CINDY BARBERES, FOUNDER OF H. HONEYCUP ON WORD OF MOM MEDIA
"I thought, we're doing clean beauty and people who are in recovery, they're really doing everything they can to live a clean lifestyle. So let me help in this very small way [donating products]. So it's been very meaningful." - Cindy, H. Honeycup
Dori: Welcome to today's Word of Mom Radio here on the Word of Mom Media Network. I'm your host Dori DeCarlo. And you know we are here week after week show after show, breaking those myths that those of us building our businesses from home are just dabbling. We're not just smart, we are savvy, and we are sharing the wisdom of women in business and in life.
I'm thrilled to be interviewing Cindy Barberes. It's very important for me to bring these founders in so you really can know what has gone into their production and the disruption of this beauty industry that they are causing by creating clear products, clean products.
So let me give you a little background. Cindy was focused on the facts. Black and white. After corporate she discovered many beautiful colors through self-care, and was motivated to create a natural skincare business to give back to the community. H. Honeycup delivers nontoxic body care designed to be safe for a clean lifestyle. They donate plant-based products to those in recovery. Four of their products are MADESAFE® Certified. Their vegan beauty delivers benefits of effective skincare without harsh chemicals. They use transparent ingredients that help clean, moisturize, calm and rejuvenate. H. Honeycup is body care with a cause. And I love that. I think it is so marvelous. So, Cindy, welcome to Word of Mom Radio.
Cindy: Thank you, Dori, how are you?
Dori: I'm awesome. And I'm excited to really let people know what is behind your business and your journey. I would love to know how you went from corporate to just saying, oh, yeah, I think I'm going to start a skincare line. So what was that prompt for you?
Cindy: Well, I had been working in the corporate world. And I knew that once I had the opportunity, I really wanted to do a 180. I wanted to try a new industry. I was hoping that I could create a product, something tangible that would make people really feel good about themselves. And so there would be that direct feedback.
I took six months to decompress. After corporate, I took classes on mindfulness, other motivational classes, and people said, wow, you're a different person. And I really was ready to jump in. Because when you're a founder, you're taking a lot of risk. And you are entering a realm that you never even imagined that you would. And so I was really excited to do that.
I also wanted very much for my skincare company to be able to give back to the community. That was something I never was able to do and I didn't have time for. So because I was doing clean beauty, I felt very strongly that I wanted to give back in some way. And then it really came together. It was so simple because we had an immediate family member that struggled with addiction. And so I thought, we're doing clean beauty and people who are in recovery, they're really doing everything they can to live a clean lifestyle. So let me help in this very small way. So it's been very meaningful. And we put that on every label, that any purchase is helping someone in recovery.
Dori: I think that's a brilliant marriage of your product and a group of people in that recovery journey. So when you mentioned clean beauty, I think there are a lot of misconceptions that are out there. So what do you see as people's biggest misconceptions about the idea of clean beauty?
Cindy: I think that's a great question. Often, people think it has all these ingredients they consider to be basic, and they don't know if, #1 they trust that it's really clean beauty. And #2, are these products effective? And the answer to those is a resounding yes. And it helps to have another layer of credibility, like being part of the Conscious Beauty Collective, which I am. Because those companies have been vetted. Also having a third party certification, which we'll we'll touch on in a little bit, but clean beauty can be trusted.
With misconceptions, "it helps to have another layer of credibility, like being part of the Conscious Beauty Collective, which I am. Because those companies have been vetted." - Cindy, H. Honeycup
Dori: What does conscious beauty mean to you? And why is it so important that you've aligned yourself with the Conscious Beauty Collective (CBC)?
Cindy: The Conscious Beauty Collective is 30 plus indie beauty founders, mostly female founders. It's a really amazing community where a lot of things are just a given.
With the Conscious Beauty Collective , "you know that we have clean formulas, you know that we are very kind collaborative people, you know we will do anything for each other." - Cindy, H. Honeycup
But it isn't just that we create clean beauty products or wellness-oriented products, we also add other elements that to me make it conscious beauty and that involves . . .
Conscious Beauty is also "giving back to the community, proving any claims that you're making that you have clean beauty, helping to educate people on how to make cleaner choices." - Cindy, H. Honeycup
Because it's tough out there. People don't know how to read labels so we can help them with that.
Dori: When you talk about reading labels, are there certain things you should make sure you stay away from?
