Francis and Bee cite strong family foundation as secret to success
By Brandelyn Clark | Special to the Digital Free Press
Kedisha Clayborne created Francis and Bee as an independent project. Her family’s creativity and initiative, she says, have brought consumers an opportunity to find local, healthy alternatives to pet nourishment.
Francis and Bee is a family-owned and operated business in Phoenix.
Originally an online children’s clothing store, Francis and Bee recently rebranded. Kedisha “Bee” Clayborne runs the business alongside her husband, John “Francis” Clayborne, and their three wild little boy ‘bees,’ Tylen, Kasaun and Karson.
A promise to sell 100% natural homemade pet treats can be found on Francis and Bee’s website.
The production of organic products is a cause Mrs. Clayborne holds close to her heart. She discovered the harmful ingredients and additives in dog food when her beloved dog, Mister, passed away.
“Being a child whose parents had ‘allergies’ to all animals, I knew I wanted to research as much as I could to prolong our fur friends’ lives by doing my part. Feeding them better was the key to starting,” Mrs. Clayborne said.
“This began the journey to finding alternatives and creating my own healthier options for our remaining fur babies, Bear and Blue.”
The process of creating natural pet treats was by trial and error for the Clayborne family.
Scavenging local markets for the best organic products was their first step. All of their treats are homemade with zero preservatives. A challenge Mrs. Clayborne faced was how to provide the best quality treats in the brutal Arizona summers and across state lines. After some research and tests with new ingredients and refrigeration techniques, Francis and Bee believes the brand has nailed the perfect combination for natural pet treats.
With no hard-to-pronounce ingredients, Francis and Bee are committed to making fur friends get the best nutrition possible, Mrs. Clayborne said.
“I make sure to throw in a little patience, love and kindness into my well-researched recipes and you have gold from there. All of our treats are pretty unique in shape and size. They are not what you normally see at a pet store,” she explained.
Small businesses have faced the most affliction in recent years. Goals of longevity have been cut short by economic obstacles and post-pandemic challenges. Approximately 20% of small businesses give out during the first two years.
Francis and Bee is no stranger to adversity.
Mrs. Clayborne says she credits their success to a strong family foundation. There was no initial support for Francis and Bee besides close family and friends.
With dreams of handing down Francis and Bee to her children, Kedisha Clayborne makes sure to teach her sons recipes and the understanding of hard work. You can often find the whole Clayborne family out at local farmer’s markets and events representing the family business.
Editor’s note: Ms. Clark is a journalism student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.