Beauty Store Business

AUG 2018

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82 August 2018 | beautystorebusiness.com J eff Shardell, founder and president of Humble Brands–a natural personal care product company featuring deodor- ants made with just four to five recognizable, organic, non-GMO ingredients–is on a mission to educate consumers about the connection between deodorants and health. After founding gloss.com, one of the first online beauty retailers, and later selling it to Estée Lauder and then serving at Google for nearly a decade as the senior director of new business development, Shardell sought to simplify his life and detoxify his body. The idea for Humble Brands came to him after he became aware of the absorption of potentially harmful chemicals found in conventional deodorants, so he decided to switch to a natural deodorant. Today, Humble Brands is sold online, at natural retailers and in specialty beauty stores. The unique and naturally scented unisex formulas (Texas Cedarwood & Grapefruit, Lavender & Holy Basil and Palo Santo, Frankincense & Vanilla) incorporate only what's essential–and nothing more. The idea of shedding excess and living simply is the driving force behind the brand. And so far, it's resonating with consumers. Reviews show that they appreciate the simple, understandable ingredients, natural scent and that it works. Having recently expanded product offerings with hemp oil- based body lotions and, soon, hemp oil serum and lip balm, this humble brand is poised for big growth. Beauty Store Business: How was the idea for Humble Brands hatched? Jeff Shardell: I had my career in the corporate world in technology. Most recently, I ran business development at Google. I had been there for nine years and when I left, I decided it was time to detoxify my life. I realized that what you put on your body is as important as what you put in your body, from a health perspective. About 60 percent of what goes on your skin gets into your body. And some people say almost 100 percent of what's applied to your armpits gets absorbed because the armpits have larger pores. That's why people feel there's this connection between conventional antiperspirants and diseases like Alzheimer's and breast cancer. So I kind of stumbled on that as the first big thing to detoxify. I sought to replace my traditional antiperspirant with something that was better and all natural. How long did it take you to find the base formula for your deodorants? Over the course of six months, probably 25 or 30 iterations. What's unique about them? We use non-GMO, organic ingredients. You'll see a lot of companies that have natural deodorants, but they still use conventional ingredients. I tried a lot of the natural deodorants that were out there at the time, and they didn't work. They masked my body odor, but they didn't get rid of it. When I began formulating, I used two main ingredients–baking soda, which neutralizes odor, and corn starch, which absorbs a lot of the sweat. At the end of the day though, the formula had a cakiness to it. I needed additional ingredients to act as a binding agent for those two powders. I didn't really want to use paraffin, which is a petroleum-based product. I tried soy, but there were concerns about soy and what it might do from an estrogen perspective. I ended up going with what Mother Nature provides, which is beeswax. That has worked the best. Does that make your product a non-vegan product? Unfortunately, it does. If you are a strict vegan, then beeswax is something that is definitely verboten. We are planning to make a vegan product. We haven't really figured it out yet, but we are experimenting with it. Why did you choose the name Humble? People talk about the '80s as being the age of excess. In some ways, that carried over to the '90s and 2000s with Jeff Shardell A former Google executive simplified his life and founded Humble Brands, which off ers healthy deodorants with organic ingredients and more. Executive Q&A Courtesy of Humble Brands "I tried a lot of natural deodorants that were out there at the time, and they didn't work. They masked my body odor, but they didn't get rid of it."

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