Thanksgiving and Holiday Plans

We feel it is important to communicate as much of our holiday plans as we can to help you plan your shopping or know what to expect. Please monitor this post for any new information or changes to current offerings.

SALES & PROMOTIONS

Our current Beard Care and Lotion promotion will end on November 23rd. This will be the absolute lowest price on our Beard Oils you will see for months to come!

On Wednesday November 27th, we will begin our THANKSGIVING WEEKEND promotions. There will be select items on sale from across all our entire catalog. It will also be the beginning of our FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $25. Due to the expense involved, there will be an order premium placed upon SHOWER WASH and PET SHAMPOO due to the higher weight of the items. This premium is a $1.00 price increase on each unit.

PRIMP & JOL CLUB: we will introduce a 3 month TRIAL membership to allow folks to see the benefits of this savings plan. This special limited membership will have all the same savings built in, but you will get a smaller welcome gift. This will launch in December and will be available until January 4th.

SHIPPING

We will continue to ship all domestic (USA) orders via USPS. This offers more of a value, and more package security, than any other means available to us. Expedited Shipping will not be an option.

These are important deadlines for Christmas Shipping

  • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2019 – last day for shipping to ensure arrival before Christmas. Orders must be received by 10:00am CST
  • MONDAY, DECEMBER 23 – the last day we will ship any orders until DECEMBER 27

HOURS OF BUSINESS

Are order processing will be done Monday through Friday 9am to 4pm, Saturday 9am to 11am. Daily cutoff for orders to be shipped that day is 10:00am Monday through Saturday. No orders will be processed after 11am Saturday or all day Sunday. Customer Service will monitor email and Facebook messenger Monday through Thursday 8am to 8pm, Friday and Saturday 8am to 5pm. On days we are closed, there will be no activity in our offices.

  • WEDNESDAY NOV. 27 – close at 2pm
  • THANKSGIVING DAY – closed
  • CHRISTMAS EVE – closed
  • CHRISTMAS DAY – closed
  • BOXING DAY – closed
  • NEW YEARS EVE – closed
  • NEW YEARS DAY – closed

SERVICES

We are offering GIFT WRAPPING as a service this year. We will have 1 color option of a solid red wrapping. Wrapping will include wrap, gift tag (with a brief note). An individual item is only 50 cents, 35 cents each for multiple items when wrapped together. You can either select to have each item wrapped separately, all together in one box or a mix of both. Ensure you select the correct options when selecting each item.

Examples of our gift wrapping style along with our hugely popular Junk Oil
Gift Wrap Style

Gift orders: If you wish to have an item sent as a gift to another address, please ensure accuracy of the SHIP TO address. Please note in the ORDER COMMENTS box any extra details, like NO PACKING SLIP or delivery instructions for carrier.

If you wish to have multiple orders go to more than one location, please contact us so we can assist this process. We can offer the best possible means to accommodate your wishes and do so with a single payment transaction. If you do place the orders through our website, please do a separate order for each SHIP TO address. We will not be able split orders for shipping.

Gift Credit (Gift Cards) We have varying denominations or create your own value for Gift Credit. Gift Credit works by assigning a credit value to an account that the recipient can use anyway they wish. Don’t worry if the person you are gifting to does not have an account. All you need to do is provide a valid email address for the recipient and they will receive instructions on how to access their gift. If you have any concerns or questions, please contact us.

RETAIL – POP-UPS

We do not have a POP-UP store this holiday season. If this changes anytime soon, we will certainly share the news. The situation that permitted us to have such a shop last year is not available to us.

There will be a one day appearance in JARVIS SQUARE neighborhood on DECEMBER 7th. Details will be on FACEBOOK for time and exact location (when available). We will only have a limited amount of space, so we will focus on our most popular items for this appearance.

We will work with our current resellers in Chicago to make sure they are well stocked on the items they offer. Currently we do not have a retailer that carries J&L Apothecary products. We are open to the idea of having retailers have us visit for a day or two to operate as a “trunk show”. Please contact us if you have any questions.


Some fine print: Due to product availability we may be forced to change promotions and sale items. It is important to us to not disappoint you by not being able to ship a product we presented as being available. We also reserve the right to change terms listed here based upon typos and errors – although we try to proofread this as much as possible. We do not offer rainchecks If there is an item you really wish to purchase and it shows as being unavailable, contact us and we may be able to provide an alternative or be able to honor the price and ship later if we are able to produce a unit within 48 hours.

