Kyle LaFond was a science teacher to middle schoolers. Having grown up on a four-generation family farm, he would often experiment with natural ingredients to create personal care products and also taught his students how to do the same.
Kyle’s formulations were so popular that he decided to sell the natural deodorant that he was creating, and American Provenance was born.
During the early days of running American Provenance, Kyle would visit local retailers and share his story. He would ask if he could leave samples of his products and showcase how his natural formulas worked. “It was kind of shocking,” Kyle said. “A lot of store buyers or owners weren't accustomed to a founder actually coming into a shop.”
His personal visits and conversations worked. Kyle asked store owners to try his products for a few weeks, and then he would come back to see if they would be interested in carrying his products.
“We got into about nine out of 10 stores I approached,” he said. “So I think the authenticity and connection really helped us to get this thing off the ground.”
After that initial success, Kyle dedicated himself to organic marketing and growth.
“The first three years basically was me and my truck and handing out samples,” Kyle said. “That dedication resulted in American Provenance being carried by over 4000 retail locations and having partnerships with Wholefoods.
Tune into the full Shopify Masters episode to hear how Kyle and his team at American Provenance maintained their strong retail partnership, built their online store, and converted Amazon shoppers to shop on their own store.