Subscriptions and Memberships – why we offer them and who benefits most.

Customer loyalty is extremely important to any business that wishes to stay in business. Customer retention is a measure of success. Most businesses won’t discuss these things with potential or even existing customers. Yes, they may say “We succeed in customer loyalty”, but that’s just a means to essentially say, “Everybody else likes us, you should too!”

Subscriptions and Membership programs, offered by any seller/retailer, are relied upon to create a baseline of how the business is doing in both loyalty and retention. They are also important in understanding habits, likes, and production needs. This work as a trade off by giving the customer a perk or benefit for their participation.

About Subscriptions

Offering subscriptions on the items that are most commonly re-purchased by a customer allows us to plan our inventory and ensures a level of customer retention. By subscribing the customer not only receives a discount on the product, as well as assurance that they will have the product they need when they need. Having a subscription service that allows flexibility for the customer gives them opportunity to tweak or adjust when and what they receive with each shipment can add to their value.

For example, a customer can purchase a Beard Oil subscription with a specific “favorite” scent in mind. If they wish to try another fragrance they can change their scent option before their next shipment. When necessary, a customer can suspend the replenishment at any time, or even cancel it altogether. You are not locked in!

Subscriptions ensure you have what you need when you need it without having to remember to do it.

About Memberships a.k.a. Rewards Program

Memberships come in different forms and have a lot of different names. In most cases, you are required to sign up to create your account to receive benefits.

  • Earn “points” to be exchanged for cash discounts later%. These are usually free to take part, but some do charge fees.
  • % Cash back. Used by Credit Cards. You may not actually get cash back, but can apply it to your balance or as gift cards to other businesses. This is paid for through a higher APR% on your account balance.
  • Make a specific number of purchases and get the next one free. Often used for drinks or other food items.
  • Receive a lower listed price on select items throughout the store. Uses a card that is scanned at checkout. Often used by grocery stores. In some cases, everyone gets the same price regardless of membership.
  • Pay an annual fee and receive an assortment of perks and discounts.

Let’s look at what is most likely a membership program nearly everyone is familiar with, Amazon Prime. Prime is an enormous multifaceted membership program. It promises lower prices, free shipping with shorter fulfillment times; along with other services like media streaming. They don’t do this for free, you need to pay an annual fee to receive these benefits.

Why is nearly every seller out there offering some sort of membership program?

One part is that they are able to influence you to shop with them exclusively, or more often. In some cases, customers will be exclusive to them. But that is an extreme expectation. Studies have shown that customers are more likely to return to a business they have a membership with, as long as they receive good service when doing business with them.

A hidden component is that the majority of these plans have a hidden mission. Through your membership they can track what you buy and how you pay. This data is compiled and shared with other businesses; often for a price. They have all the information they need – name, address, phone numbers, and email. Depending on the plan, they may also learn your age, gender, race, relationship status, family and residence details. Once you make your payment, they can learn your income level and other financial information. All this information is used for marketing to you as well as establishing various demographic profiles used by businesses and government.

How our Membership Plan is different:

We charge an annual fee. In return, you receive a 10% discount on all items we make, 5% on other items; Free Shipping on every order; a bunch of free products to try and share; special Members Only items.

Your personal information is kept secure and private. We take privacy seriously! What information we have access to is used to process your orders and contact you if there are any questions. You are not added to our mailing list, but we may mail special members only information to you. There is also nothing to really manage, but you do need to have a user account for the duration of your membership. Add the plan to your order and you will immediately benefit – qualifying items in your cart will be discounted and have free shipping. The gift pack will ship with your order, no need to even add it to your cart.

Why do we charge a fee? We look at it as a partial up front payment of shipping fees. The free gifts help sweeten the deal. By paying, you will want to get the most money out of it – to earn back as much of that fee as you can, or more. And simply, it allows us to offer this plan without a hard hit to our bottom line.

Using Subscriptions and Memberships together:

Here is where having a Membership can be a huge benefit. With so many of our most popular and often re-ordered products being available as a subscription, you can save even more! Our subscriptions items usually have a modest discount included, then you can save 10% on top of that. Then, for as long as your membership is active, you will receive every order without paying for shipping.

Who benefits the most from these plans?

Our mission is to make shopping with us, getting the products you enjoy the most, more attractive and rewarding. Subscription benefits are up front and immediate; designed to make it mindlessly easy for you to always have your favorite products on hand. With a membership, you save money on every purchase. In just a couple orders, you will see a big savings by being a member.

