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Community Highlights: Meet April Nemeth of Hocus & Hive Skincare

Today we’d like to introduce you to April Nemeth. 

Hi April, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
In 2015, I was happy, healthy, active, and strong. I had just launched my company Vibe Chefs, and things were thriving… I worked long hours but loved every minute of my life. I had amazing friends, and spent time training and going on long hikes with my dog. Near the end of the year, I came down with a horrible flu-like illness, which led to severe neurological episodes that were excruciating and completely debilitating. Suddenly I could no longer work, see friends, and could barely walk my dog around the block without collapsing. I spent all my time in bed, in a half-conscious state of torture, feeling like my whole life had been ripped away from me. I spent any energy I had seeing all kinds of doctors, and eventually, after three years of searching was diagnosed with Late-Stage Neurological Lyme Disease. 

I thought things would get better once I finally had an answer, but things actually got worse. I tried tons of treatments, medications, procedures, and went to multiple intensive clinics trying to get help. It seemed like everything I tried just made me worse. And then I discovered what’s known as Apitherapy, or Bee Venom Therapy. This treatment uses venom from live bee stings to treat Lyme Disease and many other illnesses. The venom from honey bees contains many pharmacological properties, and one, in particular, has been studied to eradicate the notoriously difficult-to-treat type of bacteria that causes Lyme Disease. I’ve been using bee venom therapy for almost a year now, and the bees have helped me immensely. I have so much of my life back. 

After discovering bee venom therapy, I became fascinated by the power of the honey bee, and I wanted to find a way that others could experience the benefits, even if they weren’t sick like I was. The more I researched, I found that bee venom is actually amazing when used topically, or in skincare. It’s been scientifically shown to treat wrinkles, acne, and sun damage, speed wound healing, and increase cell turnover and collagen production. I couldn’t find a product on the market that contained all-natural, safe ingredients, and was completely safe for the bees, and didn’t harm them in the venom extraction process. So, I decided to create one. 

I sourced venom from an organic honey bee farm in Switzerland, that collects the venom ethically and sustainably. Then I hired a cosmetic chemist to help me formulate a product that would be a true skin superhero. This flagship product launched my company, Hocus & Hive Skincare. We’ve now expanded to include several other products, all made with the highest quality, safe ingredients. It’s been so fun learning the industry and being able to support bee farms, giving back to the magical little creatures that are saving my life! 

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
The road has definitely been a rough one. My health struggles have made things a million times harder for me than they used to be. I’ve had to work to accept my physical limitations and do the best I could to accomplish things, working through some really hard times. This was very humbling for me and difficult to adjust to. Also, most of my previous treatments weren’t covered by insurance, and I had devastating financial losses that were challenging to work around and caused a lot of setbacks when it came to my dreams and goals. 

It took me over a year to build the brand and get things ready to go, but when I was finally ready to launch, I discovered a huge problem with the packaging, which meant I had to scrap almost everything and start from scratch. I was absolutely crushed and so discouraged after all the hard work I’d put in, but I picked myself back up and rebuilt everything, and was finally ready to officially launch in March of 2021. It hasn’t been an easy road, but I’m grateful that this has all been part of my journey and I’ve learned a lot of valuable life lessons along the way. 

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Hocus & Hive Skincare?
Hocus & Hive Skincare is a brand that believes that skincare should never compromise your health. We are the first U.S. skincare brand to incorporate the use of pure cosmetic grade bee venom into products that are also free from harmful ingredients, additives, and damaging seed oils. We’ve gone above and beyond to incorporate not just the common knowledge of skincare science, but to create formulations that encompass nutrition, apitherapy, and cosmetic chemistry, to produce products for true skin and holistic wellness, beyond just aesthetics. 

We create products that are scientifically effective, edgy, and different, and we’re oh-so-grateful to the bees and the plants that lend us their magic to create our formulas. 

How do you think about luck?
From the outside, it may look like I’ve had some bad luck. Having life interrupted by severe illness, I’ve lost a lot. But I’ve certainly gained more than I’ve lost. I’m not sure I’d call it luck, maybe serendipity. I believe all things work together for the greater good. 

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Image Credits
Kevin McIntyre

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