Farewell, Oyin Handmade! (Plus 7 Things I Wanted You to Know as an Oyin Insider) / by Erin Baynham

Oyin Honeybees Summer 2011 Yesterday was my last day working for Oyin Handmade. The last two and a half years of my life had been spent working there, and it was a hell of an adventure. Jamyla and Pierre are really, really, really awesome couple. The company that they created has grown beyond their wildest dreams, and it's not slowing down anytime soon. I've had so many memories there, many of which have been captured in these Facebook albums. And it really is a cool job! We work hard, all while listening to music and singing all day long, cracking jokes and wearing whatever we want. Good times.

I figure, I might as well tell you some insider stuff, now that I'm off the payroll. Everything written below is my personal opinion, not those of the company. : ) Of course, I just realized I wrote everything as if I were still a honeybee. Oops. You know what I mean.

By the way, most of us are bloggers! Be sure to check out Justin (fashion), Derek (sports) and Sazi's (crafts) blogs. Meagan contributes to Afrobella!

Oyin Really Is A Small Business

I don't know if there are 10 people on payroll for the company! It's common to see the shipping guy (Derek) making Go Tea, or the customer service guy (Justin)  bottling Whipped Pudding. The Operations manager always said "Nobody's Exempt". It's true.

The name is Oyin Handmade, not Oyin Custom Made

You'd be surprised how many people ask us to custom scent (or unscent) or make products for them. Please excuse my bluntness. We make products gallons upon gallons at a time. We cannot take out 8 oz. for a single jar, then mix and label for one person. It takes hours to create a product, hand pour it, label it, put tops on them, then heat seal (if necessary). (Thanks for the title, Mar!)


Sometimes, it's a miracle that we can make and ship everything to the people who actually purchase them. Oyin sells mini sizes of most products. It could easily take an extra hour or two a day to complete these products. There are companies that we wholesale to, who get hundreds of one product at a time. Great for business, bad for exhaustion.

As a blogger, it's okay to send queries to companies for items for possible review. Everyday, we'd receive emails from people telling us about their subscribers and followers and how they need to try 4 products and do a giveaway for their blog or youtube channel. Meetups are the same. It takes hours of manpower to make teeny tiny samples for 30 or 300 people. It's not that the company doesn't want to do it. We just can't. At the moment.

Long story short, it's much easier to purchase.

Oyin Can't Be In Every store, Yet

People really don't like being to access products in their own city. We get that. But again, it takes man power to get all of those jars filled. While we work in a warehouse, there are no machines pouring products and assembling things. We come in, put on aprons and bonnets, and make these products by hand. We lift heavy buckets and use muscles to pump oils from barrels. Oyin is working on a new website and wholesale structures so it can be more assessable. There's even a four year wholesale wait list they've got growing. Trust me, they are working on it.

Oyin Has No Control over the Post Office

After the shipping products load your packages onto the  USPS truck, it's out of our hands. We can't run over to the Houston or Atlanta post office and find it for you in package limbo. If there's an issue, we might be able to track it down for you. No guarantees. Yes, it sucks, but it is not our fault. I'd strongly suggest contacting your local post office first.


Anytime you need coupons, google Oyin Handmade Coupons. You'll be surprised how many opportunities you'll find to save money!

It's Really Good Stuff

These products are so freakin' good for your hair and body. Many of the products are made of organic ingredients. All of the products are all natural.  Jamyla searches for the best ingredients and makes sure that each one is beneficial for your hair. There are some natural brands that do use natural ingredients, but they might have no effect on your hair. Why waste money on filler crap?

Wow, that felt great. Thanks for all of the memories, Oyin Handmade!!! : )

Posted in