Red Headed Honey products are crafted from honeybee byproducts that we harvest from our hives in Southern Michigan. Our honeybees enjoy hundreds of acres of land, surrounded by forests, wildflowers, fruit trees, and a natural spring lake. We believe in natural beekeeping practices as well as working with our honeybees being mindful of only sharing with them what they can afford to give. While making all natural skin care products for you to enjoy is our main focus we also support and promote habitat development and protection of all pollinators through supporting organizations such as the American Beekeeping Federation, The Pollinator Stewardship Council, Michigan Beekeepers Association and more.
The company was originally founded in Willow Creek, CA in 2005. Niki Backes started this company as her passion of working with honeybees grew and the demand for not only the honey she was producing but her skincare line grew. After Niki graduated from Humboldt State University in 2006 with a degree in Psychology, she begun to take on beekeeping and red headed honey as her primary passion. Her desire to learn more about the business of pollination, honeybees and how to develop her company further led her on a journey of discovery. It was during this time while working in Costa Rica that Niki met Jeff and he understood her dream and passion of working with these important little creatures. Jeff then decided to join the team after meeting Niki while he was vacationing in Central America It was a serendipitous moment and since they first met they haven’t looked back as they focus on growing their company sustainably and have fun while doing it.
Founder and President
In 2013, Niki was recruited to work in Germany for Ansgar Westerhoff with more than 3,000 beehives. Her time spent in Germany greatly broadened her knowledge as a beekeeper. Upon returning from Germany, Niki was determined to expand her knowledge base about all facets of beekeeping and in that pursuit, she traveled to Costa Rica in early 2014 to work with Africanized honeybees, which is where she met Jeff. Shortly after, she moved back Southern Michigan where she was born and raised.
In 2002, Niki moved to Northern California to attend Humboldt State University where she received a degree in psychology and philosophy. In 2005, while still at Humboldt State University, she founded Red Headed Honey. In addition to attending classes to learn about all natural herbs, she continues to educate herself about honeybees and the useful applications of their byproducts including honey, beeswax, propolis and royal jelly. She has taught several classes about beekeeping and has helped many aspiring beekeepers in her community.
Jeff and Niki, together, established a new home for Red Headed Honey. Combined with her extensive knowledge of honeybees, herbs and essential oils she continues to formulate new and existing products for Red Headed Honey's skin care line. She is currently working on obtaining her degree in advanced organic skin care formulation. Her and Jeff are also currently involved in the American Beekeeping Federation and Niki volunteers on their membership and research committee. They are also members of the Michigan Beekeeping Association and are involved in volunteering their time giving educational talks within the local educational system about the importance of pollination.
Her focus as well as her business partner Jeff, remained dedicated to producing and providing quality skin care products from 100% natural ingredients. They also strive to supply knowledge and education about the importance of honeybees, not only to our food supply but what the honeybees can offer our entire bodies as well.
Jeff Dayton is Red Headed Honey’s CEO. He is responsible for executing the overall strategy and vision of the company. When he joined as CEO Jeff played an instrumental role in the rebranding and restructuring of the company which was originally founded in 2005. Currently he is overseeing the general direction of the company as he actively works to establish retail and wholesale distribution channels.
Until August of 2013, Jeff worked in the logistics industry as an account executive. During his eight years with the company, he produced more than $52M in revenue while also learning key skills that are required to be successful in competitive industries which will prove essential in the success of Red Headed Honey.
Jeff's involvement in other industries is not limited. He works in Member Relations for The ArcView Investor Network, which is an angel investment group focusing in the legal cannabis industry. He is also sole operating manager of a logistics consulting company and a real estate management company.
He also enjoys the craft beer industry and is an investor in Empirical Brewery, which is expected to be Chicago's 3rd largest brewery in the coming years. In the near future Red Headed Honey will be providing the honey for a beer brewed by Empirical.