Two women from the Jacksonville area have turned a friendly Christmas gift into a big-time business.
In November of 2014, MacMurray College associate art professor Khara Koffel and MacMurray graduate Megan Luckey started a lip balm project that would change their lives.
In less than a year, Serious Lip Balm went from a product used exclusively by family and friends to a must have item in stores and shops around the country.
Koffel tells WLDS-WEAI News the duo never meant to start a lip balm business.
“We were lucky enough to get a shelf at the Soap Co Coffee House on the Downtown Square. We are in a bunch of different hospitals, including Passavant and St. John’s. We exploded into a bunch of different salons and gift shops, thanks to word of mouth from community members and friends,” says Koffel.
After making connections at the Illinois Products Expo in March, Serious Lip Balm became a featured item at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum gift shop. Koffel says Serious Lip Balm’s exclusive Lincoln family recipe flavors have been a big hit in Springfield, as well as Ford’s Theatre in Washington D.C. and the Gettysburg Museum in Pennsylvania.
Koffel says expanding the business is the next goal for Serious Lip Balm.
“We’re trying to spread into other markets. We are so lucky to be well received in central Illinois. We are always going to stick around here to do the best we can for the community, but we want to get in other areas too.”
But what separates Serious Lip balm from similar products in the market? Koffel says look no further than the all natural ingredients and flavors.
“We have everything from caramel popcorn and hazelnut latte to ruby Merlot, different wine flavors, whiskey and key lime pie. We are sort of taking that childish fun of having these crazy flavors and putting them in this modern, contemporary and unisex lip balm.”
By popular demand, Koffel and Luckey will be joining the vendor fair circuit before the holiday season.
Go online to www.seriouslipbalm.com for more information and to see new products coming soon.