It’s a rarity that you find people speaking about vaginal health over lunch, in public, not in hushed tones, but rather, passionately. That was the type of conversation I had with Bea Dixon, creator of the wildly popular feminine care brand The Honey Pot Company, as we sat on the rooftop of the buzzy SoHo House in Manhattan on a particularly warm day. We gathered to discuss the brand’s latest offerings, and in the process, talked unabashedly about the importance of people caring for and having a better relationship with their vaginas.
“We are the beauty vagina brand,” Dixon tells ESSENCE. “All of this is to have a beautiful experience with your vulva, with your vagina and a beautiful relationship with it. A lot of people don’t have a relationship to their vagina.”
We chatted about the reasons for that, including the uterine issues and infections that can plague Black women, like the bacterial vaginosis Dixon dealt with that helped her create The Honey Pot. If you’ve followed her story, you know that after eight months battling with it, an ancestor visited her in a dream and gave her the ingredients to heal herself, and in turn, she decided to help other women. She launched it in 2014, and about seven years later, she’s flooded the market with innovations that tackle all sorts of needs and issues. The latest releases, now available in Target and Walmart, include lubricants, an incontinence line, non-herbal options, organic menstrual pads and liners, a heavy flow collection and bath bombs.
“A lot of people sleep on lube and I think that lube is important,” she says of the flavored, water-based lubricants new to her collection. “Even if you’re a person who gets naturally wet, it can kind of just help things along even more and cause even more lubrication, which is nice.”
The fact that the lubricants are flavored could be a cause for concern to some, but the lubes are flavored with organic fruits like strawberry and have agave leaf, which is technically an herb, so the offering helps to maintain vaginal pH with no irritation. In addition, it’s nourishing enough to be used on the skin and for things like Yoni massages and dryness from menopause.
“Most people are just thinking sex, but the good thing is you could use this product without sex,” she says.
There are also new versions of favorites, like a cucumber aloe version of the beloved washes.
“Cucumber is skin food, aloe is also like skin food so you’re going to get the benefit of the hydration,” she says. “You’re going to get the benefit of skin restoration, healing of any irritation. It’s amazing.”
Dixon also jumped at the chance to take on incontinence, which she says there are some serious misconceptions about. While people may think of a loss of bladder control as an issue for older people, she says one of the largest groups suffering from it is from the ages of 19 to 35, women in their childbearing years and some who deal with re-occurring UTIs. With them in mind, she created the line made with organic cotton and infused with lavender, rose, aloe vera, and mint.
“A lot of people just use pads for incontinence anyway because they don’t want to be in the line with an incontinence pad because they think they look old if they do that,” she says. “It’s important to me that we shed light on this issue.”
She hopes to take on menopause next, emphatically saying, “I can’t wait to do that.” Dixon’s mind is always on the next thing and on approaching said thing in a way that’s outside of the box. While she’s always been that way, she acknowledges that her experiences during the pandemic have helped her be even more innovative about her business. So has that racist backlash she faced over her Target ad during Black History Month last year. While that could have been a crisis, it created a boom in sales for The Honey Pot, while also helping her to see changes that needed to be made.
“Last year we were not prepared for that type of viral growth,” she says. “Last year was a lot. It exposed where the holes were in business. Because every business has holes. Now that those things were exposed, we’re in a place where we’re cleaning those things up and preparing ourselves for a new shift with new learning, new education and a whole new respect for our customer and the people that support. It’s been good. It’s been something, though.”
But the mission remains the same. Get people to care for their vaginas (and vulvas) and create a beauty and health regimen for them in the same way they prioritize other important parts of the body.
“The thing we fail to realize I think is that the way we take care of our face and our body and all the things, you don’t want to think of your vagina any different from that,” she says. “I use washes, scrubs, serums, like three different serums, masks, face sheets. Think of all the sh-t you use for your face. Why would you do anything different for your vagina?”
Check out a gallery of the latest goods offered by The Honey Pot below.