There has been a lot of very topical posts recently, we postponed doing a general update of all things J&L. First we will recap a couple big items and then run down some of the other news.
Our new lifestyle brand for everything that was J+L Apothecary. We made 2 posts around this subject, but in case you missed them we will quickly cover the news here. In essence, we weren’t keen on the name J+L Apothecary, nor do we care to get involved in possible legal issues related to its use we have decided to rebrand the line with our JÖL brand. We expect this to take a full year to sort through and full get into place. Little by little the J+L Apothecary name will fade away.
Lifestyle brand? But you said you were not a lifestyle brand!?!
True, we did say that. And for J&L Pogonotrophics it will remain true. We see no reason in offering any more than beard care products under that brand. We have no interest in selling wallets, key chains or a line a whisky that we partnered with a distillery to make. J&L Pogonotrophics will always be about the best in facial hair care and our most distinctly masculine products. It is possible we may offer T-Shirts at some point, but we are not about to have a fashion line!
JÖL is becoming more than candles and home products now. With items for outdoor living and now all our skin and hair products, it has become a lifestyle brand without even trying to make it happen. JÖL will become an umbrella for everything we make that is not strictly for beards or distinctly masculine. JÖL will be for your home, the outdoors and the body and still be for EVERY body. Under this umbrella may come up with more items that are pulling from other interests we share here at J&L. The love of food and drink come to mind… and it is possible we may create products that complement such interests in the future. We plan to expand the home products a little and pull back on some of the body products to keep a solid focus on what is best. Overall, we see this as a smart move that allows us to have fewer limits placed upon us by the brand name. One thing will be common among all of our products regardless of branding is a strong attention to being natural, safe and more affordable. As a specialty maker of such products, we feel that finding a solid mid-ground on price while still offering quality makes us more attractive to those who want better than big well known brands. JÖL will reinforce that value in more areas than we already have. For example, our candles are half the price of many similarly sized and packaged soy candles. Yet, the quality is on par with those other candles. We will not be able to be priced in line with major brands as we cannot match their buying power or sales volume, and we are not going to try. Yet, we can show you that small batch, natural, specialty products do not have to be pricey.
Shampoos & Conditioners are returning
Albeit, slowly. We have 3 formulas of each planned, 1 of each are ready to go. Once we have them all made, we will make them available on our site. A lot of attention is around the details of how we all use such products. Shampoo and conditioner do not always complement each other properly. Sticking with a single matched pair made by a big brand may not give you the desired results and may lead to having to use more than one of each to achieve your desired outcome. We thought to break down what one may need in cleaning their hair, and separate that from what one may need in moisturizing. Too harsh of a shampoo may fight against the strongest conditioner. Our first step is to make our shampoos clean efficiently without stripping. All the while they will provide specific additives to target a need your hair may have. The next step is to provide conditioners that are crafted to perform a specific task of their own and not merely be an additive clone of a shampoo. Our shampoos and conditioners will be designed to work independently, allowing you to create your own pairing that satisfies your desired goal. Some may rarely need a conditioner if their shampoo cleans without drying out your hair. Sometimes a good rinse and then a light application of conditioner may be best. It’s all up to what you want and what your hair needs.
No Festivals for Summer 2021
It appears that the few Chicago Festivals that we hoped would take place this summer have been cancelled. This is another hard hit to our business, with these festivals being 65% of our annual revenue. This also impacts our exposure within our home town and communities. Through these festivals is how we built our brands and how most of you first came into contact with us. Many of you relied upon our appearances at these events as a means to stock up on your favorites, ask questions about our new stuff and introduce us to your friends and family. Although they were grueling at time with the unreliable weather, they are still a lot of fun.
We are looking into hosting virtual festivals this summer. A means where we can highlight all of our products, allow a Q & A with us and be able to pick up your orders right from our door the same day. We hope to offer special pricing and items during these events. For those in our hood, we may look into a Pop-Up for a day or two during the summer. Look to our Facebook and this Blog for updates as we work through what this could look like.
Supply Chain, In Stocks and Pricing
Our vendors are still struggling keeping items in stock. From bottles to caps; oils to butters, we are still experiencing out of stock situations with now know date of when they will be available again. Of what components are available, many are seeing significant price increases. These price hikes are mostly affecting raw ingredients we commonly use. We can absorb the price increases if they are short term and limited to 1 or 2 ingredients within a formula. If these prices remain long term, as the market is predicting, we may need to raise our prices on some items. This pains us, but we are not alone in this situation as every competitor big and small are being impacted.
Where it makes sense, we will start to introduce larger sizes of some items or offer them in refill pouches. Packaging is a major price contributor that often only has minor incremental price increases for a larger capacity. For example, an 8 ounce bottle may only cost 10% more than the 4 ounce variant. If it makes sense to offer a larger size to keep the price per/g or ml lower, we will certainly explore that option. Many of our liquid or cream items will likely see refill pouches as a means to keep prices lower and be more environmentally responsible. We are also looking into more bottle options to go with our refills. We will avoid glass for shower/bath items as the dangers of such are too high of a risk.
As we have been doing, we are producing our inventory in even smaller quantities to be able to remain flexible with our options and assure better availability of our better selling items. It would be a shame that we retained a larger inventory of some items and not be able to replenish what has sold out. Most of our items operate using formulas that only change with scent. Allowing us to make an unscented base to be able to quickly make a few scented units when needed.