As entrepreneurs, we always love to share how our business is growing–the good stories and the bad, the successes and the failures–because when you are an entrepreneur, your business is your life and your livelihood. We founded Beekman 1802 in 2008 and our first product was the Original Goat Milk Soap.
It wasn’t long before people started asking us to create a version with fragrance. We wanted to keep our promise of creating skin care products that did not use synthetics of any sort, and this was severely limiting when it came to developing scents. We came up with idea of developing a line called “A Year in the Country”. We sat down and made a list of each month of the year at Beekman Farm and what we were growing, harvesting or using during that particular month. We then sat down at a table with about 200 different essential oils and started blending them together until we captured what thought was the essence of each month. This is how the “Months” soaps were born.
Someone at Anthropologie saw them and asked if we would design a gift set of the soaps, and that is how the Year in the Country gift box was created. As it turns out, someone from The Oprah Winfrey Show saw the gift set in Anthropologie and called us. They wanted to use the gift set as one of the items in Oprah’s Favorite Things. When the Oprah show was at its peak, being on the “Favorite Things” episode was akin to being touched by Midas. At the time, we were living apart trying to make ends meet and grow the company, so this phone call seemed like the answer to our prayers. We were naive. When we had the follow-up call with the producer and they explained how many of the product we needed to have ready in terms of the audience giveaway and then the anticipated consumer dash, we panicked. We literally needed to have thousands of sets ready. We had an emergency conference with our Chief Soapmaking Officer, Deb, and no matter how we tried to manipulate the few weeks we had to prepare, it was evident that there was just no way to make the amount of soap we would need. We had to call the producer back and explain that we could not take advantage of the opportunity. We were heart-broken!
This year a new television network called Cottage Life launched in Canada (based on one of the most popular magazines in Canada). It was the first time that The Fabulous Beekman Boys had been aired in that country. And a few months ago, we got an email from a producer from The Marilyn Denis Show. Marilyn is often referred to as “Canada’s Oprah” and this year she chose the Year in the Country gift set as one of HER favorite things! And this time we’re ready!
Thanks, Marilyn! Thanks, Canada!