Vail Valley natives Jason and Erica Feucht shift from making liquor-based deodorant to hand sanitizer
Sweet smell of successful hand sanitizer is reaching around the world
- They give away a few free bottles every day around noon through their website.
- You can buy it and have it shipped where it’s needed.
- Buy it for $12.50 a bottle.
Success doesn’t have to smell like sweat if you’re Jason and Erica Feucht, valley natives who invented Pit Liquor deodorant.
Making deodorant from whiskey, vodka and assorted herbs, spices and teas is a short step from making hand sanitizer. Hospitals and others around the country need it. They just heard from crew members aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt crew in port in Guam. They need some, too.
“The world is out of hand sanitizer,” Erica said, adding that they’re in a position to do something about that.
“We are not at war. Sailors do not need to die. If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset — our sailors,” Capt. Brett E. Crozier wrote in a four-page letter outlining the serious situation unfolding aboard the ship.
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So Jason, Erica and their handful of employees had what passes for a company meeting about expanding to make hand sanitizer.
“Can we do this?” they asked themselves. “Yes,” they answered.
“Can we pull it off in a week?” they asked. “Yes.’’
So they removed some of the deodorant stuff from their deodorant concoction and made the relatively simple shift to creating hand sanitizer.
Hand sanitizer is not a new idea to them.
Erica was pregnant with their daughter and worried about what some of the stuff in the deodorant she was using. She sprayed hand sanitizer under her arms and it worked. Before long they were making deodorant in their kitchen. Now they’re in a warehouse with a few employees.
Reach out, people reach back
Besides being good at making deodorant and now hand sanitizer, they’re pretty good at reaching out to let people know what they’re up to. People are reaching back. Some want the new hand sanitizer for themselves. Most, though, want to donate it where it’s needed. Erica and Jason are turning out bottles of hand sanitizer as fast as they can, and they, too, donate much of it to healthcare workers and others who need it.
“We’d love to fill more hands of front line people with hand sanitizer,” Erica said.
Federal roadblocks are proving to be a challenge. A gallon of the kind of alcohol they use to manufacture Pit Liquor costs $2.50 a gallon. Taxes on that gallon are $13.50. Jason and Erica have to eat the cost of those taxes on deodorant and now hand sanitizer.
They’re doing it anyway because it needs to be done.
“We want to put it in and on the hands of the people who really need it,” Erica said.
Riding their own roller coaster
Since COVID-19 began its world tour, the Feuchts have been riding their own roller coaster. Jason quit his IT job to jump on this roller coaster full-time. Their local fire department didn’t like the way the drywall was hung in their warehouse and told them to either fix it or find a new warehouse to rent. They opted for a new warehouse and set about finding a needle in their drywall haystack. They did and signed their lease Wednesday. They’ll move in a few days. Erica is expecting their second child in a few weeks — a boy to go with their 3-year old daughter.
“This is a weird time to have a baby,” Erica said smiling.
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