When combined is where we see the biggest benefit for us. By selling a higher volume of products, with more frequency, we see a more stable/predictable sales trend. The more these are used by more customers, we can start buying our materials and ingredients in larger quantities. We can also streamline our production capacity to handle the higher demand. This leads to us becoming a more efficient enterprise and the savings will likely get passed along in many of our products.

Transparency

We have a very different view of how a business operates and communicates. It is a no-brainer that any seller is doing it to make money. And, that the more they sell the more money they make. Being a tiny business our profits are tight, leaving little revenue to pay for big advertising. Honestly, the more customers we have that take part in these services helps us budget more reliably and create more effective plans for growth. Your trust in us, demonstrated through your loyalty, brings stability to our business. The best way to make it all happen, is to encourage more folks to shop with us and reward those who wish to shop more frequently.

A statement in support of BLM

Greetings to our family, customers, followers and the public at large. I personally apologize for the delay in making this statement. Do not take the delay as being silent, but an assurance that I can express myself with honesty and not take the spotlight from the more important voices to be heard. These words are my own words and not those of a PR team or created by a legal team to ensure we protect our business.

I wish to first make a statement about one of J&L’s core philosophies. As a business, we originally were very much male focused. After all, we made products for facial hair. As we grew, we developed more products that appeal to any gender identity. We all have skin, most of us have hair somewhere on our body – that we also wish to deal with; Whether it is to condition it or remove it. We make premium yet affordable natural bath, body and beard products for every body! Literally, every body. Combine this with our belief that self care can include personal care. The things we do to clean and nourish our skin can have an impact on our self-esteem and how we feel about ourselves. Anything that makes us feel better can have a greater affect on all those around us. This is why we keep doing what we are doing. We were also founded on the idea that not everyone is the same. Although we all have skin and hair, we each have different needs when it comes to the effectiveness of personal care products. We get it, and for that reason we have done our best offer a larger variety of options that focus on differing needs.

Sadly, we have lived in a world where many have not shared this ideal of accepting that such diversity. There has been a strong underlying current that developed over mankind’s history to define others as being “less than” – less than human, less than civilized, less than intelligent… the list goes on. This thinking has greatly maligned and oppressed people simply because they have more melanin within their skin. I will place some faith that people are aware of the system that created and supported our current systematized racism, and not need to go into the details. If you don’t, please take some time to educate yourself on the facts.

A system of laws and personal beliefs worked together to continue denying Black citizens full access to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Denied nearly all of them access to the rights that any other citizen was freely enjoying. This system ensured Black Americans remained in poverty and without the equitable opportunity to improve their situation. To this day, a judicial system overwhelmingly punishes Black people more harshly than white citizens for the exact same crimes. And, Blacks are more proportionately far more likely to be killed by “law enforcement”. Often by an officer stopping them for what is likely a minor infraction – like a burned out tail light on a car. Far too often, a Black man out for a walk is confronted, searched and arrested purely because their skin tone. From police, to judges, to juries that are to be of their peers further oppress Blacks.

This needs to end now!

We need to remove all officers and judges that show allegiance to white supremacist groups. We need to overhaul our judicial system to make it clear that it is truly to be blind. We support cutting back funding of police in efforts to move tax dollars to areas that can prevent crime through support and educating programs. Police need to be trained and be proficient in crisis management and deescalation of situations. Officers need to be held liable for infractions, with information kept in a national database. We need to keep bad cops from being cops! More community involvement of police with the people. Treat drug offenses as a health issue so we can provide treatment versus filling prisons.

We also strongly support Universal Health Care (Medicare for All) so every person gets the physical and mental health care they need. Free College or Trade Schooling so there is no heavy financial burden to learn the skills needed in today’s job market. All of these points and more will help ensure that the weight of poverty does not consume the lives of our Black citizens and that the law genuinely treats all people the same. Point blank, being Black should never be a death sentence!

I may not have stated every point in the right way or in a fashion to make it clear that we fully support Black Lives Matter. Why? Because BLACK LIVES MATTER! Yes, all life matters and we can say that once we make sure that BLACK LIVES start to MATTER just as much!

Now, it should be no question that we love and support people of all races, nationalities, sexuality, gender identity and personal attributes. I would love to see a world that embraces such thinking.

