The saying, “Necessity is the mother of invention” could not be more appropriate for the creation of Badger’s first product. Bill Whyte was a house builder and carpenter in New England, and working in the harsh winters left his and his coworkers’ hands cracked and bleeding. No lotion he tried healed his hands. After a fitful night of sleep with his hands wrapped in olive oil-soaked socks and plastic bags, he awoke with the idea of combining beeswax and olive oil to create a balm. The next day he created a batch, and it was incredibly effective for both him and his coworkers. Realizing he was onto something, a year later he decided to start selling his concoction.
Then he had to come up for a name for the product. His first idea was Bear Paw but that was already in use, so he ran through many other animal names; when he arrived at “badger” there was something about it that he really liked. So he did a bit of research and found that “the Badger is a healing totem: The Root Gatherer, with a deep knowledge of the secrets of the root and herb kingdoms; fierce and effective in defense of the self and family and persistent in overcoming obstacles, successfully seeing projects through to the end.” So it was settled: a badger was a perfect animal to represent the balm’s healing power for a working person’s hands.
Whyte started his company with just the balm, but soon thereafter customers starting asking if they could put it on their dry, cracked lips so he next created lip balms. Over the following 22 years, with his wife’s and daughters’ help, Whyte continued to add other products to soothe or tame other body parts, including muscles, feet, joints, cuticles, and even beards and mustaches.
With summer fast approaching, be sure to check out Badger’s bug spray and sunscreen. The Environmental Working Group gives Badger sunscreens their highest score for both safety and effectiveness.
Badger’s mission is: “To create fabulously pure and effective products of the highest natural quality, based on simplicity and thoughtful preparation, with the intention to protect, soothe and heal. To run a business that is fun, fair and profitable; where money is fuel, not a goal; and where our vision for a healthier world finds expression through the way we work and through the way we treat each other and the people we serve.”
- Founded in 1995
- Family owned and operated
- Headquartered in Gilsum, New Hampshire
- Certified B Corporation
- USDA Certified Organic
- Fair Trade Certified
- Cruelty Free
- USA Made
Information from this article and more can be found at: badgerbalm.com.
Amy Newsome is the type of person who starts using a product she likes and just sticks with it. She used a certain type of lip balm for decades, until it was discontinued. This led her on a frantic hunt for a replacement. After many balms that were too waxy, too menthol-y, too flavorful, or too smelly, she finally discovered Badger’s Unscented Lip Balm. Now she is never more than three feet away from a tube of the stuff.