Pit Liquor is not the pits. Vail Valley natives Jason and Erica Feucht’s Pit Liquor deodorant is rolling right along.
VAIL — To stink or not to stink …
How about to not stink.
When we last visited with Vail Valley natives Jason and Erica Feucht (pronounced Foyt), they had invented a deodorant based on whiskey and vodka, and named it Pit Liquor.
It’s based on actual science, which explains why it actually works.
Jason Feucht is so smart that he graduated a local high school and a couple of colleges with a bunch of Latin titles behind his name. Attached to this story is video depicting Jason, one of the smartest people you know personally, on Denver’s 16th Street pedestrian mall asking people to sniff his armpits. Go ahead and click on it. It’s worth the time. We’ll wait.
Growing and improving
When you build a better mousetrap, or deodorant, people beat a path to your door. They started making Pit Liquor in their apartment, and grew. They rented a warehouse so they could manufacture deodorant in larger quantities, and hired Dakota, who more or less runs that part of things.
They’re an online startup business learning the value of brick and mortar stores. They’re in three locations in Loveland and one in Fort Collins where they live. Still, most of their sales are online.
They’re signing up wholesalers, and are negotiating with some chain grocery retailers. That means they’re also looking for investors, but not just anyone with a wad of cash will do.
They turned down one guy who wanted to sell their product in some unseemly places – based entirely on the name.
The name, Jason and Erica patiently and repeatedly explain, reflects their deodorant’s formula, not necessarily their philosophy. It’s a combination of whiskey, vodka and teas that kill the bacteria that makes humans smell like, well … stinky armpits.
They’re not really that picky about investors, but they do want to feel comfortable walking into places that carry their product, while they’re carrying their toddler daughter.
Jason is a native son of the Vail Valley, graduated Eagle Valley High School at the top of his class. Yeah, he’s one of those Honor Society smart kids, but is refreshingly like the rest of us.
Because he and Erica are curious types who love to tinker, they’re rolling out new products all the time. They even came up with a seasonal product: Chai Spice.
“We wanted to avoid pumpkin spice,” Erica said, rolling her eyes just a little.
Connected to this story is a photo of Erica with a couple police officers, sniffing her armpits in front of a sign encouraging people to do exactly that. The officers were proving that they cannot smell the alcohol in Pit Liquor, or any other odoriferous emanations.
Sometimes people do smell like a locker room, that is.
Pit Liquor is designed to kill the bacteria that causes that odor without all the other stuff found in traditional deodorant that can cause things like cancer – which, along with armpit odor, is something you also want to avoid, Erica and Jason point out.
“We have been doing lots of education,” Jason said.
It’s safer than hand sanitizer, Erica says.
Smell good, do better
Not so long ago, though, they were working with the impoverished in Guinea Bissau, one of the planet’s poorest places. Violence there made it unsafe for them to stay. They came back to Colorado, but they left a big piece of their hearts behind.
A big bunch of the money Pit Liquor generates goes to the Tolos Project, a nonprofit they started to provide micro-loans and help people pay medical bills in Guinea Bissau.
They remain amazed at how little it takes to save lives.
Blood transfusions for a mother and her newborn son cost $50 for a month – including food, water and medical bills in the hospital. They didn’t have it, and would have died so Pit Liquor picked up the tab.
Another woman died giving birth to her son. Her husband came home from work each day to watch his son slide slowly from life to death. He didn’t have the money to buy baby formula, just $7 a week.
“For that money he was going to have to watch his son die,” Erica said.
Pit Liquor is paying for that, too.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and firstname.lastname@example.org.