Two young Croydon entrepreneurs behind the UK’s first black men’s grooming range were celebrating this week after a boom in orders from across the world.
Customers from as far afield as the US and Africa have ordered Shear and Shine products since its launch last month, according to the company’s founders.
Aaron Wallace, 30, who set up the site with Lina Gadi, 26, said: “So many of today’s men’s grooming products are marketed towards European white guys. Those products are fine but I wanted something tailored to my hair and skin. It seems the big leaders in the market are missing a whole demographic but as part of that demographic, we were inspired to give it a go.”
The pair originally hoped to dominate the UK market with high-quality products “for the black gent”, but say the response since the launch has encouraged them to aim higher. Wallace said: “There isn’t a bar anymore, we want to go as big as we can!”
Through his experience running his salon on St George’s Walk, Wallace recognised a huge gap and demand in the grooming market. With backgrounds in music production and marketing, the entrepreneurs knew the opportunity to launch the brand was too big to pass up.
Wallace said: “We didn’t realise just how big the demand for these products was; it’s gone viral. I couldn’t understand how, in 2016, these products didn’t already exist. It’s crazy that, as far as I know, we’re the first!”
Aspiring to rival premium brands such as Toni and Guy, Wallace and Gadi will spend the next year tweaking and launching new products.