Sincerely, John C Dodge, and on behalf of the rest of J&L Pogonotrophics LLC

Transitioning to Flexible Packaging

The state of the supply chain because of the current pandemic has pushed us into more aggressively seeking a new means to package and sell our liquid soaps. We plan to transition all liquid soaps to a more eco-friendly flat bottom pouch for SHOWER WASH, BEARD SHAMPOO, LIQUID SHAMPOOS and CONDITIONERS.

We started exploring “flexible packaging” last summer to help reduce the environmental impact of the plastics we use. Our thinking was that a soft sided pouch filled with SHOWER WASH would serve as a refill to any bottle you may already have. J&L would still offer an empty bottle and pump for a low price and possibly add some style options as well. This would operate like many other “refill” scenarios out there for household and personal care products.

Now that bottles are in short supply and it can be months before we can acquire more, it is sensible to explore this concept more aggressively today. The process to purchase these pouches is already in motion and could be available to us much sooner than bottles.

There are some great benefits for you and the environment with this change. First, they weigh less and use a lot less plastic. This makes them cheaper to ship; to us from the manufacturer and to you when purchased. Both of these expenses are factored into our product price. Our current bottles can easily be 1/3 to 1/2 the manufacturing costs of everything we make. Where with some bottles it is hard to get all the product out, leaving up to 14% of the product going to waste, depending upon the contents, a pouch makes it easy to squeeze out nearly every drop. Pouches take less energy to produce and dramatically lower the carbon footprint of packaging. By using them as a refill for an existing bottle, less plastic is heading to a landfill. These pouches are also PET, which means they can be recycled. As much as we would love to find a much more green solution to our packaging, this puts us a lot closer to our goal.

Here is the biggest plus to you: where we save money gives us a means to lower their price. Currently our SHOWER WASH comes in a 360ml/12.2 oz bottle and we sell it for $15.00 in our store. A pouch variant could be 400ml/13.5 oz and we could potentially sell it for $13.50 – giving you over an ounce more while you pay less. Our BEARD SHAMPOO could even be a bigger savings. This is all tentative based upon our early negotiations with suppliers.

This plan is in an early stage at this time, but we hope to go into summer making this a reality. If this works out as well as we anticipate, we will work to find similar packaging for lotions and creams along with any other dispensable liquid or cream product we make. The flexibility in this packaging is nearly limitless.

We think you will like all the options this will bring, letting you refill any bottle you have or you could even use it straight from the pouch if you wish to be frugal. Once bottles are more available, we will look into providing a few options to assist in matching your style. Keep following us on Facebook to stay in the loop on this as it develops.

COVID-19 Response (updated 5/16/2020)

We are expanding upon previous communications related to the impact and our reaction to COVID-19.

What we are doing to safeguard ourselves and you:

Since we are unable to use our drop-in production locales during this time. This requires us to make everything in house…my house. Any items that require a more highly sanitized work area will be lower in priority for us to make. This relates mostly to our SERUM HA, FACE WASH and TONERs (which are well in stock at this time).

All other production will take place in a sanitized area that is free of potential contaminants and as always, all tools, containers, work surfaces and materials will be disinfected. First using a chlorine disinfectant, then once dry, items will be wiped with a hydrogen peroxide solution to remove any residue and apply another level of disinfection.

Before shipping, we have always wiped clean all bottles and jars with the 90% alcohol solution. This has been to remove dust and particles that would settle within our storage area for finished goods. As the virus is unable to live in significant quantities past 3 days on any surface, what is inside the package is very likely safe to handle. But, be safe and wash your hands after touching any mail or packages arriving at your home. If possible, wear latex or nitrile gloves.

IMPACT TO INVENTORY:

Due to our packaging and ingredient suppliers dealing with a dramatic increases in demand for components we use, we expect to see tighter inventory levels and an increase in out-of-stock situations during this period. We will be managing our inventory levels for our website more tightly during this time. Through the upcoming weeks we are switching to producing inventory in even smaller batches or ‘to order’ as a means to better meet demand of the most popular items and permit flexibility of packaging. If there is a much preferred fragrance option showing that it is not available, please email us at support@pogonotrophics.com to see if we are able to produce the item for you.

UPDATE 5/16: We moved up our plans to change liquid soap packaging to stand-up pouches. Our initial plan was to introduce this Fall 2020. Due to limited availability of our current PET bottles, we feel that it makes sense to do this sooner. It will take some time for this transition to take place as the pouches will not arrive until this summer. Which is still much sooner than we can expect to have bottles available. In the meantime we will sell through all current inventory of produced inventory. Current unfilled bottles will be sold separately empty, as the pouches will be a great refill to any bottle. Look for these items to trickle in over the coming weeks.

