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Head Office Communique: Updated for May 20, 2022

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OMG, I thought I had posted this already. Since some of the news was outdated, I have updated some contents. Wow, the last few weeks went by quickly for us. So much has been going on that we have not been watching the calendar. What have we been so busy with you may ask. Making stuff! With our peak summer season coming, we needed to be ready for all that it brings. Now let’s tell you more about all of it

ANDERSONVILLE MIDSOMMARFEST IS BACK!

For many of you, this is where you first encountered us and it is the event we look forward to most each year. After a 2 year hiatus it is back and we could not be happier. With this event being such a driver for us, we are boosting production so there will are less likely to sell out of your favorites. The last two outings left us in bad shape afterwards as we underestimated traffic and interest.

This year we are going to do a couple things differently than in the past. Never knowing exactly which scents in which oil formula is going to out pace the rest we are going to be prepared to scent up oils on the spot. We will have a smaller amount pre-made before the event and will have our scent blends on hand to add to unscented bottles which we can then label appropriately when needed – either to order, or to get build us back up during slower periods. If scented to order, we can adjust the amount of scent oil we use to make it lighter or heavier if desired.

We will be more prepared with “tester” versions of many of our items that can benefit from being sampled. We are going to step up our sales experience to be more like a department store and less like a discount store. Depending on the weather, we may keep many items stored in a cooler dry space with only a display on the shelf. There will also be more room for our most popular items and we have a special display concept for our JÖL scented items to introduce. Nothing too fancy, merely an easier way to see and smell all our options. As with the last 2 events, we will offer the ability to order online and pick up at the venue. If there is an item we do not have on site at the time of your pick up, we will ship it to you for no charge.

Look for more details to come on Andersonville Midsommarfest. Mark your calendar for June 10th, 11th & 12th!

Will the supply chain ever stabilize?

Although many reports of supply chain issues are exaggerated to justify insane price increases, we are experiencing Out Of Stock issues on many popular ingredients we use. This is because our suppliers are in the middle between the manufacturer and the end user (us) and are not able to get enough to satisfy their demand. We are learning that some items are also simply being deleted or discontinued by the supplier or the manufacturer. Where it makes sense, we are altering our recipes to be able to keep making certain items. Plans to introduce new items are being delayed due to packaging shortages.

A major impact is related to our solid/bar soaps. Our Bar Soaps are currently being redesigned to accommodate a new base that is a superior upgrade compared to three bases we had been using. This new base is “soap” free, sulfate free and paraben free. It is dermatologist tested, low neutral pH for sensitive skin as well. It is also certified sustainable by RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil). It is vegan friendly with 5 simple plant sourced ingredients. It cannot be claimed as organic due to the ingredients being more processed, but is still natural and free of harmful ingredients. This new base produces awesome lather and will be a great base to use for ALL our bar soap needs for today and presents ideas for future new items. Our plans to migrate to pressed shampoo bars have been thrown out as this bar will be far easier to produce, package and store while providing a better experience for the user. In fact, this bar uses the same core ingredient that those pressed bars rely upon: Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (which is made from ethically and sustainably sourced palm kernel oil). Over the next 3 weeks we will be in heavy production mode to get all our bar soaps upgraded and produced. We plan to have at least 12 BIG BARS, 5 Shampoo Bars and 5 Shaving Pucks ready by June! We love a challenge.

Clearance Sale!

We have many items that are being deleted available on our website at near cost. As we had previously announced, we are streamlining our offerings to focus on what sold the best and suits our brand image most effectively. Items like Toner and the Clay Mask Mix System did not do as well as tested. Other items are being upgraded or changed to new formulas, but only after we sell through the current inventory of the previous versions. This includes are J&L Shaving products and Salt Scrubs. We have an all new plan for shaving we want to get off the ground once we have room for it, and the scrubs will be coming back in larger sizes with improved formulas.

These clearance items are still good quality and safe to use, covered by our standard return/refund policies.

