Meet Michelle Scheumeister, CEO and founder of Philanthrobee, a clean beauty and raw skincare line out of California. Michelle is passionate about bees, honey and leaving your skin and the world better than before. We included Philanthrobee products in our Mother’s Day giftaway and its products have been touted as a self-care must have by a number of beauty editors and publications. We love covering like-minded founders and CEOs who care deeply about the impact they are making. Check out Michelle’s interview below.
Tell us a little about yourself.
Philanthropy and animals have always been a huge inspiration for me. My mother taught me to love unconditionally, and to fight for what I bee-lieve in. Now, I am fighting to bring a product to the market that captures the essence of the honey bee. A clean natural line that is formulated with clean raw ingredients from our hives. A product that is free from nasty chemicals that would otherwise be caustic to our skin and detrimental to our environment. A skincare line that spreads awareness on honeybee conservation and what their survival means to our [humanity] survival.
I was a total bio-nerd in college. I dove into cause and effect and trial and error hard. I took projects and courses that would expand on my bio background and prepare me for what I thought was going to be a career in the medical field (helping people).
What’s your “why?”
We have a couple different “whys.” The first is bringing awareness to the honey bee conservation through a variety of philanthropic ventures. The second is a little more far reaching into my struggle to find a natural skincare product that was both effective (raw honey, propolis and virgins beeswax especially from the queen beds are miraculous and medicinal in nature), and clean when it goes onto the skin and into our environment. We want clean ingredients so they are not caustic to our skin (the largest organ in our body), and we want to make sure that if this product finds its way into the environment (maybe you are swimming in the ocean that day), it is not caustic to the environment.
Philanthrobee key ingredients including honey, propolis and beeswax all come from the hive? What makes them so special?
Honey has been touted as a miracle ointment with healing properties which have been used by our ancestors for over 5,000 years. Honey has been used to treat infections and wounds, as well as ailments, such as ulcers, and many types of skin conditions long before we started to connect facts with scientific truths.
Propolis, often called "nature's penicillin", honey bee propolis has been used for aiding in healing a number of ailments from acne-prine and damaged skin through its medicinal uses; including antimicrobial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumor qualities.
Virgin Beeswax is an amazing protective barrier to help lock in moisture and prevent cellular damage.
In terms of extracting, we pride ourselves in carefully measured humane best practices when working with our honey bee apiarie as bees are so special to our family.
Tell us about your philanthropic efforts around honey bees.
Bee-Cause is a philanthropic mission to spread awareness about the importance of honeybees. We do this by working with the city of San Jose (through our family’s Apiary business @willowglenhoney) to sponsor pollinator parks around the bay area. Our family also works hand and hand with the city’s Zoo to create buzz and raise funds for Pollinator conservation. It’s all Bee-Cause we care about our honeybees, and their future. We need to remember that their future is OUR future. Without these tiny pollinators life would cease to exist.
What are some of your favorite Philanthrobee products?
We do not carry a huge line of products, rather, we carry a small mighty line of products that compliment each other. The formulations are strategically formulated to hit all of the AH-HA areas for your skin, and your mind! For example, we have a trio of products that when used in a sequence, your skin will drench in hydration for what feels like days!
Plunk the Hive bath bomb into a warm tub of water, apply your Bee-ch facemask, and seep in the honey infused waters for 20-30 mins. After your skin is hydrated, wash your face mask off, and before you throw your robe on after your towel off, apply the Bee-cause Body bar to give your skin that GLO-MY.
We also have 2 products that have been in formulation for about three years now, being tweaked to perfection. Be on the lookout for the Queens Bath Facial Hydration and the Bee-Kind Rewind Under Eye treatment in 2022! They are already being touted as nature's recipe by a couple of beauty editors.
What about 2021 excites you?
The world “Opening Up”. I remember when I was young, and when I was stuck in my room on a time-out. Five mins back then was hell, and Covid was my time-out on steroids. I am so excited to pick up where we left off. We have some really exciting partnerships and events that we have been invited to. 2022 will be a year of highs and probably lows, but the lows make us that much better. I am excited for it all!
Is there a quote that inspires you?
There are a couple of family quotes that fuel my fire, and keep me grounded:
“Dance like no one’s watching, love like there is no tomorrow, and leave little blessings wherever you go”. - Mama Leone
“We may not have a lot of money, but we are rich in relationships”, & “Never ever be too good to push a broom” - PapaMargo.
We had NO money growing up, but we had a lot of loving family members, and amazing family friends, so we were rich in relationships. My grandfather was constantly reminding me to never talk down or look down on another human being, and you better not be good enough to pick up a broom and push your weight. Contribute to society and contribute to help lift others up.