You may know Lockhart’s best by their insanely popular Goon Grease, a heavy hold pomade with its name planted crosswise in neon green graffiti. The pomade brand, which was started by Steve and Nichole Lockhart in 2013, has in four short years gone from experimental creations on dinner plates to being stocked internationally and online, with an Instagram following almost 16K strong. They also boast a legion of fans – affectionately called the Goon Legion – ready to back the brand at a moment’s notice. As we near the election, #GoonGreaseForPresident has been trending.

Recently we sat down with Steve and Nichole to talk about the first formulation of Lockhart’s pomades (originally called Lion Tamer!), and the immensely personal upheaval the couple faced when they first began the brand that made them – and their business – stronger. We also get the scoop on how they came up with the name ‘Goon Grease’ and what it’s really like to work with your spouse on a daily basis.

Nichole and Steve in the middle, with the O'Douds guys on the side.

Nichole and Steve in the middle, with the O’Douds guys on the side.

Where are you located?

Nichole: We live in Mid Michigan nestled right between Flint and Lansing in the nice rural town of Owosso.  Not rural like cows everywhere, there are some cows but not a lot of cows. It’s more like subdivisions of blue collar folks intertwined with some city, some woods, and some farms.

Tell us how Lockhart’s began.

Nichole: Lockhart’s began about 4 years ago as a hobby, somewhere between chain mail and excessive exercising.  Steve is an artist and serial hobbyist, so it was no surprise to me to see my dishes start disappearing from the cupboards and turning up with beeswax all over them.  Once he started getting impressed with his creations he began getting more involved in the community of pomade enthusiasts – some home brewers but mostly just dudes who were stoked to try anything new they could get their hands on.

After getting really great feedback, Steve made some cool circus-themed labels and popped them up on Etsy (RIP Lion Tamer)!  Flash forward to present tense and we’re still in awe of where we are now in our business.  We never had any idea that it would turn into a full time job for two people, and we couldn’t even do what we’re doing now without the help of our amazing friends.

Goon Grease has an immense following. Why do you think it has done so well? And how did you come up with the name, ‘Goon Grease’?

Steve: Goon Grease is just an absolute workhorse. It’s great for a tall pompadour, a shiny slick back, or even a loose style. The best part about Goon Grease is that its performance is always consistent and it works for just about every hair type in any climate (unless you’re standing on the equator). There’s no need for any other product when using Goon Grease: no pre-styler, no toppers. Just slap in some product and you’ll almost always look good (we all have our off days).

The significance of the name is one part Michigan tradition and another part “it just sounded cool.” In Michigan, hockey is a way of life, and a “Goon” is the guy on the other team who takes no nonsense and never backs down from a fight (and often is out looking for a fight).

As we say, Goon Grease is for the guys from the other side of the tracks, the working man, the no nonsense guy, and that just seemed to fit the entire idea of the product being no nonsense.



The two of you are married and are also business partners. How is it working with your significant other on a day-to-day basis?

Nichole: Amazing.  Hard.  Fulfilling.  Annoying.  You name it, we’ve been there.  When Steve first left his day job to work Lockhart’s full time with me, it was like living in a fairytale.  How could we get so lucky to be able to spend all of our time together while being able to pay the bills doing what we love?  While we still feel that way most of the time, the fairy dust has settled and we we’ve realized that it’s a little more challenging than we had anticipated.

Just like in a typical marriage where you don’t spend every waking moment with your spouse, it’s unrealistic to expect that you’ll agree with each other 100 percent of the time, never fight, and always have everything be perfect.  We butt heads and argue over what we think is best, from normal day-to-day operations, long term decisions, and creative aspects to (most importantly) what we will eat for dinner.

But, at the end of the day we still snuggle on one of our arm chairs (we also have a couch, we just don’t snuggle there), apologize for being jerky, and watch movies we take an hour to choose.  We have gone through so many ups and downs since starting this business and so many before it as well.  We’ve basically been through a lifetime of experiences together that have made us have this unbreakable bond, and sharing every day together has really just made it stronger.

What makes Lockhart’s different from the other pomade brands out there?

Nichole: Lockhart’s isn’t just a brand, it’s us.  It’s Steve and me and our customers.  It’s keeping the lines of communication open between us and the people who made us successful, taking advice, and using it to make our brand something this familiar to everyone.  I think that’s part of what sets us apart.  We created a brand around who we are, rather than creating a theme.

Another thing I think makes us a little different is how we branded our line into different categories but with a cohesive look.  We started off with the Authentic pomades, and then branched off into the Professional products.  Matte Clay, Water Based, and Hair Groom all still feel like your trusted Lockhart’s products but look like they belong on a salon shelf, without being too pretentious or loud.


Tell us more about the look of your brand. What were you inspired by when creating the packaging (for Lockhart’s Pomades and Goon Grease)?

Steve: When creating the artwork for the Lockhart’s brand it was important to me to keep a traditional art deco styling that would be reminiscent of the ‘20s and ‘30s while still being attractive and masculine, so you would be proud to leave it sitting out on your bathroom counter every morning. Simplicity was key. I wanted to make something that would be instantly recognizable as a great pomade without being too gimmicky (although I admit, Goon Grease has always been a whole lot of fun).

