Kelley Higney is the founder and CEO of the Bug Bite Thing company, which offers a solution to relieve stings and swellings caused by insect bites effectively. Bug Bite Thing is the number one selling product for insect bite relief on Amazon. The tool uses suction to remove insect venom from underneath the skin, making it safe for children of all ages and adults.
The Bug Bite thing gained recognition after Kelley Higney, and her mother appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank. They secured a partnership with entrepreneur Lori Greiner. from that time, Bug Bite Thing has been awarded the 2020 Stevie Awards for women in business. The awards include Consumer Product company of the year and the Fastest Growing Company of the year.
I grew up in San Diego, California. I worked with my mother, Ellen McAlister, on our family’s international export and distribution business for fifteen years before starting the Bug Bite Thing. My family relocated to South Florida in 2013. I did not prepared for how mosquitoes would impact my family’s quality of life. My daughter suffered from continuous mosquito bites. I discovered a little tool that uses suction to help remove insect venom under the skin. This is after many failed attempts using creams and trying home remedies.
I was amazed that the product worke and it offered instant relief. After creating the Bug Bite Thing in 2017, I have been a mom on a mission. I am also passionate about increasing awareness of numerous chemicals approved for use in personal care products used on children in the United States.
My mother managed her own successful company for 35 years. She helped me in setting up my business several aspects, including how much inventory I should take to start. I ordered 10,000 units for my first inventory. I expected the units to last me through the entire season. Luckily, there was a conversation about Bug Bite Thing in a local Mom Group on social media. Local news picked up the conversation, and they contacted me for an interview. The interview was then syndicated, and all my inventory sold out in a week.
It was a hard task to get my hands on more inventory. We ordered based on our predictions, but then we would sell through our stock. It seemed like we could not keep up with the demand. This was very stressful. We were dropping potential sales. Our Amazon business also started to take off at that period.
Though, I did not think about giving up. My mother’s comfort assisted me during this process. This was one of the many challenges I have experienced since starting my business. As a founder, the challenges you face should teach you a great lesson. Also, It would be better if you learned how to solve problems and avoid making the same mistakes in the future.
Advice to young entreprenuers
To a young Kelley Higney, being a founder requires daily determination and flexibility. There will be many difficulties that you will come across. You should have the curiosity to learn and approach your problems from all angles. Finally, you should find a way to make the situation a win-win-win.
Once you are done with the initial startup phase, you should build a strong team. Also, you should know where your strengths and weaknesses lie and delegate tasks accordingly. It is also essential not to micromanage your team. Instead, you should hire employees with an entrepreneurial spirit whom you can trust to execute your vision.
Bug Bite Thing is not like other insect bite relief products on the market. Other anti-itch creams and bug sprays contain chemicals. Bug Bite Thing is completely free from chemical and only uses suction to eliminate the irritant. It removes the problem instead of masking it, that’s why the product is unique.