in every single store and blow it out completely because doing that is expensive. The consumer packaged goods space is not an easy space to be in, especially if you are retail brand.”