Retiring Products and Scents for 2019

We have a policy to rotate out some of our fragrances from time to time. This allows us to introduce new scents to meet trends and evolving tastes. Every year we will work to introduce a few scents in a couple select products to check engagement and popularity. If well received they may get brought to our most popular products in a larger scale. Retired scents will still be available as a custom option in products that permit such an option to be maintained – essentially liquid soaps, beard care.

Production of the following fragrances has ended. Once existing stock is sold, we will not be producing complete units. There is a chance that they may return if there is demand or as a seasonal option.

TAROCCO – bitter citrus (J&L Pognotrophics)
CITRUS GROVE – herbal citrus blend (J&L Apothecary)
LONDON – rose peony (J&L Apothecary, Solid Cologne will continue)

LEXINGTON – removed from J&L Pogonotrophics’ Shaving Products only, Beard Care line will continue.

Retiring and Changing Products

Liquid Shampoo & Conditioner: New formulas are being introduced very soon. And remaining old stock is being discounted to make room. These formulas will match our most beneficial formulas of our BAR SHAMPOO line.

BAR SOAPS: The CRYSTAL & ORGANIC OILS Bar Soaps will come to an end. Some will be migrated to a new opaque soap base made from high-glycerin HEMP SEED OIL [This is the same base used for our ACTIVATED CHARCOAL SOAP]; other scents will be migrated the SHEA BUTTER formula. Once all existing stock is sold, expect to see the new bars.

240ml SHOWER WASH has been discontinued. We may introduce the scents that were targeted towards kids and those who appreciated the whimsical fragrances at shower time in our 360ml size.

All SHOWER WASH 360ml units will be replaced with 500ml “pouches” in 2020. Once we exhaust all our current packaging we will transition to a more sustainable packaging concept. The pouches will be such that they can be used to refill existing bottles you may have, use of an in shower soap dispenser or we will present a few options in bottles to use anywhere in your home. There is no plan to change the formula, although we may change the name to promote use of this great liquid soap as a hand soap and bubble bath.

J&L Apothecary branded shaving products. The formulas have been identical to our J&L Pogonotrophics line and we feel that those women who wish to use our shaving products will not be put-off by the alternate branding; especially when it will offer them more choice.

J&L Pogonotrophics branded Solid Cologne changing to J&L Apothecary branding. No formula changes, new scents coming!

J&L Pogonotrophics’ Shaving Soap in a Jar is being deleted. We have had an issue with jar quality that was creating too many defective units. Our plan is to reintroduce this product in 2020.

J&L APOTHECARY will receive a new look. It was overdue for a facelift, so we are making 2020 the year to do it. There is also work being done to change the name of the brand to avoid legal issues in some states. The name change is not definite as we will look into every point that such a change will impact. We will move forward with our new packaging with the existing brand name of J&L Apothecary. If, and when, we do change the name we will simply replace it on all existing packaging and marketing materials. We do not see any bulk change to formulas or product as a result of this change.

CLAY MASK MAKER: We are looking to revitalize our Clay Mask components with better communication on how it works, why it is a better option for a clay mask and what an amazing value it is. When speaking directly to a shopper it has been well received and rather popular. Online, the message does not seem to translate well enough.

A goal that is impacting much of our planned changes:

Becoming more sustainable is important to us. As we have focused so much on natural ingredients, we have not focused much on the sustainability of our products, packaging and all the components that go into making them. The idea is to change production methods to support less waste and a fresher product without sacrificing quality or options. Our plan for SHOWER WASH, as mentioned above, is the first step in this process.

We would love to use less plastic but for many of our items are used in areas of the home that are not ideal for glass containers. Where we can, we will transition to metal, glass or paper packaging. Where we do use plastic, we wish to use less of it or ensure it and is a more easily recycled plastic.

This is a goal that we feel we have been behind in instituting. Being a tiny business makes being sustainable very expensive. It has been more important for us to keep costs down until we are in a position to be smarter about what we use and how we use it. The time is right for us to make this transition and we trust you embrace the changes we plan to make.

Change is Inevitable, and Necessary

Over the last few years we have gone through a lot of changes, as people and as a company. When we started this little endeavor it was intended to be a hobby to make a couple extra bucks. Due to life changes and our products being well received, we have changed into a small, boutique, brand of products that are much loved by many; but not widely known. With ongoing changes we hope to expand our exposure to more people.

