Community Spotlight: Mount Joy Business Collab Creates New Product Line

June 3, 2021 | Community Spotlight: Mount Joy Business Collab Creates New Product Line | By: Rochelle A. Shenk, Correspondent, Elizabethtown Advocate | 
Mount Joy
Main Street Mount Joy, Pennsylvania. Photo credit: Dave Schell, Executive Director of Main Street Mount Joy (MSMJ)

This article originally appeared in the May 6, 2021, edition of the Elizabethtown Advocate.

A collaboration between Ladybug Suds N' Scrubs and The Gentlemen's Barbershop has resulted in a product line for the barbershop.

The partnership between the two businesses was fostered by Main Street Mount Joy.

"A lot of people think all we do are events. We are an economic development organization. The events are a way to get people downtown, so they are a part of what we do. But we also work with our businesses to help them succeed whether it's working on their business model or growing their business," explained Dave Schell, MSMJ executive director.

Schell said he's been working with Lisa Wilbert, the owner of Ladybug Suds N' Scrubs, to grow her business in her existing space. At the same time, he was aware that Christopher "Chris" Montealegre, the owner of The Gentlemen's Barbershop, wanted to grow his brand by offering his own line of products.

"I spoke to Lisa about options including 'white labeling' (creating products for other businesses that use their label rather than the manufacturer's label)," Schell said, "I suggested that she may want to create products for other companies that she doesn't carry in her store and that she and Chris may want to talk to one another."

Wilbert opened Ladybug Suds N' Scrubs at 45 E. Main St. in June 2019, sharing the space with her husband's shop Time after Time Clocks.

Her business offers hand-crafted beauty products such as soaps, scrubs, shower gel, lip balm, hand and body lotion, roll-on perfume, and laundry soap. Wilber said she started out making foaming hand soaps and bath bombs in her home. "When I started it was a bit of a hobby. I did tons of research on products and there was a lot of trial and error in creating the recipes for my products," she explained, "I began doing craft fairs and got a lot of great feedback on the products, so I thought I would open a brick and mortar shop."

She's working full-time at another job and part-time at Ladybug Suds N' Scrubs. "I'd like to grow the business so it can be my full-time job," Wilbert said, "White labeling is one way I can grow and yet remain in my current space."

Montealegre opened The Gentlemen's Barbershop, 35 W. Main St., in May 2015. The Donegal High School grad said he's always wanted to be a barber with his own shop. "In high school, I would cut my friends' hair," he said, "In my senior yearbook, I wrote that I'd like to open a barbershop. I wanted to be a local barber, so that's why I decided to open in my hometown."

His goals are to build a client base and to establish a good reputation for the business and for himself as a barber. He also wants to expand The Gentlemen's Barbershop band. "We already have t-shirts and hats. This year my focus has been expanding the brand by developing my own product line," Montealegre explained, "A lot of clients like to buy products we use and sell in the barbershop. I've had some products that I use in the shop that I really like such as a scented hair wax so I decided to start out with that."

As a local business owner, he desired to work with someone local to develop the product. Wilbert recently rolled out a men's line featuring a solid cologne and a dry skin ointment. With that in mind, Schell encouraged the two businesses to work together.

Wilbert said she and Montealegre have worked together for a few months to develop the scented hair wax. After some research and testing, they've developed the products Suit & Tie Wax and Dapper Pomade, both are marketed under The Gentlemen's Barbershop brand. Montealegre and Wilbert are continuing work on products for the barbershop's product line.

Wilbert said she also white labels room sprays for Life Moments Candle Co., Lititz. The room sprays are available in some of the same scents as the candles.

Schell said he's hoping that the collaboration between Montealegre and Wilbert will encourage other businesses in Mount Joy's downtown area to consider working with one another.