Fifth in a series – How ChopSaver got its name.
(These simple, unedited videos are my way of starting a video archive of the story of ChopSaver Lip Care. My hope is you will find the story behind The World’s Greatest Lip Balm informative, entertaining, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, and maybe even inspiring. Why is the World’s Greatest Lip Balm called ChopSaver? Because musicians call their lips “chops” of course. But there’s more to it than that! Full transcript below.)
And welcome to the fifth installment of Notes from Dan, The ChopSaver Guy. My name is Dan Gosling, and I am your host for this, what we hope to be an ongoing series about, not just ChopSaver Lip Care, but the journey of creation, of creating a product, of starting a business, of entrepreneurship, all those things. The journey that is putting a product on the market, such as I did many years ago. And I’m still very passionate about my product and marketing it and learning more about how to get my message out into the world. And that’s what this video series is all about. And the first four videos were kind of used to set the stage as it were, my journey as a musician, my journey through the idea of the product and the creation of the product, and kind of continuing in that vein from where I finally had a formula that I thought was pretty good, was pretty cool. And by this time I’m sharing the formula that I described in the previous video to my friends and colleagues, professional musicians, who I knew would, right away, would tell me if this stuff was working for them or not, because they’re not going to mess around with their livelihood. We’re talking about professional trumpet players, trombone players. By this time I had woodwind players, flute players, and clarinet players, had kind of gotten wind that I was creating, doing something on the side and they wanted to try it out. So I’m now handing out little samples of this goo that I’ve created in my kitchen. And it’s interesting, I had always worked with soft ingredients and I was not working with waxes per se. It wasn’t until I finally met with a manufacturer that convinced me to put it in the, the classic, you know, stick form.
And we’re very proud of this product as it’s been what we have been selling for nearly 17 years now. But the original idea for the product was something softer in like a squeeze tube. This literally is, what I would do is I would take the formula that I created and I would get tubes of Vaseline, squeeze out all the Vaseline, cut off the back, duct tape it back, put in my stuff, and duct tape, seal it up at the end with literally this tape was, this is 17 years old. This is part of that little collection of things I showed you in the last video. So that I could experiment with the product, see how it behaved when it was in my pocket or in a cold weather or warm weather. It was the middle of summer at this point in the process.
And so this is just how extreme I was in wanting to see if this product would actually work, was testing it in this kind of format. I will tell you that we hope to be introducing this version of the product finally, on the market, for mass consumption later this year in 2021. But as I showed the formula, because I knew I wasn’t going to, you know, be making this stuff, in my kitchen and selling it out the back door. I wanted to find a manufacturer. I couldn’t find one locally. I ended up my first, the first company that I worked with, was about a hundred miles away in Cincinnati, Ohio. And they worked with the formula and came up with a stick version of the product with all the same components, but a little thicker, obviously. So it would work in the classic tube format. But stay tuned, we will come full circle to my original vision of this product very soon. So you have an idea for a product, you get the product going. The most important thing probably after the product itself is the name. And I thought I would share a little bit, this is a fun part of the story.
This is actually a framed document that you’ll see here, it says other names 2004, July, 2004. And we framed this because we realized this is kind of a cool memento of that whole creation process and not only the process of creating the formula, but what are you going to call your product once you have it and you want to get it out in the world. Well I’m a musician, right? Musicians call their lips, their chops. So I had always been partial to the idea of chops, something to give it, you know, sorta like ChapStick but not quite the same with a meaning that is musical. Interestingly, my mother-in-law, God rest her soul, she died about a year ago at the ripe old age of 96. This document is actually her handwriting because we were on a road trip. See the old MapQuest directions here. We were driving to Florida and we were discussing what we’re going to call my product because she, my mother-in-law, wasn’t convinced that ChopSaver was the right name for it.
So here’s some of the ones that we wrote down together. We were in the car, driving to Florida, got time on our hands, right? She wrote ParaLips, ChopCare, Just Lips, Lip Sense, Pucker Upper, Lips Incorporated, Lips Alive, Chops Alive, Lips A-New. New Lips, Lip Man, Lip Doctor, Doctor Lips, Lip, I can’t even read that one. Lip Fixer, Lip Fix. That’s what that is. Lemon Lips, Lip Lift, Lip Life, Life Lips, Lip Aid spelled A D E and A I D, Hip Lips, Silk Lips, Lip Support, Chop Aid, Lips Refresh, Fresh Lips, Lip Care, Nutra Lips, Hip Lips, Lip Touch, Lip Power, Lip Power, Lip Tuner, another musical, Lip Toner, yet another musical pun. Lip Toner, Nature Lips. And then I scribbled Created by an M, for a, created by a musician for musicians, is what that meant. I love looking at this. It’s so fun to see the actual, kind of the argument we were having, in real time, about where we would land with this. And obviously ChopSaver was the one that we ended up with. Partly because anytime we searched the word lip, at least back in the mid two thousands, 2004-ish, anytime we searched the word lip on the interwebs, when we Googled it, we would always end up in a website you didn’t want young children to see, and I’ll just leave it at that. So that was another reason that ChopSaver won the day. Another very important reason was it wasn’t being used by anybody else. It didn’t remind anyone of any other product, unless they thought it was like knives, you know, chops or pork chops, which some people actually thought it meant. But since it was made by a musician, we finally landed on ChopSaver as the name of the product. And it has stood the test of time. It was, when you Google searched it, no one else had it, nothing even similar to it. So that was also a very important reason to land on a name that was unique to us and that we could live with for hopefully decades to come. So we’ve set the stage now for what we hope to be an ongoing discussion about entrepreneurship, running a business, starting a business. Understand, all of that I had done has been without any kind of business degree or even a degree in accounting.
I was a freelance musician with two degrees, college degrees that said I’m a trumpet player. So everything I’ve learned has been in the trenches literally on the job, day in and day out as I pursued the the mass consumption and mass production of my product, ChopSaver. Thank you for watching these first five videos. There will be more. If you’ve enjoyed these at all, please drop a comment like or share. And of course the best way to share or support what we’re doing here is become a fan of ChopSaver. If you already use the product, thank you, thank you, thank you! If you’ve ever told a friend about it, thank you, thank you, thank you! If you’re curious about it, give us a try at chopsavor.com or amazon.com. Thanks so much for watching. There’ll be more to come.
2 thoughts on “Notes from Dan, The ChopSaver Guy – Episode 5”
Dan – This is a great personal and company history. I am glad that you have preserved it. Lots of lessons out there for others to pick up. Nice work.
Thanks Kevin. Thought I should do it before I start forgetting it all!