Supplier in the Spotlight: Bee Wild
We've certified over 1100 LGBTBEs, or LGBT Business Enterprises, but Bee Wild might be our first LGBT "Bee" E! Dedicated to raising bees for three generations, Bee Wild founder John Wright is newly certified but is buzzing with excitement over the opportunities LGBTBE certification can offer his business. Read how John is taking his business to the next level through his LGBTBE certification below.
Bee Wild in the Spotlight:
- Name of business: Bee Wild
- Name of founders: John Wright
- Date founded: 2011
- Date certified: 2018
- Location of business: Gainesville, GA
- Number of employees: 8
1. What is Bee Wild?
Bee Wild is a 3-generation family owned and operated honeybee farm in Gainesville, Georgia. We are passionate about sharing our raw honey with the world and relinking our local and regional community to nature.
2. What drew you to bees and honey?
Bee Wild grew out of a longing to bring a piece of my childhood to an urban audience. I had the gift and blessing of growing up in the spectacular beauty of the North Georgia mountains. Soon after high school, I was drawn to the bright lights of Atlanta, a city which, luckily for me, retains its deep Southern heritage. I soon became a man equally comfortable in two worlds: the slow-paced, nature-rich land of the mountains and the lively, culture-rich environment of Atlanta.
One of my passions is real food, and I became something of an encyclopedia on the subject. My father is a dedicated, enthusiastic beekeeper. One day it occurred to me that I could take this great passion of mine and combine it with my family heritage, raw, wild North Georgia honey, and bring it out of the mountains to a wider audience.
3. What were you doing before you founded your business?
I was working full time in the salon and spa industry in Buckhead, Atlanta. I have always been very visual and creative. I loved the creative process of hair cutting and coloring; however, I felt very unfulfilled and just knew deep down that there was something much bigger in store for me. As cliché as it sounds, I knew I was destined for more and was determined to discover what that looked like.
4. What makes your honey special?
We harvest our honey in small seasonal batches. Each batch varies from year to year, depending on many environmental factors such as rainfall, humidity, the strength of the hives, and which trees, flowers, and shrubs are blooming at specific times. The variables of Mother Nature create the perfect recipe for distinct variations in color, texture, and flavor profile from season to season and batch to batch. My original “ah- ha!” moment in the inception phase of Bee Wild was me thinking, “How exciting would it be to introduce this unique foodie experience to an urban audience that could not only appreciate its nuance, but also the co-creative magic that Mother Nature puts into the process!”
5. What is new on the horizon for Bee Wild?
Bee Wild has always been more than a honey company and is growing and evolving now more than ever. We are now offering Urban Beekeeping classes and will soon be offering Green Entrepreneur coaching. My team and I run Bee Wild in a unique way. We use a co-creative process developed by an amazing lady named Machaelle Wright called “Soil-less Gardens” in which we clarify our projects and goals within the business and co-create results with nature. I’m excited to share these groundbreaking tools with other Green Entrepreneurs!
6. How has being a Certified LGBTBE through NGLCC impacted your business?
This certification is already opening new doors as far as networking within the LGBT community and I’m excited to see what doors it can open up on the larger-scale corporate level!
7. What advice would you give to an LGBT person starting a business?
My best advice would be to ask more questions. For example, what is my business about? How does my business want to expand? What are some ways expansion could look? How could it be more sustainable? Questions open us up to possibilities from which we can expand on and create. Being an entrepreneur means playing with possibilities, ideas, and co-creating with elements beyond ourselves.