The Menswear Style Podcast

Sean Holman, Co-Founder of The Other Saint

December 10, 2020 Menswear Style Episode 103
The Menswear Style Podcast
Sean Holman, Co-Founder of The Other Saint
Chapters
The Menswear Style Podcast
Sean Holman, Co-Founder of The Other Saint
Dec 10, 2020 Episode 103
Menswear Style

Sean Holman recently swapped London’s skyscrapers for a bit more sky and relocated his family to the South Coast of England in search of more space and a new perspective. Here he started to take things slower and began to notice the little things: the sound of seagulls instead of sirens, ponies loitering in the road instead of pedestrians, and a few new wrinkles here and there. Some of this was caused by the stress of a second baby on the way, but it was also a wakeup call that he couldn’t take his skin for granted. However, skincare had been rattling around at the back of his mind for a while. A couple of months before this he was at the top of a mountain on a ski holiday with a doctor friend having a conversation about how sun damage is the main cause of skin ageing, and that the simplest thing guys can do to stave this off is to use a moisturiser with SPF every day. After being underwhelmed at what was on offer, he took things into his own hands and co-founded The Other Saint, a sustainable skincare line for men that’s more than simply ‘good enough’, providing the kind of quality and choice that guys deserve, with a sustainable approach to both products and packaging. 

In this episode of the MenswearStyle Podcast we interview Sean Holman, Co-Founder of The Other Saint about his background and the founding story of his men's skincare brand which features sun protection and sustainable packaging. It has been a 6-month project which started at the beginning of the Coronavirus lockdown after relocating to the New Forest from London. Our host Peter Brooker and Sean also chat about the anti-ageing benefits of using a daily SPF, using compostable pots instead of plastic, the strategy behind product pricing, and why they're direct-to-consumer focused.

Whilst we have your attention, be sure to sign up to our daily MenswearStyle newsletter here. We promise to only send you the good stuff.

Show Notes Transcript

Sean Holman recently swapped London’s skyscrapers for a bit more sky and relocated his family to the South Coast of England in search of more space and a new perspective. Here he started to take things slower and began to notice the little things: the sound of seagulls instead of sirens, ponies loitering in the road instead of pedestrians, and a few new wrinkles here and there. Some of this was caused by the stress of a second baby on the way, but it was also a wakeup call that he couldn’t take his skin for granted. However, skincare had been rattling around at the back of his mind for a while. A couple of months before this he was at the top of a mountain on a ski holiday with a doctor friend having a conversation about how sun damage is the main cause of skin ageing, and that the simplest thing guys can do to stave this off is to use a moisturiser with SPF every day. After being underwhelmed at what was on offer, he took things into his own hands and co-founded The Other Saint, a sustainable skincare line for men that’s more than simply ‘good enough’, providing the kind of quality and choice that guys deserve, with a sustainable approach to both products and packaging. 

In this episode of the MenswearStyle Podcast we interview Sean Holman, Co-Founder of The Other Saint about his background and the founding story of his men's skincare brand which features sun protection and sustainable packaging. It has been a 6-month project which started at the beginning of the Coronavirus lockdown after relocating to the New Forest from London. Our host Peter Brooker and Sean also chat about the anti-ageing benefits of using a daily SPF, using compostable pots instead of plastic, the strategy behind product pricing, and why they're direct-to-consumer focused.

Whilst we have your attention, be sure to sign up to our daily MenswearStyle newsletter here. We promise to only send you the good stuff.

Unknown:

