Zach & Zoë Sweet Bee Farm

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BRG – JPMC – Daymond John Zack Zoe – Transcript

Daymond John:

Hello everyone, I am the shark, Daymond John, and today we are talking about business.

[soft music]

Welcome, I’m Daymond John, and today I’m talking with Summer Johnson from Zach & Zoe Sweet Bee Farm. And a lot of you know that, and if you don’t, I love bees, I love saving bees, so this is a conversation that I’m really excited to have. Welcome Summer, thank you for being here.

Summer Johnson:

Thanks for having me Daymond, it’s a pleasure, and I’m just honored, I’m really honored, thank you.

Daymond John:

Well, thank you very much, now I want to get into this. Tell me about your business, tell me about your business, why was it founded? What are you doing exactly? And let’s go straight into it.

Summer Johnson:

Well, there are so many facets that we had to start this business. We were teaching our kids beekeeping, we were teaching our kids about entrepreneurship and we had no idea this was going to happen. We were doing this just as a hobby, something to have a good time, build community, and it took off. We were trying to alleviate the allergies of our son, Zachary, so my husband started keeping the bees in the hope that the honey would relieve his allergies and they did, so we were very grateful. And to this day, he doesn’t really have any allergy or asthma symptoms, so we are grateful to him. But business wise, we ended up with all this honey stuff, and we didn’t know what to do with all the honey we got (50 pounds the first year). And personally, I’m just thankful that Zach’s allergies are good. But to be honest, the business has been a lot of fun. It was a lot of fun.

Daymond John:

So first of all, thank you for what you do, you keep local businesses, you know … and get into business because a lot of people, i will share information with you, that if a bee touches a flower or some type of fruit, three or four times, it has the capacity to grow that fruit, I think 50% bigger. Thus, farmers and beekeepers have maintained a symbiotic relationship since the beginning of time. But why don’t you tell me about some of the challenges you are facing right now?

Summer Johnson:

I just wanted a small business, and it blew up and I’ll be honest. And like I said, that’s not a problem, but I just wanted it to be our little family business, you know what I mean? And I didn’t want it to be hard on the bees. I wanted to be, I wanted it to be useful for the bees and useful for the environment. And so making sure that happens has been a challenge. I want to keep things the same when it comes to the quality of the product. And I didn’t want the product to fall out of my hands so much that I didn’t know how it tastes every day and things like that.

Daymond John:

Well, it’s always good to say you have what’s called a caviar problem, but there are always problems, right? You have to run a business, you have to make sure the customer is happy. But more importantly, what you say is extremely important, that you don’t want to stress the bees too much because the heart of the business is that you appreciate these beautiful little creatures who work so hard. And if you take too much honey out of the hive or, you know, do various other things, it can cause stress and the hives can collapse, and various other things, so you balance doing the right thing for nature and for the good. these latest amazing creatures, as well as the company. You know, Summer, I have to tell you, everyone talks about entrepreneurship. I think one of the toughest jobs in the world is being a mother. So how do you do both at the same time, run a family and run a business?

Summer Johnson:

To delegate. I just had a 10 month old child. So I have time …

Daymond John:

Congratulations.

Summer Johnson:

Thank you sir. Yes, so it’s on another level. My husband and I have been trying for years and in the midst of all this 40s and commercial success, a baby. So it was obvious, we hired around 20 people.

[laughs]

And we are so grateful to our team, they make like part of the family and the timing couldn’t have been better, everyone gets along great. I just had to learn to let go. It wasn’t my baby anymore, like. I had a new baby, and I had to say, “You know what? I trust you.” And even if I didn’t, I just had to let it go. And it works well, it works very well.

Daymond John:

That’s right, learn not to specialize in minors and to delegate. Are there any questions you have for me that I hope I can give you some insight into?

Summer Johnson:

Oh my God sure. I just want to know if you had a hard time running a small business, exploding, with the flu boom and all the things you started. And how do you make the transition?

Daymond John:

I was providing too much money to my client locally in New York and running my business. I tried to be the best I could in the 8, 10, or 20 New York stores that I ran. And I had the ability to scale, but if I was now, instead of being in 20 stores, I was in 40 or 60 or 100, then obviously I should have hired more staff, I would have had to put more money at risk. But, you know, I realized I had to maximize the stores I was in. , and sweatshirts, hoodies and hats, and create more than one section instead of trying to brag, that “Oh, by the way, I’m in 4 states, or I’m in 10 states or I am in X amount of places. ” And this symbiotic relationship that I had, just like you have with bees, is that these stores started to value me and these stores became behind my back. And these stores started giving me all the information I needed, what worked for them, what didn’t work for them, because they felt like they were partnering with me. And it’s good to feel, it’s good that your customers feel like they are a part of your progression and the way you grow because they will take root for you. And what happened next was when I finally had the opportunity to grow the business, I went out to raise capital, I went out to find strategic partners and those partners were able to call. those stores and say, “How is he really doing?” What’s going on with this guy or these guys? ”My partners and I. And these stores would be my biggest advocates, they would tell them why the brand works, why the kids resonate with it, why it has the potential to go global, why we sell more than others, why we care, why the message is correct. And then, as we say on Shark Tank, we had a proof of concept, and we were able to take that same proof. concept and replicate it in every state, in every country in the world. And that’s how I slowly grew up, so it was a journey, but just like you didn’t want, or you didn’t want, you know, stress the bees, and scatter yourself too much where people start to lose understanding what you are, and it seems like you’re just trying to grow up, just for the purpose of growing up, which is great. this discipline so that when you are ready to gra ndir, if you want to grow you might want to keep a business that size, I’m not sure you’re the only one who is going to want to have that answer.

Summer Johnson:

It’s amazing, but because my husband is a businessman he is able to do these things and take it to the next level when I might not even want to, you know it’s just that it’s off, and so, yeah.

Daymond John:

You know, I just think there’s so much, not that I need to tell you already what you’re doing in an amazing way. But I think there are so many examples here of a family working together, I think it’s people of color showing, you know, how they can do it and they can inspire and change the world as well as taking nature in, you know, in looking at and educating people, I think it’s showing young people what entrepreneurship is. I’d love to hear about it because, you know, I love that Chase brought us together, to be inspired, hopefully, I know I take inspiration from you. What relationship do you have with Chase and what products do you use?

Summer Johnson:

Oh my God. Chase has been like a dream come true when it comes to these accounts. We didn’t know that a bank really made a difference. I mean, we just thought you had a bank, you put your money in there, and it’s this or … you know. And since we’ve been at Chase … attention to relationships has been the most important thing for us. We just wanted something where we could keep track of everything. He and our banker, Michael Gordan, is amazing because he’ll call us before we have any problems of any kind with anything going on with the accounts. He’s opening more accounts because we decided to put our personal accounts with the business account, at investments and you know, our financial planner is with Chase now. And everything is so clear and concise, we have a plan laid out for our financial future. They really support us, I just feel like they support us, yeah.

Daymond John:

Thank you very much summer. I think we’ve all learned so much about the health aspects of raw honey, running a small business, running a family business, the value bees have to this world, and also of course, how, you know. , every business is a team sport. And whether it’s working with your local vendors, your local bees, or your banker, all of these things are important for success. So thank you very much for everything you do, and I am truly grateful that Chase has brought us together and that Chase points out the amazing work you and your family do at Zach & Zoe Sweet Bee Farm.

Summer Johnson:

Oh thank you very much. Listen, you are a legend in this house and we, you know, admire you and it has been an honor and a pleasure. Thank you for your time. Thank you.

TO FINISH


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