Name:

Kelley Higney

Where did you grow up:

San Diego, California

 

Town you live in now:

Loxahatchee, Florida

 

Why you love living there:

It’s so peaceful here with wide, open lots and a ton of wildlife. After growing up in California, South Florida’s housing developments and communities were so new to me, and we looked for something with a little less traffic and more privacy. Loxahatchee offered everything we were looking for in this area, plus the people are really down to early and the public schools are great.

 

Tell me about your kids:

I have two girls: Leah, 7, and Lilly, 2. They were both August babies with birthdays just one week apart. They are both dramatic, fun, sassy and hilarious. My oldest, Leah, is incredibly artistic and creative and enjoys playing the piano, drawing and performing. Lilly, the baby, is already falling in her sister’s footsteps and loves to sing and dance. 

 

I love these girls so much and they are the reason I do what I do. My business, Bug Bite Thing, was sparked out of a desire to relieve their discomfort from mosquito bites and they are in my mind each day at work. They seem to be future “entrepreneurs in training” too, getting to know all of our office’s delivery workers by name and excited to teach everyone how to use the tool.

 

Favorite things to do with the family locally:

The west side of Palm Beach County offers a lot of natural family entertainment. Lion Country Safari is a favorite spot. Our house is so close we can literally hear the lions roar from our backyard! We also love to barbeque and fish together. There are a lot of canals in Loxahatchee and we’ve been lucky to be able to fish right from our backyard in our last two homes.

 

Our family’s idea of fun is pretty simple. Going too many places and being around crowds can distract from the good things in life, so we try to focus on quality time together.

Best family restaurant:

There is a delicious taco shop off Military Trail in Palm Beach Gardens – Taco Chula. It’s a bit of a hole in the wall, but the tacos are amazing and it reminds me of the food from back home in San Diego.

 

Ideal family vacation spot and why:

My kids have never seen snow, so I’d like to get a cabin for us somewhere they can experience it. The dream is to turn off all electronics and just have a fun weekend in the mountains and nature; somewhere quiet and cold where we always need a blanket. I’m currently taking recommendations!

 

What’s your ‘day job’?

Besides being a mom, I am the founder and president of Bug Bite Thing. I started the business after learning my daughters unfortunately inherited my mosquito magnet blood. It pained me to see their discomfort after each bite, so after tons of research, I got behind a natural product that uses suction to removes the irritant that causes pain and swelling. I was then driven to get it in the hands of other parents desperate to provide relief to their own kids, and it has been my mission ever since.

 

Fast-forward to today, and I still handle the day to day operations. I used to run it out of my house, but we recently moved into a new facility. I oversee a team of nearly a dozen people who handle our sales, marketing, packaging, distribution and even more now that we’re about to air on this season’s next episode of “Shark Tank.”

SHARK TANK – “1105” – Entrepreneurs from Malibu, California, have modernized an age-old craft by offering knife sharpening by mail. A mother-daughter duo from Jacksonville, Florida, introduces a simple yet ingenious device that offers relief for all who suffer from bug bites. While an entrepreneur from Western Springs, Illinois, pitches a bathroom product to help block odors before they start. Finally, a Muslim American from Rockville, Maryland, invented a vegan alternative to pork rinds on “Shark Tank,” SUNDAY, OCT. 20 (9:00-10:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (ABC/Jessica Brooks)
MARK CUBAN, BARBARA CORCORAN, KEVIN O’LEARY, LORI GREINER, ROHAN OZA, ELLEN MCALISTER, KELLEY HIGNEY

What is something that makes your life easier/better/more fun?

The Bug Bite Thing – for real! As you can probably tell by now, our family is always outdoors, which is sometimes a challenge in South Florida. If I’m suffering or itching after a bite or sting, or one of my kids gets a splinter, I am always ready and prepared to take care of it. 

 

How do you balance your ‘day job’ and motherhood?

Learning to set boundaries is key. I have to delegate if I want to grow, plus it keeps my mental state and relationships healthy. If I don’t set boundaries then I can’t have any time to myself or enjoy time with my family.

 

As a business owner, you have to be on top of your business, not in your business. I try to live by this by clearing out my days when I can, and instead focus on initiatives like creating more business connections to make sure everything is progressing. This way, if I want to take the day off when one of my daughters is sick or has a school function, I have the freedom to step away for a bit. This is important to both sides of my life. I can’t be happy if I’m stressed all the time and we can’t grow if I’m not happy.

 

I am also thankful for the play space we were able to create in our new Bug Bite Thing offices. I imagined this company with my daughters in mind, so it’s important they have their own special place to learn and play alongside mom and dad while we’re at work. 

 

Who inspires you and why?

My mom. She is a successful entrepreneur herself and I somewhat grew up in her office, watching her in action. I have always wanted to make her proud. She saw my passion in Bug Bite Thing and has always supported me as a mentor, guide and biggest cheerleader. Now it’s exciting because she’s back in it with me as a partner in our business, working behind the scenes to bring her 30 years of experience to the table so we can keep growing.

 

What do you do for self care?

Making sure I have enough family time is a big part of my self-care routine. I try to take time at the end of the night to gather my thoughts and decompress, and a massage helps every now and then, but I still struggle with self-care. I’m trying to be kinder to myself and am getting better at it, but could use some tips in this area!

 

What did you wish you knew but no one told you about being a parent?

No one prepared me for all the extra anxiety children bring. At least in my brain, my daughters are all consuming. Before becoming parents, many of us don’t realize how instantaneously we will drop down the totem pole on our own priority lists. Our lives become all about them – and we want it that way! – but our own schedules, meals, happiness, love and excitement revolve around them, and parents should be ready for it.

 

Anything else you want to share?

Our product, Bug Bite Thing, made it to “Shark Tank!” Even after filming, I’m still stunned by it, but am so grateful to this community of moms in South Florida that believed in the brand, supported us and gotten us to this point. I can’t wait for everyone to tune in and watch it Sunday, Oct. 20 at 9 p.m. ET.

 

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