Cindy: Well, I think it is hard for the individual. I mean, one thing that you can do other than a third-party certification is that you can find a trusted source like the Environmental Working Group, or even the list of Whole Foods banned ingredients, or something that is familiar to you, that you can trust. And then just be sure when you look at the label, there might be some ingredients that you don't recognize, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they're not safe. So you just Google an ingredient or two if you like, or if you prefer, there are companies that are certified organic, within the Conscious Beauty Collective. There are some like H. Honeycup, that are MADESAFE® Certified. And that's an easy way to gravitate toward a brand that you can trust. MADE SAFE, for example is concerned about not only the safety of humans, aquatic life, animals, and the environment, they also help with a broad and very diligent screening process. All your ingredients, how products are made, even down to what's the extraction method for the essential oil. They just make sure that everything is safe all the way down the line. And then all the consumer has to do is look for the MADE SAFE label.
"That's an easy way to gravitate toward a brand that you can trust. MADESAFE, for example is concerned about not only the safety of humans, aquatic life, animals, and the environment, they also help with a broad and very diligent screening process." - Cindy, H. Honeycup
Four of our products have that label. The products are,
- Orange Body Scrub
- Palmarosa Body Oil
- Lotion Stick which you have tried
- CBD Body Oil
And we hope to expand that list. But it did take a year and a half of work to get those four certified. It goes through the back and forth of the screening process. So, it's the real deal.
Dori: Yes, a year and a half. That's a screening process. All right, the lotion sticks. It's such a clever idea. I think it really is and moms have to love it. Because I know my grandson loves my cream. And again, there's nothing in my house that I have to worry that my four year old grandson or my two year old granddaughter want Nana’s creams and I never have to think about it. I was very lucky that I had a mom who was very conscious of what you put on your skin.
I think the sticks are so fabulous because it's mess free. It really is and when you're on the go let's face it, often you want to put on some kind of cream but you may not need it for your hands. You may need it on your elbows or your arms are feeling dry. I think it's a great idea to just be able to put something on and then you don't have to worry that the cap is going to open and it's going to spill all over your bag. That happens all the time. I just think that's such an ingenious idea to create something like that. And the other thing that always really impresses me with your product line and so many of the lines of the CBC is you're looking at your packaging, you're looking at the environmental impact for the aftermath of when you're done.
Cindy: That's true. We do use recyclable materials, including glass containers, metal caps for our jars. And the paperboard tubes. We do now use plastic pumps, but we know that we can do better. I think you have to start somewhere. Everybody understands that we can all do better. You can compost at home. That's how it works. Both the companies that you support, and yourself, you can make a difference. And so it is fun.
"We do use recyclable materials, including glass containers, metal caps for our jars. And the paperboard tubes. We do now use plastic pumps, but we know that we can do better." - Cindy, H. Honeycup
We have a mini size of our lotion stick also. Our set of minis, which is the body scrub, the body oil, and the lotion stick comes as a as a little gift set or travel set. But yes, it's recyclable, and the stick is biodegradable. And so we really do think about that. And when you work with the Conscious Beauty Collective, all that is a given or they wouldn't be there. They're the kind of people that are very giving people. They're very considerate. They think about the environment. And they help each other. We all help each other in the Conscious Beauty Collective.
"She has scent sensitivity. And she has no headache from being in the store because no one there is using anything that's not made with clean ingredients. And I don't think people realize that when you are sourcing clean." - Dori, about the Conscious Beauty Collective
Dori: I find that is probably my favorite thing about the founders at the CBC is in meeting everybody and being there. Even in our interviews they say, I use this product, and then I add it to this product from another CBC brand. And one of the founders I love, she was talking about “fragrances”, and she has scent sensitivity. And she has no headache from being in the store because no one there is using anything that's not made with clean ingredients. And I don't think people realize that when you are sourcing clean. Hence, you have 50 products to choose from. There are thousands to choose from when you're using synthetics, but on the pure aspects, there's about 50 you can choose from that are going to keep you in that clean beauty realm and still be effective.
"You have 50 products to choose from. There are thousands to choose from when you're using synthetics, but on the pure aspects, there's about 50 you can choose from that are going to keep you in that clean beauty realm and still be effective." - Dori, Word of Mom Media
Cindy: People don't realize this. They really don't know. And it's an interesting concept, because we've all grown up with all of these chemical scents. So they're almost second nature to us. But really, if you think about what types of chemicals there are, it's really staggering. And so if something smells like watermelon, or if it smells like something sort of obscure, it's probably not real. So yes, the essential oils can be layered and the combinations are endless. And there are always new essential oils being discovered. Also herbs and flowers. You can make the most amazing scents and they're not so strong that you want to leave the room. They're just lovely and they're good for you.
