By  on July 26, 2005

Amenity's Spin on Shaving
NEW YORK — Dwight Schultheis, founder of men's grooming brand Amenity, wants to break the mold of the niche men's shaving market.

Schultheis' goal is to not "do the same thing small companies have been doing for four years." His priority? To "hire creative talent to get Amenity out of the shave mold." While Amenity tries "to re-create the barbershop experience at home," Schultheis is in the process of adding a national sales manager to the firm's staff of seven executives.

"Shaving is the bread and butter of men's grooming," said Schultheis, who, on top of forming Amenity in May 2004, celebrated his 30th birthday last month. Still, "the cookie-cutter approach is not working to gain scale in this market."

Schultheis spent six months developing a daily cleanser, a shave cream, an aftershave lotion, a daily moisturizer and a shaving brush prior to launching Amenity in several U.S. doors last October. The five items, which range in price from $19 for the shave cream to $29 for the shave brush, bowed at Sports Club L.A. in Boston.

Since then, the brand's distribution network has reached 25 doors, including Sports Club L.A. locations in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles, Boston's G Spa, and a handful of spas, salons and hotel shops on both coasts. Schultheis plans to expand Amenity's reach to between 60 and 70 doors by yearend. He projects the brand could reach $1 million in revenues as early as November.

"The next phase is national specialty boutiques," he said. As Schultheis develops the company, which is based outside Boston, in Waltham, Mass., he's eyeing upscale department stores; venues like Barney's New York, Fred Segal Beauty and Jeffrey, and specialty stores like Urban Outfitters.

There are also new Amenity products on the horizon. During the fourth quarter, Schultheis plans to launch a shave oil and a Dead Sea salt deodorant.

At the same time, he'd like to keep a well-edited line. "I don't want to over-launch and [have Amenity] get confusing," said Schultheis, who contended that one of the biggest challenges is convincing guys to buy a $29 shave brush, which might only add an "extra 10 seconds" onto their morning rituals. "It's a barrier to entry for most guys," said Schultheis. For this reason, brushes are given away at Amenity promotional events.In the future, Schultheis would like to launch a lip balm, additional shaving cream formulations, more shaving brushes and possibly masks. He's also focusing on developing gift and travel sets.

Gillette Tweaks Treatment Line
NEW YORK — In the wake of the European Commission's approval of Procter & Gamble's acquisition of Gillette Co. two weeks ago — a move that followed approval of the merger by shareholders at both companies — the Boston-based company has unveiled Protect Soothing After Shave Gel within Complete Skincare, the men's treatment line Gillette launched last year. The new item, which will replace Complete Skincare After-Shave Skin Cooling Gel, an aftershave that was originally launched along with the Complete Skincare collection, has been designed to alleviate redness. It is priced at $5.99 for 3.4 oz. and will be launched later this year in the U.S. mass market.

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