Memory Lane & how Elephant Lube went viral before viral was a thing...

Posted by Gabrielle Melchionda on

Sometimes I feel really old. Like when we hired our first social media maven and she told me how much she loved Mad Gab's and grew up with them in her Christmas stocking. Or when I moved into a new neighborhood about ten years ago and when one of the moms on my street found out what I did, she left me a note calling me a "living legend".
  Yeah, so it's a huge honor and a real time-marker.
As we head into the holiday season again, I thought I'd take us on a brief trip down memory lane-Mad Gab's style. Join me, wont you?
The first holiday products we made were back in the days of Elephant Lube. If you are not familiar, stay with me. Elephant Lube was our first non-lip balm product; a shea butter balm for "fingers, toes, and elbows". I had discovered the magical ingredient Shea butter and had begun playing around with it.
I was curious about this butter that came from a tree in Africa. It was sticky to touch and primarily used in the making of chocolate. It was also, however known for being a moisturizing and hair-taming that went back to the beginning of time.
The more I learned about Shea butter, the more curious I got.
I'll be honest, I had always hated balms. I liked the idea of pure, heavy duty moisturizing goodness, but I hated the greasiness that never seemed to sink in.
I worked on incorporating Shea butter into the balm recipe to see if that might be a good combo. I had no clue what I was doing, but I had a feeling, and I was learning to trust my gut a little more.
After a lot of trials, I finally landed on what I thought of as a pretty perfect product for dry spots beyond (but including!) lips. It went on like most balms, but you only needed a tiny amount (think pea-sized), and after you "leisurely rub it in" as the label said, your skin was silky.
Like, crazy silky and soft. And it wasn't just me; I took the balms-in-development to trade shows for a while to get a lot of opinions. People would stop by, swab a little and go off. Inevitably many of them would circle back and show me their hands---comparing the visibly happier hand, soft and pink. 
So, we launched Elephant Lube in 1998, and the world was ready for it. I mailed 80 purple envelopes out to beauty editors of oodles of magazinez and dozens of  decided to put Elephant Lube on their pages. Tada!! It was one of our big breaks, and I'll always be grateful.
A few years later when we needed something new, we decided to add Holiday Scents to the line--so we came up with Candy Cane, Gingerbread and Biscotti. (I'm half Italian, and somehow I always made that association with Biscotti--plus it smells great). They were a hit--and eventually we went back to that idea with Moose Smooch many years later.
Today, Holiday Moose Smooch is a tried and true, well-loved, best-selling product for us! Sold in small independent stores, and large grocery chains like Whole Foods and everywhere it goes we imagine people smiling and smooching. With yummy flavors like Candy Cane (my favorite!), we know they are great stocking stuffers, teacher gifts, and good for just about any gift-giving. 
Happy Holidays, all!

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