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 last 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

Pop-Up Aftermath

With the closing of our temporary retail location in Andersonville some have had concerns around our business. First we need to make it clear that this was a legitimate Pop-Up and always meant to be temporary. Initially to be for a couple weekends and we stretched it into 3 full months. Our decision to close when we did is attributed to 2 factors. 1. Our license is set to expire within days. 2. We have a few other activities on our schedule that would leave us with nobody to staff the store for a few weeks if we were to renew our license today.

It is very likely we will be back and in that same space. We are currently looking at a 2 weekend stretch in April. The space we have been using has been on the market for a permanent tenant and it is possible there is one ready to move in come May. If the space is available in May, we could do another weekend or 2. From there we will take it a week at a time.

We already have 2 festivals lined up and are working on 2 others. There are also a couple events we are working with for fun activities to bring awareness to a customer segment that is less familiar with our brand. July will be a busy month for us, personally, as we have family obligations to attend to. More details on these matters to come.

This Pop-Up is an exercise for us. Although we have a lot of retail experience without our leadership, it is a different matter when you are the “boss” and responsible for the budget and performance. We needed to see how people would receive us, and to do this without much fanfare. We wanted to rely upon our established customers to shop with us as well as acquire walk-in traffic. Having a barren space, with unfinished walls and no flooring, may not have been very inviting for some but we still had a lot of people come in and check us out. We made to friends and some loyal customers. We counted and weighed everything. Doing little nuanced changes to see how it would impact traffic and sales.

All of this information is being reviewed and distilled down. Then we have to scale it to the known costs of acquiring our own space. This Pop-Up was very successful, but that does not mean we can merely walk into a lease and know we will do well. The reality is, the area we wish to open a store is pricey and we most likely cannot afford the initial costs to get into such a place. Our biggest need is for a production space and that is what started the idea of having a retail space. The simplicity of it all is that if we are paying rent for a space to make our products, why not open it up to sell our products as well. To have a factory store.

If all goes well with our plans for this summer, we will start looking for a space that may not be on a main street with lots of foot traffic, but may be a space that is easy to get to and will permit public access to our space. With such a space we can create a “retail” zone in front with “factory” in the back and still have space for activities and events. Such spaces are a lot cheaper than a high profile commercial space. In time, we could expand from there to then open a genuine stand alone store. Our mission has not changed, we still hope to have such a space for the 2019 holiday season.


A Look Back

I am taking a moment to look back at our journey as a business and a brand. The path was never easy, filled with personal and professional challenges.

What started out as a notion that I can make my own beard oil to save money and to make something better than I could buy. At the time there was only a tiny smattering of craft makers out there and one behemoth brand that was getting all the attention. My intent was not to make this a business, but a tiny side gig to add a little income while I made something for personal use and for friends. Right away I knew that I needed to make more than 1 formula to suit my specific needs and those needs of others who would benefit from my hobby. To me, this was a no-brainer; anybody could tell you that not all hair needs are the same for every person, nor for one person all the time. A little science and understanding of natural ingredients helped me create all our beard oil formulas to target varying needs.

It wasn’t long before we had a local barbershop interested in our oils. Ordering up extra supplies, I made a few dozen to sell through there. This is when it went from a hobby to what could be a business. The landscape was still rather barren for such items and I figured I could do well regionally by selling them online and through other barbers in the area. This is where the first challenge came about. Getting barbers, here in Chicago, to offer beard care products. There were not seeing the need or demand, nor do they see themselves as sellers of such products. Barbers may stock a few items to sell, but they don’t actively sell products. They are placed on the shelf and if the customers wishes to buy something they initiate the sale. Many of the barbers were saying that beards were just a trend anyway.

Within the very first months I started creating balms and mustache waxes as well as a beard shampoo. Intended to compliment the products I was already offering with the intent to be a complete beard care solution. Taking a clue from products some friends were using that they found at local beauty supply aisles, I started working on a cream like leave in conditioner for beards. At the time there was not a single item out there designed just for beards. By July we had our first Beard Butter available. It was revolutionary! Men loved it and it sold very well from the start.

