One of the Babes: The Crunchy Hive
If you've ever thought about what a modern wonder woman would be like, Melissa O'Brien is it. As a mother, gardener and cook, O'Brien combines her skills with creativity to craft amazing natural products for her company The Crunchy Hive. Using plant medicine and essential oils, O'Brien makes anything from tooth powder to mosquito repellent.
Learn more about O'Brien and The Crunchy Hive in our Q&A below:
Q: What inspired you to start your business? Did you have any role models or did you learn from someone in particular?
A: Becoming pregnant made me become more conscious about what I put in my body. After finding out most things I used on a daily basis are full of harmful chemicals I decided to explore natural options. After falling in love with essential oils and the products that I created using plant medicine, I knew I wanted to share with people.
MariMikel Potter is my midwife and role model. She taught me so many things that led me towards learning for myself. She taught me to be confident in my own abilities. I owe so much to this amazing woman.
Q: Do you have any tidbits of general advice for people with passion?
A: Even if you're not sure what your passion is, it is so important that you start somewhere. It will lead to something else which will then lead to something else, and before you know it you will have learned more than you ever thought you would. Don't be above anyone or anything, and don't be afraid to ask for help.
Q: What have been your favorite moments of creativity?
A: When I decided to pursue starting a business of natural products, I asked everyone what kinds of things they needed. People requested things like perfumes, or cream to help with eczema, so I began to make it all. One day, I remember looking down with materials everywhere while I'm trying to come up with something someone else might like, and then it hit me. I need to do this for me. What do I need? What problems do I have that I want fixed? When I starting listening to my needs and desires, I found my passion. This completely transitioned my business to really represent who I am and the products I love and use every single day.
Q: What have been the most challenging moments in your career so far?
A: Finding the time to do everything that I want to do. I just recently took the phrase, "I don't have enough time" out of my vocabulary. I want to talk about time as something I can make and enjoy, rather then the enemy. Life is overwhelming when balancing yourself, work and family I try to stop and remind myself to relax; there can always be time for everything.
Q: What's your day job (if this business isn't your day job)?
A: I am house manager, gardener, accounts payable, caretaker for my husband (he is perfectly healthy, though), placenta encapsulator, cook, part-time cleaner, dog-walker—but my most important job is being a mom.
Q: When you're discouraged, what do you run to or away from?
A: I run to Home Slice.
Your favorite band at the moment: The Harmed Brothers
Your favorite book at the moment: "Placenta the Forgotten Chakra" by Robin Lim
Your local Austin gem: Rooftops. Austin has the most beautiful landscape of buildings, rivers and trees. One of my favorite things to do is climb up on a high rooftop and enjoy the view. I used to do this a lot more before work and kids but on a date night, that's where I'll be.