Also, we have remaining inventory of some older bottle styles that we will use for lotions until we can source an alternative package or are able to acquire appropriate bottles. Both of these measures will mean that the pictures may not match the product you receive. The volume listed will remain the same, along with pricing.

PRICING STABILIZED:

We are personally disgusted by those who are working hard to take advantage of this very challenging situation by drastically increasing prices on essential items. It has been our policy from our first day of business to always strive to offer our products at the best possible price. This does leave us with tighter profits due to our size and buying power; yet we feel it would heavily contradict our values if we were to raise our prices without genuine necessity.

If you see any price increases during this time, it will truly be related to a substantial increase in the cost of materials. One of our key suppliers has dramatically increased their prices to where they are no longer a wholesale supplier and no longer a reliable option to buy from. This means we must find other suppliers for our materials which can lead to a higher price paid by us. It is important to ensure we maintain the same level of quality in raw goods (ingredients) that we are currently using.

UPDATE 5/16: We have lowered the price of our 360ml SHOWER WASH to $13.00, a $2 savings. Subscriptions will be $12/unit, plus $1 for the first unit. When the pouch package becomes available, the item will be 400ml and sell for the same price of $13.00.

IMPACT TO PRODUCTION:

During this time, we will place a higher priority on bar/solid soaps. As we sell out of current bar soap formulas, we will be able to start introducing our new Hemp Oil based soap bars. They will be available in many of the same fragrances currently presented. Our Shea Butter Soaps will continue as is, we may add more fragrances to this line as well. As a whole, the CRYSTAL soaps are being discontinued.

Outside of what has been noted above, there will likely be Out of Stock [OOS] situations for select items. Unless explictly noted, they are not discontinued and will be back in stock as soon as we are able to produce them. Sometimes this is merely hours and no more than a couple days. Please track us on Facebook to be informed on any long term OOS items.

A Personal Note:

This is a very challenging time for many lower wage earners who are finding themselves without work due to this virus and uncertainty that the Federal government will find a means to help. We are feeling the impact here as well. This is my sole source of income. As a tiny business, I am essentially the only employee. Bar far this is not a well paying job but it has many other rewards. When in a time of uncertainty, businesses like this feel the hit harder than other businesses, and they feel it sooner. We hope that our loyal followers will consider us during this time when stocking up on their soap and other personal care item needs. Your dollar spent with us goes immediately into our community to support other small local businesses – such as grocery stores, restaurants and other shops where we do our daily business. Shopping from us, helps other businesses like us as well. When we get through this, and we will, I know we all will be stronger.

I thank you all very much for your understanding and consideration. Please continue to be well and help all of us get through this time.

John C Dodge

A Personal Message

Before I get to the heart of the message…

I wish to let you know that this is a very personal message from me, John, the founder of J&L Pogonotrophics; and difficult for me to write. Although I often reference J&L as “us” and “we”, in essence this is a one person operation and is my sole source of income. Those who have seen us out and about at festivals and such have met others that are part of the J&L family, who volunteer their time and services to help a friend get their business going to reap the benefits of future success. These folks are a part of the “us” and are affected by the current situation as supporters of my efforts.

Although you can find us online anywhere in the world, we are a local small business in Chicago. As we all are struggling to find means to support all those affected by this pandemic, we are struggling as well. From inability to replenish supplies to cancellation of in-person sale events; the temporary closure of shops that sell our goods and the diminishing of online orders; we are trying our best to keep going.

We are doing everything we can to sustain business. While many of our competitors, who are also small businesses, rely upon large scale or outsourced production and operations to maximize their profits; we do everything ourselves in-house with tighter margins (lower profits). That means we are feeling the impact sooner and more harshly. We have not only seen our sales decline, but website traffic as well during a time that is normally like a second Christmas for us. Our inventory is limited to everything we have produced as we cannot affordably source supplies at this time. With the increase in costs for supplies we are either forced to raise prices or lose orders, either way we lose sales. Due to the cancellation of nearly all public events and the forecast that COVID-19 will remain an issue throughout the summer, we anticipate all our festival appearances to be cancelled as well. This would be a devastating blow to our business as the festivals are a major revenue maker and a means to gain new customers.