"The essential oils can be layered and the combinations are endless. . . Also herbs and flowers. You can make the most amazing scents and they're not so strong that you want to leave the room. They're just lovely and they're good for you." - Cindy, H. Honeycup
Dori: I'm going to flip things over business wise now. For you, what kind of skills do you think that a woman has to have to succeed as a leader in their own company?
Cindy: Well, I think that women have to have a thick skin. And don't apologize for being assertive and putting yourself out there. You deserve to be there, you and your company deserve to be out there just like everybody else, just like any company run by men. So put all your reservations aside, dig in and have a thick skin. That's one thing that I would say. Another thing that I would say is to treat people the way that you want to be treated. Because sometimes you see things where people are the squeaky wheel or people or are a little bit offensive. That's not the kind of success that I'm looking for. And so that was one thing that I learned early on. I want to give people as much as I can. I think that is going to create good karma for me. And I want to treat people with respect.
"Women have to have a thick skin. . .don't apologize for being assertive and putting yourself out there. You deserve to be there, you and your company deserve to be out there just like everybody else, just like any company run by men." - Cindy, H. Honeycup
Dori: I think that those are important traits. I really like that. And especially the thick skin because the reality is, as a woman, you have to work twice as hard to be thought of as half as good. And I love the whole thing that's going on now when you look at a little girl and you're telling her that she's bossy. Nah, she's a born leader. I have a two year old granddaughter, and oh my gosh, is that girl going to be CEO of the world. She is already just so assertive, and knows who she is at two. And we need to instill that, especially in our girls. We really do. And as women business owners, we are not each other's competition. We are each other's cheerleaders. We should be out there promoting each other. Nobody is going to steal your thunder. And I think very often women fall into that, that they can't promote another woman's business. And obviously it's Word of Mom Radio. We're continually promoting women. It's because that is our goal. To create that group of amazing women that are out there empowering and educating and supporting each other.
"As women business owners, we are not each other's competition. We are each other's cheerleaders. We should be out there promoting each other. Nobody is going to steal your thunder." - Dori, Word of Mom Media
How are you managing that work life balance? How are you juggling the balls, Cindy, and keeping them all in the air?
Cindy: Well, it's never easy. One fortunate thing is that our children are grown. And so we don't have young children to manage. But there's always so many different responsibilities that we continue to have. I mean, we have a puppy that is maybe 10 weeks old, and often, he's needy, but I just I love having him as part of my life. I know that I can work when I need to work. I can take a break when I need to take a break. And I will work to get everything done. So for our call here, normally the puppy is in the pack and play in my office here next to my desk, but I have him in another room because I knew he was going to want to sit on my lap.
Dori: Well, I'm going to tell you really honestly, it's Word of Mom Radio. So pet and kid cameos are always welcomed. Yes, zero problem with that. I have to ask in looking back on your business, is there anything you would have liked to have done differently?
Cindy: I think one thing is I would have collaborated sooner. I just thought oh, I need to really learn the ropes. I need to do this, and I need to do that. But I think I did realize pretty quickly, I don't know everything. This is a new industry for me. So I can learn it. But I need to find some people that I can network with, people that I can learn from.
"The way that we look at it is, if one of us succeeds, we all succeed. And so it doesn't really matter to us if somebody buys the product next to us, or they buy our product, because together we are a force, and we have a lot more power as a group" - Cindy, about the Conscious Beauty Collective
And so I did get a coach, which really helped me in the beginning, because like you said, you really have to have all of your ducks in a row, your messaging, and your brand appearance and all that in order. So the coach helped me with that. And I have a consultant now. And on top of that, I have mostly women at the Conscious Beauty Collective, and I can ask them anything. It's not a competitive thing. The way that we look at it is, if one of us succeeds, we all succeed. And so it doesn't really matter to us if somebody buys the product next to us, or they buy our product, because together we are a force, and we have a lot more power as a group, and we really love that.
Dori: I am right there with you, I really am because the universe is just abundance. There's enough success for everybody to go around. There really is. What surprised you the most in having your own business?
". . . there are no shortcuts. I really had to learn, I had to grow, my brand had to evolve. And then, at that point, I could perhaps get a PR firm. So that was a surprise." - Cindy, H. Honeycup
Cindy: I think one thing would be that there are no shortcuts. Because I came from business, I was always a fixer. And I thought, I'm going to start my own business. And I only have one or two products and I'm going to hire a PR firm, and I'm going to put this whole thing on a fast track. And it wasn't like that at all. I really had to learn, I had to grow, my brand had to evolve. And then, at that point, I could perhaps get a PR firm. So that was a surprise.