We went through several different trial and errors when developing the branding for the Professional lineup. Some of the designs just didn’t make sense with the Lockhart’s brand so we scrapped them. Eventually we ended up returning to the simple model and designed what we now use as our Professional line, which I feel still embodies the art deco styling but with a bit of a modern twist.

The design of Goon Grease was essentially throwing all of that out the window. Goon Grease is the beloved Black Sheep of our lineup, so I decided to go with an edgier look. It looks like some Goon just took a can of spray paint and painted over that traditional art deco Lockhart’s styling.

What is one Lockhart’s pomade every guy should own and why?

Nichole: FINALLY, the softball!  The one Lockhart’s product that everyone should have is HAIR GROOM!  Caught you off guard with that answer, huh?  Hair Groom is probably our most versatile product.  It is great for hair on your head and hair on your face. It softens and conditions while still providing a little bit of hold to manage your hair, and it’s really great for women too!  It’s basically a coconut hair mask on steroids!   Steve says Goon Grease, and well, he’s not wrong.  But don’t tell him I said that…

What is your biggest accomplishment so far as a business?

Nichole: Over the past 4 years we have had several notable accomplishments, each one always seeming bigger than the last.  Starting as a hobby and growing to what we are now is truly an accomplishment in itself.  So much hard work has gone into it that it’s hard to pick and choose what has been the most exciting or noteworthy.  But I think one story is worth mentioning, not so much as an accomplishment but the overcoming of a situation that turned our lives upside down.

In 2013 my mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer that had metastasized to her brain just a few months after we opened up our Etsy.  My dad had just lost his job due to struggles he was having with alcohol abuse and my mom was now on disability.  After about a year of my mom’s health rapidly declining, resurfacing money issues, more treatments and medications, a move, more alcohol abuse, total family upheaval, and some of the most unbelievable life lessons, my dad committed suicide on my birthday in 2015.

With nobody to take care of my mom now, who had the mentality of a dementia patient from the radiation on her brain, my grandma and I were taking turns living with her and providing complete care for her.  It was both mentally and physically taxing on Steve and me.  For three months we fought to get guardianship of my mom so we could get her the help she deserved from people who were trained to be in these types of situations.

Steve was drowning in a work load he was not equipped to tackle on his own and I was doing the same, only part time with a woman who no longer recognized me most of the time.  After calling and crying to just about anyone who would listen, and filling out the most amount of paperwork we have ever seen, we were awarded guardianship and moved my mom over to hospice care at a facility.  She only lived for two weeks after that.

It took a great deal of will power to keep moving forward every day during that period of time, but quitting was never an option.  There were a lot of sleepless nights, tears, arguments, and complete mental breakdowns, but we can both attest to the fact that we are so much stronger now than we were.  In personal fortitude, in our relationship, and in our business.


What can we expect from Lockhart’s in the future?

Nichole: We have our hands in quite a few cookie jars right now.  Some things we have been talking about for a while now, some semisecret stuff, and some super top secret stuff.  First off, Water Based Goon Grease!  We are just out of the testing phase and are moving into final tweaks phase.  Once we dial in the formula to exactly where we want it to be, it is ready to go into production.  This one is really exciting because it is the water soluble counterpart of its oil-based version.  Great shine, easy workability, and extreme durability.  We aren’t 100 percent certain of the timeline on it, but it is definitely coming SOON!

The next thing that will be coming out that we had a hand in is the Blumaan pomade.  This product is the culmination of the collaborative efforts of some of the biggest names in the community right now, Joe and Ben of Blumaan, James Bui of “The Pomp,” Clayton Douds of O’Douds, and of course Steve.  I will stay quiet on the specs for now, but I will say that once it is released, everyone will want to grab one.

Another product that we still have in the works is the infamous Anti Gravity!   We started working on this one early this year, and after sending out testers we knew that it just wasn’t close enough.  We had to put the development of it on the backburner for a while so we could focus on other projects, but we seem to have had a breakthrough with it lately that may turn it into our full time focus once again, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

We are also working on one other specific project right now that is top secret.  I can’t give you any details other than when you see it, you will know it, and it’s going to melt your faces off.  (By the time you read this you may or may not have gotten some info on it.)  Right now those are the only things I can really think of, but living with an artist your schedule never stays the same for too long.

Where can readers find out more about your company?

Nichole: If you have an interest in learning more about us and our company you can visit our website,, find us on Facebook and Instagram @lockhartspomade, and sign up for our street team, which gives you updates and exclusive offers.

We are also both active on the Everything Pomade group on Facebook.  It’s a place where people come to talk about all things men’s grooming, but pretty much everything else too.  For being a group of about 5,000 members it still feels like a place where you can just come to chat with your closest friends.  We have had the pleasure of meeting several people now from this group and I have to say that I’ve made some lifelong connections.  We are always available to chat too, just send us a message or email us at!

I just want to finish this up by saying how grateful we are for the relationship we have with our retailers, but we have an extra special place in our hearts for because it was the first major pomade retail site that picked us up!  Without that exposure we surely wouldn’t be where we are now!  So thank you to all of you at and everyone who has purchased Lockhart’s through the site!  You helped create our future!   We Love you all! <3



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