Natural deodorant start-up Journeymen is taking its next steps.
The business, founded by former VF Corp. employees Sean Donovan and Brandon Rich, is rolling out a subscription box, new fragrance, new sport formula and adding more retail partners — including Urban Outfitters. Journeymen sells $18 stick and spray deodorant that is aluminum- and paraben-free.
The subscription service, called Re Supply, starts in November. “The idea was to create a subscription that you get a special packaging of the products — so it comes in like a cool box with cool package as well, then on top of that you’ll get a zine, which is an artist-based little magazine every quarter. Every quarter, we’ll do a new ‘zine,” Donovan said. “The theme could be an ambassador that we do a new video on, or it could be travel-based inspirational stories. The idea is that we want to get people a product they need every day and also have something in the package that kind of surprises them and makes it fun to get.”
Subscribers will be able to customize their deliveries depending on how much deodorant they need, according to Rich and Donovan. “Really, we wanted to make the program a little bit more fun and make it more novel than just buying the product in a retail store, and also make it accessible, to where if you like the product it automatically just shows up,” Donovan said.
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Part of the brand’s ethos is its focus on the creative community. Its latest pick is Julian Klincewicz, a filmmaker and skateboarder who has worked on films for Kanye West and Eckhaus Latta. Journeymen featured Klincewicz in its latest online episode of We Are Journeymen, a series of mini-documentaries.
“The video series really highlights the actual ambassadors, and tells stories about how they got into doing what they’re doing and their journey creatively and what they work on,” Donovan said. “It really focuses on the people and the DNA of the brand being the people around the brand, and not as much on the product itself.”
At the moment, Journeymen’s deodorant is sold through about 30 boutiques, including Kinfolk in Brooklyn and Thalia Surf in Laguna Beach, plus a handful of surf shops. In early 2017 the brand’s deodorant spray will launch online with Urban Outfitters, and if that goes well, move into 20 to 40 of the retailer’s top doors, according to the brand.
“You start with the hipster, the tastemaker, the fashionista,” said Rich. “There’s a couple lifestyle retailers that we’re talking to that have 400-plus doors, there’s a couple outdoor accounts as well that are interested,” Rich said. The brand is also thinking international, with plans in the works to move into Europe and Japan.
Product-wise, Journeymen is working on a new fragrance with a more unisex appeal, plus a travel kit and Deo Sport, the brand’s next deodorant formulation.
The second fragrance will contain the same technology as the first, which slows down the protein oxidation that leads to sweat stains. “It’s a little bit less smoky, right now we’re talking sandalwood, vanilla,” Rich said of scent two. The sport iteration, which is in its early days of development, will likely contain between 50 and 60 percent more of that technology.
For May, Journeymen is working on a travel kit. “The idea is to do a dopp kit and then include in the dopp kit everything you need to go on trips,” Donovan said. “The products we’re working on right now are an all-natural face wash, all-purpose wipes, and then we’re also talking [about] and in development on an all-natural toothpaste and then a toothbrush.”