Honeychild, I’ve known Julie Whitmire Martinek since we were photo stylists and young mothers. Sitting in a circle with our doula and tiny infants, we wondered what the hell we’d gotten ourselves into and how we’d ever cope. Fast forward a good twenty-something years, and not only are our lads fine young men, but we’ve also been through several career incarnations.
Catching the Buzz
As Julie was winding up her styling career, she began keeping bees. “When I was growing up I’d catch bees in a mason jar. I loved watching them and hearing the buzz. I’d let them go, of course, but I just remember being fascinated by them. I have five hives now. At about the same time, I decided to become a Master Naturalist. While studying, you are involved in looking at everything that grows and what properties it has historically. You begin to realize so much is right under our noses, and in modern civilization, we have little to no connection to it.”
That knowledge informed her next creative endeavor, Honeychild. It began with soap-making. “The pandemic hit, and as we know, everything came to a screeching halt,” Julie said. “Everyone was thinking about washing their hands, and I had always been interested in making soap. The pandemic offered the time I needed to learn. I did my own training, just videos and reading online articles, and I figured it out as I went along.”
Julie incorporated what she had learned as a Master Naturalist and in bee-keeping into her Honeychild soaps and bee balm.
The name Honeychild is a southern expression Julie grew up with. She made a logo and started packaging items for my family and friends. As a former photo stylist, she certainly knew how to shoot beautiful photos and began posting them on Facebook and Instagram. People quickly started to take notice.
Balm and Face Serum
“I was interested in making my own face serum because I know what I like and they are so expensive! I got a list of ingredients for a serum I liked, and I thought, I can do this. And It all came together. I love my balm. It’s my pride and joy. It’s made of beeswax and different infused oils. I add a fine amount of pollen and royal jelly, which are wonderful gifts we get from the beehive.”
Unfiltered beeswax from a beekeeper contains over 300 micronutrients. It will soften your skin and create a long-lasting protective coating against the elements. Honey is a skin healer and beauty secret used historically to promote radiant, youthful skin. It’s anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antibacterial, full of antioxidants, and stimulates collagen. In addition, Honeychild balm and face serum contain Chaga mushroom extract, which treats inflammation and pigmentation spots. “It’s a very moisturizing balm,” Julie said. “You can take any dry, flaky area, and it automatically heals it. I put it on head-to-toe.”
Julie’s products include Royal Jelly, known for regenerating body cells, therefore reversing aging and healing the skin. She uses propolis, a rich variety of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, made from bees collecting sap from trees. It’s a natural antibiotic that helps heal infection. And, of course, bee pollen is excellent for healing and rejuvenating the skin.
“It helps with wrinkles, blemishes, and dark spots,” Julie said. “It’s the most nutrient-dense product, full of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and phytochemicals. Simply stated, bee pollen is an amazing gift from the most extraordinary insect on earth!”
Julie never thought of her endeavors as a business. But demand has grown for Honeychild products through word of mouth.
“I’ve always loved the outdoors and nature and the connection,” Julie said. “The soap is a creative outlet for sure. It’s like cooking. You try new recipes all the time. All of the Honeychild products are natural, paraben-free, chemical-free, with no artificial color. Honeychild soaps, as well as balms and serums, are made with calendula and chamomile infused oils, honey from the hives, essential oils, and love!”
At the moment, Honeychild has five scented soaps, a bee balm, and a face serum. Julie just created a frankincense scrub, so you have to check in on her Instagram page to see what each day brings. Christmas orders are filling up, but you may be able to nab a bar of cinnamon clove or lavender honey soap with oatmeal if you move fast!
Follow Julie on Instagram- honeychildnaturals
Etsy shop- honey child naturally