Creative Class: Josh Meyer, Founder of Brickell Men's Products
We talked about the brand's story, cosmetic enhancement and the one skincare secret weapon most guys overlooked.
The changing cultural attitude towards men’s grooming in recent years has transformed the men’s skincare market into a huge pie. While the skincare giants and fashion brands are slicing it up (and pushing to get the biggest slice,) a legion of new, innovative, indie men’s skincare brand has emerged to join the game, making it a new competitive venue although it represents only 11% of the global beauty industry.
When the natural rule of competition begins to operate, the weak die out and the strong survive, and the ones that live on are usually the crème de la crème.
One example of the brands who thrive is the Miami-based Brickell Men’s Products. The brand has been featured on Men’s Health, GQ, Men’s Journal and other leading publications.
We got in touch with the co-founder, Josh Meyer to talk about the brand’s story, his take on aging and cosmetic enhancement, and the one skincare secret weapon most guys overlooked.
Tell us a little about yourself, Josh.
My name is Josh Meyer and I’m the co-founder of Brickell Men’s Products. We make high performing, natural men’s skin care and grooming products. We started the company in 2014 and are now our products are sold in 25 countries. I run the company with my best friend, Matt Bolduc. I am based in sunny Miami, FL but grew up in Maine.
What were you doing before founding Brickell? Are you running Brickell full time now?
I was the Chief Technology Officer of a wealth management firm. I was in charge of the system that managed client’s investment portfolios. Previous to that, I founded and sold my own digital media company. Yes, I work on Brickell full time now.
Can you tell us a little about your educational background?
I received my Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Southern Maine. I never thought of myself as an entrepreneur, but mostly stumbled into it. I always thought I’d have a “job” like everyone else after graduating college. But I soon realized how boring and unsatisfying it was to work for someone else.
When was the actual “light-bulb” moment for creating a natural skincare brand? What role Matt played in founding Brickell?
I’d say the lightbulb moment was when I tried a natural shampoo that worked really well, but had packaging that no guy would want to showcase in his bathroom. I thought “if this was in masculine packaging, guys would absolutely buy this”. Matt and I have been friends for almost 20 years now. Matt is in charge of all the logistics, product, and warehousing, while I’m in charge of the sales and marketing.
I see. Is Brickell self-funded?
Yes – Matt and I own it entirely. We started it while we’re both having full time jobs, working at nights and on weekends on Brickell until it was bringing in enough income for Matt to quit his job. And then 4 months later, I quit my job.
Can you tell us about your experience when you first started to build the brand? Is it your first time running a skincare business? Did you face any difficulty?
Starting the business from a pure business perspective was easy as I’ve been an entrepreneur for over a decade in tech, finance and marketing.
The hardest part was learning the skin care industry and how it works, along with getting people to take our brand seriously since there are so many competitors. Learning how to scale a product-based company has been the biggest challenge as you can’t scale as fast as say, a tech company. We have big growth spurts, then need to slow down a bit so we don’t over stretch our resources.
What is the most important business lesson you’ve learned in the process?
Learning how to sell is the #1 thing someone can do for themselves if they want to start or run a business. Being OK to hear people saying “no”, over and over until you hear a “yes”. After all, most of those original “no’s” end up becoming “yeses” when you’ve become more successful. I used to be more of a product guy, not having to deal with a lot of the aspects of sales so there was a big learning curve for me as I was our first salesman.
Tell us about some interesting facts you’ve learned about natural ingredients that you probably wouldn’t know had you not started Brickell.
While a product might say it contains natural ingredients such as coconut oil or aloe, it doesn’t mean it’s pure. Very often, it takes a tremendous amount of harsh, toxic chemicals to turn a natural ingredient into a usable form within a skin care product. It ends up just becoming a complete by-product, not even similar to it’s natural state. So, just because something might say it has coconut oil, doesn’t mean it’s the “real” ingredient anymore – more like a chemical imposter.
When it comes to skincare products, we almost always see products developed in a wide range to target specific skin type. For example, there are products for oily skin, dry skin and even sensitive skin. Why we don’t really see it in Brickell?
The majority of skin care marketing is fluff. We keep things simple because guys like to take a simple approach to skin care and grooming. They don’t want a 5 step routine like women do. Having said that, we do have two face washes – one for oily/normal skin, with another for dry/sensitive skin. They have different levels of cleansers as it takes a little more “power” to clean an oily face.
What’s your skincare routine?
I keep it basic – I’ve got dryish/sensitive skin so I wash my face in the morning and at night with our Purifying Charcoal Face Wash. After washing my face, I use our Daily Essential Face Moisturizer. If I look tired or have a date, I use a little of our Restoring Eye Balm beforehand.
Can you tell us some skincare tips that you think most men probably take for granted?
Do the basics and use sun screen when you go outside. That’s really it. Wash your face with a men’s face wash that is made for your skin type and use a lightweight moisturizer afterwards. If you’re going outside, make sure to use at least SPF15. If most guys did that, we wouldn’t see so many worn out looking guys out there.
A secret weapon most guys overlook is eye cream. Almost every guy who tried an eye cream loves it because men start to age around their eyes first. This prevents those bags, puffiness and wrinkles that make a guy look weathered.
What is your personal take on the subject of cosmetic treatment for aging? What do you think about botox, face lifting, surgery and etc?
Personally, I think they look terrible. One of my favorite comedians, Bill Burr, has a skit that talks about how they obviously haven’t worked out the “kinks” when it comes to face lifts/plastic surgery procedures. It looks terrible, awkward and unnatural. If people just did the basics of taking care of their skin, they probably wouldn’t feel the need to get procedures done. Also, on some level, you need to accept the fact that you will age and that’s OK. Just do it gracefully by taking care of yourself. Eating right, exercising and taking care of your skin.
What do you do outside of work?
Well, I honestly wish I had more time to pursue hobbies but I love to travel.
Brickell is also the exclusive men’s line for luxury spa Canyon Ranch at sea – they manage the luxury spas of over 20 luxury cruise ships that go around the world. We have to fly to wherever they port and train the staff on our products – that can be in London, Spain, Alaska, Hawaii, all over the world. I pick and choose where I want to go to train them depending on how interested I am in visiting a place.
I’m also very into weight lifting. I’ve been a power lifter since I was in high school.
What’s next for Brickell?
World domination! It’s our goal to be distributed in every country across the globe that has a market for men’s skin care/grooming market. We plan to be the world’s largest luxury men’s skin care and grooming company.