We are positive that proud Black entrepreneur Beatrice Dixon—founder of the plant-based feminine care line The Honey Pot Company—had no idea she would be subject to a slew of negativity after speaking her truth in a 15-second video for Target’s “Founders We Believe In” series.
In case you haven't heard, Beatrice and her successful business became a victim of Black-shaming after she revealed the inspiration to succeed in business stemmed from her overall goal to break barriers for future Black businesswomen.
“The reason why it’s so important for Honey Pot to do well is so the next Black girl that comes up with a great idea, she can have a better opportunity,” Beatrice shared in the mini commercial that was released during Black History Month (Feb. 4).
Sadly, not long after the video went viral, white women flooded the hygiene brand’s Trustpilot page with negative reviews.
“Why specify Black?” one white reviewer question on Trust Pilot. Another chimed in, “I would have considered buying from this company if it hadn’t been for the racist commercial.”
"Boycott The Honey Pot Company, and Target. RACIST. White people hating comments not going to be tolerated," said another heated reviewer.
Wait, what? If you are confused, you are not the only one. Equally bewildered, Trustpilot issued an advisory saying it was suspending review posts “due to the high influx of reviews” that they could not guarantee provided “genuine presentation of the company.”
Refusing to let the negative comments hinder the success of the budding hygiene business, Black Twitter erupted in support of The Honey Pot Company.
"I support @thehoneypotcomp please go leave a positive review on trustpilot because white women are leaving nasty reviews about it being racist based off the commercial and have NEVER used the products!" one Twitter user wrote.
See how Black Twitter (and allies) came to the defense of the Black-owned beauty brand:
Thanks to Black Twitter’s swiftness of support, Honey Pot has seen an increase in sales.
According to Buzzfeed News, Beatrice was proud to report that since the video went viral, demand for her brand that launched in 2014 has seen an increase in sales. Since the launch of the video, sales increased 20% to 30%, but after the unwarranted negative reviews, product sales were up 40% to 50% higher than what they would be on a typical day.
“I said nothing about our product being only for black girls,” Beatrice told Buzzfeed, citing the company’s tagline, which says it is “made by humans with vaginas, for humans with vaginas.” She continued, "I can't expect them to understand the plight of what it is to be a Black woman co-founder in business."
Standing true to her story, Beatrice also spoke to ESSENCE about the unexpected response from her video saying, “This was not Honey Pot’s commercial, it was Target’s commercial. It was shot during Black History Month and for Women’s History Month. They chose that particular clip for a reason. I’m here for that story and that’s why I said it. I know that there’s a huge disparity when you look at the funding of businesses. I’m always going to be a proponent of us doing what we have to do so this isn’t even a conversation. The only thing we as Black women business owners can do is make really successful businesses.”
On Monday, Target also issued a statement to NBC News saying, "We’re proud to work with Bea Dixon and The Honey Pot team to highlight Bea’s journey to build her brand and bring her products to Target."
It continued, "We’re aware of some negative comments about the campaign, which aren’t in line with the overwhelmingly positive feedback we’ve received from guests who love and have been inspired by Bea’s story."
Once again, this proves that diversity is still a topic that has yet to be remedied. In the meantime, we can all relish in the proud moment that shows genuine support can make all the difference.
For that support, Beatrice told Essence, “I have a lot of gratitude.”
(Photo: Paras Griffin/Getty Images for ESSENCE)
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