It all started because we love youth ministers.
That may seem like a weird reason to start a company like this, but it’s true. Michael and Tony first started selling our products at a national youth ministers conference and we did so as a way to financially support ProjectYM (our ministry of training and equipping Catholic youth workers). But that’s not really where it began…
It all started with Tony Vasinda. Tony was teaching adults about the sacrament of Confirmation at his parish and decided he wanted an ounce of unconsecrated chrism oil (the oil of Confirmation) to help with that lesson. He called around to figure out where he could buy an ounce of that oil. And turns out the smallest quantity you can buy it in is enough to make three gallons of chrism oil.
Tony decided to go ahead and buy the three gallons of chrism oil and decide later what to do with that extra 383 ounces.
It didn’t take long for him to figure it out. He started mixing that unconsecrated chrism oil into his homemade beard balm. And after giving it to a few friends who gave him rave reviews on this new Catholic scented beard balm, Tony was ready to take it to the next level.
That “next level” was bringing it to the 2014 National Conference on Catholic Youth Ministry. The plan: attempt to sell it from the ProjectYM booth. We all told him he was crazy. But Tony was not easily deterred.
During the first four hours of that conference, we sold every tin we had (almost a hundred of them). And by the end of the conference, we had an extensive waiting list of people who wanted to get their hands on this new Catholic beard balm whenever we made more.
Still not sure if the demand for our Barbatus Catholic Beard Balm was real, after that conference we simply added it to the store on the ProjectYM website. We started selling a couple a week, but a few months later things really took off.
Michael Marchand made the last minute decision to pull the product off of our normal web site and give it its own site a week before Father’s Day. With very little promotion, we sold HUNDREDS of tins in just a couple days.
Based on that success, Michael upgraded the website and launched massive Facebook ad campaign leading into No Shave November. And that’s when it really started to explode.
Sales took off faster than we ever could have imagined.
Not only had we found an effective way to financially support our ministry serving Catholic youth workers, but we started to hear incredible stories from men whose lives had been impacted by our Catholic beard balm. We send a daily blessing of the beard card with all of our beard balm orders, and just the act of having a daily ritual that was tied to prayer was a game changer for a lot of guys.
We heard stories of marriages being saved. Stories of people coming back into relationship with Jesus after years away from him and the Church. Stories of incredible transformation.
Stories that both humbled us and inspired us to continue and move forward with what was now Catholic Balm Co. As our fan base grew (and as we heard from more and more people about the positive impact that our product was having), we began to roll out more products.
These additional products (everything from lip balms to lotion bars to beard oils) allowed us reach more people and support our growing ministry.
Catholic Balm Co has grown bigger than we ever imagined – and this is only the beginning.
The best part: the money we make from all Catholic Balm Co products goes to directly support our work with Catholic youth ministers: click here to find out more.
Because we love Catholic youth ministers.
In case you were wondering: all of our products are still lovingly and prayerfully handmade by Tony out in Seattle.
It’s important to us to make sure that our customers get the best product out there – because we’ve got the best customers out there!