Friday, July 18, 2014

Salty Honey

Posted By on July 18, 2014, 9:00 AM

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Ever since we as a society moved into the “artisan facial hair” era, men are looking more like they stepped out of a vaudeville play than the barber shop with the various styles and lengths they've chosen to sport on their face. And much like any style choice, there's various forms of upkeep and stylizing products readily available for sale to keep their look both simplistic in grooming while keeping it's charm. Recently a local company jumped into the market, Salty Honey, who create both a beard balm and elixir as well as mustache wax, all naturally produced at prices frequently cheaper than brand names. Today we chat with the founder of the company, our old friend and artist Blake Palmer, about the new line of men's care products and the growth of the business. (All pictures courtesy of Salty Honey.)

Blake Palmer

Gavin: Hey Blake, first thing, how have things been since we last chatted?

Blake: I have been doing good. Lots of changes and growing.

Gavin: How have things been going with your artwork lately?

Blake: Been taking a break but I'm starting to feel the itch again. I have a few ideas in mind.

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Gavin: Getting right to it, what got you interested in personal care products?

Blake: My own interest in growing a respectable beard and mustache. I've tried many other products but always had issues so I figured I could make my own.

Gavin: What specifically drew you to making your own product from scratch?

Blake: The products I had tried before either had too much hold or not enough some would leave white flakes after it dried and others just didn't feel right.

Gavin: What were the first few batches like and what was your personal experience finding something that you felt would work for people besides yourself?

Blake: The first few batches were interesting. Some were too hard some too soft. I think we ended up making 4 or 5 batches before I found a good combination. I also have a few friends with awesome beards so I asked for their opinion. I sent out a few testers and got good feedback so I stuck with what I have now. The scent was a little harder to get to a point of mutual liking. From a woman's point of view and a man's. But we stuck with a natural clean scent and the combination with the other ingredients forms it's own special aroma.

Gavin: When did the idea come about to start it up as your own business, and why Salty Honey for the name?

Blake: After a few friends discovered I was making it and they encouraged me to start selling it and salty honey just came to me one day and we actually use all natural honey and Salt Lake's salt.

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Gavin: What's the process like in creating the wax and getting it perfect?

Blake: It's long. We make each tin by hand so we can make sure each one gets the perfect amount of ingredients. But we enjoy it and we watch each batch and make sure that each tin has a likeness in color and other attributes which can still vary but be a work of art in their own.

Gavin: What made you decide to go for more of a natural product line, and how difficult is it keeping the product natural?

Blake: Natural is just easy to work with and in general better for everyone. Sometimes natural means you won't get the exact same hold or greasy look but in the end it's a better product for you. It's been a learning process and we have come to a conclusion that sometimes the less ingredients the better.

Gavin: What was it like for you first launching the business and getting the word out?

Blake: It actually went pretty decent. I took my time and made sure the product was something that other would like. I talked to barbers and even women to see the response I would get. Then I made a Facebook page and within just a week had well over 150 "likes."

Gavin: How has the public response been to it so far and what have you learned most from launching this business?

Blake: The public seems to enjoy the all natural branding. Some people love it and others just aren't too sure. But that's how business is. We mostly stick to doing it because we have fun doing it and love being creative.

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Gavin: When did you decide to expand into the balm and the elixir and how was it for you learning how to make those products as well?

Blake: Shortly after I got the mustache wax to be just what I wanted. I figured a lot of people out there don't just have a mustache they also have a beard and that beard needs so love too.

Gavin: Are you making any push to have your products available in retail or personal care shops, or are you mainly sticking to having it sold through your own shop?

Blake: We are but we are doing it slowly and making sure that the areas we talk to have a need or want for our type of product. We have some available in California at a store front called West of Camden in the Corna Del Mar area. We had a artist reception there for my art work and asked if we could also debut the Salty Honey line as well. They welcomed it with open arms and have helped raise more awareness to our products. Locally, we just received word from Absinthe Hair and Grooming Parlour in SLC, that they will be carrying the Salty Honey brand in their barber shop.

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Gavin: How has it been for you starting to get involved with the local festival circuit and preparing to sell them direct to the public?

Blake: This is will be our first festival at the Craft Lake City DIY Festival and we honestly couldn't be more excited. We want to be able to show the public more one on one how our products work and answer any questions they may have.

Gavin: Are you looking to expand the line anytime soon, or are you comfortable where you are now?

Blake: We have been expanding and will be releasing two new products at the festival. We will have a pomade wax for hair and a fantastic lip balm.

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Gavin: What can we expect from both yourself and Salty Honey over the rest of the year?

Blake: As I've said, I'm beginning to feel the itch to create more art so I will expand on my work again. But for Salty Honey there are very many things I would like to expand on and create more unique ways of taking care of ones facial hair needs. Men should be able to feel groomed and women should love that men take pride in their facial hair.

Gavin: Aside from the obvious, is there anything you'd like to plug or promote?

Blake: Come see Salty Honey at Craft Lake City's DIY Festival on August 8-9, we are offering free shipping now until August 8 from ordering on the website.

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