Local Business Specializes in All-Natural Products
Writer / Megan Arszman
Photographer / Robby Berry
What was born out of necessity has now blossomed into a rich and rewarding venture for Melissa Wrin. After her daughter suffered a seizure in the middle of the night, she started researching potential environmental causes for seizures. The former registered dietician already understood the importance of nutrition, but she started to look at natural applications for the body and home.
“I wanted to provide all-natural skin-care products that were healthier for my family,” Wrin says.
Wrin’s husband Bill had just started to research beekeeping. It just so happens that the name Melissa means honeybee in Greek – an insect that had always captured her attention.
“I had always liked honeybees, but had never thought about keeping them until my husband had suggested it back in 2017,” she says. “He challenged me to start looking at ways we could utilize the beeswax.”
An online search gave Wrin inspiration for a multitude of products that she could make at home including lip balms, paw balms and lotion bars. Because of this novel approach, the lotion bars took off thanks to word of mouth among family and friends. Wrin began selling products on social media and setting up a table at small events.
Sweet Melissa Honey & Hive has grown from just a backyard venture to include approximately 40 hives around central Indiana, each maintained by Bill.
“It’s a fun hobby for both of us,” Wrin says. “We love learning more about honeybees as well as educating others about them.”
In fact, the couple cares for hives at some schools in Fishers, where they introduce the insect’s worth to teachers and students. They work with homeowners to keep hives on their property to help maintain the honeybee population, as well as pollenate local flower beds.
In addition to the common application of honey as a natural sweetener or as a way to help battle seasonal allergies, the Wrins have come up with an all-natural beeswax product line for a variety of purposes.
“Our lotion bars are very popular,” Wrin says. “Now we have bug repellent balm and itch balm. People really love our intensive heel balm, especially diabetics or anyone with dry, cracked heels.”