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Kelley Higney's avatarPerson

Kelley Higney

Founder & CEOBug Bite Thing

Port St. Lucie, FL

Member Since March 2021

Skills

Ecommerce
Product Launch
Product Strategy

About

I am the founder and CEO of Bug Bite Thing. In 2013, my family relocated from San Diego, California to South Florida. There was one thing we were not prepared for—the mosquitos. My six-month-old daughter was constantly suffering from severe reactions to the bites. I set out to find an effective, natural solution and began conducting research. I ordered an unfamiliar product that uses suction to remove the irritant that not only worked, it transformed the quality of life for my family. We could finally spend time outdoors! I was determined to share it with others. In 2017, I secured exclusive distribution rights to the product and branded it Bug Bite Thing. My company gained national recognition in October 2019 when my mother, Ellen McAlister, and I appeared on ABC’s hit show, ‘Shark Tank.’ All the Sharks were biting with offers to invest in our business, but it was Lori Greiner’s ‘Golden Ticket’ offer that secured our partnership. In April 2021, my mother and I returned to ‘Shark Tank.’ This time, we shared details on our company's transformation into a multi-million dollar enterprise following our first appearance on the show. Bug Bite Thing is Amazon’s #1 selling product for insect bite relief with more than 90,000 reviews. In the summer of 2023, my company expanded beyond the insect bite relief industry to the pet and flea and tick products industries with the introduction of Bug Bite Thing Tick Remover for people and pets. I remain a “Mom on a Mission” to provide consumers with effective, chemical-free first aid products. I am a member of the Fast Company Executive Board and Forbes Business Council. I am also the recipient of numerous awards, including two Gold Stevie Awards in the Consumer Products category, ‘Woman of the Year’ and ‘Best Entrepreneur’ by the 2023 American Business Awards and named a “Top Mamaprenistas” by the 2022 Entreprenista 100. I am active within the South Florida business community. I reside in South Florida with my husband, Richard, and our daughters, Leah and Lilly.

Published content

18 ways for introverts to communicate more effectively on the job

expert panel

Here are key strategies to grow in confidence and strengthen business relationships.  Contrary to popular belief, a successful, savvy business person is not necessarily always the biggest extrovert in the room. Improving your active listening skills and post-meeting communication strategies also play a part in capturing the attention of peers or direct reports regularly. This is key to building stronger team relationships.  By leaning into what makes them a little different from their outspoken counterparts, introverts are likely to have a positive impact in their place of business. If you're an introvert in the workplace and unsure about how to leverage your "superpower" as a reserved business professional who wants to get ahead, below, 18 experts from Fast Company Executive Board offer their tips on how to build your comfort level in engaging with others and being an effective communicator.

15 ways leaders can increase equity and transparency in their performance review process 

expert panel

Amid performance review season, I understand the importance of embracing a holistic strategy that not only values individual contributions but also prioritizes fairness, open communication, and continuous improvement.  To cultivate this for our organization, we refactored our system of growth from being a linear promotion process to one that allowed for more divergent growth paths. Having an "up or out" model didn't work for our company culture. Having a lattice-based (rather than a ladder-based) approach gave people more autonomy in the course of their careers. And we made our promotion logic more equitable by transparently naming the conditions for growth. To help other leaders, I asked members of the Company Culture Group of Fast Company Executive Board, a community I lead, how they improve equity and transparency in their review process. Here are important steps that they take and the impact they’ve seen from doing so.

20 inventions that are changing the way leaders work and live

expert panel

Implement these innovations to give yourself back the time you deserve. In business, the saying goes: "Why reinvent the wheel when you don't have to?" As the digital revolution continues to rise, there are so many new technologies available at our fingertips to make work and home life more efficient.  Here, 20 Fast Company Executive Board members discuss one innovation that has influenced and improved the way they balance professional and personal responsibilities each day.

14 tips to lower the risks of launching a successful business

expert panel

Apply these steps to get (and keep) your company off the ground. There is a traditional assumption that if a business is still around—and thriving—after its first five years in the marketplace, then chances are the leadership and team are bound to see their company survive to take further strides. Now, in the new norm, with a global economy that is constantly changing and a digital culture to keep up with, business owners must work double time if they want their products or services to remain relevant in the public eye and gain the attention of potential new clients and customers.  If your company is still fresh out of the gate and looking for smart strategies to keep growing, tapping into the experience of successful entrepreneurs is a big help. Below, 14 experts from Fast Company Executive Board each offer one tip to help startup owners find ways to mitigate risk as they work to grow their businesses.

12 cash flow strategies to grow or scale any small business 

expert panel

It's a tough economy. Implement these tips to help your company thrive. When you're trying to get a small-business operation off the ground, sometimes everyone on the team will need to work harder with less until you make a name for yourself and the cash is rolling in. Yet, there is something to be said for running a tight ship, being conservative about your business spending habits, and saving for a rainy day when business is booming. Below, 12 Fast Company Executive Board members each share one way that small-business leaders can effectively manage their cash flow and working capital to ensure they have the resources they need to grow or scale their companies as the economy dictates.

What does the future of work look like across industries?

expert panel

Leading business professionals offer advice to the next generation. In a changing world market and tough economy, no one can predict what the future of work will look like in the short term or 10 years from now. One way or the other, what people are realizing in the new norm is that although technological innovations are being elevated every day, companies need to embrace them if they don't want to be left behind. However, these business leaders also agree that the human touch is still essential to ensure smart decisions are being executed for the growth and success of organizations. Below, 14 experts from Fast Company Executive Board discuss how specific industries are currently being impacted and what the next generation of leaders should do to prepare for the unknown.

Company details

Bug Bite Thing

Company bio

As Seen on Shark Tank, Bug Bite Thing is a chemical-free solution that instantly alleviates the stinging, itching and swelling caused by insect bites and stings. The reusable tool solely uses suction to remove insect saliva or venom from underneath the skin, making it safe for all ages. Bug Bite Thing is Amazon’s #1 selling product for insect bite relief, with over 90,000 reviews. In June 2023, it introduced Bug Bite Thing Tick Remover for people and pets, as prompt tick removal reduces the chances of transmitting tick-borne diseases, including Lyme disease. Featuring a patented double-side design that meets Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for proper tick removal, the tweezer tool is chemical-free and reusable. The company gained national recognition in October 2019 when Kelley Higney and her mother, Ellen McAlister, appeared on ABC’s hit show, ‘Shark Tank.’ All the Sharks were biting with offers to invest in the business, but it was Lori Greiner’s ‘Golden Ticket’ offer that secured the partnership. In 2022, the company established its Medical Advisory Board and partnership with Board Certified Pediatrician Dr. Mona Amin. Bug Bite Thing is the recipient of 38 prestigious awards, including the 2023 Inc. 5000 List, Inc.’s 2022 Best in Business List in Consumer Products, the National Parenting Center Seal of Approval and many more. Based in Port St. Lucie, Florida, the company is a Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) certified enterprise. Bug Bite Thing’s community partners include the St. Lucie County Economic Development Council, Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida, Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County and weVENTURE Women’s Business Center. Bug Bite Thing’s Suction Tool and Tick Remover are available on Amazon and BugBiteThing.com. Bug Bite Thing Suction Tool can also be purchased at over 30,000 retail locations nationwide and in 34 countries.

Industry

Corporate social responsibility

Area of focus

Consumer Goods
First Aid
Retail

Company size

11 - 50