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6 quick questions with Aja Horsley, Founder of Drizzle Honey (Part 2)

by Female Startup Club
June 1st 2023

This is Aja Horsley for Female Startup Club

Hi everyone and welcome back to the show! It’s Doone here, your host and hype girl! If you’ve just found us - we are SO grateful and happy to h... More

Welcome back. Here are the six quick questions. So question number one is, what's your, why? Why do you wake up every day and work on drizzle? I really care about the food system and the impact that sustainable agriculture has on, on what we eat and how that impacts the environment and sustainability and the health of people in general. Mhm I love that question. Number two is what's been your favorite marketing moment so far? Oh, we did a collab with France from Queer Eye. Oh my God. That is so cool. It was really awesome. It was so much fun just to work on a product with him. So it actually launched through Etsy. Um He got to approve the designs that were going out and then it was over Christmas. Well, before Christmas, it was meant for Christmas spending uh launched this uh two pack of honey that said tan Frans with drizzle and uh he put it up on his Instagram and said all amazing things about the brand and that was definitely the highlight.

Um We need to unpack this further. How did this come about? How do you get connected to someone like that and do a colab. Yeah. So actually reached out to us, I had done an Etsy market like years prior to that and just became friendly, I think with the Etsy team and I remember one of them flew in from headquarters at this market and I just, I kind of had her on Instagram or stay connected with her or something like that. And I think she just thought we need a food product. I've always loved this brand honey is kind of trendy. And she reached out to us and initially I thought it was a fake email. Like, you know, when you get so much spam, I just said, oh, it's one of these things where they're trying to charge me $20,000 to like do so like I just thought it was like nothing and I wrote back and just said, sorry, we're really busy right now like we can't do it. It's a no for me. And she wrote back and said like, no, like we really, this is actually a really great opportunity.

Can we get on a call? I can't believe like I was so close to that never even happening because I just didn't think it was a real email like a real request. So anyway, she called me back and we talked through it and she said we're in a huge rush you to work on this right away. This is exactly what's going to happen. This is the plan and we just got started on it and flipped the product around and got it approved by 10. And did you get to meet Tanda? I didn't, I go, oh, I wish I would have been able to future future. Yeah. Yeah, we got to talk on Instagram. So that was cool. What was the impact of that? You know, are we talking thousands of products sold? Are we talking hundreds? Are we talking just mass awareness afterwards? What, what's the impact of working with someone at that level? Yeah. So it was hundreds of products. It wasn't in the thousands and that was Etsy told us to kind of expect that that on their platform like this is they told us the maximum to make as that was sort of based on our previous collaborations, they didn't want us to overproduce anything.

So we made that and we were able to achieve Etsy Topshop within the first couple of days of that sale happening. And I think Etsy has never been a channel that we've necessarily continued to focus on. However, that just that collaboration, I think really elevated us and let us stay elevated ever since then because it was just something like a big stepping stone or a milestone that we got over of having this collaboration and being able to always refer back to it in our pitch presentations and mentioned it on the website like it just, it was just such a key moment. Yeah, the ripple on effect. I can imagine. Crazy. And, and you didn't have to pay for it, right? Like they were coming to you with the opportunity. That is so good. Yeah, it was awesome. It was, yeah, it was so great moment. It was. Yeah, for sure. Question number three is, what's your go to business resource if you're learning something when it comes to like a book or a podcast or a newsletter, my go to, you know, see, I keep talking about my network and mentors.

Honestly. That's, that's it for me. I'm in a food founders group. So it's a group of Canadian business, food business owners to get into the group, you have to have revenue of over a million, that's sort of like their threshold. Uh So there's, you know, multimillion dollar business owners in this forum, it's a Slack channel. But then we also have monthly meetings where we talk about best business moments, worst business moments. We also dive into our personal and we dive into topics and also can bring forward topics that we have questions on. So that in combination with the Slack channel, just asking like day to day questions to this group of really high achieving entrepreneurs in our space. Uh That is, that's where I go. It's my resource. It's changed everything for me, but you can do it on a smaller scale too. Like I've talked about before. It's just getting like you could start your own slack tunnel. If you're brand new or you're a year into your business, just start a channel and get people involved in it.