After being in business for a year, I started to see more and more beard oils popping onto the marketplace. Still one-trick ponies in a variety of scents; many were downright inferior products. Folks were looking to capitalize on a trend and making products as cheaply as possible and charging a premium price. Makers were throwing around flashy words like premium and luxury to justify their pricing but when you read the ingredients it was clear they were low-balling it. Glycerin, olive oil, castor oil – all very cheap and not all that awesome to use. Glycerin is outright damaging to your hair if left on. The signs were there that this would become a crowded market.

During this same period of time it became a necessity for me personally to make this enterprise perform. Unemployed and no real prospects I needed an income as my savings was eroding fast. First step was to expand the brand and offer complete masculine personal care and grooming products. I added body wash, a couple bar soaps and what would become our single most popular product – Junk Oil. Another innovation created to meet an unmet need. Intended to be an alternative to using powder to keep your boys fresh after a shower that would not rely upon pore clogging powders and ingredients that are not good for the body or the environment. A natural oil that fights odor, keeps things fresh and is easy to apply. It also had other uses as a massage oil and skin softening oil. The name made folks giggle and buy it on a whim, only to come back and sing its praises. We had another hit!

After a year we learned of a street festival focused on locally made products. Learning about it a bit late we inquired about information for the following year. We lucked out as there was a cancellation and they had space for us in the current year’s line up. City Made Fest was a huge boost for us. We shared our booth with another local maker of fashion accessories, not thinking we would do all that well. Not only did we do great, we gained a couple leads on resellers and a ton of new customers.

From here we entered more festivals. Initially just this one but after a couple years we tried out a few others. City Made Fest went away, but within the same neighborhood was an even biggest fest in early summer that exploded our brand. It was at Midsommarfest that we had the best sales ever for a festival and we launched our new brand J&L Apothecary.

Why a new brand? Women. Ladies were buying our products for themselves and were requesting more favorable scents for them. By this time we had launched shampoo, salt scrubs, more bar soaps and hair oil. Women loved these products. We crafted a new label and made a few items geared just for women. They loved the products, but didn’t like that it was our “women’s line”. So we went back to the drawing board and overhauled the look to differentiate it from the rest. By the next fest we introduced our new J&L Apothecary line as you see it today. In time we kept adding more and more items and offerings to the line and made it a complete assortment of bath and body products for all. It is all gender-neutral – meaning that nothing is geared for women or men. It is just solidly performing natural products in a broad variety of fragrances and formulas that can appeal to anybody.

Through these first few years we have changed a lot. Our labels and packaging evolved as our brand evolved. Today we are confident that we have an awesome array of products for everybody. J&L Pogonotrophics will remain our line of facial hair maintenance products along with our most masculine of items. J&L Apothecary will be our brand of items for everybody, including men.

This brings us to today. We are now a leading local maker and seller of personal care items. We are working diligently to gain trust in our brand and products to solidify our place. We have put work into improving our eCommerce side, redirected our focus to end users over wholesale and continuing to improve our current offerings as we expand into new areas. All this leads us to Primp & Jol, but more about that in the next segment: A Look Ahead.

2018 Year in Review

2018 is wrapping up very soon and for us it is a time for looking back as well as looking forward. It is our custom to be fully transparent about our journey and to share the good and the bad with all that care to follow. Our reasoning is multi-faceted but centers around 2 principles: 1. To be as genuine as we say we are. 2. To help inspire others while letting those who wish to start their own business as a genuine bootstrap start-up know some of the reality they may encounter.

At the start, 2018 was offering great promise and presented some growing pains. We had a rocky start to the year as we lost a reseller as they focused on other areas of their business. This was a minor setback, but still a setback that affected our local Pick-Up capabilities. Early in the year we learned from service providers related to our website that they will no longer be supporting their product leaving us in a pinch. This had a deep impact to how we manage our website and eCommerce. In the spring we painstakingly built an all new website and shopping system from the ground up with all new graphics and product images. The new shopping system gave us the most trouble as we had to trade off some features that we knew our customers enjoyed while having the capability to add bigger and better features as we moved forward. At launch of our new site in late April we had a bare-bones store that met the core functionality we needed. By summer we were able to add more features; such as subscriptions and memberships. There are still some things to come that will make your experience better when shopping with us and allowing us to offer more options.

