One of the best things about working in practice is helping new businesses to start, grow and prosper. In the latest issue if iNsight magazine, we spoke to Louis Watkins, founder of Clear For Men which launched this weekend…
Undoubtedly it takes courage, determination, and sheer hard work to start a small business, but in our many years of experience in assisting start ups to flourish, there is one stand out success factor – and that is an unwavering passion for the project at hand. Louis Watkins who started his “Clear For Men” journey in 2021 certainly has that in abundance….
Louis, tell us about Clear For Men
Clear For Men is a premium male skincare range with a brand persona aiming to destigmatise mental health in men. I myself struggled mentally during the Coronavirus pandemic and my coping mechanism was to invest myself in a project that I hoped would resonate with people in the same position. In the UK, the most common killer for men under the age of 45 is suicide, as men are predicated to hide their emotions and are less likely to access therapeutic help. I hope that my brand illustrates that “it is okay to not be okay”. Our tagline is “Hello Daily Mind, Goodbye Daily Grind” which is a reminder that no matter how monotonous, tedious, dull or tiresome you feel your daily routine is, you are still valued.
What is the science behind the product?
Clear For Men to me is more than just selling a product, it’s about creating an experience, but I initially researched and developed our core offering – an invigorating facial cleanser- because I wanted to provide high quality skincare products to help men to feel good about themselves. Let’s face it, men tend not to know what is best for their skin and end up using products which can lead their skin to look dull and dry. I wanted Clear For Men to change that.
What is the ethos of the brand?
Clear For Men promotes the ‘Take Five’ challenge, which is to Connect, Move, Be Present, Expand & Grow and Practice Kindness. Our ‘Take Five’ initiative simply encourages you to step away from your daily grind, whatever that may be, and take a moment for yourself, and to be kind to yourself.
What challenges have you encountered along the way?
I started working on Clear For Men in January 2021 and have encountered many a challenge along the way, from creating a brand identity (overcome with thanks to Parade Design in Newport) to learning how to trademark a logo, from sourcing suitable manufacturers to market researching samples amongst my target audience. However, each hurdle that I have overcome, and each milestone that I have reached brings me closer to delivering a high quality skincare brand that I hope will go global, and in doing so, I believe will spread the “be kind to yourself” message.
What do the next 12 months look like for your business?
I’ve just launched this weekend with one core product but intend to expand the range further to encompass a range of male grooming products, from nourishing moisturisers to soothing beard oils. In doing so, and in reaching a wider audience, I hope to create a greater platform for my key message, which is to empower men to speak up more about how they feel and to destigmatise male mental health issues. I am particularly passionate about advocating positive body image in young people – in today’s society, there is so much pressure on young people to look good or act a certain way, and I feel education and open dialogue is key here, so I’m planning to visit schools and workplaces to discuss the importance of mental health and to give tips on how to ‘Take Five’ when work and/or personal life becomes overly stressful.
I’ve also set myself a year one target to raise £10,000 for Mind UK, alongside which I plan to sponsor a local grassroot sports club to assist young people to reap the positive mental health benefits of physical activity – so if any Newport junior teams are currently seeking support, please get in touch!
Clean For Men is set to launch in late Summer, retailing via selected barbershops across South Wales and the South West, or buy directly online at www.clearformen.co.uk
For more information, follow Louis via Instagram and Twitter @weareclear_ or via Tiktok: @clearformen_