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Lily (age 17) Chloe (age 16) and Sophie (age 13) Warren have been whipping up their all-natural lip balm from the “waste” beeswax of their parents’ beekeeping endeavor for nine years. In addition to nine lip balm flavors, including Groovy Grapefruit and Peppermint Tingle, the sisters also make and sell lotion bars, sugar scubs, pet balm, and more. These accomplished entrepreneurs have won top awards from Young Americans Center for Financial Education and Ernst and Young.
Question: Tell me a little bit about you – name, age, how long you’ve been an entrepreneur?
Answer: We started Sweet Bee Sisters in 2009, shortly after our parents began beekeeping.
Q: Do you have a website? If so, let us know what it is.
A: Yes! It’s https://www.sweetbeesisters.com.
Q: What motivated or inspired you to start a business?
A: Our family was extremely excited about the prospect of using the beekeeping endeavor to start a honey business. However, we soon learned that our two hives only produced enough honey to supply our hungry family and a handful of neighbors, but that there was a surprising and intriguing bee by-product: beeswax. We wondered, “Is there something we can do with the beeswax so it isn’t wasted?” We were intrigued by the popularity of beeswax lip balm, and immediately began researching recipes. We wanted to incorporate natural ingredients and a great consistency. After finally settling on our customized recipe, we made a few batches and sold our lip balms to our friends and family. Our products were so well-received that we made the decision to officially launch Sweet Bee Sisters as a fully-operating business!
Q: Please share an overview about your business.
A: Sweet Bee Sisters sells nine flavors of lip balm, lotion bars, sugar scubs, pet balm, deodorant, and men’s facial care products. Our products are all natural, made by us (and of course bees).
Q: Tell us about some of the challenges you face being a young business owner.
A: One of the biggest challenges is the time it takes to run a business.
Q: Why should other youth start a business?
A: We’ve grown and learned so much as business owners, and we are so grateful for our acquired entrepreneurial skills, which we use in all areas of life!
Q: What’s the best part about having your own business?
A: We love meeting our customers at the YouthBiz Marketplace. It’s fun to actually meet and talk to the customers who buy our products.
Q: So you were winners in your age category for the Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars businesscompetition–congratulations! What have you gained from this experience?
A: Since winning the award last year, we’ve been able to expand our customer base and improve our marketing. We’ve made some great business connections, for example our mentor Traci Lounsbury introduced us to the marketing team at ELEMENTS, where she works, who has helped us develop our brand.
Q: Please share your involvement with Young Americans.
A: We made our first sale at the YouthBiz Marketplace nine years ago, and we’ve been participating ever since.
Q: What’s next for you three?
A: We’re looking to expand even more! This weekend is the grand opening of The District Shops in Cherry Creek, a space for local vendors and artisans, and we have our products for sale at the YouthBiz booth.