First, I wish to state a couple important factors that underline this post. We are a very tiny company. That does not mean we are not trying to be bigger or that we should not function as if we were. It purely means that the smallest of “hiccups” can have a bigger ripple effect than if we were bigger. And as we state in our values, we wish to always be open and honest about all that we do – the good and the bad.
The last few months have been extremely hectic for us. In essence, it is growing pains. The Pop-Up store we operated dramatically increased our customer base and sale velocity. It also means some areas of our business did not get all the attention they deserve. What I am communicating here should have been disclosed sooner under the umbrella of our honesty value.
ORIGINAL BEARD BUTTER quality issue:
First it is important to know how we make our Original Beard Butter, and many of our products. We make an unscented base in bulk that is then dispensed in smaller measured quantities to make scented variations. This is how we are able to offer so many scent options for many of our items. In the fall of 2018 we produced a rather large batch of unscented Butter base to meet the increased demand during the autumn.
The facility in which we store our bases and finished goods is not adequately climate controlled. It is an old building that uses radiant heat that is also not well monitored. This situation lead to our Original Beard Butter warming and cooling in constant cycles; melting and setting over and over again. The Original Beard Butter is a mixture of fats, oils, butters and waxes that each have their own melting point and densities. The constant melting and cooling caused the heavier components to precipitate out – in simple terms, to separate away from the rest. This mainly affected the beeswax.
We took steps to melt and re-blend the base, which is permissible by industry standards, to ensure the parts were well mixed. Then we store the base in a cooler location that is less affected by the temperature fluctuations. We also inspected all our finished goods at that time for signs of the wax “crystallizing” withing the butter. All affected units were re-batched.
It came to our attention that a few units continued to be affected and we handled each of those issues on a case by case basis. Either offering to replace or giving advice on how to handle the product – whatever satisfied the customer.
It is important to know that there is nothing unsafe about continuing to use this product when this happens. It is not a desirable experience during application, but it will not cause any harm to your hair, skin or anything else it comes in contact with. If this happens to your Original Beard Butter at any time, you can simply warm it and whip it a little. Best scenario is to prevent this product from experiencing such temperature fluctuations.
Like many of our Beard Care products, the Original Beard Butter is 100% natural and contains no emulsifiers or additives. This is by design and not something we wish to change. In our 5 years we have never encountered this situation previously and were able to deduce the exact cause once discovered. We believed we had caught all affected product but it appears we did not. We have taken the following steps to ensure it does not happen again.
- Our remaining affected base has been destroyed.
- All units that showed signs of being at any stage of separation were also destroyed.
- Any customer that reports this issue will receive a fresh new like item or a store credit. We must be able to validate your purchase and see evidence of the separation in a near full jar.
- We are looking to reformulate the product. This has been in the works as we wish to add more premium butters and switch to a vegan friendly recipe. It is likely we will add Lecithin as an emulsifier to help prevent this from happening.
- Original Beard Butter base is now being produced in smaller batches and stored in a more temperature stable environment that is regularly below 75 degrees.
- All current inventory is fresh and stored in the same manner as the base.
If you have an Original Beard Butter or any other product from us that does not appear as usual or as described, please contact us immediately. The sooner you reach out to us the better we are able to correct the issue. Please note, that all our products are hand packed and naturally have imperfections from our production. These imperfections are only visual as we can assure you that we are using the purest of ingredients, naturally sourced wherever possible in a safe and clean environment. As we grow, we will be able to improve our production through more automated processes that remove these imperfections and irregularities.
We appreciate everyone’s support of our tiny business and hope that you have the most positive experience when using our products and working with us when things are not up to our standards. But do give us a chance to make things right before coming to a conclusion of how we operate. We take a level of pride in our very low defect rate and the absence of “bad” reviews on social media and Google. It is with you and this support that will allow us to constantly improve and grow.
Thank you very kindly,
John C Dodge
J&L Pogonotrophics LLC