Phil Castle, The Business Times
Jesse Lanci searched high and low for a product that would help him groom his mustache.
The Grand Junction man finally found what he was looking for right under his nose in a product he developed himself. Now the inventive entrepreneur hopes to sell others on his all-natural mustache wax and beard oil.
Lanci sells his Loma Wax Co. products at retailers in the Grand Valley and Glenwood Springs, but plans an extended sales trip early next year to broaden distribution. “I’m really putting my heart and soul into this,” he said.
Lanci said he started developing his own products at the beginning of the year as a result of his frustration in finding a commercially available wax he liked to help him groom his new mustache.
He said he reluctantly followed his girlfriend into a beauty supply store. “She pretty much dragged me into it.” But the product he purchased was bright white and made from ingredients he couldn’t pronounce and whose smell gave him a headache.
That’s when Lanci began conducting research and then experimenting with various natural ingredients. While he wanted a product he could use himself, he said he was already thinking about the potential for a business that would supplement his seasonal work as a biologist who conducts fish surveys for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “I guess I had that kind of in the back of my mind.”
He decided to name his venture after Loma in part because he enjoys spending time in that area biking, hiking and rafting.
Lanci decided early on not to use lanolin, a product that comes from sheep. He said he didn’t like the smell, and some people are allergic to lanolin.
Lanci elected instead to use beeswax in combination with vitamin E and other natural products and essential oils that not only smell good, but also are good for hair and skin. His products also feature such ingredients as amber resin, carnauba wax, jojoba oil, olive oil, shea butter and vetivert oil. Lanci mixes the ingredients himself in manufacturing his products.
Lanci developed what he brands as light hold and strong hold types of mustache waxes to accommodate different styles. “You can apply it in the morning and it will stay all day.”
He also developed a beard oil that can be used to condition and style beards while creating a pleasing scent. He packages his mustache waxes in small tins and his beard oil in a small bottles with droppers.
Lanci sells his Loma Wax Co. products online through his Web site and Etsy, an online marketplace for handmade products. He also sells products in a growing number of retail locations: Bams Beauty Skin Care Studio & Boutique, Grand Valley Magazine store, Loki, Roots Salon and Safari Ltd. in Grand Junction; The Barber Shop in Clifton; The Vintage Common in Fruita; and Downtown Drug in Glenwood Springs.
Lanci has raised money through a Kickstarter campaign that continues through Dec. 7 to help fund an extended trip though Colorado as well as Arizona, New Mexico and Utah to find additional outlets for his products.
While barbershops and hair salons constitute logical places to sell facial hair care products, Lanci said he also expects gift shops and even bicycle and ski shops to carry his products.
Lanci said he hopes to broaden distribution of his products as well as build up inventory to support increased sales.
He also hopes to eventually develop additional products, including other hair care products and perhaps fragrances for women.
For now, though, Lanci said he’s happy about developing a product he enjoys using and launching a business he enjoys running. “It’s very exciting stuff.”
He found what he was looking for right under his nose.