Meet Jess Stevens, an original member of Heirloom Acre Farm – where Heirloom Acre Honey‘s first hive still resides. She is passionate about organic, local agriculture and community, both of which are translated into the core values of the company. Jess, along with her father and head beekeeper, Jon Kutzner, runs Heirloom Acre Honey in Bucks County, PA. Read on to learn more about the brand through this Q&A with Jess!
- Can you explain what Heirloom Acre Honey does?
We are providers of local and raw honey along with speciality honey products. We have a passion for saving bees, local food and our community.
- What is your role at Heirloom Acre Honey?
I do everything except the actual beekeeping, which is still my dad’s role. I take care of all of our markets, wholesale accounts, bottling, etc.
- How did you hear about GoggleWorks?
I met Tess at a Clover Market (maker’s market) and we got to talking about how our honey may be a good fit for GoggleWorks!
- How did your family get into the honey/beekeeping business?
My grandfather was a beekeeper during my dad’s childhood. When [my dad] was given the chance to take over an abandoned hive in 2011, he jumped right in. Over the years he added more hives and the business grew too large for him to handle alone.
- Is there a particular goal or milestone you would like to achieve with Heirloom Acre Honey?
For me, I would love to see my young kids continue to work in and enjoy the business. It already spans a few generations and that just makes me so proud. One day, I anticipate one of the kids taking it over from me!
- Is there anything that community members can do individually to help save the bees?
Absolutely! The most effective two things you can do are to stop using chemicals on your lawn and garden (avoid RoundUp!) and plant a variety of pollinators.
- What is your favorite part of your business? Do you have a favorite honey that you make?
My favorite thing is getting to be creative. I love making up recipes, connecting on social media and creating new flavors of creamed honey!
- What’s your most memorable achievement in your business so far?
Creating an exciting new product and then watching it succeed or even sell out!
- What’s a piece of advice you would love to give your younger self?
Don’t be afraid of hard work. Own your weaknesses as much as your strengths and find help along the way.
- Do you have any creative outlets or methods of traditional artistic expression that you turn to?
I love drawing, painting, dancing, cooking. As a mom of young kids I don’t get time for these by myself a lot but my kids love doing these all together.
- What do you do in times you feel a lack of inspiration/motivation?
Throw myself into a project that makes me excited and ignore the tasks that make me feel less motivated, at least for an hour or two. Usually I can come back to the other projects I was avoiding with more passion!
There are so many nuggets of gold that Jess shared with us! Taking a brief break from something that you feel demotivated by and picking up something you’re looking forward to can be a great way to regain the momentum to finish the first project. We don’t disagree that hard work is necessary, though, as well as perseverance. As creators, there is something always tugging at us to produce something new, better, and more of it – this can be exhausting! She emphasizes owning your weaknesses and your strengths, and the importance of asking for help as you go along. We know that sometimes asking for help can be difficult, and even feel like an admission of failure, when it’s really a show of strength and vulnerability.
Jess loves being creative through her honey creations and cooking, and through more traditional artistic mediums like painting and drawing. Jess shows us that maintaining your making practice is possible even with little ones! Creating together can be a great bonding experience and can give them new ways to express themselves.
Lastly, Jess shared with us some great ways to do our part to save the bees! We can plant plants that attract pollinators and stop using lawn and garden chemicals. Even small, individual steps can make a big difference overall!
We love getting to know the faces and stories behind our vendors at The New Store at GoggleWorks. Heirloom Acre Honey is sold in 8 delicious flavors at The New Store. When you shop local, you are helping makers’ dreams come true, strengthening your area’s local economy, and you are also helping GoggleWorks continue to touch lives through interactions like these! You can be a part of this movement to support independent artists and makers by shopping at The New Store at GoggleWorks.