The Honey Pot Founder Is Unbothered After Racist Trolls Try to Come for Her
Hateful online reviewers attempted to take down Beatrice Dixon’s company. Instead they helped double business sales.
When Target asked Bea Dixon to star in a Black History Month and Women’s History Month commercial to market her menstrual and intimate care business, The Honey Pot Company, she was overcome with gratitude. It was a big moment to raise the visibility of her company and to spread her message of empowerment for young Black girls. “The reason why it’s so important for The Honey Pot to do well is so the next Black girl that comes up with a great idea could have a better opportunity. That means a lot to me,” Dixon says in the 30-second spot, which first aired a few weeks ago.
That message, however, wasn’t embraced by all. Shortly after the commercial was released, trolls inundated Dixon’s company with racist one-star reviews on the online consumer site Trustpilot in an attempt to shut her down.
“What a shame it couldn’t have boosted all women. If a White person made that comment, they would have pulled the commercial. Racism goes both ways,” said one post. Said another: “I will not buy products from a company [that is] racist and caters to their own people.”
Dixon was unbothered by reviews. A fan of stoicism, an ancient Greek philosophy of enduring hardship without complaining, Dixon acknowledged the hate, but chose a more mindful approach to the negativity.
“You have to separate yourself from it if it’s something that’s trying to affect your business. Don’t let what people say and do affect you because most of the time they’re just projecting whatever it is that’s going on in their life onto you,” Dixon tells ZORA. “I’m not here for it because I know the truth about who I am.”
Though Dixon was unmoved, The Honey Pot supporters (old and new) were not. Within moments, The Honey Pot Hive showed up and showed out by countering the negative reviews with positives. The groundswell of support restored the brand, returning it back to its usual five stars (Trustpilot has since temporarily suspended the company page to “investigate an unusual influx of reviews, some of which violate Trustpilot’s guidelines.”)
“Sometimes it takes those things to happen for this thing to happen.”
Supporters also spoke with their wallets. The Honey Pot Company — which sells plant-based, non-toxic menstrual and intimate care products targeted toward “humans with vaginas” — saw a 50% increase in sales, and fans began posting images of themselves on social media with products from the line, which are now sold out online.
Dixon, who lives an analog life in Atlanta with minimal distraction from social media, found out about the racist reviews after being flooded with several calls, emails, and texts. She wasn’t expecting any of it, but she also wasn’t surprised by the support.
“It has been really beautiful to experience. It’s always good to have examples of humanity being beautiful, and I think this is one of those times that even in humanity wanting to not be beautiful. Sometimes it takes those things to happen for this thing to happen,” says Dixon. “I’m so grateful those things happened so that we could be here right now having this conversation, so that people can understand and hear about the movement that Honey Pot is.”
Dixon maintains it’s important for The Honey Pot to do well so that when the next Black girl comes up with a great idea she can have better opportunities. It’s the gist of what she stated in her commercial, and as one of only 50 Black women to raise at least $1 million in capital, she is even more motivated to keep the conversation going about how women business owners need more support. According to Project Diane, only about .0006 percent of $424.7 billion in total tech venture capital distributed since 2009 has gone to Black women, while women overall got less than 3% of funding.
That Dixon managed to raise as much money as she has from turning a literal dream into a reality is almost a miracle. The story goes that one of Dixon’s ancestors appeared to her and presented a list of ingredients for a tincture that could help cure her chronic bacterial vaginosis, and the rest is destiny. She launched The Honey Pot Company in 2012 with the help of her business-savvy brother. They began selling online and at popular vendor’s markets at places like Afropunk and Curlfest.
Historically, the United States has a track record of Black businesses being harassed and targeted by White supremacists. Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Black Wall Street, is an early 1900s example of Black businesses being physically destroyed for being successful and empowering.
“Don’t put your focus on negative stuff, put your focus on being a monster so you can just crush everything that comes your way.”
In the 21st century, that same viciousness, triggered by White fragility, has taken on a digital form. This is an age where online reviews can be weaponized. There’s no promise that an attack like this won’t besiege The Honey Pot Company again, but Dixon is clear that how she reacts is key to consistent success.
Right now it’s still business as usual, but with more interviews, as Dixon’s team braces for the impact of leveling up.
“We’re ready to move forward. We’ve got a lot of great products that are already launched or about to launch, and I’m ready to keep this conversation going; that’s why I said it [in the commercial] and why I tell my assistant to fill up my schedule with interviews. There’s a huge disparity in business and I’ll talk about it as much as I need to,” says Dixon. “I’m always going to be for us doing what we have to do. But at the same time, if you have a business you have to give it your all. Don’t put your focus on negative stuff, put your focus on being a monster so you can just crush everything that comes your way.”