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Learn To Start Your Business, By Following Ours - The Beginning

Follow along as we lift the veil on the juicy details of our startup journey, where we will launch a company and product from scratch in less than 30 days and attempt to grow a real business.

The Idea: Our idea is spicy honey.  Yes, that’s right, two things that normally don’t go together, just like businesses and transparency.  I like spicy honey as our business idea because it is:

  • Familiar: It is relatable and tangible – people can understand it
  • Niche: It is a category not currently owned by any major brand or company
  • Fun: I personally really like the product, as a fan of honey and hot sauce.  I have a few friends who homemake spicy honey, not to mention I was first introduced to the concept as a pizza topping.  I LOVE pizza, and spicy honey is my overall favorite addition to pizza.
  • Simple: Really, spicy honey is pepper-infused honey.  Anyone can make it in their kitchen, including us.  In just a few days we could become the leading expert on spicy honey!
  • Scalable: To begin, we just have to make one bottle.  If we manage to sell one bottle, we can make a few more.  If we manage to sell a few more, we can make even more.  I envision this scaling process to be relatively simple, buying more ingredients and supplies until we reach a point where relying on an outside vendor for mixing our ingredients and filling our bottles becomes most efficient 

We're a Team:

Morgen: This will be my second entrepreneurial venture, as I recently left IdeaPaint, a company that I helped launch as part of a team of three in 2008.  To date, IdeaPaint employs about 35 people, raised ~$13mm in funding, and counts approximately 100,000 installations around the world of its flagship product which is a dry-erase paint.

The world has changed since 2007 when I joined IdeaPaint. It is now possible to start a company, launch a website and sell a product overnight, all with just a loose-change jar’s worth of investment.

To me, MixedMade and Bee’s Knees Spicy Honey will be proof and learning of how easy (or not) it is to start something these days. 

However, the truth is, I don’t want to do it all by myself.  I don’t want to tinker in my kitchen, nor am I particularly skilled in that department.  I don’t want to promote our product to the local community, not to mention that I might move from Brooklyn in the future. 

Enter Casey: Casey, I learned from a mutual friend, wanted to start a hot sauce company for quite some time, based on a secret recipe he formulated in his Bushwick apartment kitchen.  Further, Casey is known amongst our friends for being the maker of the best bread, sauce, etc. in Brooklyn that you cannot actually buy.  The only way to get one of these coveted loaves of bread, jars of sauce or other taste bud-tantalizing item was to be friends with Casey, and of course share some whiskey. 

November, 2013: I revealed to Casey, over a cup of brown hot water disguised as coffee, of my plan for spicy honey which lacked someone to develop the product, represent it locally, and add some Brooklyn flavor, figuratively.  He shared his excitement for those particular things, and yet apathy towards the business and admin side of the project.  We had a team!

With nothing to lose, Casey and I discussed a few ways to make our project more exciting:

  • We could document the entire process
  • We could do it in a short amount of time, like 6 weeks
  • Hell, we could even be totally transparent and offer our recipe and entire business process up to the masses

Yes, we agreed, let’s do all of those at the same time!  We decided on a January-something start date, and promised to spend no time preparing or thinking about our project until our kickoff.

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  • Hi- I’m a business student at Stevenson University and am doing a case study project on your business’s startup and e-commerce success story. I have a few questions and would love to conduct an interview and learn more about you guys as entrepreneurs. Thanks!

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  • Thanks for following Sue! We will try to share more about us and hope to keep things interesting as we attempt to scale and grow.

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  • OK, So I am intrigued. This is like an unfolding soap opera (of which I am particularly fond). I want to hear more about Morgen & Casey and who isn’t intrigued to follow the start of a new enterprise in the modern world of the web?

    Sue Sullivan on

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