Joseph Andrews gets ahead in the men’s grooming game
While there are no shortage of video influencers and hair care products, Joseph Andrews trusted his instincts based on his belief that there was still something missing in the men’s grooming space. How did he crack the code set himself apart in a competitive market? In a chat with US west coast editor Elyse Glickman, he explains he used his head, starting with creating a video series that was truly relatable for average guys from all walks of life that would lead him and them toward a new grooming line
‘I have been making YouTube videos for just over seven years, and a year and a half into that process, I connected with my now business partner,’ Joseph Andrews says. ‘We decided to start a line of men’s hair care that would be crowd-funded through our videos’ audience. As we did not have a lot of money at the time, we worked with a manufacturer for our first product, which came together through research and development. What sets how we created it apart was that we worked very closely with our audience and encouraging them to tell us what they felt was missing in the world of men’s hair care and what types of products they wanted greater access to.’
During the process of converting his men’s hair grooming line concept to reality, he learned that while men’s grooming and fashion trends are important, they don’t guarantee a product line long-term success. The only sensible way to create a line guys would realize they needed was to include them as an integral part of the development. Without missing a beat, he created a video series and a line of styling goods guys really wanted … even if they were not yet aware of those needs.
Andrews’ home-grown but sophisticated R&D led to the creation of a hero product for what would become the BluMaan line. Cloud Control Hair Oil came to life in a series of steps. First, Andrews filmed a video called Let’s Make a Hair Product; knowing his audience was predominantly a group of guys who were particularly passionate about their hair, he decided to reach out to them and pick their brains about what they felt was missing. Although the way the quality of men’s products and the way they perform has improved, Andrews knew a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work for men. Like women, men of varying ages have different hair types, textures, style preferences and goals for improving the appearance and condition of their hair.
‘I like the fact that the line was collaborative in the way it developed,’ he continues. ‘We took on a huge community focus when developing the products and used our tester-viewers’ feedback to [inform the way] we tweaked and improved our formulas until each product was perfected. Next, we did a prelaunch, where sales of that first product went to funding the rest of the company and, eventually, the development and launch of other products.’
BluMaan’s expanded, made-in-USA line addresses various expressions of this idea. The range includes Styling Meraki (for volume and decent hold, along with protective elements from damage caused by blow-drying and flat irons), Cavalier Clay (for extreme texture and all-day hold, and for control of coarse, wavy and thick hair), Monarch Matte Paste (medium-high hold and weightless control for slicked back styles), Fifth Sample Pomade (a high-hold, low shine product that won’t harden or dry out hair, making it easy to restyle when you need to), and Hybrid Cream Clay (which combines cream and clay, utilizing the best aspects of each, leaving hair with a natural matte finish). A Discovery Kit is also available so a newcomer to the collection can experiment to see what items will work best. Ascend Volume Hair Cream, meanwhile, is a product he’s proud of as women can borrow it from their guy for better hair in a pinch, before or after blow drying to tame frizzies or pouf.
‘While professionals making videos like this can get a bit wordy or express things as if they were talking to fellow hair professionals, my goal is to strike all of that extra stuff back and [teach guys how to] ask stylists about will and will not work for their hair type and how to make what hair they’ve got look better,’ he says. ‘I also want to show guys what to use and how to use some of the products before drying the hair and what to use afterwards. In my case, I will use Cloud Control, made up of 12 natural oils free of synthetic additives, and work it through damp hair … to make the look more finished.’