Blind Barber is taking its products in a new direction after 10 years.
On Monday, the New York City barbershop and lounge is launching new skin care products, expanding its skin care line from two products to seven, all with new eco-friendly packaging.
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The line is comprised of an under eye cream, hydrating balm, foaming cleanser, face scrub and balancing toner; prices range from $20 to $22. Cofounder and executive creative director Jeff Laub said this line is a result of client feedback at their six locations in New York City, California, Chicago and Philadelphia, as well as men putting more time and effort into their skin care routine since the start of the pandemic.
“Zoom calls, Hangouts — these contributed to men paying more attention to themselves,” Laub said. “Men are exploring this area of beauty they wouldn’t have a little while ago. Beauty and grooming are merging.”
Blind Barber launched its first hair care and skin care products, a pomade, wax, shave cream, daily face wash and moisturizer 10 years ago at retailers such as Barneys, Mr Porter, Selfridges and United Arrows and also offer a hair wax and shave cream. Today, the brand’s products are available in 300 physical stores and 2,000 Ulta stores; the new skin care products will launch at Ulta in April.
“We’ve been in business 13 years in total. It’s been incredible,” Laub said. “During COVID-19, we couldn’t celebrate the milestone properly, but we built an interactive website that takes you through the journey and helps shed light on the business.”
Laub and chief executive officer Matthew Breen said 2019 was Blind Barber’s best year in business “on a consumer product side and location side, as well,” but things came to a halt in March 2020. Breen said they did everything they could to keep their staff on payroll with health care.
Their time spent on lockdown made them rethink their business as well and what they could do differently and changing the packaging is one of their initiatives.
The company’s new and existing products will now be sold in packaging made with post-consumer plastic, aluminum and glass in an attempt to reduce its plastic footprint. They’ve partnered with rePurpose Global, a Plastic Action Platform dedicated to reducing waste. “They will track our products in the wild, and biannually we tally it up and provide a donation based on the amount we put out there,” Laub said. “Our goal is to become plastic neutral and not have a plastic footprint.”
They also work with social impact commerce platform ShoppingGives to allow shoppers to donate money with every purchase. They began donating 2 percent of every purchase to charity and increased to 30 percent. To date, Blind Barber has donated more than $20,000 to charities of customers’ choosing.
As the duo look ahead for 2022, they expect this year to continue momentum from the previous year. “2021 was our best year for our consumer products line,” Breen said and they expect to “hit the ground running” on the backs of the new skin care products and a new location opening in Nashville slated for the third quarter of 2022.
Aside from the new location, Breen said about this year and beyond, “We’re going to continue building out our product line to deodorant, colognes, body scents and meet our consumer where they are.”