Grooming and wellness go hand in hand for this entrepreneur

Retail Gets Real Episode 284: Scotch Porter founder and CEO Calvin Quallis on connecting with the male consumer

Calvin Quallis grew up in his mom’s barber shop and beauty shop and says he has distinct memories of how getting a fresh haircut or shave could change a client’s entire demeanor.

“I watched how she and some of the other barbers and stylists kind of worked their magic and helped the folks walking into the shop walk out feeling and looking their best. And so that always stuck with me,” says Quallis, founder and CEO of the award-winning men’s grooming and wellness brand Scotch Porter.

After working in the corporate world for a market research firm, Quallis opened his own barbershop in New Jersey. “Part of it was because I remembered those feelings my mom and the others were able to able to help people feel when they walked out of her shop.”

Calvin Quallis
Calvin Quallis,
founder and CEO of Scotch Porter

It was through that experience that Quallis realized many of his customers had a specific issue with dry, frizzy or damaged hair and beards. “I created a hobby in evenings and weekends where I’d go home and learn everything I could about hair and beards and natural ingredients and started to concoct products from the kitchen of my home,” he says.

From there, Scotch Porter was born. Named for his favorite libation and jazz crooner Gregory Porter, the line offers premium products for beard, hair and skin care, a line of fragrances and candles, and even vitamin supplements. “We’re more than hair, beard and skincare products at Scotch Porter,” Quallis says. “We are in the business of confidence boosting.”

Business really took off during the pandemic. “We did see a pretty significant increase in online in our newly launched retail business and part of that is because barbershops were closed,” he says. “Guys needed to take care of their beards and hair and skincare despite not having access to a barbershop.”

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Today, Scotch Porter has expanded through new product offerings as well as new distribution channels, securing retail partnerships with CVS, Target and Walmart. More expansion is on the horizon thanks to a just closed a Series B funding round of $11 million.

As for what’s next? Quallis says the company is focused on “continuing to expand our distribution online and off, widening our reach to be able to educate more of our customers with information and product that really aligns with internal and external wellness, and figuring out ways to continue to deliver added value to our customers lives with product conversations.”

Listen to the full podcast to learn more about Quallis’ career path, the brand’s focus on external and internal wellness and his best advice for other entrepreneurs and young professionals.

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