Ben, tell us a little about your background and how you got into the male grooming?
“I actually used to be a corporate lawyer in litigation for eight years but as I got more senior I still had a baby face. My perception of authority didn’t match what I saw in the mirror every day and I thought that maybe growing some facial hair would help with that. This was a while ago, about 2008-2009 so there was very little room for facial hair in the corporate environment.
As time went on, the acceptance of facial hair started to grow. Soon even judges in court would have beards and I decided to grow mine out a bit more. This made me more confident, masculine and made me feel my age.
I never thought facial hair would influence how I saw myself this much. The feeling of being in control of your own look can have a big impact on your life.”
And how did this lead to starting Milkman Grooming Co.?
“Through this journey, I noticed my beard started getting itchier and I couldn’t find anything here in Australia to help get rid of the itch. My wife, Jackee and I, then made a basic formula using our own label just from the home printer. Terrible design but the product was good! We started selling the stuff on eBay initially and, after a few orders, started to realise we were really onto something here.
After the first few orders went through and we had some money we paid an awesome designer in Scandinavia to put something together and, a year later, Shaver Shop agreed to range the product.
The company is going well – all the money we make gets invested back into the business. From that we now have a perfumery and a photo studio all in our office.”
What’s your personal routine?
- “Every day I use the Milkman 2 in 1 Shampoo for my beard – it’s like fabric softener for beard.
- After that I put a little bit of beard oil and moustache wax on to maintain my beard and keep my moustache out of my mouth.
- I also use a quality razor and shave gel (Milkman Clear Shave Gel). Don’t underestimate a good razor and shave gel, it allows you to have nice margins around the bear and neckline. Using them properly means you can ensure that the hair line is thick and the beard dense.”
What do you see in the future of the Male Grooming Industry?
“The younger generation is definitely a lot more interested in grooming products.
It’s gone from being a taboo to being mainstream and not embarrassing. Facial hair and beards aren’t just for hipsters anymore. Short and refined professional beards are the style at the moment.
Who knows, maybe in the future we’ll see a moustache renaissance…”
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