By Jenny Vickers
Welcome to Asbury Park Bazaar's Meet the Maker AP series where we highlight local artists and makers of the Asbury Park Holiday Bazaars being held Saturdays & Sundays, noon to 5 pm, in the Grand Arcade of Convention Hall in Asbury Park.
Today's #MeetTheMakerAP is Big Slick Pomade Co./Lady Luck Brand which is run by the husband and wife DIY duo Vincent Minervo and Magdalena O'Connel. Vincent and Magdalena make hair products, pomades, tonics and oils that they formulate in Freehold, NJ. They have been a part of the Asbury Park Bazaar since the very beginning and I am so happy to have become good friends with them over these past few years! I'm always inspired by how much passion and honest-to-goodness hard work they put into everything they do. From continuing to launch new products and brands to organizing the Asbury Park Surf Music Festival, Aloha Fridays, and throwing kick-ass shows around town through "Hi-Tide," the organizing name behind it all, and playing in bands like the Black Flamingos and The Brigantines, these two are a force majeure in Asbury Park's creative community. Find out more in my interview with Magda below and be sure to visit them this Sunday, December 18th at our last Asbury Park Holiday Bazaar of the season.
1) Tell us how you got your start.
Big Slick Pomade Co. started back in the fall of 2014 as a craft project for us. We had a DIY approach for our wedding and were excited to start a new project together. After launching with one product, our business quickly began to grow into something bigger - a brand with International recognition, a full product line, and an expansion into women’s products with Lady Luck Brand.
2) What motivates you to make everything by hand?
We both love hands on projects and this one has been a really fun adventure. We product test, have oops batches and continue to learn and grow. We really enjoy being a company that is fully behind the brand, and getting to know our customers. We know exactly what goes into each formula, and we enjoy figuring out the best product to fit our customers needs. Not to mention, we meet some pretty interesting people along the way. It’s fun!
3) Where did you grow up and where do you live and work now? What is your favorite part about living here?
I grew up in South Orange, further north in NJ, and Vincent is from Rochester, NY. He moved down to NJ just over 10 years ago when his touring band took a break, and never left. We love where our life has brought us, and the community of Asbury Park as a whole. We live in Freehold, but I’d like to say we live in Asbury a bit too… many aspects of our life have tied us to that location. We were married at Porta, had our after party at The Lanes, where we also threw our event Asbury Park Surf Music Festival (now we’re over at The Anchor’s Bend). Asbury is a really, really special place.
4) Walk us through a day in the life in your workspace.
The daily routine is very hands on in our home-based workshop - typically packing orders, scouting out new retailers, communicating with wholesalers, and labeling. So much labeling. I left my full-time job a year ago to pursue this venture, and run our business full time. We are working really hard to make that happen for Vincent as well… fingers crossed for the near future. It’s a lot, and we’re constantly busy, but we make sure to take plenty of breaks to run around our yard with Rosie the shop dog.
When Vincent gets home, or on his off days you can find us brewing over 200 tins of product for various orders and events. It’s wild! We used to brew a few batches of 12 and thought that was a lot. This year we are shifting priorities to have a more local presence, and that has been a nice change of pace. Making local deliveries and getting to know other business owners has been very exciting.
5) What are you most looking forward to at the bazaar?
The best part about working the bazaars…we love working with you! You've done a great job putting these together. It’s amazing to see how far everything has come since year one. We love meeting the other vendors, trading, and creating a network of other like-minded people. Supporting other local businesses is how we all thrive, so it’s fun to see this community come together for these events!
6) What kinds of products will you be offering at the bazaar?
We are really excited about our offerings for this year! Lots of new goodies, and both Big Slick & Lady Luck have new looks to show off. We are most proud of our latest addition to the Big Slick line, our Water Based Hair Pomade, which involved 11 months of formulating with a lab in California. We will also have a few holiday editions available, along with the rest of our line of grooming & beauty products.
7) Why should people support events like The Asbury Park Bazaar, and shop small and local during the holiday season and all year round?
It’s a great way to meet the makers behind the products you love, or discover a new company. We love to support local, and can’t wait to do some holiday shopping while we are there!
Be sure to stop by and say "hi" to Vincent and Magdalena this Sunday and pick up some of their awesome products for the holidays! You can also find out more about them at www.bigslickpomadeco.com