The CARES stimulus package will not help us as we are too small of a business to qualify for any of the loans or grants. As the business owner, I do not qualify for any personal assistance as well, making this extremely difficult for me. Over the last 6 years or so I have grown tremendously as a person and as business. I genuinely love what I am doing. Most of all, I love knowing that I have touched the lives of folks in even the tiniest of ways. It is very endearing to have a gentleman gush about how much they love my product; that meeting me was a highlight of their life. How do you respond to that? All I could do is smile and thank them for helping me do my thing and that I hope I can continue to be here for them.

This post is a plea. We are asking all those who find benefit from our products, who enjoy what they do or how they make them feel to shop with us in any means possible. Grabbing a bottle of your favorite beard oil, or a bar of soap will help us sustain ourselves during this time. Honestly, any little will help. We have lowered our FREE SHIPPING threshold to $25, half of what it was previously. We will also be dropping the price of PRIMP+JOL CLUB to $17 which allows you to receive 10% off every item we make plus get FREE SHIPPING on every order. To support this, we are shrinking the size of our Welcome Gift, but overall this will be a great value if you use it more than twice within a year. Our mission with PRIMP+JOL CLUB was to make it easier for shoppers to order as they need and not be concerned about shipping fees. We also offer GIFT CERTIFICATES so you can easily gift J&L to others, or pay now and shop later.

If we make our sales goals for April and May, we should be able to sustain business through the summer as well as boost our advertising to let more people know about us. Every dollar will allow us to pay our bills and buy more supplies. It will also allow me to keep going, not just the business.

We know life for all of us will not be the same after this, but we trust that we will get back to being a warm and engaging society where we can mingle among each other in public. When that time comes, we hope to be back out there at festivals and meeting all of you wherever we can. Until then, stay safe and take care of yourself and those around you.

Thank you for being a supporter of this small business!

Sincerely,
John C Dodge

March Focus: J+L Apothecary Branding Refresh

When we fully committed to J+L Apothecary (JLA) as a product line, it was imperative we clearly create its own iconic brand image. Forus, it needed to be something that captured two key elements of the brand: skin and hair essentials (basics), and be gender neutral.

We took some time looking through the history of modern person care branding. The 1950s was a big change for the marketplace. Many popular products that are household names to this day can trace their origins back to this time. Much like our branding of J&L Pogonotrophics, that evokes the early 1900s with being the last era where men having facial hair was commonplace, we felt that the ’50s was an ideal era to reflect in our branding.

Another time period that had a major impact on the original design for our labeling was the 1980s and the ‘Generic Brands” of the day. A very minimalist, monochromatic style that was heavy on direct and to the point text. With the 1950’s being light on color and images for packaging, mix that with the 1980’s generics with bold text and simplicity, we feel we created something that openly communicated “basics” and not force an engendered appearance.

As you can see above, we went super simple with naming, text style and color. Text was bold, information was minimal and there was as minimal color. When we used color, it was in two ways, to identify a product category, or to highlight variants of a product. The color band that was the highlight for the Brand name subtly noted whether it was a soap, skin care product or hair care product. We didn’t openly communicate that little detail to consumers as we liked hearing the “Aha!” moment when it was figured out.

For our brand refresh we are executing this year we did not want to lose touch on many of those key components, but it was obvious we needed to improve our labels to be more eye catching. With our transition to white or clear bottles and jars, our previous style was less appealing.

The color coding was retained and is still used to denote product category. Gone is most of the white space, to be filled with a coding color gradient. Text remains bold and is more consistently used. Scale of text sets product and variation names apart from helpful product information, which is new to our labels.

With our new look, our product names are more prominent, our brand name is less pronounced and more strategically placed for clarity. Smaller text calls our key features and ingredients. Color is more comforting by use of a gradient that transitions from bold to white.

Testing of this new look was well received. People liked sharpness of the product name being out front. The additional information provided helps one perform a quick comparison to determine if the item will suit their needs. Ingredients are generally on the left; use and maker information to the right. Reviewers felt this was more modern yet very much held to our brand values.

Over the course of this year you will see this branding roll out to more and more products. First we need to move through current inventory of produced goods as well as current label stock. Some products feature above, are still in development but should be launching soon. Also, some items are seeing a minor tweak to their name to better reflect their uses. For example, HAND + BODY LOTION is now called FACE, HANDS + BODY lotion to help customers know that it can also be used on their face with great results. We call it FHB for short, and it will be a featured product on our Facebook page this coming Saturday.

