Ten years ago today (30th June 2011), I launched Studio Tri Ltd T/A S3 Advertising. I can remember my first day, sitting in my attic in Barry Island, surrounded by dusty boxes and Christmas decorations.
I sat there looking out of the Velux window from our half-finished attic and thought to myself two things. One, I'm going to build the most exciting and innovative advertising agency in Wales, and two, I'm going to work with the most challenging or challenger brands.
There were no fancy offices or management teams back then. It was just me, my advertising and brand building know-how, the yellow pages, and an ambition to create an advertising agency in Wales.
I wanted to offer my clients the best advertising platforms coupled with the most innovative, creative treatments, but at a fraction of the price the big national agencies charged.
I grew S3 Advertising from a year one revenue of £229K to a 40+ person agency to revenues of £6.4M
I won several awards for my successes with creating S3 Advertising, including Entrepreneur of the Year both locally and nationally. In addition, in 2016, S3 Advertising won the award for Advertising Agency of the year at the Drum Independent Agency Awards.
It's fair to say that my journey at S3 Advertising was hugely successful and what I set out to achieve all those years ago from my attic in Barry, I did. My journey from creating S3 Advertising in 2011 to the day I sold to my management team in 2019 was a period of my life I will always look fondly upon.
In 2018, whilst the management buyout process was underway, I considered what I would do next after my departure…
One day, I was walking through Cardiff City Centre looking for a moisturiser for my dry skin. After an unsuccessful shopping trip, I realised how very little I knew about my skincare.
Being the Entrepreneur that I am, my experience got me thinking about how little I knew about the best ways to care for my skin and hair. I wondered how many other men also lacked the education surrounding their skin and hair care.
And the idea for my next venture was born…
I started off by doing intense research, using OnePulse to survey over 10,000 men on their skin and haircare know-how. I asked , a series of questions, with some insightful feedback:
"I don't use skincare products; I am a man".
"I suffer with [skin condition] but I have problems finding the right products for my skin".
"I've been using [skincare brand] for [ amount of time] but haven't seen any improvement".
"I don't know where to start or how to use skincare products."
What was apparent was that there was, as I had suspected, a real lack of education surrounding male skincare. This was coupled with a huge rise in societal pressure to look better and take better care of our skin.
It also got me thinking - if men, including myself, felt unable to open up and ask for help regarding skincare, what else weren't we opening up about?
The more that I researched the industry, the more it pulled me in. I could personally relate to the statements that were being made.
I felt I had the know-how and the entrepreneurial flair for creating a business that could solve these problems. It seemed evident that there was a gap in the market and a real need for a brand that educated men on the products they needed to create a simple skincare routine that provided real results.
For the past two years, I have been building MESOA For Men. We are the challenger brand within the male skincare industry.
MESOA For Men is a premium male skin and haircare brand operating in the male cosmetics industry. MESOA For Men aims to make every man feel comfortable in his own skin, advising every man on the best skincare products for his skin type and condition and normalising conversations around male grooming, cosmetics and male mental health.
We have grown to over 5000 customers with a 74% repurchase rate, created 22 products and 9 routines.
We have a further two ranges in production right now, and hundreds of men from all over the UK are subscribing to our skincare routines.
With our legal and financial teams, we have created a financial product called a Brand Bond.
Bonds allow individuals to invest in business and brands that are important to them, whilst earning a fair return at the same time. In short, you lend us money to help us grow the business, and you’ll earn interest in the form of products, discounts, cash and other benefits.
You may recall Freddie's Flowers issuing their flower bonds, and no doubt you will soon see many other fast-growing disruptor brands creating their own bonds in the months and years to come.
This is your opportunity to join me on my journey as I once again take on the industry heavyweights and win.
You can view all of the information about the MESOA For Men brand bond and watch our introduction video here
Today, a decade on from the very date I launched my advertising agency, I’m giving you the opportunity to be part of my next successful venture. So join me, join MESOA for Men, join our journey.
I'm confident we can do it… and I'd love to have you on board.