Honour Essentials Gives Shaving a Luxe, Sustainable Makeover
By: Casha Doemland
Two coffee lovers trek south to Costa Rica in hopes of learning how to grow their very own coffee, only to discover a much grander plan.
For brothers Jerad and Matt Poling, the a-ha moment occurred on the flight home from Minneapolis. “We realized a lot of these beans were getting thrown away because they’re either small or cracked or just not really good for roasting in general,” starts Matt. “But we also understood that there are green coffee oils in these beans that are still good no matter the size or shape, you just have to crack them out.”
Which is exactly what they did.
Together, they gave coffee an added purpose with Honour Essentials, a company serving up skincare goods and Costa Rican coffee to help you achieve the perfect morning ritual.
“When you drink coffee, you see some of that residual oil at the bottom of the cup,” begins Jerad, “so, we ran some experiments and began extracting the oils. We discovered coffee is very similar to natural skin oil as far as PH and it’s healthy for the skin.”
With that realization, Jerad and Matt started buying the remnant beans that weren’t getting used from a farmer in Costa Rica, evolving it into a full-blown personal care line. Small and broken beans are pressed for oil and combined with ground remnants to create the exfoliating rinse (Wake) and the shave well cream (Prep). The revitalizing cream (Tend) is made of just the beans and oil.
“Both Matt and I have pretty wiry, curly hair, which is difficult to shave,” replied Jerad when asked why they stepped into the world of personal care products, “and it was expensive to buy razors. That’s kind of how it started, as it was pre-Dollar Shave Club, pre-Harry's and all the affordable razors left burns on our necks. Once we discovered that you could have a better shave for significantly less money, that hooked me, and Matt joined in."
From there, it blossomed into a subscription set with natural, sustainable and moisturizing shave creams and rinses, which in turn called for a refinement of the original brand name, Classical Element. “We wanted to make it simpler to understand,” shares Matt. “So, we went through a list of names that we felt spoke to our brand, that was doing good and giving back. We felt that honor was a really good name that spoke to our strategy and our intent as a company.”
Upon meeting with KNOCK, inc., their partners throughout this branding process, one of their writers suggested spelling honor with a “u” to symbolize the brotherhood Matt and Jerad share. “Having it as o-u-r makes it OUR brand, OUR project,” adds Matt.
With the name out of the way, they did a deep dive into the world of packaging as sustainability weighed heavy on their minds. Matt always envisioned an aluminum canister that would be reusable, and great for the environment, all while looking fabulous in your bathroom.
The process of creating and designing that packaging was a lengthy one, and the greatest challenge revolved around costs. Despite that, KNOCK, inc. and the Poling brothers succeeded and ended up saving 40% in wasteful packaging. To make up for the added expenses on the backend, Honour Essentials offers a subscription that helps them meet their bottom line while simultaneously giving the customer the best bang for their buck.
"I think we always felt a little guilty throwing away flash containers, whether it's for hair care or skin because you buy one and throw the other away," states Jerad. "We wanted to create an elevated experience, that was also good for the environment, so we crafted refills to go with the canister."
The refills are sold in a thin, recyclable plastic cup with an aluminum cap. The materials are then shipped in a compostable sugarcane pulp mold, to keep the cup secure during delivery.
The Poling Brothers have recently released single-serve coffee packs, awesome for travelers or people who don’t want to invest in a full 12-ounce carton of coffee. Additionally, “we launched a Miir Cup, which gives back via water projects throughout the world,” adds Jerad. “The cup has our branding on it and it’s this cool, double insulated aluminum cup that is great for hot coffee.”
Between grade-A Costa Rican coffee to sip and top of the line products that are also a solid choice for the environment, what else could you possibly need to complete your morning ritual?
LA-based and Georgia-bred, Casha Doemland spends her days crafting poetry and freelance writing. Over the last two years, she’s been published in a variety of publications and zines around the world. When she’s not nerding out with words, you can catch her watching a classic film, trekking around the globe or hanging out with a four-pound Pomeranian.