"A Friend Helping A Friend"
By: Crystal Pickett
I wanted to start this blog with a portion of an email I received a few weeks back from Amanda, the co-creator of Harold's Famous Bee Cream - partly to ease the readers into why I'm writing today, and the other is to introduce myself as one of her crew of friends! I'll be writing for you from time to time, some of the others may also. We will always tag the blog so that you know who your author is. Today you have me... Crystal, or as some refer to me...Honey! How fitting, right?! I'm part of this bee-based company and my nickname is Honey. Sometimes when things come full circle all we can do is sit back and smile. 16 years or so ago when Amanda's son gave me the nickname, we never imagined where we would be now. Here's our first of hopefully many blogs to come! We hope you enjoy reading about our journey!
I want to explain a little more about how this company came to be, and what I feel the purpose is that God has given it. This company was started as a friend helping a friend. I have known Harold for roughly 20+ years. He is the father of a friend, and he became a person whom I wholeheartedly love and respect. Harold is truly one of the most caring, heartfelt, and intelligent people I have ever met. I call October 16th 'Genesis 50:20 Day'...
Eight years ago today Harold and his wife Sandy we in a motorcycle crash. While in the hospital, it was found that he had a rare form of cancer. He was treated with chemotherapy, but the treatments made him terribly sick. Harold became a beekeeper by helping a friend. Because of the back injury from his accident, he needed a vehicle that sat lower to the ground. A friend has such a vehicle and they decided to trade - but Harold's vehicle was more expensive, and the friend would owe the difference. Harold decided to accept some hives of honeybees in lieu of payment for the difference.
Harold was stung one day, and he noticed it made him feel better. Harold continued to intentionally sting himself with his bees as a treatment. In order to try to make this process easier for him and less painful, we worked to create a cream that could take the place of the actual stings. After some trial and error, we eventually came up with a product that allowed him to stop intentionally stinging himself. Knowing how the cream changed his life, he shared it with friends who had various aches, pains, nausea, etc. to see if it would help them too. Fast forward, and here we are.
My purpose for all of this is twofold. One, to help you all to become a little more familiar with who Harold actually is, and the kind of person he is. Another, is to explain what I feel this company is truly about. We have never set out to simply just make a product, sell a product, and make money off a product. Sure, making money is good, but that has never been the ultimate goal for us, as odd as that may sound. We have had several opportunities in the past to do just that but held to our beliefs and chose the harder path. Our real purpose is actually much simpler. Our main goal has always been to simply help others - that why this product was created. Every step of the way has always just been a friend helping a friend. This purpose actually extends much further than just customers, for us. We personally know how hard life can be sometimes. We all have struggles. Once we ended our contact with the last sales/marketing/distributing group, it gave us the opportunity to sit back and re-evaluate where we wanted this company to go, and how we would like it to grow. What we decided to do was actually what we had been doing all along - simply help others. What better way to grow our business and sell our products than allowing people we know, trust, and love be the representatives of our company out in the field; and at the same time allowing them the opportunity to see success as well. A friend helping a friend. We, as a company, not only have a chance to help the customers who buy our products, we also have the opportunity to help each other. This motivates me more than anything else! I couldn't have chosen better people to take this adventure with. You all understand what family is and what is truly means to help people. I consider and love you all like family. I want you all to approach your potential customers with this mindset. I want you to seek to help others.
You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position, so that I could save the lives of many people.
Everything happens for a reason, even something that was supposed to be used to harm us can be turned around for our benefit. If Harold had not been in an accident, they may not have found his cancer in time. If it wasn't for the back injury, he wouldn't have had the need for a lower sitting vehicle. If it wasn't for a friend helping a friend, he never would have taken up beekeeping. If it wasn't for beekeeping, he never would have known the life altering benefits of a bee sting. If it wasn't for a friend helping a friend, we wouldn't have Harold's Famous Bee Cream.
MAKE (Verb): form (something) by putting parts together or combining substances; construct;
HASTE (Noun): excessive speed or urgency of movement or action; hurry
SLOWLY (Adverb): at a slow speed; not quickly
These words have been moving through my mind for a few weeks now. Jeff and I were sitting at lunch with Amanda discussing all the options for the future. We were throwing around ideas, and she stopped us with a quote from Harold.
“One product at a time guys, Harold always says to make haste slowly,” she rattled off. Immediately I disagreed with this statement, although I’m not quite sure why. Perhaps I’m a rebel. I would say mainly because I have a bit of a patience problem. As in, I have none. As we finished our lunch, the conversation continued on like usual, but for weeks I kept coming back to those words. Running them through my head, thinking how it was a phrase that just didn’t make sense to me. It’s like saying, hurry up and slow down, what does that even mean?
