Kiss My Face has its roots started in a garden.
Steve and I were 20 somethings – “between opportunities” (read: “unemployed”)…. living on a rented farm in NY’s beautiful Hudson River Valley.
We were also broke. So Steve planted a garden. He would pour over issues of Organic Gardening magazine learning through trial and error. The garden grew…. abundantly. I decided one day to load the excess in our VW and head to NYC. Lucky us, a few natural food stores bought our vegetables and told me to come back when I had more of these “homegrown” veggies.
I was mighty nervous about those early retailer calls. I mean these were NYC players; notoriously tough who didn’t suffer fools! Most of them offered me coffee, treated me to lunch and just couldn’t have been kinder. Lesson learned.
A few weeks and a few bushels of veggies later we came across an interesting bar of Pure Olive Oil Soap from Greece. It was simple and clean and non-scented. I called the importer to ask him some questions about it, thinking I might offer it to my small band of retailer customers. He said something like, “I imported it and now I can’t get rid of it”. I answered something like, “I think I can help you get rid of it”. So I bought a case of 72 bars. Trouble was the wrapper was really ugly and once I tore them off it had no name. So I made one up!
The question we’ve been asked more than any other with regards to the company is ” where did the name come from?” My usual, not terribly enlightening response is “Divine intervention”! But Its kinda true.
I was walking down the street one day in NYC mentally tossing around names….natural this, planet that…. when KISS MY FACE popped into my head. So I dumped a bunch of unwrapped soap bars in some empty one gallon Olive Oil cans with a sign that read “Imported from Greece by Kiss My Face”. Six of my wonderful shopkeepers said they’d give it a shot.
To my great surprise, they all called within days asking for more. I raced into the Manhattan importer’s warehouse, loaded up the VW with enough soap to almost flatten the tires and restocked the shops + I added a few more stores. My beloved retailers were soon selling more soap than our squash! It was selling so well that when a new retailer had the audacity to refuse to stock the soap, I’d cockily say “how about I just GIVE it to you, and I’ll see you in a week. If it doesn’t sell I’ll take it back. If it does sell you pay me and maybe if we’re lucky, you’ll buy some more”. Few refused the offer.
Suddenly we weren’t so broke.
Stayed tuned…and if you’re interested, we’ll tell you more about our journey. It’s been a wild one!
Bob MacLeod Co-Founder KMF