We started it all with 3 beard oil formulas in 3 scents; eventually getting up to 6 formulas. Today we have settled back to 3 and offer 16+ scents. Our packaging and labels have evolved with us as we sought a clearer way to present our products. Expanding well beyond beard oils and into total bath & body products for everyone, including the family pet.

When we launched J&L Apothecary, it was to meet a request of a reseller that wished to have products, made by us, that would appeal more to female customers. They dropped the ball on this venture and with a bunch of produced products we created, not only a new line of products, but a new brand. J&L Apothecary was not the ideal name for this brand but was what first popped into our heads when we made up our test products. Unable to come up with something better, we stuck with it.

Since that time, we have also learned that in some states use of the word Apothecary is reserved strictly for licensed pharmacists use. In our home state of Illinois, this only applies to a retail businesses. To avoid confusion and potential legal issues we have decided to rename this product line and brand.

New Name for J&L Apothecary?

J&L Apothecary is just over 2 years old now, making it early enough in its history to make a name change without a negative impact. When we find this new name, we will ensure there is solid communication to everyone that the only thing changing is the name and that everything else will be as before.

As we sell through existing inventory of J&L Apothecary Brand products we will work on finding a new name that suits the brand and our mission. Labels and packaging will also change with the new branding.

Big change for SHOWER WASH

We are migrating to a more environmentally friendly package concept. Our goal is to offer a 16 or 24 ounce (500ml – 750ml) pouch to fill and re-fill bottles. We will also offer a small variety of bottles that you can re-use over and over. The pouches will still be easily recycled while using less plastic.

Once this new package concept rolls out, we will introduce the same for liquid shampoos, conditioner, pet shampoo and other liquid soaps. The bottles we will offer will for from a basic PET plastic bottle to more decorative glass, metal and plastic options and offer different sizes. We would love to use only glass bottles for our products but the costs to ship and the risk of breakage during shipping as well as in your shower is far too costly, and not a risk we wish to take.

Our Values and Mission will not change.

J&L will continue to grow in an endless drive to be better. It is not acceptable for us to merely make a few nice products and then rest. If we did that, we would never last. We challenge ourselves daily and we have put a challenge to the industry of which we are a part. The Cosmetic/Personal Care industry needs to change. The sexist advertising, fear mongering towards consumers to drive sales, and ignoring the wishes of the customer is not sustainable anymore. This is at the core of what J&L was built around.

With these necessary changes coming to J&L Apothecary, it will remain a Gender Neutral personal care product line that focuses on product performance over unnecessary gender and customer profiling. J&L Pogonotrophics will still cater mainly to those with facial hair and the most masculine attributes of a person, but are still a viable option for any person with a need to condition or remove hair.

Look forward to seeing a contest to help us rename J&L Apothecary later this Fall!

New lower price on Bar Soaps & Shampoo

To be competitive and consistently offering a genuine value for premium bath & body, we regularly analyze the marketplace as well as our costs to see where we need to adjust prices.

With changes to our sourcing as well as the increased popularity of solid BAR SOAPS we felt it was the right time to lower the prices of these items. Looking at the landscape, most offer our direct competitors charge $8.00 for 3.5 ounce body bars, our 5 ounce bars were already a value at $8.00.

Our SHAMPOO BARS were also $8.00 for 3.5 ounces, they have also been reduced to $7.00, 3 for $18.00. A subscription plan saves you an additional 50 cents per bar. Our competitors big or small price theirs at $9 to $13 for approximately a 2 ounce bar.

When you compare us to others, look beyond the price and consider the price per ounce. You will find we offer a lot more for a lot less! And, you are absolutely not missing out on quality. We don’t have big investors behind us that want a huge return on their investment while they sell you an image. For us, it is more important that you pay a fair price for a quality product that you will wish to use often.

More About Fragrance

We get it, we offer a lot of different scents. It may even be overwhelming to find the right fragrance for you, or for the person you are shopping for. In the personal care/cosmetic industry (sadly, this is an industry) fragrance is an important component of the products. These are things you are putting on your body, and they must not clash with whatever else you may be wearing as well as not be off-putting to your own senses. Even if the product is not scented, it’s natural fragrance still matters.

flower and spice

Why do we offer so many choices?

