The Success Formula Behind Men’s Grooming Brand H.I.M-istry

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darnellThe name alone is intriguing–H.I.M-istry.

What H.I.M-istry provides is even more so intriguing: it’s a unique line of skincare and grooming products for men. “H.I.M– is the abbreviation for Healthy Image Men,” says Darnell Henderson, who created it in 2004 in South Florida. The company started out as a high-end men’s spa specializing in haircuts, hot towel shaves and skin care treatments.

Henderson, a licensed skincare therapist, decided to extend his brand when in 2007 he entered into a partnership with Macy’s. The line includes products that not only helped acne and reduce shaving irritation as well as eliminate skin discoloration. Some of the products are:  Green Tea & Vitamin C Shaving Cream for Men, which reduces skin discoloration due to sun damage, aging and acne scarring; Black Tea Lactic & Glycolic Toner that reduces the appearance of lines, wrinkles and acne;  Ultimate Anti-Aging Set; and Pomegranate & Glycolic Pre Shave, which helps diminish the appearance of razor bumps, acne break-outs and other negative effects on the skin.

Henderson created a line to offer products that he found missing on the market. “There was a void for professional grade skincare for multicultural men,” says Henderson, who has found the market growing and growing. “Men’s grooming used to be a niche, but now is considered to be a true category of its own,” he pointed out.

Still, as with any company, there have been challenges. “One of the challenges has been informing the male customer that he needs skincare,” reveals Henderson. “Brand building is always tough for a start-up.” His biggest surprise in running the business? He laughs and adds, “That it is harder than it looks, from the outside looking in.” But his key to success has been offering productions the consumer can’t find on the market. “There is no set marketing formula for today’s customer. We offer a superior product and word-of-mouth marketing has been our best marketing tool,” says Henderson.

Henderson, who funded the company using “a mix of savings and a microloan,” plans on making H.I.M-istry “a household brand.” And in the process, he is loving what he does. “I love getting letters from customers, saying our products cleared their skin issues and helped them to gain confidence in their appearance,” he shares. “That is priceless!”