In the spring of 2018 we started the logistical process of planning for our own factory and store. This was presented as a near necessity for our business for this stage of our growth. Soon to outgrow our current production options and storage space it is near time to find a secure space that is 100% ours for doing all production of our products. Chicago rents are very high and to justify the expense it has been a logical decision that any production space be open to the public for direct retail sales as well as offering local order pick-up. With having such a space we can also can offer more products that make what we do even better. Like everything we do, we are methodical and analytical about the required planning. Slow and steady is our style. We have decided to call this future brick & mortar space Primp & Jol.

During this planning process we were presented with an option to practice our ideas for a store. A friend with a soon to be vacant store front in a high traffic area presented us the offer to use the space until a new tenant is acquired. It was expected that the space would be available at the start of June. Due to some issues beyond our control it took many months before we were able to open our doors with a long term Pop-Up Shop. During this time we opted to not commit to many of the festivals we had previously planned to take part. Once we learned the space was not going to be available for some time it was too late to get into the better festivals. This was a huge blow to our incomes as we normally do great business and gain many new customers during these events. The loss of revenues created a challenge for us.

The new website also created a small setback. New site meant new links and causing previous saved links to not work. Many established customers were confused despite our efforts to ensure the changes were well communicated in every possible channel. A few that eventually found us had assumed we had gone out of business. It has taken some time to bring back that momentum we had with out internet sales.

In the fall we prepared our largest sale event ever. We are not fans of doing sales as it distracts from the real value of our products; but they are a means to gain exposure and new customers. The sale offered daily big discounts on key products over the Thanksgiving Weekend. It was well received and kept us very busy.

Immediately following this event we had a couple awesome surprises. First, our Pop-Up Shop was finally happening. Opening December 7th in Andersonville, Chicago, IL with our entire selection of products presented in an easy to browse and friendly environment. It also brought a lot of attention form local government, the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce, the media and best of all the people of the community we serve. It has gone well beyond our expectations. The only negative was the lack of ability to fully prepare which has led to a challenge of keeping our most popular products in stock. The second event was being presented with the opportunity to advertise in a very well known British men’s fashion and lifestyle magazine that has strong international readership. There was no way we could pass on this opportunity and we will be a part of the Spring Style issues coming soon. Once the magazine has gone to print we can share what magazine we will be featured.

At the beginning of the year we decided to make a big change to the look of J&L Pogonotrophics. It was time to tighten up our packaging and refresh our logo. We also took a big risk when we renamed many of our current fragrances for beard care. This was a big necessity as the scent titles were rather lengthy for some options; making them hard to read or easily fit on the labels. The new look has been very popular and we love how we have truly captured the image we were looking for at the start. As for the scents, people are coming around to learning all the new names. We promise we will not do this again! It was our belief that we were small enough at the time to make this change without too much of a negative affect.

J&L Apothecary continues to grow will all sorts of new scents, new products and new looks. To further distinguish the lines we are changing out packaging to showcase certain products better. We introduced our Clay Mask Creator System; a means to buy individual pieces to combine with common items you may already have in your home to allow you to craft the ideal clay mask for your needs and be able to change your mask recipe as your needs change. This is part of our support of providing choice when it comes to your personal care. We also introduced our new Shampoo Bars to much fanfare. An economical and Earth friendly means to get great hair. Skeptics are enjoying the ease and convenience these bars offer. Our bar soaps were overhauled to match our fragrances for Shower Wash and many other items to bring consistency to our scenting. Even popular Beard Care fragrances are now available in our soaps.

