We had the good fortune of connecting with Levi Harris and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Levi, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Stop chasing the ubiquitous illusion of work/life balance!!! Start working toward being Fully present, Fully engaged and Fully Alive in ALL of Life. (Spoiler alert work is part of Life. Start being the best version of yourself in all aspects of Life)

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
what sets you apart from others? At the Vintage Grooming Company we use only the highest quality All-Natural ingredients. We hand craft each product with care right here in Woodland Park Colorado. Our Award winning Death Grip mustache wax has won at the USA National Beard and Mustache competition and is the #1 selling mustache wax on Amazon!!! Our Mission is to inspire men to live with purpose in constant pursuit of their true potential.

How did you get to where you are today business-wise. Was it easy? The Vintage Grooming Company was founded by Derwood and Megan Willhite in 2014 At the time, cultivating and maintaining one’s face topiary was easier requested than done. Aside from shaving cream and aftershave, beard and mustache care options mostly were limited to homemade offerings for sale on websites such as Etsy.That realization, combined with a gift of beard oil from Derwood’s stepmother and a timely viewing of the movie “A Million Ways to Die in the West,” led the couple to start Vintage Grooming Co. in 2014. I (Levi Harris) first started growing a mustache in 2015. I first met Megan and Derwood at Street Fair called Territory Days where I was walking through the fair and heard someone yell “nice mustache” I looked over, there I saw Megan and Derwood dressed in vintage attire at their Vintage Grooming booth. I walked over and introduced myself and Megan proceeded to tall me about their competition grade “Death Grip” mustache was which was labeled “caution for serious mustaches only” I knew I had to try this incredible product and immediately purchased 2 tins. This ignited my passion for facial hair, more specifically the mysterious often misunderstood handlebar mustache. In the early 1900’s the handlebar mustache was a sign of class, elegance, sophistication and of course masculinity. In the 80’s and 90’s the mustache carried the undesirable reputation of the “porn stache” or “creeper stache” the mustache also earned some comical names such as the “cookie duster” or “flavor savor” as my mustache continued to grow I desperately wanted to understand this cryptic line of facial fur grown on the upper lip. At the time I was managing the Starbucks in Woodland Park Colorado and my mini handlebar mustache (that was tamed with Death Grip mustache wax) set me apart from other baristas and genorated countless complements, laughs, smiles, and started conversation. I told my family I was going to quite my job at Starbucks and rely on my mustache to pay the bills. My dad thought I was crazy and I probably was. Though I didn’t quit my job right away, In 2017 I was working the front register and saw Derwood and Megan walk in the front door. Though Megan and Derwood had been growing Vintage Grooming and had been running a brick and mortar store front in Colorado Spring as well as growing the Direct to consumer customer base online and on Amazon. I personally hadn’t seen them since the street fair back in 2015. My mustache immediately smiled at them and I told them I was wearing their death grip mustache wax. They had recently purchased a property in Divide about 10 miles from from my Starbucks in woodland park and had moved the manufacturing of Vintage Grooming to Woodland Park. They need fast internet and Starbucks became their office. I would chat with Derwood about business and the company and one day he asked if I would be interested in doing a photo shoot with him for the website and social media accounts. I was thrilled and of course accepted his offer. I then did some work for Vintage Grooming helping connect with whole sale customers and being a chief ambassador for the social media accounts. My wife Hannah was also Hired by Vintage Grooming to do online customer support. In May of 2019 Derwood approached me about selling the company and we started negotiations. In June our negotiations seemed to hit a brick wall and I was coming to the realization that with a baby due in October and recently purchasing a house I wasn’t going to be able to afford the company. I continued working at Starbucks where I would continue to talk with Derwood but not really about acquiring the company. October 20th, 2019 my Daughter Ivy Noel Harris was born. The next morning as sat in the hospital holding my beautiful new born daughter, I felt like the luckiest man in the world. As a first time Father I felt the desire to be more to be a man that my daughter was proud of. To provide and to protect her beyond anything else. My phone buzzed, I saw it was Derwood and read his message “hey are you still interested in Vintage Grooming” I replied stating I was interested and told him about the arrival of my daughter. I waited a week before telling my wife that Derwood was interested in meeting up to discuss a possible deal. When we met a few weeks later Derwood presented the option to owner finance my purchase of the company and on November 15th of 2019 I acquired the company. For the next year I maintained my management job at Starbucks until I could take my 10 year career sabbatical called a coffee break, while simultaneously being responsible for every aspect of the business for Vintage Grooming. This included mixing and hand pouring all of the products, (my wife helped with labeling the products) running and maintaining all social media and websites, order fulfillment, customer service and the list goes on. All of this while being a father and husband. Did I mention that in March of 2020 the world shut down as the global Covid-19 pandemic wrecked havoc. Supply Chain issues became a part of every day business. During that time my Starbucks Drive thru remained open. I was doubling down on a new video ads feature on Amazon. This helped us become the #1 selling mustache wax in America! When I took over the company in 2019 Death Grip had under 400 reviews on Amazon today we have over 6,000 and a 4.4 star rating!!!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Colorado Springs and Woodland Park are some of the most beautiful areas in the world. Garden of the Gods and The Pikes Peak Highway would be a must for anyone visiting. Loyal Coffee, Switchbacks, and Righteous Grounds are the best coffee shops. La Baguette for authentic French brunch. The Broadmoor for a special night. Fat Sully’s for pizza!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
This could be a very long list, but for the purpose of this I want to Thank my good friends and the founders of Vintage Grooming Derwood and Megan Willhite Megan and Derwood established Vintage Grooming Co. in 2014. Derwood has been a friend and mentor to me and has been instrumental in helping me find my true potential.

Website: www.vintagegrooming.com

Instagram: @DeathGripwax @vintagegrooming @simplystachen

Twitter: VintageGrooming

Facebook: Vintage Grooming Company

Youtube: https://m.youtube.com/c/Vintagegrooming

Other: https://www.amazon.com/stores/TheVintageGroomingCo/page/21426386-5BDF-4F22-9334-E63703D0C08C?ref_=ast_bln

Image Credits
Photo credit to Harleigh Willhite for the vintage faded photo (with Levi and Derwood and Megan) Photo Credit to Megan Willhite for the vintage faded photo (with Levi and Derwood ) Photo Credit to Megan Willhite for the (photo shoot of Levi) Photo credit to Jacob Ames for the photo of Levi and his brother Jeremiah sitting on the couch and the photo of Levi with the neon skull light

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