Simply because we wish to cover as much of the scent spectrum as possible. To offer sweet to musky; light to bold; fresh to earthy. It is easy for us to offer so many choices as each scent blend we have is added last and can be easily dosed for each item. Everything we make is in very small batches; with most only having a dozen units or less per batch. Our approach to our manufacturing can easily be scaled up as we grow which will allow us to continue to offer more options than most other brands.

Does this method add to the price of our products?

No. I am sure you will find many analyst tell you it does. That is the downside of thinking very narrowly at how things have always been done. As we say, “We not only think outside the box, we don’t put ourselves in a box to begin with.” Our production methods are such that it is more similar to the automotive industry in regards to color. Some cars still come in 6, 8, 12 different colors direct from the factory. Paint is applied in a wholly separate process and can even be randomized. Our scents are added as the last component before bottling/packaging. For many items, they can be added and with a few shakes be fully scented and ready for use. For example, we can produce a larger batch of Beard Oil of 36 units and have them bottled and ready – then we separate into groups of how many we wish to make of each fragrance option. The scent is added, we plug and cap the bottle and give it a good shake. Next step is simply applying a label.

Unscented does not equate being scent free.

Not everything we make is “scented”, but everything has a scent. When the terms “unscented” or “natural” is used it means we did not add anything to the product for the purpose of scent or fragrance. That any scent it has is sourced from the core ingredients. For example, our Bar Shampoo is available in 6 formulas. Of those 6, only 1 is scented. The remaining 5 formulas each carry a scent from the essential oils used for their properties in how they work with your skin and hair to achieve the desired results. Yes, they do have a scent but they are not scented.

Scents will come and go…

We plan to have anywhere from 6 to 10 in stock and ready to ship/sell scented items available at all times. We may rotate out scents options every year or every other year to allow us to bring new scents and retire less popular scents. In some instances, we are able to scent items to order for those less popular options so those that have a strong affinity for them will be able to buy them as long as we have means to make it. We hope to get to the point where we can offer scents on a seasonal basis, where one can stock up when it is available if they wish to have it year round. Or, enjoy them to stimulate the senses to match the season.

It is at our core to offer real choice in every manner possible. Choice in formulas, choice in scents and even choice in size. By having real choice you can find more that suits you and your needs best.

Original Beard Butter formula changes

The decision to change the formula of one of our signature products that we have had since our beginnings was not easy to make. There is always a fear that a change to a much loved and popular product will lead to a negative reaction from it’s admirers. Be assured that we did not take this change lightly and worked to make sure our product was only made better by the change. We felt we had to make these changes due to ethical concerns around two of the ingredients.

From the beginning we have used Palm Oil and Lanolin for their known skin and hair benefits. Both of these ingredients were not in a large abundance in our former formula, but they were powerful at what they did. Although we sourced our Palm Oil from a supplier that assured us that it is ethically sourced from growers that treat their workers fairly. With recent reports that such statements still cannot be trusted as so many workers are being exploited in all growing regions of this widely available fruit oil, we have opted to remove it over trying to obtain definitive assurance we are buying from ethical sources at all times.

Lanolin is an animal sourced component, made from processing sheep’s wool. In essence, lanolin is sheep sweat. When washing the wool, a goo remains that is highly refined to provide lanolin. Prized for it’s skin softening properties since the earliest of times, it is now seen as a byproduct of animal abuse by many advocates. This is an ingredient that is hard to find an equal to offer the same qualities, but we were up for the challenge.

We found 2 popular, commonly available plant based ingredients to be perfect replacements for the ingredients in question. First is Hemp Seed Oil. Hemp is very high in A, B & C vitamins and a great blend of Omega fatty acids that are perfect for hair and skin. We have used Hemp Seed Oil in many other products and have found no real issues with how it performs or affects our formulas. It’s addition, it brings a huge nutrient boost to our product and is the perfect replacement for Palm Oil. Our Hemp Seed Oil is also certified organic.

To replace lanolin we had to dig deep to find something that maintained the texture of the Beard Butter formula along with providing equal or better conditioning. We looked into so many natural fruit butters, but none of them performed at the level we desired when testing. Reading up on natural skin and hair care product components, we learned about Behentrimonium Methosulfate, also known as BTMS. This is a very popular hair conditioning agent that is derived from non-GMO rape seed oil (more commonly known as Canola Oil). It helps detangle hair as well as condition. You can find it in all the best hair conditioners and many salon shampoos. Combined with Cetearyl Alcohol ( a fatty alcohol derived from fruit oils), BTMS becomes a powerful hair conditioning agent as well as an ideal emulsifier – keeping everything mixed with it well blended. This not only became a very sensible choice, but adds benefits to improve the quality of the product.