2019 will bring a lot of new great things. Our Pop-Up Shop will continue until further notice; operating with limited boutique hours at the end of the week. This gives us a couple days to focus on production and other back of house requirements. We will introduce new products that are currently in development and our first new fragrance since Tarocco was introduced last spring. A couple scents will be transitioned to custom ordering only through our Expanded Assortment program. We will announce these scent changes later next month.

With the current economic situation, causing an increase in our costs, we will be raising the prices of a few items. We hate having to do this but it is greatly necessary. Freight, raw goods and other businesses expenses have increased exponentially while our prices have pretty much remained the same for the last couple years. Shipping rates are also increasing again next month to add another cost. To offset these increases we are forced to raise prices a dollar or two here and there. Original Beard Butter will increase to $18, Beard Oils to $16. Masks, scrubs and other items will see a 5% to 15% increase. We will also lower our flat shipping rate to $5, but will add a $1 charge for our heaviest of items. Our Saver $3 shipping rate will remain for the lightest of items like a single beard oil or bar of soap.

The new year also brings our 5 Year Anniversary. Expect to see a touched up version of our logo just for this occasion. We will have a private celebration with our local friends, family, big supporters and our most loyal local customers. Those attending will get the first look at all that is new for J&L Pogonotrophics and Apothecary and be taken down memory lane with a look back at our beginnings. This is a huge milestone for us and one that at times we thought we would never reach. With all the great things that are happening and with what we have planned, 2019 will be a great year for us if all goes well. It will be the biggest step we have had to take and it has come at what seems to be the right time.

We look forward to sharing more with you and we love all of you that give us your time to learn about us and give us your hard earned money to buy our products. We know there are plenty of options out that and the fact that you choose us means so much.

Much love from John & Larry and the rest of the J&L Family

Be You: Be Epic!

It is a simple statement but with a massive meaning to us here at J&L.

Being gents with rather big beards we often had our beards described by others as being epic. Having an “epic beard” became a thing. Starting out as a beard care brand we wanted to help others have epic beards too; and not just because they were substantially longer or fuller. We felt that every man with a beard was showing their own definition of epic. BE EPIC became our tag line, motto and a big part of our philosophy as we wished to show our support for every man’s unique qualities.

After launching J&L Apothecary we felt that the beard reference hidden in “Be Epic” would not suit the brand. Instead we focused on how these personal care basics were good for all people regardless of their gender or gender representation. We all have skin, most have hair and we all need to take care of it. We went with “Personal Care for EVERY Body” as our tag line.

I was never genuinely happy with it, but it was something that sent a message that anybody can benefit from our products. But, it didn’t send that same positive message nor did it feel inclusive. Where “Be Epic!” was empowering, “EVERY body” was meh.

A good friend and advisor asked why I did not continue to use Be Epic for J&L Apothecary. I described how I perceived its meaning as a reason why I was not using it. She instantly dismissed my line of thinking. She reminded me of what my philosophies were behind telling everybody to Be Epic. That it was not telling people that my products were going to make you epic, its letting folks know to continue being epic because they already are. She said to me that I was sending a message letting people know that being yourself is the best thing in the world they can do for themselves; that personal care is an important part of self care.

Be You – be everything you are. Be the amazing unique you and not feel the need to try to be anything more or less than that.

Be Epic – because you are. You are full of great things and your imperfections make you even greater. Tell your story, it is just as interesting as Beowulf’s and others will appreciate it as it is.

How does our brand fit into this? After all, we are not telling you our products will make you Epic. We feel that there are so many components to help you express yourself through personal care. Other brands directly or indirectly tell you that you need to look, act, or BE a certain way; and that their products will achieve that for you – directly or indirectly. We would rather say you are the best way, YOUR way; and we may have a product that compliments it in a means that you are happy with. By offering choices that most others do not, offering them at a price less than most premium or luxury brands and with equal or greater quality so you get the most out of your personal care routine.

This is why we say:

BE YOU: BE EPIC!

Brand Loyalty

A big hurdle for any new maker bringing their brand into the even the smallest of local markets is dealing with brand loyalty of potential customers. When releasing a new product or an entire line of goods you not only have the challenge to reaching all potential customers, but overcoming objections from brand loyalists.