No More Liquid Shampoos or Conditioners

In our mission to be more sustainable through our packaging, we have decided to discontinue making JÖL branded liquid shampoos and conditioners (Beard Shampoo and Conditioner are not affected). Our new Bar Shampoos are coming back in a whole new manner with all new formulations. Speaking of which, we have decided to not venture into “pressed bars” as they offer no better performance. Especially considering the increased work to make them. The new shampoo bars will be using the same molds we have used in the past; which makes them easy to work with and travel with.

As for conditioners, the plans are in the works to have all new conditioner bars. We may have these ready shortly after the shampoo bars if time permits. We would love to have them ready for our first festival in June.

For those that prefer a liquid shampoo, we have already introduced our Head 2 Toe Utility Liquid Soap that is an amazing shampoo as well as body wash. Simple clean without stripping and is good for most hair types. We also offer Quotidian Beard Oil as a great hair treatment oil for anybody to use for the hair on their head. It is even available unscented.

And More on Sustainability

Sustainability is important to us, but presents a huge challenge due to the types of products we make as they must be able to safely ship and be used by the end user. This means that anything we make that is designed to be used in a wet environment may need to continue to use plastic packaging. We wish to broaden our use of the pouch refills to allow you to fill any container or dispenser you wish. The pouches are fully recyclable, using the same plastic used in bottles (#2 PET). Although it is still plastic, it is a LOT less plastic. Plans are in place to migrate to glass once we exhaust the plastic jars we currently use for scrubs, masks and cream lotions. Foaming Face wash will remain in plastic for now as it is commonly used in showers. We would hate to have anyone hurt by broken glass if a jar slips and shatters while showering. I grew up at a time when glass was still being used for shampoo and recall stories of people I know getting cut by broken glass.

For items that are liquid and come in smaller bottles, we hope to transition to refill pouches as an option for many of these items. These will be available along side of the standard packaged version. The prices will reflect the increased size, but still be a comparative savings for price per milliliter. Junk Oil, Body Spray and Daily Moisturizing Lotions will be tested first, then Beard Shampoos.

Survey Says!

We have not done a customer survey in years. The last survey was centered around gaining insight into new products and services. We are currently working on a similar survey (or two) to see what you would like to see us offer in the way of new products or options. Another survey we are considering is to inquire about what services you would like to see us offer. And then there is a need to see what is the best means to reach YOU to tell you about products, services and sales.

Not only do we want to streamline our product offerings but we also want to streamline our communications. Currently we use our internal blog (this format that you are reading here.), occasional newsletters when we have a big sale or new product line and then there are follow up emails you may receive offering coupons to shop with us again. Each of these work separately and have differing contact lists. Due to privacy concerns we cannot migrate contacts between lists without your consent. Well, legally there is no reason we can’t – it’s just not how we operate.

Look for at least 1 survey to come before Summer starts. Your participation will be much appreciated.

And lastly, Product Reviews…

This is a much under used feature that we wish we could encourage more participation. We get so much positive feedback in person or via email, which we LOVE hearing, but we are not getting enough online product reviews that other shoppers can reference. Even a simple star rating is helpful. In the past we have generated a review online based upon the direct communication we received but we feel those reviews can look faked or intentionally deceptive. Although we have all 5 Star reviews, it means little to others with so few.

We are looking into means to encourage more reviews and potentially a means to reward those who submit product specific reviews. Any reward program must be automated to ensure it is done right. We may get distracted and forget to issue the reward manually. It happens!

A reward program for reviews will likely be a tiny account credit that a customer can use for a future order. There will be some rules to keep reviews on point and 100% about the specific product. There are other places that a customer can review our business as whole, like via Google or Facebook. We wish for reviews to be a user experience guide for other potential customers – how well it worked, thoughts on the scent and other experiences with the product. Even ideas for other options or uses for the product would be beneficial to other customers.

Currently, anyone can provide a review. Reviews are open to allow those who purchased in person the ability to give a review on the items they purchased. Reviews, as well as post comments, are moderated to prevent malware, exploit hacks and inappropriate content. Your identity is hidden by applying your chosen user ID

We wish you all a safe and enjoyable Memorial Weekend.

J&L

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