We also did one that’s kind of (a nod) to Chesterton that is called Orthodoxy, that is pipe tobacco and hops, it’s a lighter scent but it smells really good.
Who are your favorite bearded saints?
Michael: I’m a big John the Baptist fan, he’s kind of a throwback. He was willing to be radical and out there, I think he’s probably top on my list.
I’m also a big fan of Cyril and Methodius, I’m somebody who really values evangelization, and I think St. Cyril and Methodius are perfect examples of that mission.
Tony: It’s hard to choose, but St. John Chrysostom, I knew he had a beard but his statement on fasting particularly is a modern concept that most Catholics understand very poorly. He has this (reflection) on fasting and not just fasting from food or meat but fasting from sin, really taking the time to remove sin from our life in an intentional way.
Padre Pio – amazing beard, amazing saint. Such a surprising saint I think for young people to hear about.
And then St. Max Kolbe is another one that I think is phenomenal, he grew his beard so that he could gain more respect in the culture that he was trying to minister to, and as soon as the Nazi’s came to attack he knew his beard would offend them, but he knew his habit would offend them more, so he offered to sacrifice his beard because he wasn’t going to sacrifice his commitment to God.
What has the overall response to Catholic Beard Balm been like?
Tony: It’s really been a cool extension of the New Evangelization. It’s fun how oftentimes humor and mirth lead us into that place of evangelizing in a way that the culture responds to.
Michael: One of the things I think that surprised us I think initially and going into Lent was how strong the devotion is of men through their beard. It’s part of who they are, so the fact that they can identify with other Catholic men through something they share I think has been really cool.
I think sometimes it gets dismissed as being superficial, but I think it’s really interesting that an attribute of their masculinity, an attribute of who they are is something that they can connect with other men through that.
Do have other products besides the beard balm?
Tony: We had a lot of women who were really upset that we didn’t have any products for women, so we made Little Flower lip balm. We have three handmade lip balms that are rose, citrus or peppermint flavored, and we use really high quality essential oils in those, and we try to avoid anything that’s not a natural ingredient wherever we can.
We're launching our third product line – I would say it’s more geared towards women, but it could work for men as well, just like beard balm could work on a woman’s beard as well.
We’re selling a lotion bar called Lumina, my wife came up with the idea, in honor of st. Philomena, just like the Little Flower in honor of St. Therese, and four different aromas for that. And then also soap.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Michael: Our heart for ministry trumps our desire for beard balm to be successful, so we love that beard balm has been so successful because it empowers and enables the ministry that we’re doing.
Tony: The dialogues we get to have online with people has been amazing – I got to explain the difference between adult and infant baptism through Catholic Balm Company on Facebook, so there’s a lot of really big things that come into it.
A lot of people don’t know that we’re an authentically Catholic company run by guys who have a real passion for ministry, but we’re not just making money, we’re excited about all the ways it’s allowed us to do more.
This article was originally published on CNA Feb. 28, 2016.