Please comment or share your thoughts with us, it is always great to hear from you.

March Focus: J&L APOTHECARY

We have selected this March to focus on the J&L Apothecary brand. Since its launch in June of 2017 it has grown to be a bigger beast than J&L Pogonotrophics in the variety of products we offer. Compared to our foundational Beard Care Brand, J&L Apothecary is rather young. In the last year it has really taken on a life of its own; making it the right time to freshen it up and let more people learn about it.

Built on the same principles as J&L Pognotrophics, the items we make are intended to be as natural as possible, free is gimmicks, perform very well and be a better value than most other “specialty” brands. We started J&L Apothecary to satisfy a growing demand for more products that were outside of caring for a beard or facial hair. We were already making soaps and lotions, which were attracting women and non-bearded men. The one detail that we needed to manage is the fact that Pogonotrophics literally means “beard – care”. How do we embrace all those other people who like all these other skin and body products? Easily, we change the name of the brand for all those items that are not for facial hair.

First order of business was to broaden our variety of fragrances to appeal to more people. Although our J&L Pognotrophics scents were not all stereotypically “masculine” scents, there plainly was not enough depth of options to appeal to those that like softer, floral or fruit scents.

Once we pulled together some familiar and some truly unique scents, it was time to grow the product offerings. Within the first year we added more clay masks, more lotions, all new bar soaps, and more. In our second year we added a more specialized line of daily facial products such as toner, face wash and a hyaluronic serum. All of these have done very well for us so far.

Q: Why do we need to focus on it J+L APOTHECARY if it is doing well?

A: With its diverse options in multiple categories of personal care and grooming, it has the potential to become bigger than our J&L POGONOTROPHICS line. Where Beard Care has a very specific demographic, everything we offer with J+L APOTHECARY is beneficial to our existing customers and can easily bring us new customers. Since its inception, J+L APOTHECARY has started to rival its bearded brother. Now we wish to push it ahead, and make sure everyone knows about all that it offers. Even if J+L APOTHECARY takes over and far exceeds J&L POGONOTROPHICS, we will not ignore our foundational line of products. We certainly will not drop it. In fact, there are some new things coming to keep it thriving. J&L POGONOTROPHICS will always be our most male focused line.

Learning more about our market and the behavior of shoppers, we have identified a hurdle that we feel is holding J+L APOTHECARY back to some degree. There seems to me a lack of awareness and understanding of the brand; and what differentiates it from the rest.

  1. Many women believe we are only making products for men, specifically bearded men. That was only true of us within the first 6 to 9 months. Early on we had products that women and the follicle-ly challenged enjoyed.
  2. Many of our male customers that are aware of J&L Apothecary, think it is our “women’s line”. That is very much not true. ALL of the dozens of products we make as J&L Apothecary are gender neutral – intended for use on every body regardless of gender or gender identity. The reason a product appeals to you should be two things; how it appeals to your senses and how well it will perform the job it is designed for. If you like the way it smells, feels and works then what else genuinely matters other than price?
  3. Men that are aware of J&L Apothecary and it being gender neutral, still are fearful of skin care. Either they don’t know where to begin or what products they may need. It is a huge myth that men, in general, do not have an interest in taking care of their skin. The issue is, the vast amount of information out there is not presented to men in places they would find it.

A little more about Reason #3:

Our industry, cosmetics and beauty products, has been innately geared towards women. With that comes marketing, sales and product features solely directed towards women as they are seen as the solitary user of most products or are the decision maker behind the purchasing for their family. Today, there are a full spectrum of personal, home and family dynamics that makes that approach outdated and even sexist.

If you don’t think they are talking to you, you are likely to tune them out. That is a key reason why men are lost in the forest when it comes to personal care products. Right now, when you look at advertisements for body wash, you will see that they are either aiming towards specifically either women, men or kids/family. Packaging, fragrances and the entire presentation targets on specifically one of those categories. For general products, we feel the marketing should have a much more broad approach; work towards speaking to everybody with a focus on the product’s benefits. The marketing directing towards men plays to tired tropes about it making your more masculine as well as more appealing to women. Another misguided tactic, is to make a solitary product to everything for a man; as if they don’t wish to be bothered with taking care of themselves.

In additional posts during this month, we wish to go into our approach with packaging and marketing. From there we will highlight our most popular products with a focus on their ingredients, uses and characteristics. All in an effort to bring more attention to this growing brand. During the entire month of March, we will also offer coupon discounts so you can save 20% on any of our J+L APOTHECARY products. We hope to you follow us to learn more about these great products for your skin and hair.

