Humble Brands is a skin care company with a mission. They make products including deodorant and lip balm with only the cleanest ingredients to nourish skin, and, in turn, use a portion of their profits to support environmental and social organizations. We spoke with founder Jeff Shardell about his story, how the company has faired in the pandemic, and the challenges of being a socially-responsible organization.
Can you tell me a little bit about Humble Brands origins? Why did you chose to develop a business instead of just making deodorant for personal use?
I found that the natural deodorants on the market were just not working well for me. I wanted a clean, simple and effective formulation made with ingredients that I could read and understand. So I decided to make my own. I started experimenting in my kitchen. When I found a tried and true formula, I shared it with my friends and family. The response was overwhelmingly positive. Everyone encouraged me to start manufacturing it, so everyone could enjoy the deodorant!
How are deodorants and lip balms made?
Making lip balm and deodorant is a similar process, but they are crafted with different ingredients. It involves mixing, blending and heating at specific temperatures. Once the mixture has reached perfection, it is poured into our containers where it will cool and cure. We then cap the containers, label and pack to be shipped.
What’s the benefit of adding CBD oil to deodorant?
CBD is derived from hemp and is known for a multitude of benefits. CBD in cosmetics is comforting and can help soothe and nourish delicate underarm skin. We utilize Organic Broad Spectrum Hemp Extract because is delivers all of the benefits that the plant has to offer.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted Humble Brands?
The pandemic caught all of us off guard. Because we manufacturer our own products we were able to shift our resources and focus away from producing deodorants to manufacturing hand sanitizer. This allowed us to donate pallets of sanitizer to various local organizations to help them combat the spread of COVID19. We also sold them to retailers who needed it. As retailers began to open up, we resumed deodorant manufacturing in full force.
If you could give someone only one of your products to introduce them to Humble Brands, what would it be and why?
It’s a hard decision but I would have to say our Star Anise deodorant. It was a fun project that involved lots of moving parts, including: an amazing scent created by our product team, partnering with Troian Bellisario (actress from Pretty Little Liars), connecting with a charity (50% of our profits goes to Together We Rise, which helps children in the foster care system) and a fun and cool label. It represents all that we love about Humble!
It seems like many people don’t really think about what it is that goes on their skin. Why do you think that is? How do you answer someone who asks why it matters what’s in their deodorant?
Our skin is our largest organ of elimination and absorption. If we think about how many different products, we use on our skin daily, it makes sense to consider clean products. When you use a natural deodorant, you are simply neutralizing odor with natural and plant-based ingredients, and avoiding artificial fragrances, aluminum, parabens and other potentially harmful ingredients. If you can have a simple, effective deodorant without all the added questionable extras, why not?!
Corporate giving is an essential part of your company culture. What do you think the biggest challenge is for socially-responsible companies today?
Probably the biggest challenge is to make sure the giving aspect of Humble (and all companies that go down this path) isn’t just an asterisk to a company’s story and profitability but becomes fully integrated into the ethos of the company. It’s got to become part of the company!