Theresa Crichlow BeeFavored
Theresa Crichlow, founder of BeeFavored. (Credit: Courtesy of BeeFavored)

After a chance encounter with a swarm of bees in her New York City neighborhood of Harlem, Theresa Crichlow found herself inspired to create something special. She began by keeping bees on her roof, the launch of an urban apiary that began generating raw honey almost immediately. Not only was the honey delicious, Crichlow found, but she also had enough of it to start her own business. And that’s exactly what she did – but since launching BeeFavored, it’s expanded well beyond honey. She is also teaching members of her community how to care for bees, and the environment, through hands-on workshops on farming, nutrition, self-sufficiency and community resilience. For Crichlow, BeeFavored isn’t just a business – it’s a hub where she’s making a difference in people’s lives.

Here’s our lightly edited Q&A, from The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project.

How is your business different from others in your industry?

Our commitment to sustainability and community engagement set us apart. We operate from an urban rooftop in Harlem, fostering a unique connection between city dwellers and nature. We also offer educational initiatives, teaching folks in our community about beekeeping and environmental stewardship.

Tell us about your biggest success so far. 

Being recognized as a transformative force in the honey industry. We’re proud to have garnered accolades from prestigious organizations and media outlets, validating the impact of our initiatives. Additionally, our commitment to quality and authenticity has cultivated a loyal customer base who appreciate our honey blends and ethical practices. In 2023, 1010 Wins recognized us as one of New York’s most exciting emerging small businesses, affirming our work toward inspiring positive change and connecting people with nature.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?

Balancing urban beekeeping with sustainability practices. The limited space and resources in an urban environment present unique obstacles for maintaining bee colonies and minimizing environmental impact. To address this, we implemented rooftop apiaries and soilless farming techniques. By utilizing space efficiently, we maximize honey production while also minimizing our ecological footprint. 

Have you experienced any significant personal situations that affected your business decisions? 

I lost my mother just before launching my business. Her nurturing presence and expertise in canning served as a guiding light, inspiring me to pursue my passion for sustainable food production. 

What is your biggest tip for other startup entrepreneurs? 

Recognize the value of your gifts and talents. Be disciplined with how you allocate your energy and creativity. It’s important to prioritize your time and well-being, while embracing the intellectual challenges that come with entrepreneurship. 

Also, I’ve learned that it’s okay to make mistakes along the way, as long as you keep moving forward and learning from them. Lastly, choose something you love and go for it – wholeheartedly – despite any obstacles that arise. 

How do you find inspiration on your darkest days?

I draw inspiration from contemplating the resilience of others who have triumphed over adversity. Ultimately, I find strength from within, embracing the belief that even our darkest moments hold the potential for growth and transformation.

What is your go-to song to get motivated on tough days?

“Goodness of God” by CeeCee Winans.

Who is your most important role model?

My mother. She taught me the importance of sustainability, community engagement and innovation – principles that are at the core of BeeFavored. ◼


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