When you first see this tweaked Original Beard Butter formula, you will notice it is no longer a creamy white-yellow, but in fact has a greenish tint. This is caused by the organic hemp seed oil. It will not color your hair green. The texture is a bit “creamier” and will melt a little quicker making it even easier to apply. It will also re-set quicker if the Beard Butter melted in hot environments.

The first Original Beard Butters you will see with this formula will be our Expanded Assortment scents as these are scented to order from the most recent batch of Beard Butter base. As we sell through our currently produced Original Beard Butter, the new formula will enter into our regular inventory.

If you receive one of these, please give us feedback to let is know what you think.

Thank you, John

Memberships

UPDATE: We are calling our membership plan the “Primp & Jol Club” and it will be available on September 23rd. The plan will cost $29 annually and you will receive all the benefits listed below.

Some may have already seen our current little survey on what they would find most valuable in such a plan. We know that a plan is not ideal for every customer. Some may not wish to shop with us enough to make it of value to them. We are crafting this for those that already or would wish to shop with us a few times per year.

Our objective is to create a rewarding experience for those who do shop with us regularly or wish to shop with us more often. A large hurdle is always SHIPPING RATES when shopping online. As a tiny business we do not get any discount on shipping fees because we are unable to supply the volume they require. Paid services exist to help businesses like ours, but at this time the savings is lost to the monthly fee we would have to pay. Until we generate enough shipping volume, we pay what everybody else pays. This makes it hard to offer free shipping without raising our product prices. The membership fee is a means to offset those costs upfront and hope members will use their membership to not only get back what they paid, but save going forward.

Another nugget of feedback we receive is around volume pricing, or discounts for return customers. First, ALL our customers are our BEST CUSTOMER. Regardless of the quantity of items or orders each may purchase. Personally we are not fans of special treatment and prices for select customers. We have to balance this with the fact that those who spend more with a business want to be appreciated for their loyalty. The easiest, most cost effective way for us to offer such is through a paid membership and give those a blanket discount.

All of this is what goes into any online retailer offering a paid membership, much like Amazon Prime.

MEMBERSHIP vs LOYALTY PROGRAMS

Loyalty programs give you “points” based on a per dollar basis. Most programs earn a penny for each dollar you spend. Your points would then be turned into cash-off discounts at a later date. With some programs, the points expire within a year making it nearly impossible to get any benefit out of them. A Membership works as a means to incentivize repeat business. If you pay a membership fee up front, you are more likely to return as a customer to recoup the expense. When the plan is priced right, the expense is quickly recovered with a small amount of transactions and as a loyal customer you will continue to save for the duration of your membership. The negative is for those who join but then don’t shop more than once or twice during the period.

The pricing for our plan is designed to pay for itself very quickly. Based on our repeat customer’s habits, members will see the most benefit after 3 orders. Our Welcome Kit is also a value added benefit as the retail value of included items will be more than the cost of the membership.

OUR PLAN at launch

We have very specific goals we wish to achieve with a membership plan: Reward repeat and high volume customers as well as offer a means to save money on those orders. Here is what we are planning to offer for the annual membership fee:

  • FREE SHIPPING for all orders.
  • 10% Discount on all items we make! This will exclude subscriptions and clearance items as they are already discounted more than 10%.
  • No need to apply a code at checkout – you will see your membership price when browsing, as long as you are logged into your account.
  • A “WELCOME KIT” that will be filled with smaller versions of our most popular products to inspire interests in our full catalog – valued around $30 (at retail) and will ship with your first order as a member.
  • 5% Discount on select PRIMP & JOL accessory items.
  • Early Access to hot new items.
  • Membership exclusives to special scents or sizes of our regular products.*
  • Specially priced gift sets and collections.*

*planned, but no firm date as to when to expect these benefits

What you will not be able to do:

  • Share this plan. It will be associated with your account email address and you will be required to log into your account to order. Sensible gifting is perfectly acceptable, but please avoid shopping for all your friends and family.
  • Apply your membership in person. We do not have a brick & mortar store at this time. When we set up a pop-up, we may not have the means to validate your membership. There are also a bunch of different cost factors related to this as well. When we do have a fixed location we will certainly include functionality for memberships.
  • Monthly billing will not be available – this will be an annual membership to run for 12 months from the date of purchase. You will have an option to renew. Membership is paid in full at start of the plan for each year. If we see strong enough interest, we may introduce a monthly plan, but it would not be the same price.
  • “Double Dip” – to protect our business we cannot permit the stacking of discounts. As a member you will get 10% off automatically on everything we make. If an item is on sale for 15% off, the risk is there with some items to become a loss for us to sell. We will simply make the discount not apply to sale items, so you can always get the lowest price. This is also the reason why Subscriptions will not be included in the discount for members.
  • Coupons may not work with your Membership. Each coupon has it’s own rules but most will not allow stacking to begin with. If a coupon works, even though we may say it will not work for Memberships, then YAY! You get to save more.
  • If we see a plan being abused with an abundance of orders being shipped to various addresses, we are likely to send notice that it is of concern and if we see the behavior continue we will terminate your membership. If you have friends that want to save, encourage them to join!

Will their be tiered memberships?

Not at launch. As we go forward, we will evaluate how it is being used and its overall effectiveness. If we see a demand for a lower or higher level membership, we will determine the best means to incorporate it and what the best pricing would be for all levels. Once we get some early adopters going, we will look into a 30 or 90 day trial membership level to help more people experience the benefits. As of now, we know that a trial membership will not include the Welcome Kit that we have planned today.

If you have any feedback or questions, please message us on Facebook

2019-2020 NPD Roadmap

Yes, the headline reads more like a business plan than an informational post. That is intentional as this is a more formal piece on where we are heading as we go into our busiest time of the year.

NPD = New Product Development. This will layout what our plans for new products that in the works for the upcoming 6 to 9 month period beginning July 2019.

BODY BUTTER & BATH BUTTER – available now

These have been in the works for the last year and have finally launched. The Body Butter was a bit premature as we had a huge “A-Ha!” moment. We have retooled the base formula of our Beard Butter into an amazing skin cream for superior moisturizing.

The Bath Butter was actually slow in development but we finally got around to actually producing it. This is a body cleansing cream with Himalayan salt for exfoliating and softening. This will be available in “flavors” that will be unique [for now] to this product line.

MEN’S UTILITY SOAP BAR – plan is for November 2019

We have been tossing around the idea for this product for some time, repeatedly pushing it off. The concept is a soap bar that is ideal for hair and skin. Intended to be launched with our Bar Shampoo, we held off as we wished to not overwhelm the market at the time. Many men like to keep it simple and have one product that does all their bath time cleaning. Where many of these bars that are already on the market do the duty with varying levels of mediocrity, we will get down to the skin and hair basics to create a product that has the right levels of what will work best for head, beard and skin. Using some of our newest ingredients that bring out the best in your skin in hair and pack them into a clean, organic soap bar. These bars will lather great, rinse away easily and come in our most popular J&L Pogonotrophics’ fragrances.

DEODORANT STICK – February 2020, maybe

Another project that has been in the works for some time. We have looked at numerous recipes and like everything else we do, we look into the core ingredients that will best suit the job of keeping BO at bay while not being greasy or irritate sensitive skin. We plan to bring 2 to 3 variants to market that will give options in performance and fragrance.

“JUNK OIL” CREAM – Fall 2019

It has been requested that we make a cream or balm version of our JUNK OIL. We have a name selected for this product that will be just as fun and attention grabbing as Junk Oil has been. The idea is to have a thick lotion like deodorizing item that is natural/organic, safe for the most intimate of areas, does not feel greasy and most of all, does the job of keeping you fresh “down there”.

FRAGRANCES & FLAVORS – FALL 2019

As part of our plan to always bring variety to our fragrance offerings we will be retiring a couple fragrances at the Holidays to make room for new scents. The plan is to rotate out some scents after 2 years. This year we will say farewell to TAROCCO and CITRUS GROVE. Tarocco will remain as a custom order scent for Beard Oils & Beard Butter. At this time we have ceased production of these 2 scents. LONDON may also be retired as well.

We are currently testing new scents to bring forward. Some are already out there in select products to test the public’s reaction. So far, ARUBA looks like it may be a winner for J&L Apothecary products, but we don’t see it being a great fit for Beard Care products.

Lip Balms will see TWISTED MINT and PINK GRAPEFRUIT come to an end. DREAMSICLE will launch this fall. CUCUMBER MINT is also on the horizon. Expect a couple more flavors to be added. We also plan to introduce new sets with exclusive flavors.

