A state government-led promotional campaign to increase public favor of Missouri merchandise is capturing more attention across the region.
Now in its second year, the current Buy Missouri week highlights the contributions of merchants and manufacturers of goods made in the state, while encouraging residents to purchase the homespun wares. The office of Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe is spearheading the program.
One such company in St. Joseph is Gunslinger Soap, Shave and Beard, run by brothers Sean and Matt Selecman out of space in Frederick Towers. The promotional assistance Buy Missouri offers helped Selecman decide to register.
Matt Selecman said the brothers have been busy making soap and selling related products for the past two years and are sharing in the workload. The soap is made at the towers, with an online store marketing charcoal soap, along with a line of beard care items and shaving tools.
“We started in his garage,” Matt Selecman said. “He gave me some soap. I said, ‘You’ve got keep making this stuff. It’s great.’”
There’s been no stop to the interest Gunslinger has stoked among its customers. Every bar of soap is hand stamped.
“It’s blown up,” Matt Selecman said, with products on sale at Hy-Vee and Lucky Tiger in St. Joseph. “We’ve got a loyal fan base there,” he added of the latter business.
The soaps are also being well-received at various community events, such as Crypticon, with the brothers’ goal of promoting the products locally.
“We do put a lot of love in it,” he said. “We do stand behind (the products).”
Selecman said even more products could be conceived through the partnership.
“We’re looking into some lotions,” he said. “It’s just fragrances that match the soaps.”
According to Kehoe’s office, other St. Joseph companies joining in Buy Missouri include Chase Candy and Perka Hybrid Buildings.
Kehoe said he is working to recruit more businesses into the program while cooperating with manufacturers, distributors and retailers toward enhancing the visibility of Missouri-made products.
More information can be found at www.buymissouri.net.