Hello and welcome to another episode of The menswear style podcast. I'm your host Pete Brooker. On this episode I'm going to talk to Sean Holman. He is the co founder of the other St. And I'm going to pull a short clip from the website here, which you can find by the [email protected] The other site a sustainable skincare line for men, that's more than simply good enough providing the kind of quality and choice that we feel guys deserve. With a sustainable approach to both products and packaging. We wanted to design a system that will both future proof your face and fit it into your daily routine. Whether you got an afternoon to luxury or five minutes to prepare before the school run. Whatever issue you'd like to address. This range is packed with the sort of supercharged ingredients that will hydrate fight ageing and tackle tightness in order to give you godlike skin. So that interview is shown to come and I really enjoyed it. We get to talk about how important it is for guys to moisturise with SPF and I get to regale my story of working in a wooded yard and being the only guy on site to use sun cream. Even when the sun wasn't out. I know Don't call me hero ahead of my time. But before we get to Shawn, don't forget to check out the show notes at WWW dot menswear. style.co.uk and on the social app men's wear style. And you want to tell us about your brand and your journey and you can email us a show here at info at menswear. style.co.uk Okay. So let's get to it. This is a good one. I hope you enjoy it. Here is that interview with Sean Holman, the co founder of the other St. What's my great pleasure to introduce Sean home and co founder of the other St. How are you doing today, Sean? Yeah, very well. Thank you How you doing? Very good. Thanks for taking time out to speak to us. Sure. Now, for the uninitiated, for the people that might not have heard of you. Could you just tell us what the other st is and what it is you do there? So we are a men's skincare brands we've recently set up we yet specifically sort of targeting men that may not necessarily currently use a skincare products or are new to it. And yeah, I just feel that this is a growing market. And I myself kind of used a few products and started to use a few more as I've sort of gone in, in age and just think, you know, what we can provide would be sort of interesting to other guys sort of from similar similar backgrounds. So yeah. But um, what's your background then coming into this? So were you were you in marketing a tool or design in terms of making the patent? So yeah, while we both zoja, nine zoes, my partner, we set out the brands Zoe's from a fashion background. And I'm from, like, specialise in sort of high end refurbishment of sort of members bars and clubs and high end residential projects, mainly in London. And then we we recently, were both in London for for 20 years. And we just moved out of London at the beginning while march april time. So yeah, 20 years in London, we just we've moved down to the New Forest. So between the fires and the sea, just kind of different way of life down here. And we thought, you know, do we want to be travelling back to London every day or you know, once or twice a week and we sort of thought knows, we kind of we haven't left that that that those kind of roles or projects at the moment, but this is kind of something else that we've been working on for a while and yeah, we we moved out of London and we're thinking well, how can we make a light you know, with so he was pregnant with our second child. We moved like mid Pam banach, we moved into a new house, we didn't have any furniture because it was already locked down. And we were like, wait, so how can we? How can we make our lives even more stressful? So we decided to, to launch a new brand. So yeah, we we've had an e commerce brand before like high end women's fashion, but as you can imagine, with pandemic stuff, it was a bit of a slow, kind of burn and we're like You know, we would like, we'd had this idea in our head for a while. And we were like, let's, let's create new brands. So that's what we did. So yeah, we only really is only really, really started this like, six, seven months ago. So, and we only launched last week. So we're, you know, a very new brand as well. Okay. So six or seven months ago, was that when you had the idea? Or is that when you started doing the market research? What was it from a dance, we'd had the idea prior to that, you know, various conversations with friends, and just these kind of things sort of manifest themselves. And then it comes to point way when the time is kind of right to do it. And so yeah, that we'd had the idea before, but we only really started to do anything about it about six, seven months ago. So from sort of April time till now that that's the time The time has taken us to sadness brands quite quickly. That's really quick. Yeah, I think anyway, but yeah, so in the throes of this, what were the conversations like, Who did you approach in terms of like, who could put this together for you and sourcing ingredients, etc? Maybe you can talk a little bit about the Yeah, so we, we started with, like market research, who like the big kind of brands were and so we there are probably, you know, there are quite a few brands out there. But then they're like a few, they just keep coming up all the time. And we were looking at them, and we thought they think one of the driving factors was that