Australian Men’s skincare brand Black Leopard is about to arrive in the UK and we’re personally very happy about that. It’s 2018 and high time we cut through the clutter. New wave metrosexual movements are a thing of the past, no more fanciful fads, condescending men and their grooming regimes. What’s clear is men have always and will continue to adhere to some sort of morning regime, even be it the routine shave. What most men want more than anything, rather than some temporary gimmick is a no-nonsense, clearly identifiable range of products that cater for every need.
Step forward Black Leopard. There are a myriad of fantastic grooming brands out there specifically catering for male skin and hair, however, if you’re looking for affordable, effective skincare that uses naturally derived ingredients and really delivers – you should definitely check these guys out. From their daily shave gel cleanser that genuinely lifts dull, tired skin, while also working as a speedy solution on those days you want to go stubble-free, to a nightly eye cream that hides a multitude of sins, you’ll be covered. Our absolute favourite might have to be the hair cream, a lightweight styler without the greasy residue, it smells and looks bloody good too. Anyway enough from us, let’s meet the wonderful brains behind the brand…
We’re all about championing brands we believe in here at The MALESTROM, why don’t you tell our readers a bit about yourselves and how the business came about?
From adolescence and into our early Twenties, birthdays and Christmas’s revolved around our Mum smashing us with skincare products to turn her grotty little children into something respectable and clean! So before we knew it or cared about it we were exposed to the world of skincare! Mum embedded into us a routine of using moisturisers, eye creams and fancy named serums! Or so she thought! In reality, we had a bathroom filling up with high-end beauty products we wouldn’t be caught dead applying!
In early 2013 our Dad sold his IT business and was hunting for his next venture. He wanted to start something with his boys and we wanted to create a family business! We went through idea after idea… Security Devices, Property Development, Children’s Books, Livestock… even Dog Food!! After much discussion and consideration, we saw the most potential and growth in creating a Men’s skincare range – a range made for men by men, not a female brand product with a new smell and different packaging. Our bathrooms were full of them! So off we went!
Charter: An Australian-made and Australian-owned Male Skincare brand to provide men with a range of quality products they could use with confidence, adding at the same time benefits to their routine. To let men know it would do them good, real good skincare for real good men, and that their future selves would also thank them!
In 20 years time we might just step aside and let the next generation of our family take over, helping them build upon foundations we have laid for them. Because it’s all about them. We want to build a legacy, a sought-after brand, something we can all be proud of, and something future leopards of all ages can rely on for real good skin, face and hair care!
What are some of the pitfalls you’ve faced along the way?
As a new business starting out, you don’t know what you don’t know. The male grooming marketing was/is a relatively unknown beast and we came in raw as raw. We learned the hard way who to trust and listen to, we have had our formulations stolen and passed on to other companies, we have made errors on every road we have taken, some significant and some a good kick up our backside.
All in all though, our biggest challenge has been educating men! Men need a skincare routine but there appears to be a stigma that surrounding male grooming, this alone is a tough roadblock. The realisation that in reality, we all use skincare – we use soap to wash, deodorant to smell good and hair products to style, so we haven’t created anything unseen before, we are just an upgrade from what you are already using.
What is Black leopard’s ethos? And how important is it to the brand?
We are a family business built on family foundations – Loyalty, Trust, Respect, and Commitment to one another, is first and foremost. Together we stand, divided we fall is the old adage, but it rings true in our business.
In terms of our offerings and promises to our customers, clients, manufacturers, and associated third parties… we created products, that do what they say they will – We want to be able to tell mates, strangers colleagues that you can buy our products and know that genuine care and consideration in the formulas, results, effectiveness, and routine.
Is it exciting to be launching in the UK? Tell us a bit about your hopes for capturing some of that market…
We have all been to the UK, as a family, on sporting trips or with our partners, the minute you land in Heathrow, walk outside and onto the tube, you feel at home! Australia and the UK are very much in sync and on the same page. We love the rivalry between the Aussies and Poms in the cricket, rugby and at the Olympics as I’m sure you do to us! So to finally get to London and launch in the UK is massive for us and brings us a real sense of anticipation and thirst for accomplishment. We know we have the products to match it with anyone, and confident we have put in the hard yards to be ready to establish ourselves as a prominent Men’s Brand in the Motherland! It would be a great thrill to achieve success here.
Tell us more about your products?
We have tried to get the most effective blend of natural ingredients to combine with some key synthetic actives that really make our products effective! People may scoff at a ‘synthetic’ product, and the skincare market often appears to preach ‘All Natural’ or ‘Organic’, but if you want a product that works for a sustained period then there is no other option than using great quality actives. Our range is the complete package – Head to Toe, every inch covered. It’s about creating a routine, every product compliments one another, we even have a podiatry approved Heel Balm.
What’s the most popular item right now?
We find with Men our most popular item is our Face Scrub! Made with Black Rice, it’s a tangible feel that men can see working or at least doing something. We have a lot of repeat orders of Eye Cream and the Anti Perspirant. And oddly enough we have a lot of Women buying the Eye Cream after using their partners. Because men’s skin is thicker and harder to penetrate, the formulation is stronger than that of a women’s equivalent, giving them faster and better results. Our wives/girlfriends swear by it – no bias though!
What does the future have in store? What are your aims?
I could sit here and say that our goal was to be the best and the Number one male skincare brand, every manufacturer would like to say that!
Our future is bright, and we are committed to the long term. We would love to be stocked in major retailers across the globe and be seen as a Real – Man’s Brand. Turning Black Leopard into a business that we can pass down to our Children over time would be our greatest achievement. We want to build a legacy for our family and the brand. Our role now is to build the foundation for our progeny to build on and expand.
What advice would you have for anyone thinking of starting their independent business?
We are all in the same boat! We’re still young, still learning and still building our base, but by god, we are committed!
So have a really good plan of attack! Be patient and find the right mentors to help you through the early years. You will always get the knockers! They outnumber us, and surprisingly some of them might be in your closest circle of friends and family, but let them fuel your passion and your desire to achieve.
How important is it to engage with other like-minded brands?
I think the importance of engaging with like-minded brands comes down to observing the lesson that they themselves have learned to get where they are, and added lessons we have learned.… sharing information inevitably helps instill a belief that what you are doing is worth it, and incites you to keep moving forward.
Every business should want competition, and want a challenge! Black Leopard is at the bottom of the food chain, we are in a new market, we have plenty of battles ahead to work our way up the chain and find our position in the leading pack.
What’s your favourite independent brand? Who would you nominate for us to feature next?
Burly Fellow. They are a cool Australian Company. They worked with some friends of ours in the industry and have created a great brand of beard oils and other men’s essentials. They have a great look, a great product, and seem to be on the right track.
As for somebody to feature next, we are happy to see any Australian Brand featured. There are plenty of strong companies emerging in Australia, a lot of them with a story to tell.
How can people track you down?
Head on over to www.blackleopardskincare.com or alternatively find our range at AMAZON UK very soon.[share]