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Did you see the article about BeeKi in Budstikka?

Hvalstad woman Tone Bryn (47) quit her job as research director to live out a very special sweet entrepreneurial dream.

It is about bees and beeswax where Bryn stands in the laboratory at Fekjan in Asker. Here she makes skin care products.

I had laughed when someone said three years ago that I should make my own skin care products. But I'm here and enjoying myself, she says.


School smart with top grades

Bryn was a good schoolgirl and conscientious girl with good grades.

She initially wanted to become a veterinarian, before it turned out that she was allergic. Thus it ended with studies in pharmacy where she ended up taking a major with the best possible grade - namely 1.0.

Furthermore, there was a doctorate that dealt with the immune system, particularly with a view to HIV and cancer.

The career then went on to work in several different pharmaceutical companies. She has always worked with clinical development within cancer, and has been responsible for several patient studies.

I want to work with the bees

The turning point came with COVID. In August 2020, she got corona, which meant a change in several areas.

- I am a very energetic person who has a fast pace. Suddenly I had to keep completely still in isolation. A friend of mine asked me at the time: What do you really want? I felt myself that something was missing. At that time, I had been a beekeeper for four years in addition to my job.

- Suddenly it raced through my head. I want to work with my bees! I want to dig in the earth and walk in rubber boots. I want to develop healthy and nutritious skin care products with ingredients from my own bees!

First she weighed back and forth a little. The deciding factor was when the boss informed her that: If you want to come back here, we will create a position for you!

- It gave me the security I needed, says Bryn. The founder lives in Hvalstad with a son and a daughter aged 14 and 19.

She had had a small taste of entrepreneurial life before. With her then-husband Harald James Otterhaug, she bought Mykje Meir in Asker. They also established crossfit training in Sandvika together and took over such a training place in Oslo. She divorced, and has sold herself out of all this. She also never quit her job at a pharmaceutical company when she was running the crossfit establishments.


Sold the cabin and started

With the skin care product company, however, it is all in.

- I quit my job on 1 February 2021, the same day I founded BeeKi AS

The cabin the 47-year-old had in Valdres was sold to finance the start-up, and she is also taking part in an entrepreneurial course organized by Kvinner i Business. Bryn bought the domain name, and did all the other necessary formalities.

The new entrepreneur has also taken a diploma thesis in organic skin care production and "business management cosmetics".

After a stay in premises at Hvalstad Museum, she is now at Fekjan. She has no employees, only herself so far. BeeKi AS was registered as a company on 2 February 2021.

She has beehives at Asker museum, among other places. From August 2022, the laboratory was in place at Fekjan.

An online shop is up and running, and the Hvalstad woman has so far developed two products that have been approved for sale - there is an oil for use on the face and one for the body and face. They were launched last November. More products are also being developed, and the former director explains that they must go through a thorough and independent test and analysis process.


 

This is how she develops the products

  • Bryn explains that many people demand skin care that gives glow to dull skin, and that was the intention of the face oil.

  • The different oils are thus mixed with the wax, and the products are developed using a special technique.

  • She attaches great importance to everything being natural and healthy for the body/skin.

  • And she emphasizes that she takes extra good care of her bees.

  • Among the oils she uses is oil from mullet seeds and also oil from Marula trees in Africa.

  • She has been involved in aid projects in Mozambique.

 

Communication with the bees

Tone Bryn takes his bees very seriously.

- I actively practice yoga, and believe that all living things have energy. When I come to the hives, I therefore "talk" to my bees. I can feel the energy they send out. If I notice that the energy is bad, I wait until I feel the energy is the right one, she says.

In the current year, the BeeKi manager hopes for a turnover of around one million kroner, and in two years for a turnover of two million kroner.

Her clear goal is also to go international - that is, reach customers outside Norway as well.

- BeeKi has few or no direct competitors, and players we have spoken to so far show an interest in the products on a par with what the Norwegian market does, she says. This year, I want to work purposefully to build BeeKi Scincare in Norway at the same time as we look at the opportunities in Europe, says Bryn, who does not choose just anyone as a partner.


- I am selective about who sells the products. It should feel right for both parties, and it is important to me that they see the value of the bees in the whole thing, she explains.

- There is tough competition for women's skin care products. What do you think about your chances of success?

- There is competition, yes. But I find that what I offer is something unique. And those customers who have started using the products have already become repeat buyers. I hope for more loyal customers, says Bryn.

- How do you feel that the entrepreneurial life has been so far?

- I experience enormous freedom, relief and joy at being able to do what I really want, says the 47-year-old, who elaborates further:

- I actually feel that what I am doing now is my life's mission. For me, this is about far more than skin care. It is the bees that are in the center for me. The health-giving effects from the wax are provided by the bees. And bees, as many know, are absolutely essential for the earth's cycle. I feel humbled and grateful for being allowed to take part in this circuit, says the Hvalstad woman.

In addition to skin care products, the bees she has also produce honey, as many as six different types, from raspberry to powerful heather honey. This is sold in various shops in Asker, as well as at the Asker museum. The asker bees actually also recently won the NM in honey, a proud entrepreneur and beekeeper can tell.By Marit HellandPublished 24/01/2023Link to full article here< /em>


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