they they're not particularly sustainable, like everyone throws this word about sustainability. But you know, they continue to use plastic products, you know, the packaging is, is excessive, and we just thought, well, we can do we can we think we can do better than that. So we started to sort of sample, we started to speak to friends, and we got a group together of about 30. Guys, and we started sampling products and getting people's feedback about what they use and what they don't use. And, and then yeah, we just so we, we then had, like a company that we've been partnering with, they've helped us to formulate our products. And yeah, we've we've formulated sort of a variety of different products that we think, you know, they have got good feedback from the sampling. Yeah, then the whole process of designing the packaging, designing the products, designing the branding, and then yeah, so that's for Yeah, that's what we've been doing over the last six months Really? Well. What's great about having something palpable, when you come out of say, a pandemic, or come out of lockdown is that you have something to show for it. Maybe you've learned a new language, or you've written a book, we've started a brand like you have. Yeah, I just wonder how many people have come out of this pandemic with like a face tattoo, or a 40? Day habit? And go and you know, I really did use that time wisely. seemed like a good idea at the side. Yeah. So I think if it were, I suppose it was just, you know, we've, we've left London and we would kind of, and the pandemic happens, and I suppose what would we have said this brand if it wasn't for the pandemic? Possibly, but possibly not. So it kind of I think for a lot of people this has, whilst it's been, you know, difficult situation for people, it's also had its benefits. And for us, this is, this is one of them. So yeah, and but we've had to juggle out between, you know, moving and having a baby a second baby, and you know, like having two young people in the house and trying to work around them and not, you know, and look after them. So it's been it's been an eventful to say, so yeah. Well, congrats, mate. I know, it's a bit early in the interview to congratulate you. But I was on the website, and I checked out the brand. And I did think to myself, yeah, it's pretty good that people can actually produce something. Because I think because I'm in the world of what's quote, unquote, content creators. And so I think it's my gig, to review what other people do without actually producing anything myself. So when I see other people actually doing things and having nothing to show for it, I kind of have to tip my hat because I wish I was doing more of that than what I'm doing. Okay. Well, I mean, then you can say, you just got to make a star and you'd like you won't, you don't and can't know everything at the beginning and it's just an evolution and you just kind of find the right people along the way. And you can't do it on your own. You have to have the right team around you. And we've we've managed to find that quite successfully. And um, yeah, so we're new and we're just trying to sort of get in front of as many people as possible. So grey short moment. We'll talk a little bit about SPF. And for many people that haven't heard of SPF, perhaps I'll have, I'll ask you to tell me what it is and why it's so important for you guys. So SPF is some protection factor, you're obviously quite familiar with wearing that when you go on holiday, but what we found that there aren't so what we found is like not many people really appreciate that an SPF is the best thing that you can apply on a daily basis that will stop sort of early ageing and some damage and also more serious factors such as skin cancer. So I suppose part of our story and part of you know, my mom got skin cancer on her face and luckily she was fine. But now these things kind of sticking your your head and I was on a holiday on a ski holiday and if you've been ever been skiing, you know, the reflection and you put on SPF and I happened to be with a friend who was a doctor and he said to me, You know, I've all of these products out there, the best thing you can actually do is put an SPF on your face and I don't think man especially and probably men and women probably appreciate that. You should be putting that on every day, not just when you're on holiday. So, you know, how could we sort of get people to do that and the best thing to do is combine it with a moisturisers. You know, what we found from our research was the, you know, men generally will be using a moisturiser, but perhaps not much else. So if you can put an SPF into a moisturiser, you know, you're two birds with one stone kind of thing. So that was one of the first products we we kind of developed and yeah, it's if it's about habits, I think and just if we can sort of make people aware that if you put that on in the morning, that's probably the best thing you can do to help your your, your skin basically. So yeah, because the sun from and, again, maybe I don't want to put words in your mouth, you can correct me but the sun doesn't even really have to be out does it from what I understand. So you step outside, it's daylight, you think it's a cloudy day. I don't need to put anything on because I'm not going to get burned or I'm not going to get affected by the sun. But it is. What is it UV is the UV is attacking your skin, right? It's constantly on