While looking for the latest trends in grooming we stumbled upon Organic Beard Co, a Dubai-based company that specialises in natural beard products.
We had a chat with Paul Wagenaar, the company’s founder to learn more about him and his company.
Could you please present yourself and your company in your own words for our readers?
I came up with the idea about a year ago. It was my girlfriend that encouraged me to grow my beard. Growing a beard starts off easy but then the itching starts. Any guy that has ever grown his beard will agree that the itching in the early stages is usually enough reason to shave it all off.
This made me go out and look for products that could ease the itching but I couldn’t find anything here in Dubai. This surprised me. I went online and ordered products from various global brands.
My original idea was to sell other brands here in the region but after seeing what the market had to offer, and trying the products myself, I decided to create my own range.
Were you always interested in grooming?
For me grooming isn’t a trend. It’s a lifestyle choice. I’ve always tried to take care of myself and when I grew my beard it was a natural choice to look for products that would make this process easier.
How would you define your brand’s style?
Contemporary, clean and transparent with an ethos of providing top tier products that are 100% organic and natural.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
My inspiration comes from observing people and how they handle both positive and negative events in their life. I am very selective of the types of inputs I allow into my life like choosing the books I read or choosing the programs I watch i.e. listening to podcasts of people that inspire me.
What is the most challenging part of setting up a grooming business in Dubai?
Building the brand has been a massive challenge but I think an even bigger challenge is to make the right people aware of your brand. You can have a beautiful product but if no one knows about it, it’s a problem. You could also have a huge audience that consists of the wrong demographic. Building an audience whilst maintaining brand identify will continue to be a challenge.
What kind of products do you use for your treatments?
I only use products with natural ingredients. I stay away from products that contain artificial ingredients like preservatives or chemicals. Most consumers would be surprised if they really looked at the ingredients in their products. This issue was one of the drivers behind creating a grooming product line that consists of only natural ingredients.
What is, in your opinion, the best grooming regime for men’s beards and hair in Dubai?
My advice is to keep it simple and to be conscious of the products that one uses. For my beard I use a natural wash and beard oil. Once a day after my shower I dry my beard and massage the oil into my beard. I then simply comb my beard to help with consistent oil distribution and styling. The other key tip is to find a barber that you trust and to visit them on a regular basis. DIY beard trimming isn’t recommended (speaking from personal experience).
How important is social media in your communication strategy?
As a start-up I cannot afford to spend a lot on traditional print media. Social media gives you instantaneous access to your audience. The challenge is to create a legitimate audience and not just an army of bought followers.