Then I also learned to do so many things that I feared. I could speak for my brand and I could create products, and I could learn social media, and I could determine the pricing. I was always very strategic. So I could do that. I think that was a pleasant surprise, that I could take these things on. There are also things where I would definitely need help. I needed to outsource some things and I needed to collaborate. But eventually, yes, I could do these things.
"I also learned to do so many things that I feared. I could speak for my brand and I could create products, and I could learn social media, and I could determine the pricing . . .There are also things where I would need help. I needed to outsource some things and I needed to collaborate." - Cindy, H. Honeycup
Dori: Where did you get your name? Where does H. Honeycup come from?
"On our labels there is a pattern, a drawing. And it has the honeysuckles and the buttercups. It is definitely a part of me that is integrated into the brand." - Cindy, H. Honeycup
Cindy: Well, I it took me about six months of soul searching to see what I wanted to name my company. I wanted it to be something that meant something to me. And so I love honeysuckles and buttercups. They just remind me of my childhood so I combined them to form Honeycup. So every time somebody asks me that, it makes me smile. On our labels there is a pattern, a drawing. And it has the honeysuckles and the buttercups. It is definitely a part of me that is integrated into the brand.
Dori: The brand is so you, of course. As we're wrapping this up, what would you like to leave our listeners with? What do you want to leave that woman listening, wondering if they can start their own business?
"You have a lot of women around you either in the same industry or in other industries, women that started where you're starting and seek those women out, ask for their advice." - Cindy, H. Honeycup
Cindy: I want to say to them that you can do so much more than you think you can. You have a lot of women around you either in the same industry or in other industries, women that started where you're starting and seek those women out, ask for their advice, ask for their input and you will be surprised that they are all willing to help you so definitely go ahead and give it a try. Seek out collaborations and other women to support you. Look for groups like the Conscious Beauty Collective that you can become a part of.
"Seek out collaborations and other women to support you. Look for groups like the Conscious Beauty Collective that you can become a part of." - Cindy, H. Honeycup
Dori: Great advice. How can everyone reach out to you and find your fabulous products?
Cindy: Our handle is @hhoneycup across the board. Our website is hhoneycup.com. You can find us on Instagram and Facebook @hhoneycup. Same for TikTok and YouTube. It's very simple, @hhoneycup
Dori: Cindy, I am so pleased that we had a chance to meet while I was at the Conscious Beauty Collective, at the pop up. You'll really love the H. Honeycup products. They're wonderful. There's so much thought and care that went into them. And that's one of the things that really impresses me about all of the founders.
All of you have taken up that mantra because the beauty care industry has known for a long time that they are putting toxic chemicals out there and ingredients that shouldn’t be anywhere close to your skin, especially your face.
And I applaud all of you, for the work that you are doing. I think that you have created an amazing company and as it continues to develop, come back to Word of Mom Radio. Use us as a resource that helps you continue to get the word out. Because together we can make a difference. And we say it all the time when you win, we win. That's what it boils down to. We have all our successes for each other. It's not just about one thing. It's about all and that's why the collective is a collective. It's not a one off, it is a group that is continuing to grow and grow and grow. And it's because founders like you have taken up that mantra and realizing that yes, is it going to cost you a little bit more? Yes. Is it going to cost you five times as much? No, but are you not worth a few extra dollars? So I thank you so much for taking the time to be with us and for the commitment that you have to what you are bringing to market. So really, Cindy, thank you so much.
Cindy: Thank you, Dori, thank you for having me. I would love to come back.
Dori: I would love to have you back because I know you are not done at 10 products. I know that this is just a jumping off point so it is going to continue to get better. So thank you all for tuning in. Thanks so much for taking the time to be with us today. So till next time, this is Dori DeCarlo saying go out and create a marvelous you. Bye for now.
Be sure to connect with Cindy at hhoneycup.com and on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn Business, and Pinterest.
"The universe is just abundance. There's enough success for everybody to go around." - Dori, Word of Mom Media
Dori DeCarlo is the Founder of Word of Mom Radio and is committed to sharing the wisdom of women, in business and in life. In its 10th year, WoMRadio is empowering, educating and encouraging women, on a world-wide basis, with fabulous shows and hosts.