Solid Cologne has been very popular and we hope to expand this line with more fragrances from our current assortment as well as try new ones. Solid Cologne has been a means for us to test new ideas for fragrance. If we get plenty of positive feedback from a new cologne scent, we begin to share it with other lines.

“BUG REPELLENT SPRAY” – SPRING 2020

This is likely the product that we have been working on the longest. We intended to launch it this summer but we had too much on our plate and shelved it to be launched Spring 2020. This spray will be 100% natural, safe for you and your pets, and safe for most fabrics as well.

Recently we took a camping trip where we were able to field test our formula. It performed very well, keeping flies, moths, beetles and mosquitoes at bay. A simple spray over exposed areas and at the feet lasted for hours before reapplication was necessary. The blend of essential oils smell pleasant to you but offends the bugs enough to keep them away. The formula is light, water based and does not require shaking before each use.

PRIMP & JOL

This retail concept, as first introduced, is postponed indefinitely. Our Pop-Up this past Holiday season taught us a lot and has inspired us to re-tool this concept. Our focus will be to create a production facility that we can open to the public for shopping as well as demonstrations and group activities around personal care, grooming and self care. By doing this we feel we are capturing more of what “Jol” means as we create a fun environment to explore us and our products as well as yourself. Depending on how well we do going into this coming holiday season will determine how soon we can make this happen. If only we can flip a switch and make it happen today!

SUMMARY

Much of what is listed here are ideas that we have had since the launch of J&L Apothecary. We feel that once these products are completed and introduced we will then put our focus on improving the products we already offer, update packaging to be more environmentally friendly and challenge ourselves with expanding our customer base. 2020 may see us pull back from doing Chicago street festivals and focus on retail outlets that take less physical drain on us and presents our products in a better fashion. Festivals are fun; but they are a lot of work to prepare for as well as operate. The sun and heat are not ideal environments for our products, which have caused quality issues for some items. Fluctuations in weather affects how well we perform at these festivals and due to their costs to participate, we cannot risk rainy weekends that soak us and keep shoppers at home.

We hope you appreciate our roadmap and are excited for what we plan to bring to you. In some ways this is the fruition of our “Phase 2” as we plan for “Phase 3”.

Thank you, John & Larry – and the J&L Family

Us vs Them: Beard Shampoo

From time to time we wish to call out what makes us different and in our eyes, better. With much of our beard care line it is almost MacIntosh to Gala comparisons (apple to apple). But sometimes there is a distinct difference that needs to be called out so you can see that there are not always equal comparisons.

We recently introduced our all new Beard Shampoo, replacing our Quotidian Beard Wash. Time was taken to research and study what is best for most beards to clean without stripping away important oils. Looking at the marketplace we saw a lot of shampoos out there that are merely a typical liquid soap with a more “guy friendly” scent. Focusing on the most popular beard shampoos and we see that they really don’t treat the beard’s hair any differently that what’s on the top of your head. Well, any bearded gent can tell you those hairs are not the same.

Here is an example of a popular brand that can be found at many common stores:

Water, Decyl Glucoside (plant-derived surfactant), Cocamidopropyl Betaine (coconut-based), Glycerin (plant-derived), Cocamidopropylamine Oxide (coconut-based), Xanthan Gum, Coco-Glucoside (coconut-based), Glyceryl Oleate, Polysorbate 20, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Hexylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Ethylhexylglycerin

Colorfully Named Pirate’s Brand Beard Wash – retails for $14.00 for 4 ounce bottle

Above is a very popular and well established brand’s ingredients list for their Beard Wash. They make a point of calling our what is plant based or derived. We find it easier to have all our ingredients be plant based or derived. While nothing stands out as being outright harmful to you or the environment, although there are organ toxicity concerns over Ethylhexylglycerin. With this being pretty much a standard liquid soap formula made by a larger brand we don’t see any justification in the price. A 12 ounce bottle of any popular natural shampoo brand is about $5.00.

