The Natural: MHS Grad Launches Natural Care Products Line To Honor Grandfather

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MTT News's picture
By: 
Erin Vander Weele
Kyle LaFond creates natural men’s care products including aftershave, beard balm, pomade, deodorant and cologne. He is currently rolling out a new women’s line of natural products as well. Photo by Matt Geiger.

From his fourth generation family farm, American Provenance founder Kyle LaFond ambitiously formulates his unique line of all-natural men’s personal care products.

His inspiration is his grandfather, who was a hardworking traditional Wisconsin dairy farmer. His grandfather loved being on the farm and had a deep appreciation for nature. LaFond describes him as a person who always looked and smelled wonderful.

“He was one of those guys who I remember had a jar of pomade and I think it lasted his entire life,” LaFond, a Middleton High School graduate, said with a smile. “It was just always there.”

While researching and tinkering with ingredients, it took LaFond five years to craft and perfect a line of men’s fragrances before he launched American Provenance this past May. The products include aftershave, cologne, deodorant, pomade and beard balm, all hand crafted in small batches from the production facility on his family’s farm, which was once an old machine shed.

“It’s been years in development to get to the point where I’m happy with things and feel they are the best they can be to put on the store shelf,” he shared.

LaFond made all the scents subtle to reflect products from the mid-1900s. The creatively named scents include Firepits & Flannels (wood), Shotguns & Shenanigans (mint), Fastballs & Fisticuffs (citrus) and Horseshoes & Hand Grenades (spicy).

“My research drew me back to classic Americana, post war-products,” LaFond explained. “If you think about the ‘40s and ‘50s and what men were wearing back then, for me that’s kind of the golden age of the true American spirit.”

LaFond, who usually grows a long beard in fall, chose to make the same four fragrances for his aftershave and cologne.

“One of the things that used to bother me, is days that I would shave and days that I wouldn’t, I always smelled different,” he said. “I want to be consistent across the board and have that same scent no matter what I do in the morning.”

He maintains transparency about each ingredient in his products and uses no artificial fillers, additives or chemicals.

“There’s a real beauty in simplicity,” LaFond emphasized. “I don’t put anything in my products that’s not necessary.”

When LaFond started experimenting with scents and ingredients to create products for personal use, he didn’t anticipate one day opening his own business to share them with others. It all started while he was teaching science in New Glarus. After assigning a sustainability project to his class, one student challenged him to also come up with an idea. He started to mix ingredients and came up with an organic deodorant.

As a former teacher, when creating his brand and packaging for his products, LaFond’s goal was to appeal to young people.

“There is a significant educational component to this,” he stressed. “I do want to raise awareness and have young people realize there are better paths out there and utilizing natural products is a great way to go in terms of not exposing yourself to all kinds of chemicals and artificial ingredients.”

American Provenance products are available at local Hy-Vee stores, Community Pharmacy, Context Clothing, Metcalfe’s Market, Willy Street Co-op and via AmericanProvenance.com.

 

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