Carl Battee holding The Mod Cabin Backwoods Beard Balm. Photo courtesy of the Mod Cabin Grooming Co.

Lafayette grooming company sees above average sales for beard oil

LAFAYETTE — Men’s daily routines altered by COVID-19 may be the cause of a Lafayette company’s increased beard oil sales. Some men spend time in isolation to experiment with facial hair.

The Mod Cabin LLC, or the Mod Cabin Grooming Co., established in 2010 as a handmade unisex natural skincare shop on Etsy. It is best known for its beard oil.

“Since men are home I think a lot of them are actually taking the chance to grow a beard,” said Cori Gray, owner and founder of the Mod Cabin. “Maybe they wanted to but they couldn’t because their work frowned on it or maybe they just didn’t feel like they were professional enough or presentable enough if they grew a beard.”

Actor Jim Carrey began documenting his quarantine beard on Twitter March 23. He encouraged followers to put their razors down. He said he is “growing a beard until we all go back to work.” 

Gray created soaps and oils in a spare room in her house before expanding to a production site in Lafayette. She hired two employees and moved operations to a small house in 2014. There, the team makes small batches of soap, grooming, hair, face and body products.

A typical batch of hot-pressed soap yields 44 bars. With all hands on board, the Mod Cabin team can produce four to six batches a day.

Mod Cabin pulls inspiration from the great outdoors — its most popular soap scent, “Birch,” is described as a campfire aroma with a hint of smoked meats — and mid-century architecture and design. The packaging design pulls inspiration from 1930s to 1950s tin toiletry containers and medicinal bottles.

March was a turbulent month for Mod Cabin as advised social distancing quickly evolved into a statewide shelter-in-place order by March 26. Revenues dipped 30%. 

But sales weren’t clipped for long. April recouped some of the previous month’s losses by bouncing back 25%. While it’s still down, Gray said that sales usually dip as the weather warms.

As people shave their winter layers and beards, Mod Cabin enters a slow period. Gray believes that quarantine may be why numbers are higher than previous years. Soaps and beard oil are the top sellers at the moment.

The Parlour, a hair salon in Fort Collins, sells Mod Cabin facial hair products. Arvada boutique Vouna LLC sells several products too. Mod Cabin sells most of its products on its website and through Amazon.