Subscription items are now available for discounts with Primp+Jol Memberships

Primp+Jol Members: your 10% Product Discount will now apply to Subscription Items. We wanted to make these more attractive to Club Members, and the best way to achieve that is to allow them to bundle on a little savings and get Free Shipping during the duration of the membership. Subscriptions offer you an easy way […]
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Changes to payment options

PayPal has long been a trusted gateway for many buyers and sellers since the earliest days of eCommerce. At that time, setting up a credit/debit card system for a website was costly and difficult to integrate with small business websites. It was seen as trustworthy, with numerous protections for those on both sides of a transaction.

In recent years, many options have become available that are as secure or more so, integrates seamlessly into modern websites and are competitive fee structures. Today we offer 2 channels for you to pay for your order: Stripe and PayPal. Stripe was founded to be a simple to use robust payment gateway for all sizes of eCommerce businesses. They use the latest in technology to protect your identity and credit; along with superior fraud protection that exceeds US and International guidelines.

We have used Stripe (follow link to get a snapshot of the company) since we launched our website. For us, on the back end, they are fast and reliable. We chose Stripe because of all the benefits mentioned above, as well as they were one of a very few payment gateways that would allow use of credit cards from outside the USA. This would permit us to accept orders from Europe and Canada just as easily as any within the US. With Stripe, we could even take BitCoin as a payment method if we choose.

PayPal has continued to grow and acquire other businesses to reach the level that Stripe holds. But, their policies and fee structure is no longer a benefit for us. In fact, their policies put us at risk of fraud through abuse of questionable loss claims. We are given no tangible protection when this happens. Along with other issue that affect our bottom line and efficiency of processing transactions, we feel that PayPal is a redundant payment option and does not offer the security for you that you deserve, as well as for us. It is also used in less than 10% of our transactions.

Effective March, 20, 2020 we will turn off the PayPal payment gateway.

We understand that many feel more secure using PayPal. By using Stripe you are getting even more protections from identity theft and fraudulent account activity. Once we remove PayPal, we hope to turn on Apple Pay and Google Pay as another way for you to enter your payment information with added security. Such payment methods only adds to the ways we can process your payment and does not require an additional payment gateway.

For those that prefer PayPal, do rest assured that we take your protection seriously. Those that work here never see any part of your credit card information, not even the last 4 digits. Stripe handles all that and in full accordance of US banking laws. Once they validate the legitimacy of your payment, we will receive your order with an attached approval code. All your credit protections that your bank offers are enforced.

6 Years of Epic

Today marks our 6th Anniversary and entering the game maker 7th year of doing business. This is another milestone for us as we continue to grow and evolve yet still hold tight to our guiding principles. Early on, we noted that we are not merely using the “think outside the box” cliche; but building an entirely new box that can expand and morph into any shape necessary. In every corner we are seeing dramatic changes to how we live, communicate and work; the landscape has changed and will continue to change. It is important to us take what we have learned to use as tools for existing today and prepare ourselves as best as we can for tomorrow.

Six years is not a long time at all when you sit to think about it. In the last 6 years we carved out a name for ourselves as we built our reputation. During these 6 years we saw a lot of similar brands making much of the same products come on big and disappear without a trace. It was important for us to not make a big splash when we entered the market; it could easily be why we are still here. Our mission now is to stand proud of what we have accomplished and spread the word more openly; to start making a splash.

Truly, we do know why we are still here. We are here because of you and your continued support. You have told us what you like and what you don’t like; with your dollars and with your voice. You also told us what you want to see from us and we listened. What you asked of us is behind most of the new products we have introduced. You are a huge driving force for us, and that is how it should be.

As we have said, we are not a lifestyle brand. We are all about making a product that is better than the average and sell it at a lower price. We want you to feel special every day, and that is what is behind our BE YOU : BE EPIC motto. While others push a mystique as a goal for you to achieve, we feel that you are amazing as you are and deserve to feel that every day. Like us, as a business, there is always room for improvement and growth, but that should never lessen who we are right now.

We expect to be around for more years to come with your engagement and support. You are like our family. Our goal is to bring even more people into our family. Along with that, we hope to continue to innovate and develop new and useful products as we grow.

Thank you very much,
John C Dodge
Founder & Proprietor