Although entrepreneurs Amy Leinbach was interested in innovation from quite a young age, what drove her towards Big Bee Little Bee was her desire to spend time with her daughter, Mario. Moreover, Amy was concerned with the way people handed single-use plastics and worried about their effects on the environment. Thus, seeing an opportunity to fulfill both her dreams at once, Amy and Mario started their company, Big Bee Little Bee.
Big Bee Little Bee has several products for kids and adults, with each one aiming to do away with single-use plastics. The interest in their products grew tenfold once Amy and Mario appeared on ‘Shark Tank‘ season 14 episode 5, hoping for a massive investment from the Sharks. Well, let’s trace the growth of the company and find out where it is at present, shall we?
Big Bee Little Bee: Who Are They and What Do They Do?
Amy Leinbach, the mastermind behind Big Bee Little Bee, completed her Bachelor of Arts in Telecommunications from Pepperdine University in 2000. She then went on to obtain her Master of Science in Educational Administration from the same university in 2006. Following her education, Amy entered Kaplan K12 Learning Services as a Senior Implementation Manager joining Kaplan Virtual Education as a Regional Operations Director in 2008.
By 2010, Amy was promoted to the post of the Director of Product Management, but she eventually left Kaplan and co-founded the company Online Edge in January 2011. In October of the following year, she went on to co-establish Online Edge’s official website before putting her experience to use and coming up with her own company, Balance Bead, in January 2014. Amy headed operations at Balance Bead up to 2018, but she and her daughter, Mario, established Big Bee Little Bee in 2016.
At present, Amy is committed full-time to Big Bee Little Bee. While Mario is still in school, she helps around with the business and is responsible for inventing quite a few of their products. Moreover, while entrepreneurship came naturally to both of them, readers would be surprised to learn that Amy has done voiceovers for commercials and is known as the voice of the character Stella from the Nickelodeon animated series ‘Winx Club.’ Mario also followed in her mother’s footsteps and has done voiceover work for the company Mattel, as well as a movie and a TV show.
On the show, Amy mentioned that she always had the desire to innovate and run businesses, as most of her childhood games included her running some sort of shop. Interestingly, the games did not stop there as Amy pulled out all stops and even created promotional videos and commercials with the help of her parents. Naturally, this desire to run a business grew stronger with time, and once Amy saw that she could operate a company and spend time with her daughter at the same time, she grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
Their first product was the Original ScrubBEE, a product made of soft silicone rubber that was useful for cleaning the delicate skin of babies. However, with time, even Mario began inventing products as she came up with the idea of the Marker Parker, an organizer for colored markers that helps keep the marker caps secure. Besides, the two came up with Build-A-Straw, a reusable silicone straw that breaks into four parts and allows the user to create a straw of any shape or size. Big Bee Little Bee also creates each product with the aim of combating single-use plastics.
Where Is Big Bee Little Bee Now?
When Amy was asked about her entrepreneurial background, she mentioned that although she loved inventing things from a young age, it took her some time to build her confidence and put one of her products on the market. Nevertheless, once Big Bee Little Bee launched in 2016, Amy was pleasantly surprised by the positive response to their products, which encouraged her to innovate further. Although Amy’s company did not have a lot of reach initially, her customer base increased exponentially once her products were featured on ‘Good Morning America’ and ‘The View’ in 2020.
Apart from spreading the word to customers, the products even caught the eye of the chain store, Buy Buy Baby, Inc., which began stocking Big Bee Little Bee products. Naturally, small retailers followed suit, and soon Amy learned that her products were being stocked in stores nationwide. Since then, Amy hasn’t looked back, and her company earned around a quarter million dollars in sales in 2021. Besides, through Big Bee Little Bee, Amy supports several non-profit organizations, including Imani Milele Children and Shelter Partnership.
Bee Little Bee even works with their local foster home and donates 1% of their annual sales to non-profit organizations that are working to save the environment. Apart from Buy Buy Baby, Inc. and other brick-and-mortar stores, interested individuals can purchase Big Bee Little Bee products from their official website as well as Amazon. The company currently offers three main products: The Marker Parker, Build-A-Straw, and The Original ScrubBEE, costing $14.99, $6.99, and $9.99, respectively.
Besides, one can opt to buy bundles in order to obtain discounts. Since its inception, Big Bee Little Bee has won several awards, including the 2018 Family Choice Award and the 2019 National Parenting Product Award. Additionally, it has been featured in prestigious publications like TimeOut as well as Woman’s Health, and we believe that Amy and Mario are destined for further success in the near future.