The last few days have not been the easiest for beloved feminine wellness brand The Honey Pot. As customers noticed a change in the ingredients on the washes as well as in the usual branding, they took to social media to vent about it. Some claimed the adjustments signaled that the brand had been sold, and things quickly got ugly on Twitter and Instagram. So The Honey Pot’s founder, Beatrice Dixon, is speaking out to address concerns from supporters, to dispel misinformation and to reaffirm the mission of her company, which she says has not been sold.
“I am spiritually and professionally connected to this brand,” she shared in a video statement posted to social media on Monday evening, addressing three significant points of concern: ownership, ingredients and the way the brand could have handled things.
“The Honey Pot is still owned by my brother, myself and our team,” she said. “The Honey Pot has not been sold. It’s all a lie and a rumor. I remain the owner, CEO and chief innovation officer. Period. Any other discussion is simply not true.”
She continued, noting that yes, the ingredients have changed, but the safety of them has not.
“Transparency and communication have always been our promise to you, so I will be real. We have evolved our washes,” she stated. “What we have not done is compromised what matters, which is being plant derived, being pH balanced, and being backed by science. I assure you that this formula is what it was designed to be, which is safe, beautiful and even more affective.”
But in standing by the product, Dixon admitted that they could have done things differently in regarding to sharing their changes with customers, whom she calls “humans,” as well as why they were required so soon.
“We should have shared more communication about the updates,” she said.
“We realize that we should have communicated more directly to our humans. To be honest, we had planned for a change to our formula that we were actually going to be launching later than what we did. We were going to share that with you. But based on all the sh-t that’s going on with the global supply chain, our plans had to accelerate.”
They prioritized getting back in stock but can say they “didn’t do enough to educate” on ways the latest formula is more similar than different and why branding changed. So she spent a number of minutes breaking down the ingredients in her washes, saying, “This is a better and great path forward.” And as for the loss of the “100 percent natural, zero parabens, zero dioxides” information on the label, that was removed because regulations have changed about using such claims.
“That’s not our choice as a brand but it is our reality,” she said. “That said, we still do not formulate with added parabens, dioxides or sulfates.”
Dixon concluded her message by reminding everyone of the company’s importance to her, as well as reminding supporters of their role in helping to build it. With that in mind, she offered her apologies for the lapse in communication.
“I am responsible to you as humans who consume our products. You absolutely can hold me accountable. I just want you to know I’m here for it,” she said, tearing up. “I’m here to be the founder that wants to be the change in the world I live in. And I don’t mind answering to you. In fact, it’s my pleasure, even when it hurts. Please accept our apology for not communicating all of this better. And I please ask that you please believe me when I say, I would never make harmful products and support people using them. I would not be able to live with myself.”
In addition to all this, the brand issued another apology in their newsletter. All that being said, Dixon is very clear on why people are upset and is sorry about it. Early transparency about shifts planned that can impact a product is always the best way to go as a business, and The Honey Pot has acknowledged that they could have handled that better. That being said, I have no desire to further hammer at the fact that they didn’t give a heads up. The real question is, where do “humans” go from here?
Now that everyone has had the chance to get riled up online, they can decide to be understanding and continue to support the brand — or they can choose not to. But hopefully, Dixon’s statements will quell the false story that the brand is not Black owned and that its products are no longer effective (now, what works and is comfortable for each woman’s vagina is a completely different conversation).
So often, when one mistake is made by a Black business, it turns, online, less into just focusing on the mistake and holding those who run it accountable and more about creating a narrative to completely tear them down. But if you’ve ever had the chance to sit down and speak with Dixon about her products, which I had the opportunity to do last summer, you can hear the knowledge she has about the ingredients, the passion with which she creates these offerings that have flown off of shelves for years, her desire to be of help, whether with vaginal irritation, incontinence or just helping to state the importance of a healthy regimen to care for your private parts. She’s not looking to take the money and run, and the fact that she could face people, on camera that is, and welcome the criticism while also setting the record straight, is commendable. Many wouldn’t do it.
So yes, The Honey Pot made a blunder. But does one mistake in communication erase eight years of work? I guess that’s for the “humans” to decide.