"Serious products with a not so serious personality” – hip Aussie brand lands in Dubai
Words by Rob Chilton
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The Groomed Man Co. brings natural grooming products, cool packaging and Aussie humour
Morning Wood, Man Mint, Cloves Off, Double Scruble – fun names for gear from The Groomed Man Co., an Australian men’s brand that launched in 2014 and is now available in Dubai. “I always saw The Groomed Man Co. as serious products with a not so serious personality,” explains founder Daniel Mahony. Made from natural, sustainably grown products, the range covers beard oils, shampoo, face wash, body scrub and more. EDGAR spoke to Mahony in Melbourne to learn more about his brand philosophy and if his face wash really does contain marshmallow.
EDGAR: Let’s start with the names of your products. Do you reckon men want their grooming kit to have a bit of personality these days?
Daniel Mahony: The names were a bit of fun, and they stuck. I think here in Australia we have a very odd sense of humour, and it was done intentionally to move away from pseudoscientific jargon which doesn’t connect, isn’t warm, fun or approachable. I wanted The Groomed Man Co. to be like your good mate, a trusted expert.
EDGAR: The colours are bright and bold, too.
DM: I thought it was a clever way to bring some personality into men’s bathrooms. I appreciate minimalism but I also think we can take it up a notch and move away from bland pallets - although all I wear is black clothing.
EDGAR: The scents in the range are not stereotypically masculine, are they?
DM: We don’t want to be a stereotypically masculine brand. We want to see people as people, and understand the diversity among men and not feed into those stereotypes. We have released products with multiple scents to create a wide range of choice so you will find some scents that are for men who like familiarity, but we also work on scents that mix notes in ways they may not usually be mixed. It’s also been based off my experience as I grew up with eczema and psoriasis so I’m not unfamiliar with skincare and the all too familiar heavy perfume and synthetic scent.
EDGAR: The Face Fuel wash contains marshmallow root extract. Marshmallow is a plant, then?
DM: It’s a herb and the extract comes from the root. It’s hydrating, anti-inflammatory and great for sensitive skin. Maybe us having a marshmallow on a stick as the icon on the bottle isn’t ideal, but as I said, we’re not always so serious!
EDGAR: Did you put your white coat on and experiment with these products in the lab?
DM: I created the first four products [beard oils] by myself, spending a year at home researching oils, the science behind blending top, middle, base notes. Seriously, the floor in my living room was covered in formulas and notes. After a year I wanted to start working on skincare but I didn’t have the experience to formulate complex products. I teamed up with a local chemist who has been in the industry for over 40 years. I’m exceptionally fussy, so Richard Gonano was someone who understood that and appreciated challenging the status quo. I’ve worn a few white coats, but Richard takes my ideas and brings them to life. Each product takes me around two years to finish. I’m at my best when I’m doing anything creative so I am extremely hands-on across the whole process.
EDGAR: Did you make some mistakes along the way?
DM: Plenty, some that leave me a little surprised I’ve managed to get through. But I’m grateful for the mistakes. It’s a reminder that no matter where you go in business, you don’t know everything and it leaves you feeling grateful. In business, I’ve learned to expect the unexpected. As time goes on you start to trust yourself more and know that mistakes are a learning experience.
EDGAR: What kept you going?
DM: I think resilience comes when you believe in what you’re doing. I got a few odd looks from people when I said I was launching a beard oil company, but I didn’t take it to heart. I didn’t go into it thinking I was creating a business, I just really enjoyed making the products and educating myself, but when friends started asking for the product I teamed up with a local manufacturer and decided to launch the company. Talking to customers who tell me about their experience with the products and how it’s positively impacted their lives or helped them feel more confident is a driving force for me.
EDGAR: I guess being the founder of Groomed Man with its beard oils, you have to retain your beard. Ever thought about getting rid of it?
DM: I’ve never once been tempted to shave it off. I keep it short and neat, I really enjoy having a beard and how it makes me look. I also don’t miss shaving or razor burn.
EDGAR: Last question. Next time we’re in Melbourne what coffee shop do you recommend we try?
DM: I could talk all day on this, the list is endless! I’m a big fan of Auction Rooms in North Melbourne – the heirloom tomatoes or pressed lamb shoulder are life-changing. I would also recommend Prior in Thornbury and Code Black in Brunswick. If you’re South Side I’d pick St Ali, Journeyman in Prahran and Top Paddock in Richmond.
EDGAR: And what’s your coffee?
DM: You cannot beat a latte in Melbourne.
The Groomed Man Co. is available exclusively at thegroominglab.me plus selected UAE retailers and barbershops
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