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Life and Work with Tanika Brooks

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tanika Brooks.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Creating has always been a passion of mine. I love being able to see things in my head or on paper and bring them to life. I am a true D.I.Y. girl at heart. Being 2 of 4 children to an amazing single mom you become resourceful in the things you do. Growing up in both the city of Richmond, Virginia and the suburbs of Woodbridge, VA, both environments influenced who I am. The cultural experiences are so different and you’re inspired by the diverse amount of cultures that you are exposed to. This was a key part when thinking of my business to allow people to express who they were no matter what.

I always knew that I wanted to own my business. For a while, I had thought about having a handmade accessories business, but like most people, I choose the corporate world. I never thought I would leave Virginia. But at the age of 19, I left to move to Dallas, Texas with my best friend. Moving to Texas lead me to the love my life Willie who is a United States Marine. However, being a military spouse means that you are constantly moving every 3-4 years. Living in this lifestyle can make it hard to find work because of your resume it can appear that you can’t hold a job very long. Right before heading to our 3 duty station in Jacksonville NC, my husband and I found out we were expecting. My daughter Willow Bea was just the push I needed to take the plunge into entrepreneurship.

I had my daughter and was adjusting to life as a new mom. I decided to stay at home and was two months away from finishing my B.S. in Business Management. Coming from the corporate world to being a staying at home was a challenging adjustment. I had dreams and goals I wanted to accomplish and for me, that meant starting my business. After a motivational pep talk from my husband and his investment in my business, I started Honey Bea Hive in 2016. My business has given me amazing opportunities. In my first year, we were featured in Essence Magazine Online for our hair accessories. I expanded to wholesale which allowed other women-owned business to be able to buy my product and build their business. Each year has been more blessings and growth.

Has it been a smooth road?
This process has not been a smooth road. One major lesson I had to learn was to make sure the opportunity benefitted my brand and aligned with my vision. When first starting, people would ask me to sponsor their events with my product for free or advertisement on their social media pages. I got so caught up in the excitement of someone wanting my items I didn’t think about what it meant for me.

I quickly learned every opportunity is not for you. Some people just want free stuff and that post is not beneficial to you because their audience may not be your core audience. From this, I learned to have clarity on what my brand was and make sure I communicated effectively with those that reached out. The saying everyone is not raised like you can apply to business as well. Everyone doesn’t conduct business like you so you have to be aware of where you stand and if you both can respect each others business practices. Making sure my items are in places that represent Honey Bea Hive and what we stand for is the most important thing to me.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Honey Bea Hive – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
I am the Owner/Jewelry Designer for Honey Bea Hive. I handcrafted beautiful, bold, and statement-making jewelry for the women that want to stand out. My goal is for your personality to show through your accessories. Because people see what you have on before you say a word, and we all know first impressions are everything.

I am mostly known for my fabric button earrings. This is what I started my company with but I have branched out to acrylic and tassel jewelry as well. I also carry stationery items and office decor piece. We want to make sure you’re represented not only through your outfits but at your desk at work, or your home office. People should see your personality in everything that you surrounds you and you should see yourself and love it.

I am proud of being able to build my business and have my 3-year-old daughter see me doing it every day while being a stay at home mom. She constantly trying to help me make my products and get my packages ready. She is my motivation day in and out. With baby girl number two on the way, I wanted to show them as beautiful black women that they too can conquer their dreams.

What sets Honey Bea Hive apart from other brands is my ability to make what my customer needs. Providing designs and items that they can’t find in stores. Being handmade gives me the ability to customize my pieces from size to color. I can create custom fabrics for other business and events. I can do what my consumers need to feel like they are being represented by their jewelry.

Often it feels as if the media, by and large, is only focused on the obstacles faced by women, but we feel its important to also look for the opportunities. In your view, are there opportunities that you see that women are particularly well-positioned for?
I am a true believer in Girls Run the World. I think we can take hold of any opportunity, dream, or goal that we desire. Others may put limits on what we can do, but I would tell any women never limit yourself. I finished my degree, became a new mother, and started my business all within a matter of months. The things others see as limitations for women I believe are motivators. From our children to our emotions. We thrive under pressure and are great multitaskers. So, I believe that all doors are open for us to walk through even if we have to build the building to create the doorway.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
MikaBrie Photography

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