As a brand, Owen & Fred has always been strong on the concept of shaving. Our whole mission is to transform the boring or tedious parts of men’s days into pleasant moments that men will actually look forward to. We know that shaving can be a chore, so we started by creating a shaving kit bag that looks great and keeps all a man’s shaving needs in order. The grooming products complete the story of the line, we want to be a part of every step of a man’s morning routine.
The original YOU DIRTY DOG, in fact, began in 2013 as a bar of soap. We created a bar of soap for men made with cedarwood, Peru balsam, and black pepper. It smelled great and people loved its clever name. In the back of his mind, Mike Arnot had always thought, “we could expand on this to make a grooming line”. The grooming products industry, however, is competitive and the amount of resources required to get a grooming line off the ground is high. We eased our way in with the YOU DIRTY DOG soap and as we saw it doing well, we knew there was a possibility for expansion.
Winter of 2015 marked a turning point for Owen & Fred as we got picked up by J.Crew to have our products sold in their stores across the country. J.Crew helped to give us exposure, credibility, and of course, revenue. We were able to take that revenue and invest it straight into the grooming line. It cost a lot, but it was totally worth it.
Throughout the year we worked closely with our manufacturers in California and North Carolina to develop our line of all-natural face wash, shaving cream, and aftershave. We used competitive research along with a lot of guidance from our manufacturers to choose the right ingredients, making sure to use only essential oils, never artificial fragrances. We had already put months of work into designing soap bars that smelled great, so we started there and added a twist. Our face wash delivers a fresh, eucalyptus-based kick in the teeth to perk you right up. The shaving cream features cedarwood as well eucalyptus for a more balanced, masculine scent and we made sure the aftershave was only lightly scented, to give a guy a fresh feel without the overpowering smell. As for consistency, we designed our face wash to double as a body wash, so it’s thick and luxurious. Our shaving cream is much thinner than others on the market, and intentionally so. We’ve found that a lot of high-end shaving creams focus on making a lustrous, thick cream, but all that ends up doing is clogging the razor. The YOU DIRTY DOG shave cream is ultra-moisturizing without being unnecessarily thick and makes for a closer shave. Our aftershave goes on nice and light, it’s the perfect finishing touch.
Once we had most of the details worked out, we really put the pedal to the metal in January of 2016 and put ourselves on an aggressive schedule to launch the line eight months later. We knew what we wanted, we had an idea of how to make it, and we had a lot of experience with distribution, so we were confident that we could make it work. We successfully launched YOU DIRTY DOG at the New York Now trade show in August of 2016 and it was shipping and on the shelves of our retailers by September.
YOU DIRTY DOG started with a bang! It was our best-selling product of 2016 and it was featured as a great gift for men in Real Simple Magazine’s holiday gift guide. Most importantly, it gave an enjoyable start to the day to countless men across North America, showing them how refreshing and inspiring their morning ritual can be.