you. Yeah, if the sun is in the sky, then it's an it's this the UV that basically is gonna cause the damage and if you can protect yourself with with SPF as as an SPF 30. So yeah, it's gonna offer you a good level of protection sort of throughout the day. And whilst you're wearing it, you know, you've got a moist combined with a moisturiser. So yeah, right. Okay. Now, this reminds me of something that I did when I was making cricket bats about 10 years ago, I was on a yard, you know, basically on a production line. And I saw this programme about SPF and using the right, the right protection for your face. And so I got all up in my head that I had to, you know, really, really lay this stuff on fake. And so every lunchtime, I would, you know, we'd be in a cabin, you just imagine blue collar guys are talking about what they were doing the night before get pierced and whatnot. And I'd be the only dude in the cabin that would get up and put his face like some protector. And everyone's like, What the hell are you doing? We're, you know, there's not even any sun. It's pissing down with rain out there. You know, we'll also be in a yard. And you can imagine that these guys probably wouldn't even put some cream on when they would go on holiday, you know? Yeah, but men's men. Wow, exactly. Yeah. So I had it in my head like 10 years ago that this was a thing. Did you? I mean, were you aware of this sort of thing, like even a decade ago? How common knowledge was it then? I think it's like most things, I think you probably have heard it somewhere along the road, the line and you may have seen, like, the sun cream address, but you just kind of put it to the back of your mind. And it's not really until somebody kind of points out to you that you realise Well, actually. Yeah, that's the good, I should actually be doing that. And it's, you know, it's cheap. It's cheap, and it's effective. So yeah, why wouldn't you kind of thing and if you can incorporate it into your daily routine, then, you know, happy days. So Sure. One question. I often like to ask people on the show, especially people that have made things is can you remember what it was like getting the product in your hand for the first time when it arrived? And what was your reaction when you actually managed to open it up and see what it is? Yeah, this is you're kind of working on these things for such a long time. And it's all like on computer screens or bits of paper or models are whatever you've made. And then you finally get the final finished product. And you're you almost can't like believe I suppose, is because all of these things are these decisions you've made along the way of sort of led up to this point. And you've got this kind of physical thing in your in your hand. And I suppose what for us one of the main things is that our lids and jars are compostable. So that the the, when you feel the product is like it feels like ceramic. Oh, this actually made but it's actually made from like FSC regulated timber and like plant resin. So it's it's completely sustainable, completely compostable, but it feels kind of feels like ceramics. So it's quite touchy feely. It's very kind of different to like, the other sort of products that they're in plastic or are in glass. So yeah, right. Fascinating. But it must have been a great feeling, having it in your hand for the first time and having that kind of sense of achievement. Yeah, yeah. No, it's good. Yeah. And, like, say, would still an early brand, we've started to get it out to sort of our new customers. And the feedback so far has been good. So yeah. And what are the next steps now that you're trying to put it in front of more people? Are you looking for stockists? Are you looking for bricks and mortar? what's what's in the pipeline? Now? I think we are primarily an e commerce brands. And we, we whilst I think, you know, we do see our some of our competitors gang stocked in, you know, the likes of Selfridges, and Harrods and those kind of places. But, you know, if I'm blunt, it just is, it's good for like social proof, and for people to see that you're associated with that brand. But the problem is, especially at the moment is, you know, they want to take 50% of your margin, they want to pay you Wow, after three months, and, you know, or as the case may be, you may not get paid at all, especially with the likes of you know, Debenhams, for example, at the moment. So, it just doesn't seem like a particularly good model. Really, I think we were just going to primarily focus on e commerce. But if those opportunities came up, then we certainly would look at them. But it's not something that we're actively kind of going after. Yeah. What I did find interesting when I was on the website, which by the way, is if people need to check out definitely the other st.com. It's where people can go do their shopping, is how accessible all of the products are in relation to price, I thought, I'll be paid after doing the read and kind of figuring out our SEO, speaking, sustainable has got all the right stuff in it, I figured that I'd be paying a lot more than what I would be buying. Can you talk about how you approached the process for pricing it all in the structures of the pricing? Well, again, like we, we did a analysis of kind of what's out there at the moment and you know, you've got your stuff that's available in the supermarkets, which you know, like, two three pounds upwards and you skincare products