There is a level of bias that one will have with a product they have found to be reliable, dependable and some level of value. They are less likely to take a look, sample or try something new. Even if it is very likely it could exceed any of their expectations.

As a seller, you cannot “hard sell” to these customers. You risk annoying them which can easily lead to low reviews for your products or brand. Some of these people are open to samples and other incentives to try your product. They may be skeptical, but will give it a chance.

Studies show that roughly 47% of men and 48% of women describe themselves as being brand loyal for their personal care needs. This roughly translates to half of all our potential customers are less likely to try our products and can easily be turned away from our brand if we push to gain their business.

To grow our business we must overcome as much brand loyalty as we can to gain new customers. Today, this is our biggest challenge. For us to break from being the strong local brand we are for our niche of a very crowded industry to a more valued brand in other markets we need to be able to add more repeat customers.

We love our loyal customers, they give us the most feedback and encouragement to drive forward with everything we do. Being realists as well as wishing to promote a more open market, we believe we do not need to be all things to all our current and future customers. That to erode away brand loyalty and promote a broad variety of brands, makers and products to be found in every home. To have choice for your personal care needs that suits to needs as they sway and change from day to day, week to week.

When promoting self care through personal care, it is important that the products you are using not only take care of the specific need for that item but it supports or enhances your being for that day. This could easily mean that one product from one brand relaxes you on a stressful day and that another product from another brand invigorates you on a day you are feeling sluggish. With this view we feel there is room for more brands in every home which all can do well in the marketplace and genuinely satisfy the consumer’s needs. This will permit us to grow and reach new customers and be around longer for those who already love our products.

What’s happening in August

July was a very busy month around here. We began work on our Subscription service as well as completed development of our new Shampoo Bars which are coming very soon to our store. There has been a lot of work planning and pulling together details for Primp & Jol and we hope to have exciting news to share on that in a week or so. Our long term pop-up for testing will be able to launch once we get all the paperwork together and get our business license approved. To prepare for that, we have been bulking up on supplies and making as much product as we can.

This July was also our busiest July ever for online sales. We like to think it is because of our improved website combined with increases exposure. Our “new customer” percentage grew as well!

Work is also beginning on securing our intellectual property. We plan to contact any maker that has been making or selling a product that they call “beard butter”. We may not be able to claim the formula, but we can certainly make the claim to the name. It is a tough stance that we have to take but it is necessary to ensure a fair marketplace. Our hopes our that we can come to an agreement with these makers to allow them to use the name as long as we are compensated for the use. I am sure anyone out there that created something unique and different would feel the same way we do here at J&L.

Our next Pop-Up at a festival is coming August 11 – 12 at Retro on Roscoe. We had a good time last year and felt we would give it a go again. Classic cars, classic music and lots of good food – plus us!

Keep your eye on our Facebook or the online store for when the Shampoo Bars become available. We will post a story soon as well so you can learn all the details about what you would want a bar shampoo.

Thank you,
John

New Products in the Works: Shampoo Bars, Natural Deodorant

We have been toying with the idea of making a couple items for quite a long time and until recently felt it was beyond what people are interested in at the time. Recently personal care trends have caught up with our ideas and we will explore bringing these products to market. The products are Shampoo Bars and Solid Deodorants. We have had an increase of interest expressed around these products which is leading to us add them to our assortment.

Shampoo was strictly made in a bar form until the 1940s when liquid soaps became more available. The current resurgence in popularity of solid shampoo comes from a growing demand for more natural products combined with reducing the reliance upon plastic bottles. One bar of shampoo can replace 3 bottles of liquid shampoo. As ingredients go, hard soaps rely upon natural oils and butters over synthesized ingredients to achieve great hair and scalp. Today we can combine the best of both worlds by adding environment and body safe additives to natural oil hard soaps to ensure a rich lather, solid conditioning and voluminous body.

