MEET THE OWNER OF THE HAPPY HIVE

19 Mar 2021 | Student Advice

The Happy Hive is a tiny business with big ideas! When it says tiny, it means tiny. There’s just Dr. Lidstone (Lidi). Lidi is a Beekeeper and a Doctor (the medical type!) from Cardiff. In this Q&A we asked owner Dr. Lidstone what the driving force was behind starting The Happy Hive and how she’s committed to reducing her environmental footprint. Here’s what she had to say…​

Tell us about your business.

Here at The Happy Hive we believe in wellbeing through nature. We are passionate about natural skincare, and we are passionate about delivering it leaving the lightest foot print on the planet along the way. Probably you’re thinking you’ve heard that all before, and maybe you have, so I’d better tell you how we go about it.

Across the business we avoid plastic as much as we can. When we can’t avoid it, we use recycled plastic. I’d love to tell you our product containers are plastic free but they’re not quite. About 99 % of the time we use tin but there is one product I can’t find a replacement for. Our premises is run on air source and solar. We scrape every last bit out of every last bit when it comes to making sure we don’t waste stuff.

What was the driving force behind your business?

I had to retire early from medicine due to an inconvenient cardiac/muscle disease. Losing a career you love and finding yourself incapacitated is no small thing, and talking to the bees was a therapy of sorts. Creating the salves and balms, researching and formulating came naturally to me. I’ve always been a crafter and it suited my scientific mind: a smile soon returned to my face.

How do you overcome setbacks?

Nearly everyone goes through some sort of serious crisis at some point in their lives, and if this pandemic has shown us anything it’s that life is short. I had my moment, moments, plenty of them, I’ve been really lucky, I had a career that I loved with a passion, and although I am sad that I don’t have it anymore, I am grateful for it. So if you want to give something a go, do it. Enjoy it. Not everything works out, but it may still be something important. And if things change, there is opportunity in change.

What are your core business values?

At The Happy Hive all our products are doctor-formulated and handmade from start to finish in small batches using high quality natural ingredients and often a little beeswax or honey from our hives. This is our USP. Being handmade from start to finish is also unusual. I like to know what’s in it and enjoy formulating my own products. It also means they are unique. 

What advice do you have for students starting out their own business?

If you are thinking of starting your own business, or have already, it’s pretty obvious that the customer is King. Or Queen. Anyway, my top tip is to treat them as such, every single one of them. They always say the customer is right, well for me it’s more than that. As I mentioned I’m a one (disabled) woman business, which has it’s challenges but it means that all communication is from me. So that’s an advantage actually. It means it’s consistent. Communication never hurts and almost always helps. Be helpful at every opportunity. Be timely. It’s nice. It’s what you would want as a customer isn’t it? And it’ll make you memorable, because a lot of people are not helpful at all.

If you are interested in natural skincare (or bees!) you can sign up to our newsletter, just drop us an email at HappyHiveSales@gmail.com and we’ll pop you on the list. Additionally, if you have any questions, or if you’d like to volunteer at The Happy Hive HQ please get in touch!

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