can go right up to, you know, 8090 100 pounds, you know, depending on on what it is. And we just thought like that. We just thought that like they accessible point is kind of like our products range from about sort of 16 to about 22 pounds and eight but that actually includes like UK delivery and we just thought that that was excessive accessible for people not not unreasonable, okay. It's not as cheap as what you can buy in the supermarket but equally, you know, it's, it's vegan, it's compostable. It's, you know, it's you can't get this sounds like an adverb, but you can't get this installed. So, yeah, it's, we, we just thought that that was like the right kind of price point to be to be aiming it for and, you know, it has quite a lot of, you know, unique factors and you know, it's, it's a great product, it's been tested with like, lots of different people, it's easy to apply easy and not tested with animals and it's made in the UK. Made in the UK, it kind of I think at the moment kind of meat you know, kind of goes without saying that should be cruelty free but yeah, that is obviously a valid point. It's it's vegan. You know, the jars and lids are compostable. We've literally designed our all unnecessary packaging. You know, our jars come in a box they don't and that box is what gets sent to you, that's the mailbox, there isn't a separate box of each individual product goes in because you know yourself, you know, that box goes in another box that gets sent to you, you open the box, open the other box, and then it just goes in the bin, it just seems like a massive waste of time. And resources. And you know, it's just not great for the environment. So, yeah, so that that's it really so. Well, short, I was gonna ask you also about what your ideas are on social media. And wherever you've approached kind of third, the social media world as it were, and use many channels in particular, to leverage traffic to your site, are there any platforms that you enjoy using, we were working with ident. NET cough owl who use x, GQ. So he's helping us write our content. Which is great, because you know, he's got his finger on the pulse about, like, those kind of issues. And what what men want to read about really, so. So, so from social media point of view, like yeah, you there's no way you can sort of be unless you're a massive celebrity, but then equally, you're still going to probably utilise social media, standing, you know, especially with the high street going the way that it is, you just, you have to be on Google, you have to be on you know, Instagram, and Facebook, really, that you know, and properly laid. So we're on those platforms now. But later, we'll be on, you know, YouTube and stuff as we get more established, basically. But, yeah, so the way the way we're kind of approaching influences is not necessarily like our now kind of influences where we've got like a blog, which is called the habit of successful men. And so we interview men that we think that people find interesting and inspiring, and, you know, they, they themselves have kind of a following, and then we interview them, and then we, you know, send them some products, and then they talk, we talk about how they are successful, because obviously, that's subjective term. And then in turn, they kind of, you know, they put those posts out, and then we kind of saw, it's kind of like a soft influence, rather than kind of going to, I don't know, a celebrity and paying them, you know, it's more authentic. And, you know, people, I don't think, you know, like to see, you've necessarily paid somebody to work with them, and for them to promote your product. So they just try to be a bit more authentic. And it's kind of in line with what you guys have been doing anyway, which is quite organic. And you know, yeah, and humble. I think it's a, it's a great brand. Great product. Congrats. Congrats again, Shawn and talking of Instagram We are the other side is where people can go and check out some of our stories. And do check out the blogs where you can find out other interviews with other people of trail blazers, and CEOs and cetera and it's a good place to spend some time for down a rabbit hole. Well, Sean, thanks for coming on. Yeah, it was a pleasure to speaking to you and, and take yourself have great Christmas, I suppose. Becoming up close to Christmas. Almost there. Yeah. And there's an Advent countdown calendar from that with useful tips and facts for people if they wanted to follow us on on Instagram. So yeah, excellent. Great. Another reason to check you guys out. Well, I'll leave you to it, Sean. Great. Great talking to you. Thanks very much, I guess, mate? Yeah. Bye bye. Oh, how about that. And as you could appreciate, I could have talked to Sean for hours, mainly about my days in the wood yard, chopping frozen bark off willow trees, cutting off digits with a bandsaw it all went on. But another time another place. In the meantime, make sure you're supporting the good guys and head over to the other st.com and treat yourself or your loved one to some awesome high quality skincare. And that's it for my end. Thanks for tuning in. If you like what you're hearing do leave us a review. There's a competition running on the website at the minute where if you leave a review you could be in for winning 1500 quids worth of goods. It's a really good competition. So make sure you check out the website WWE Timmy menswear style.uk and until next time