private label products!
private label products!
We’re thrilled that you’re here. Before you browse through the most amazing collection of handmade products on the planet, we’d like you to know a little of our history. I mean, as far as humble beginnings go, we've had four.
Story #1 begins in Middle Georgia, on the corner of a dirt road that would later be christened Cherry Street. Downtown Macon was a bustling metropolis filled with day laborers and quarter horses; and, in the middle of it all loomed a large, two-story, panel-windowed store with large block lettering that read, "Joseph N. Neel", so named for its well-dressed curator and CEO.
Joseph N Neel’s grew to be the oldest Men’s Clothing store East of the Mississippi; and, with each generational passing from father-to-son, new niches sprang up to tempt even the most discerning buyer. One generation of Neels with added Women’s Clothing. Another added an elevator, complete with attendant, and “elevator” music.
Story #2 (the Beauty Story) begins with the arrival of Joseph N. Neel, III, a decorated Air Force pilot just home from the Korean War. This Joseph had traveled the world and, seeing its beauty, wanted to bring some of that beauty home. He promptly added a gift and osmetics' department to the store's ever growing list of stock items.
Famous Macon aristocrat, Ted Turner; artists Otis Redding, James Brown, and Little Richard; and Southern Rock philosopher, Greg Allman (and his wife Cher) were seen shopping the same aisles as everyone else. Fresh lighting was added... And, female attendants. Mannequins all struck in the same pose. Women’s clothing took up almost as much floor space as men's; and, in a back corner on the second floor, fresh, blush paint and a dozen, fluffy, pink boas… heralded in "Ladies’ Toiletries.” (Complete with a bold sign that was light years ahead of its time.)
Business was brisk as women in taupe hose, identical handbags, and pinch-toed, patent leather shoes sashayed through aisles to pick out powders and puffs and perfumes. Until they found themselves face-to-face with the prospect of livening up their... do I dare say, "boudoir?”
There, beside a washroom sink, stood a store clerk, in head-to-toe pink, showing off a new "shiny thing" that made never-ending bubbles and smelled oh-so-good! Like a whispered wildfire, word spread through the store and, within minutes, there was a Six-Flags' length, queue-line as throngs of excited, nervous, slightly embarrassed, and giggly, ousewives purchased not one, but two bottles of Ooh La La "Faux French" Bubble Bath (because after the second bottle, the third one was free.)
Story #3 began with a foray into Casual Fridays as relaxed shoppers hung up their lemon and lime leisure suits and ventured to the city's outskirts and the new Macon Mall for pullovers, corduroys, and jeans. Penny loafers were out. Work boots and Wranglers were in. In an attempt to stay relevant, the current Neel contacted the Guinness Book of World Records and the store proudly took the coveted spot of longest, continual, advertising campaign (97 straight years) with the local Macon Telegraph.
As mega-malls continued to emerge, downtowns across America began shutting their doors. Roland Neel, the fifth generation Joseph N Neel and heir apparent, watched his family’s historic dynasty come to a quiet and unheralded close. A young newlywed with two small children, Roland wondered what he’d do in unfamiliar territory to feed his young but growing family.
While boxing up personal things of his Great-Great-Grandfather’s, Roland ran across a box of receipts from the "Beauty Corner" of the store. The box held bold secrets - stories of how, in his family's store, Macon women had come into their own - in front of two floors of floor-length mirrors - over the course of a century.
Roland knew what he had to do. He called his wife, Kay and, "a chemist or two". Together, they reverse engineered the "Faux French" bubble bath that had taken the store (from school teachers to socialites) by storm.
For more than two decades Roland and Kay continued manufacturing many of the prized potions that kept Middle Georgia women, well, beautiful. News soon spread, as news often does, and other stores began requesting products for their stores. Other states called. Then, other countries… all wanting their own names on Roland's products, and Private Label was born.
2016 marked the beginning of story #4. In June of that hot, Georgia summer, Roland Neel had lunch with a childhood friend, me, and my husband, John. That day, Roland told us he felt he had exhausted his knowledge of making “girl” things and wanted to move on to more virile ventures (acquiring Mrs. Griffin’s Barbecue - the nation’s oldest, retail BBQ Sauce) and hang out at tailgate parties - Go Dawgs!
Little did Roland know that John and I had been praying for an opportunity to move back home, to Middle Georgia, to help care for our aging parents and young grandchildren. We were already formulators of a superfood brand of bath and body products near Atlanta, and we saw Private Label as the next step to share, with the world, our “ whole foods'" approach to skincare.
At 1:35pm on a Tuesday, over a greasy pizza at a Mercer University eatery, the deal was done; and now, nearly 9 years later, what began as a knockoff of a new "shiny thing" that made never-ending bubbles and smelled oh-so-good has grown into 900+, premium, all natural products (in over 500 mesmerizing essential oils, essential oil blends, and phthalate-free fragrances). Our ingredients / products are fair-trade sourced (where applicable), cruelty-, paraffin-, mineral oil-, petroleum-, and gluten-free, non-GMO, and so much more. (There's a really long, impressive list of ingredients we don't allow in our products and, we'll get into that., but, for now, let's get back to
We are a Faith-, Family-, and wildly Patriotic-Owned business who are “in it” as much for a heavenly outcome as we are for an earthly income. This means, we don't just slap an Agape Fish Sticker on our door as a symbol. We aren’t just here to sell you soap, shea, and sugar scrubs. We're here if you or someone you know is in need of prayer or just needs someone to listen. The Bible tells us, "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel." How do you do that if you're a product maker? Or a small batch artisan?
Jesus (Yeshua) did it while being a carpenter; and, we think he did an awesome job. So, although this catalog / website is not a pulpit and we aren't pastors, on these pages we reserve the right to tell you about our amazing Lord and how he has richly blessed us!
If this feels like home to you (the whole "if you build it, they will come" thing), join us. After all, we're doing it for you.
John & Dawn Cox
"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
2 Chronicles 7:14
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