When I started stubble + ‘stache back in 2012 I had one simple mission: Make the best damn skin and beard care products on the market. My laser focus was the performance and safety of our products. I wanted them to be the best at reducing beard itch, softening facial hair, at hydrating the skin, and at reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. You get the point —we focused on what our products do for you and your facial hair.
We’ve grown a lot since then. While our primary focus is still you and your skin and beard care needs, we’ve expanded our aperture. We are no longer only concerned about the end product. In 2018 we started evaluating our supply chain and in 2019 we began to take a more holistic approach — from “farm to face.”
One aspect of this new approach is our packaging. First, we knew that our packaging had to be sustainable, and while glass is traditionally associated with sustainability, we did our research and realized just how energy intensive producing glass is, along with the severe environmental impact of mining the raw materials. For us, we determined the most responsible option is to make our new packaging from recycled plastic. It took some time but we found an American based manufacturer that can produce jars from 100% Post Consumer Resin (PCR) aka recycled plastic, and airless pumps from ~99% recycled plastic.
We also decided to transition from tubes to airless pumps. While more expensive, airless pumps offer better product protection – by reducing the product’s contact with the air – and accessibility as they can be operated with one hand.
COVID-19, component shortages, selling out and shipping delays
As 2019 came to a close, we were weeks away from starting production on our new jars and airless pumps made from recycled plastic. We looked at our existing inventory and knew we had about six months left, which would cover us until the new products in the new packaging were ready. Enter COVID-19.
Given the existing supply chains and advanced manufacturing capabilities in China, our American packaging partner can only produce products made from recycled plastic at their China facility, though they tell us they should be able to shift production to their US factories in about 3-5 years...apparently retooling a factory takes a lot of time and money!
COVID shuts down China...and the factory. Let the waiting games begin.
As time passes, the factory reopens. But now there's a shortage of raw materials required to produce our products. The waiting game continues.
As America locks down, demand for our products skyrocket. In fact, we sold that six month’s worth of inventory in a matter of weeks. That’s why we sold out. And with no way to make more, all we can do is wait. Thus begins a cycle of shortages that prevents us from producing any products in 2020. As we rolled into 2021, all of the components are once again available, but the entire world is trying to produce just about more of everything which translates into long waiting times to get our containers produced. And since the world’s factories are producing record amounts of just about everything, there is serious stress on international shipping and the global transportation infrastructure.
So that’s where we stand now. All of our packaging is ready to go, we are just waiting for it to arrive at our lab here in the US.
Over the months we’ve received countless emails from people asking about our restock date. At this point we are pretty confident that we’ll be back in business by late August. I saypretty because remember when the Suez Canal was blocked? Well, even though our shipping route doesn’t even transit that part of the world it delayed our shipment by almost a month. So, maybe all will go well and we’ll be back in stock by then, or, who knows, maybe aliens invade earth and the whole system shuts down again! Regardless, your support literally means the world to us and we are doing everything in our power to get back to business and bring you the best damn skincare products on the market.
-Nick Karnaze, Founder
P.S. shout out to all the other small business owners struggling to get sh*t done with all these delays and shortages!