The Cutthroat journal chats with Peregrine Blue and Shaving Essentials owner David Morton
A man must shave is a motto that David Morton swears by.
And he should know, he’s been in the premium hair and skin care game for men and women for 40 years.
It wasn’t until a decade ago that he actually began focusing on the male only ranges. Until that time, all that was available to the Australian male were add-ons to female lines and one US barber brand.The premium male markets were growing overseas and David saw that trend spreading to Australia.
Having been in the health and beauty industry throughout his career, managing large multi-national companies in Australia, the US and Canada, David decided to retire at the age of 52 to spend quality time with his family.
But he didn’t sit idle long.
‘I saw the flickers of the flame in the Australian male looking for premium products,’ David said.
He started his first company, Peregrine Blue, from humble beginnings, and those early days were not an easy road.
‘I began by pounding the pavements offering barbers brands like Baxter of California, but in those days most barbers didn’t sell much product to their customers, they just cut hair. I literally started with a handful of customers,’ he said. ‘Barbering back then was very different to what it is like now.’
The first four years were a battle. ‘Yes, we saw growth every year, but the base was small,’ he said.
After four years the brands began to get some real traction as the new breed of barber shops entering the market wanted great, premium brands with a point of difference.
These new barber shops offered more than just a haircut, they offered their customers an experience. Going to the barber was not just to get a cut, it was for a chat, some product advice, maybe a shave, but ultimately a total experience.
‘Men became more conscious of how they wanted to look because they were aware of what was happening with US and European grooming trends. We are a one of a kind company, not only in Australia but in the world. We do not sell female brands at all, nor do we sell a brand if it’s a spin off of a female brand. We are all about male-only brands for real blokes.’
‘We run two companies, Peregrine Blue and Shaving Essentials, that offer the world’s best male grooming brands to barbers.’
Still a family business with David, his youngest daughter Rachel, 22, and four staff, Peregrine Blue and Shaving Essentials now operates from a large warehouse in Sydney’s northwest.
He sells around 22 brands including Baxter of California, Layrite, Muhle, Lucky Tiger, Blue Beards Revenge and Truefitt and Hill.
‘We now have new barbers coming to us every week wanting our brands. I talk with every owner personally before we bring them on board, because I think it’s important that the barber, who is often putting his or her life savings into their new shop, get to talk with the owner of their product supply company and not just a representative.’
‘I really enjoy working with the owners to tailor brands and quantities to their specific needs, and watching their businesses grow and become successful.’
Now overseas brands are knocking on his door wanting to distribute in Australia, but only top quality, cutting edge male-only brands will be selected for the Australian marketplace.
The most important thing to the humble businessman is having a balance of work and lifestyle. David has been part of the Australian Triathlon Age Group for four years and stays healthy swimming, running and bike riding. Three years ago he ranked 20th in the World in the 60-65 year age group.
‘Family and health is important and I’m lucky to have a great family that wants to work with me. I would love my daughters to take over the business someday, then maybe I can retire again.’
In the meantime, if you are a new barbershop, or an existing barbershop that wants to expand into premium products, David is always open for a chat. You can contact him by phone 0410 576 574 or email email@example.com