In her years as a celebrity groomer to the likes of Shawn Mendes, Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman, Kristan Serafino has always been in pursuit of the best paste — literally.
This week, Serafino introduced The Best Paste, her grooming brand of styling products. Starting with five stock keeping units — men’s styling products named by their various finishes and levels of hold, each priced at $28 — the brand launched directly on its website Tuesday, as well as in select barber shops and hair salons.
Serafino’s familiarity with the products predates its launch. She acquired the company originally known as Anchors Hair Co., founded by barber Ben Miller, along with its facility in April 2021. She then tweaked the formulas while renaming, rebranding and repackaging them.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Serafino said it was born out of her relationship with the brand. “It is truly the best I’ve ever used, it’s in my kit, it’s been with me on six continents,” she said. “We started our due diligence in January of 2021 and closed in April, and Miller is still a part of the team.”
Market research that Serafino relied on indicated that 6 million men bought hair paste during the pandemic, and that men don’t shop by hair type. “You want to know the shine level and the hold, and that’s why we designed the naming this way,” she said. Products include High Shine Light Hold and Natural Shine Medium Hold for example.
Serafino also took a more essentialist approach as her first step with the brand. Under its previous ownership, it had 28 products across skin care and shaving, as well as hair care. Now, she tweaked its top five bestsellers and is only selling those.
“Ben [Miller] and I are working on three new formulas,” she said. “We are not looking to grow the line by many, many skus. We will grow as we see fit, and what’s needed.”
The brand’s approach to distribution is similar, too. Serafino didn’t rule out expanding into retail eventually, but given her penchant for product education, felt it best to start on her own website.
“I even put a QR code on the boxes that will take consumers to an educational video,” Serafino said. “As a hairstylist, I wanted to show that not only am I giving you what you’re asking, but I wanted to show you how to use it.
“Products work, it’s usually user error that’s the problem,” she continued, referencing her experience with her clients. “It isn’t until I educate them on the application and the style that they get it.”
It also played a role in the brand’s marketing strategy, she said. Serafino’s megawatt client list may boast a following, but she herself has more than 65,000 followers on Instagram alone.
“It’s my job as an authority in grooming that I educate with the knowledge that I have,” she said. “Over the years, when I would include the brand in a quote, sales would spike.”
Serafino didn’t comment on sales, although industry sources expect the brand to reach $1 million to $3 million in sales during its first year on the market.
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