Water, Potassium Cocoate*, Potassium Oleate*, Lauryl Betaine, Glycerin*, Macadamia Nut Oil*, Hemp Seed Oil*, Avocado Oil, Benzyl Alcohol, Potassium Palm Kernelate, Palm Kernel Acid, Decyl Glucoside, Aloe Vera Leaf, Potassium Citrate, Natural or Essential Oils for Fragrance, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5)   *Organic Ingredient

J&L Pogonotrophics’ Beard Shampoo – retails for $8.00 for a 4 ounce bottle

Read through our ingredients, you can see that between the two shampoos, we share many of the same core ingredients. Our formula does use Xanthan Gum, which is used to give a liquid soap viscosity, nor Polysorbate 20 – an ingredient to get water and oil to mix. We also do not add Vitamin E as a whole ingredient, we do use Hemp Seed and Avocado Oils which are very high in Vitamin C as well as Omega Fatty Acids that enrich the hair. In this new formula, we also added Panthenol. Panthenol is a B5 Vitamin that helps repair the hair cuticle, which can easily be damaged by heat, sun and harsh soaps. The cuticle locks in moisture, and that is very important for your hair!

Our pricing is $6.00 less than the colorfully named pirate’s brand. We can assure you that our quality is on par, if not better; as well as we offer our Beard Shampoo in fragrances that can be mixed or matched with any of our other beard care products.

So, if the quality is comparatively close with both brands being rather natural in ingredients, why pay more? Now add in that one is a major brand that focuses on beard care and they offer a rather generic shampoo at a higher price than a small boutique shampoo with added hair nourishing ingredients; the choice should be clear.

To help in your choice, we are offering a special deal for a short period of time. Save 15% in our online shop until the end of July. Then let us know what you think of our brand…

The package changed, the product improved.

Since we first introduced J&L Apothecary Brand back in 2017, we relied upon packaging materials we were already using for J&L Pogonotrophics. Partly because the first items were merely a new label applied to the same product we were already making. Other items, we were not all that sure how well they would be received upon hitting the market. And then, we were not sure how to best differentiate the brand yet ensure people knew it was an extension of who we already made ourselves out to be.

Customer feedback was an important factor in how we recreated J&L Apothecary’s look from the start. The biggest factor was the necessity to make it appeal to as many folks as possible by removing any gender profile. Through use, customers also told us what they liked and did not like about our bottles or jars used.

Most of our product photographs were done before we fully implemented all the packaging changes. Some packages saw a complete overhaul while others just had a color change. We are still in the process of revamping our presentation. Soon, we will work through all Cobalt packaging for the majority of products as we transition to white or clear bottles and jars. We are moving through all unique packaging at this time, which means some products may not match their photographs. Once we have completed more of this transition, we will have our photographer work on creating all new photos for all J&L Apothecary Brand products.

Another benefit has been the refinement of production methods and an increase in new ingredients in our raw materials cabinet. This has allowed us to tweak ingredients for some products to bring in better ingredients than what was being used previously. Our move to more Certified Organic Ingredients is also a factor. We rather provide a high quality organic ingredient over a less expensive non organic ingredient if how that change improves quality if there is a change at all.

These changes have not been limited to J&L Apothecary Brand. Our Beard Care line has seen upgrades as well. When we first acquired the “tottle” bottles for our lotions, it was a perfect fit for our After Shave Cream as well. And when we decided to make changes to our Beard Wash and introduce the All New Beard Shampoo and companion Beard Conditioner, the “tottle” bottle was an ideal package to help ensure users dispense the right amount, easily and with less mess. Unfortunately it migrated away from our “signature” blue bottles.

Due to supply and pricing issues we had to change our Original Beard Butter TM package to an amber jar with black lid. Nobody really noticed, but we were sad to see the blue with aluminum lids gone. Another change that is soon to come is our move from the aluminum caps for beard oils. We loved using metal as it was easily recycled as well as looked great with the blue bottles. Quality issues from our suppliers had led to us having to recycle near a third of the caps we were attempting to use. There were even cases where the caps were popping off the bottles due to temperature changes caused the caps to warp and loosen. This increase in scrap of packaging materials made the caps too costly to continue to use. Before the end of the year you wills start to see our beard oils transition to black plastic caps. We analyzed the concept of moving to droppers for our closure and felt it was still a messier mean to apply beard oil. Our reducer “shaker” insert will still be in place to ensure dosing without spilling, and less mess if you knock the bottle over.

Behind the scenes we are working on a new Original Beard Butter formula that will be vegan friendly while still performing as awesome as it already does. There may also be the addition of an all natural plant-based emulsifier to avert a repeat of our past performance issue. We pride ourselves of always providing a high quality product at a fair price, we will always work to make our products better in formula and packaging.