We are working on a base formula that can then be adapted to target your hair and scalp needs from dry to oily. We will rely upon the power of essentials oils to narrow in and tackle each need as well as offer a pleasant aroma. Our mission is to have these available as we enter Autumn.

Natural Deodorant is a little trickier to get people to try. Many people have relied upon antiperspirants for many years and have not noticed why these are not an ideal product to manage and prevent body odor. Where a deodorant uses mainly alcohol bases and perfumes to cover your scent, antiperspirants rely upon a crude function of putting tiny solids into your pores to act as a dam to block sweat. Science has proven that all this does is force your body to make more sweat to “unclog” the pores. The rest of the work an antiperspirants does is identical to that of a deodorant – cover of scent with perfume and kill bacterial with alcohol.

Why is this process not so ideal? The answer is simple, clogging your pores is counter productive if your body is only going to fight harder to sweat. Alcohol will dry and irritate your skin; and the perfumes are often doing the same with no other added benefit. A natural deodorant relies upon the properties of the ingredients that are naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal while they also offer great scents and other skin benefits. While they may not stop the sweat they will lead to less sweat being produced and allowing you to manage your perspiration better in other means. Doing an under arm detox will help you transition to natural deodorants. We will share the simple process later, when we launch our natural deodorant.

We will be hard at work developing these items and rely upon proven science and recipes to begin our testing and then detail them to meet our expectations. As like all of our products, they will be more affordable natural alternatives to major brands as well as other specialty makers as part of our mission to help every body be epic.

 

Primp & Jol is coming!

What is this all about you may ask.

Primp & Jol will be the name we will apply to our retail Pop-Up experiences as we go forward. The purpose is to prepare for a full retail experience that we aim to bring in the near future. Those of you that have been following us have seen us present a different take on the “festival” vending circuit by offering a shopping experience that allows you to browse and explore versus approaching a table to be sold to. We strive for our interactions with you to be welcoming and pleasant and not a seller versus buyer encounter.

We plan to move into a direction where we will offer more than the products we make to further satisfy your needs and offer more than just “products”, but an comforting experience that appeals to more than your personal care needs.

Branching out from accessories for the products we make, we wish to offer tastes of items to help you enjoy the little things in life; family, friends and even alone time. While J&L Apothecary and J&L Pogonotrophics will be the center of our merchandising strategy, we will complement them with little zones that speak to helping you create those happy occasions. This is where the name comes into play: Primp & Jol! Primp – spending time to make little adjustments to one’s appearance; Jol – a word with old Norse roots that means happy occasions (it also has J and L in it).

This will be a testing concept at first, as we learn from you what experiences and items you are most interested in to help us curate our offerings. As we have with all that we have done, we are going to continue to learn from you. It is never in our mission to dictate a lifestyle to you, but with Primp & Jol we are offering mini lifestyle enhancing items for you to pick and choose from as you see fit. It is important to us that it all works together and makes sense for you and for us.

You will start seeing more about Primp & Jol as we transition our retail experience and create our branding. This is not a new company name for our products, it is simply the brick & mortar extension of our brands that will sell our products. Both of our brands will be exclusive to Primp & Jol in the communities we will operate within.

It will mean so much to use to hear from you through comments, social media and in person what you think. Ask questions, offer suggestions and help us build an experience that many will enjoy.

Summer is nearly upon us

The very hectic we were having here has come to a close. It all started with preparing for and taking part in the Andersonville Farmer’s Market as a spotlight vendor. This far exceeded our expectations. We made lots of new friends and built up hype for a future step for us.

The rest of the week up to today was spent with family and friends to acknowledge the start of the season and reflection on what Memorial Day means to us. To close it out, we huddled with our dearest of friends for a quiet evening.

We hope you all respectfully acknowledge the day as well as had a wonderful time with your family and friends.

Our store is up and running well. Hard to believe it has only been a few weeks. Some additions and improvements will continue to trickle in as we go forward. Plan is to have all modules in place by the end of August so we can be well prepared for the holidays. You’ll certainly enjoy these new features as we bring them on board.

Thank you,

John