“Scotch Porter is more than just a brand; it’s a call to action. Scotch Porter is for the modern day man who wants to look his best at all times. Your first impression is your last impression, and while you rock your distressed denim, cashmere sweater and leather bag or even your suit and tie, we’ve got you covered on the rest. From head to toe.”
Check out our interview with Calvin Quallis founder of Scotch Porter.
What were you doing before you started on the path to create Scotch Porter? Why did you leave your job to become an entrepreneur?
Before Scotch Porter, I worked for a top 5 multinational market research firm while simultaneously managing and being the owner of a barbershop.
I’ve known, for a very long time, that I wasn’t quite cut out to be a 9-5er. I understood that there were great financial risks if I quit my job and my business failed. However, what I feared most was taking too little risks and settling for comfortable and ordinary, and all the regrets that come with it. If I didn’t walk, it meant that I would be undervaluing myself and that instead of being great, I would have become okay with just being good.
What was your inspiration to start Scotch Porter?
Prior to starting Scotch Porter, I owned a barbershop in Newark, NJ called Center Stage Cuts. Aside from being passionate about looking and feeling good, creating a men’s grooming line was a natural progression from owning a barbershop, especially as I saw that many of our customers had problems with dry, brittle beards and razor bumps. My solution was to create a line of grooming products that catered to these specific issues. I initially sold the products in our shop and they quickly became a hit with our customers.
Why is it important for people to know that Scotch Porter is more than a brand its a movement?
Scotch Porter is more than just a men’s grooming brand because we’re not just selling what’s in a bottle; we are creating a lifestyle. Looking good feels good, and feeling good gives you the confidence needed to go out there and crush it; that’s the Scotch Porter way of life!
How should a man feel after they use Scotch Porter products?
Our mission is to help men feel confident and look their best as they set out to explore the world and build their dreams, so our consumer should definitely feel confident after using our products.
How difficult is it for a man to enter into the Beauty industry?
Honestly, it’s not very difficult at all. In fact, the CEO’s of some of the largest beauty companies in the world are men. L’Oreal, Revlon, Estee Lauder, OPI Nail Polish and Mac Cosmetics all have male CEO’s.
What obstacles have you had to overcome?
Before the launch of our product business, I owned a barbershop/salon. Neither my partners, nor I had any experience running a shop. It was such a foreign world to us, but we had a cool idea to also use the barbershop as a cultural hub/meeting place for artists and musicians. The goal was to build a profitable business around community. Although we built a name for ourselves in the community, the business just wasn’t profitable, and we ended up having to close the doors.
However, while building the business, we created a line of grooming products that were for sale in our shop, and were becoming a hit with the shop’s customers. The products were gaining such popularity that people were driving in from neighboring states to buy them. The products that I’m referring to led to the inception of Scotch Porter. From this experience, I’ve learned that there is no such thing as failure. Failing is life’s way of correcting the course and placing you on the right path. Scotch Porter is a by-product of our short stint with the barbershop. Without the barbershop, there would have been little to no chance of developing a successful product line.
What tips would you give to someone who is interested in becoming an entrepreneur?
When building a business, one should:
- Do your research. If you are thinking of entering a market where there are no competitors, you better have a lot of money, as it will take boat loads of it to open up a new market. Thinking that you can create a new market with very little capital and resources is an uphill battle that most new entrepreneurs will lose. Competition is a sign that you are entering a healthy market and that customers are buying your offering.
- Identify and/or cultivate a USP (Unique Selling Point) or Niche Market. Being able to clearly communicate to a customer why they should buy from you instead of the competition is the only way to survive in a market place where there are hundreds, sometimes tens of thousands of companies that are technically offering the same product or service. Even better is identifying a niche market. Find a market that is big enough and has enough potential customers, but is being undeserved or ignored. Study that customer and identify the best ways to serve them. You can grow a very substantial business, by identifying and properly serving a niche market.
- Keep your day job. If you’re starting a business that requires capital to get going, as most businesses require, do not give up a reliable source of income until you have either validated your business idea, by selling it to the marketplace and receiving really great feedback, or you have sufficient capital to build the business and enough personal savings to live off of for a year or so. Entrepreneurship comes with many unknowns. It can be very rewarding, but is inherently risky. I believe no one should operate or make decisions solely on fear, but it is much wiser to stack the deck in your favor, by making informed, well-thought-out decisions.
What is your definition of a Quintessential Gentleman?
For me, the Quintessential Gentleman is someone that is reliable and keeps their word. Relationships, both personal and in business are built on trust and consistency.
What can we look forward to from Scotch Porter?
The sky is the limit for Scotch Porter. We initially started out with a few beard grooming items and this year we added our Charcoal & Licorice face wash, face lotion, and face scrub which just launched on Black Friday. In 2017 we plan to expand even more with additional men’s hair, skin and body care products.
Start living the Scotch Porter lifestyle today.