And that's how you make your own network. You never know what it's going to turn into. Love that question. Number four is how do you win the day? What are your AM or PM rituals and habits that keep you feeling happy and successful and motivated? So great question because I'm a mom and I do not have the time to do ice baths and constant meditation and all these things, which I wish I had the time to do. But my routine is really like about getting my son out the door and then I always get like, once I sit down at my desk, I don't check my emails for the first bit and I just go through like, what do I have to get done that day? What are my priorities for the day? I even have a uh an agenda. It's like a sheet of paper that is um top priorities, like would be great to get to and probably won't get to list and chart through that in the morning.

Um And I do always make sure I have time for exercise. I think that that's really important even if you're just getting out for a walk um or doing a yoga class or um chasing your toddler around also when they're learning, they're learning to ride a bike. You do a lot of running behind them. So, um that counts too and uh healthy eating like these are simple things that, you know, I, like I said, I don't have time at this time of my life to do ice baths and red light therapy and all these meditation classes. But I can do smaller mindful things throughout the day that help keep me focused. And I'm, I'm good at that. I would say it's just concentration and focus and attention when I need to. So that's part of my daily practice I guess, is focusing and concentrating. Hm. Yeah, it sounds like you're a monster at prioritization as well.

You have to be, you have to be. That's right. Question number six. No question number five. What's the worst money mistake you've made in the business? And how much did it cost you the worst money mistake? This is fairly recent. So we launched a spicy honey product into a large format because that was all during COVID, it was hard to get bottles and it was just hard to secure supply chain resources. So I just put it in to whatever bottle we could get and launched it and now going back and it does need to go into a smaller bottle, but it just, we're still having trouble sourcing the right bottle. We also realized we kind of screwed the pricing up because people are expecting that like a large amount for a certain price but the margin on this bottle, it's just very small because we're selling too much honey and a big bottle for too low of a price. So that was if I could go back like that is probably our biggest and that would be 100 and $50,000 or something in that range of just, yeah, just the difference between, if we had put it in the right size bottle, the margin difference we probably could have made over the last few years since it launched.

Uh but it can be, it can be changed and it's also we were still making money on it. It just isn't an ideal scenario at this point because now it's gonna take time to go back and switch that product out in all the stores that we've got and that can cost money as well to get that price pricing. Yes. Yeah, exactly. It, it was just one of those things that came on the pandemic that we just had to get this product out because we didn't want to be a me too product or coming out later than everybody else. Um So I made that as a business decision that I was, it was more important to get the product out than it was to have it in the perfect bottle at that time. Goodness, last question. Question number six. What is just a crazy story? Good or bad you can share from your journey in building drizzle, honey. This is gonna be a tough one. Nothing's coming to me at the top of my head can be a beautiful moment with a customer. Can be something to do with your supply chain. Can be something to do with the bees be community.

I don't know because our thing is like a really big deal getting the investment was a really big deal. That was just such a crazy time in my life. It was before I had kids and it was, I was working crazy hours, like 60 70 hours a week at that time. Now, I don't have to work that much because the brand is more established. But uh, just trying to figure out how venture capital works and whether this was a good choice for the business and was I going to get ripped off and screwed over later through venture capital because there's all kinds of things that can happen with it. And that was, yeah, and talking to lawyers for the first time about this stuff and just, it was a stressful and crazy time. But overall I'm glad that we did take that investment. I think it really kicked the business off. Will you go through the process of raising again? Yeah, I think so. Yeah. Yeah, looking into it right now, starting conversations on it. The capital markets right now are quite quiet.

So it's not a great time to raise capital, but we're also not desperate to get it. So kind of waiting until the time is right on that. But yes, I think we will, Asia, thank you so much for coming on the show. This is so great hearing your story and your learnings and your insights from this journey. And I'm so excited to cheerlead you through the next part of your journey, raising capital. How exciting. Yeah, it was so great to be on. I'm so glad to speak with you. Hey, it's June here. Thanks for listening to this amazing episode of the female start-up club podcast. If you're a fan of the show and want even more of the good stuff, I'd recommend checking out female startup club dot com where you can subscribe to our free newsletter. We send it out weekly covering female founder, business news insights and learnings in D to C and interesting business resources. And if you're a founder, building an e-commerce brand, you can join our private network of entrepreneurs called hype Club at female startup club dot com, forward slash hype club.

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6 quick questions with Aja Horsley, Founder of Drizzle Honey (Part 2)
6 quick questions with Aja Horsley, Founder of Drizzle Honey (Part 2)
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