Make Haste Slowly
But do it slowly
What a moron! Well, actually an oxymoron. This phrase comes from the Latin translation Festina Lente. My favorite translation of the words is make haste with toughness, with suppleness. As I sit here typing tonight, I find myself thinking about my career, my life, the things I am passionate about. I’ve come to realize that the things I’ve been spending much of my time on, aren’t feeding my soul. Some of them put food on the table and help pay the bills but take more of my time and energy than they deserve. We spend our days working to support someone else’s dream and our evenings running to soccer, softball, dinner and chasing whatever the day requires of us…. but personally, my soul is starving for more.
As young adults, often we get so caught up in stress and just trying to get by, that we take a step away from our dreams. The dream is still there we are just standing beside it now. More time passes, we find ourselves weighted down by the pressures of everyday life. We look up one day, and “oh hey” there’s our dream on the other side of the street. Wait a minute how did it get over there? Before you know it the dream has long been forgotten.
If I were to ask you today, what is your dream, or purpose so to speak, in life? What would that answer look like? I can very specifically tell you the purpose for my life, and what my dreams are. I’ve known for quite some time that I am meant to spend my time lifting up those around me. Throughout the course of my life thus far, many people whom I thought would stay forever have left, and vice versa. I’ve learned to take each day and accept with a grain of salt the people that are placed within my life just as they are. My job here isn’t to “fix” them, it’s to love them through whatever they are facing. My dream? Well now… that’s a completely different story! My passion for writing has never wavered. Being a published author, is top on my goals list. I have absolutely no idea how to get from here to there! One thing I can do is “Make haste slowly.”
Honestly, my dreams were so far off in the distance I’d almost lost sight of them. Then those three little words showed up in the middle of my day. At first, they didn’t make sense, but the more I thought about it the more clearly, I could see the vision. I had to make a plan, get it moving even if it were at a snail’s pace. Work hard and keep chipping away at that dream. Make Haste! Just do it slowly. Work hard, and trust God’s timing. I’ve never been one to force my spiritual beliefs on anyone else, but I also can’t hide the reason that I smile in the midst of heartache. I can’t bathe the reason I’m led by kindness in shadows. It’s ok if you have different beliefs from my own. It doesn’t mean we can’t encourage and lift each other up despite our differences. For years now, I have looked at life a little differently. I believe that every single person placed in our lives are there for a reason. Either there’s something they need to learn from us or the other way around. The lessons aren’t always fun or happy, but they are for our benefit just the same.
In the midst of the hardest parts of life is usually where we find out just what we are made of. Imagine waking up one morning and losing everything that you hold dear. If this ever happens, I hope that there is someone there to show you how to fight for yourself. Someone to remind you of your dreams, to make you want to keep moving forward, to tell you that sometimes you have to do what’s best for yourself even if everyone thinks you are wrong. You may hear a 1000 NO’s before you hear a single yes. Keep moving! Festina Lente! Keep making haste with toughness!
Harold’s three little words repeated by his protégé have inspired me to race slowly towards my dream. Honestly, I believe the statement is encouraging us to work as long and hard as it takes to reach the thing that makes our soul burn brighter! It may take years but then all of a sudden you may see your dream explode. Throughout the past few weeks, anytime I’ve sat down to write I’ve heard Festina Lente. As I’ve typed away on a book that has been 3 years in the making, I’ve worried about the what ifs. What if I never finish? What if it’s horrible? What if it takes longer than I am prepared to wait? Every single time I hear a scripture running through my mind.
“When the time is right, I, the Lord, will make it happen.”
Wondering and worrying about the current place I am in life, has been getting me no closer to where I am heading. I didn’t know 20 years or so ago, that Amanda was going to be an amazing, inspiring entrepreneur. Watching her reach out and grab her dreams is one of the most inspiring things I have ever been a part of. It was never suspected that I would be going along on this adventure with her, but here I am. I hope you’ll stick around and get to know us through this new Blogventure! When I told her my vision for my part in her company, she wasn’t even surprised. She just said, “I LOVE it!”
"Wisdom is as a flower from which the bee its honey makes and the spider poison, each according to its own nature."
This is just the first of hopefully many probably random ramblings from myself, and maybe some of the others at Harold’s Famous. These are written for nothing other than to encourage and inspire anyone reading. Personally, I try to take every chance that I’m given to share a little piece of my encouraging heart through written words. Opportunity presents itself and we are given a choice of which direction to take. We are constantly presented with choices. I guess the question is do you want to be like honey to the people around you today, or like the spider who spews poison? This day is yours! Choose wisely.
Author: Crystal Pickett, Sales Representative Harold's Famous