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MarketPlace

Jack of All Trades

Sophisticated enough for a woman, but made for a man, Jack Black specializes in high-quality grooming products designed with guys in mind. Their no fuss, no frills approach has garnered success and a steady following (including a few celebrity fans). With simplicity and superiority, it is undeniably clear why Jack Black is dominating the male market.

Matthew McConaughey uses it. Jeremy Piven and Bruce Willis rely on it, too. Appealing to the “guy’s guy” for the past 10 years, Jack Black continues to be one of the leading lines in providing men with the best in skin and personal care products. The women behind the man, Texas natives Curran Danduran and Emily Dalton, created the line to fill a void in an underserved market. Their easy-to-use, multifunction products from all natural ingredients offer simple solutions that go beyond just soap and water. Jack Black’s line of shave gels, moisturizers and facial cleansers has taken residence in many a man’s medicine cabinet.

“Women have thousands of choices for lipstick and cleanser,” reveals Danduran. “There are very few quality offerings for men, so we felt there was a real opportunity to breakthrough there.”

Both women’s extensive background working for Mary Kay helped them initiate and drive the Jack Black brand. The packaging is simple and sleek, more reminiscent of cigar labels than beauty products. The brand has no relation to the actor and comedian of the same name, insists Danduran. “It was really a lot of brainstorming and coming up with a name that we thought would be classic and kind of timeless in its appeal,” she recalls. “We just felt it was a very strong masculine name that a lot of guys could feel very comfortable with.” Danduran and Dalton have taken men’s wants and needs into account and have created formulas that are useful and convenient.

“They want to be in and out of the bathroom in five minutes, and don’t want a lot of complication or a million ingredients,” Danduran divulges. “We’ve kept it very simple and streamlined; most of our products do double or triple duty.” For example, the moisturizer also contains sunscreen and the Beard Lube works as a pre-shave oil, shave cream and facial skin treatment in a single bottle. One of their top sellers, Beard Lube is what Danduran calls their flagship product. It’s what most customers start out using, because every guy is looking for a great shave. “If you can hook a guy on a great shaving product then you have permission to introduce him to the rest of your line,” Danduran says.

Jack Black has expanded to include shave accessories, lip balm (another best seller), body lotions and scrubs, hair products, colognes and even a women’s line. Their most recent addition is Rx Series, a collection of clinical strength products. There is Skin Serum, designed to make skin appear more youthful, and Eye Rescue, used to minimize signs of aging around the eyes. Danduran is also excited about the launch of a lip balm trio, which includes a brand new flavor, just in time for the holidays. “It’s a great stocking stuffer,” Danduran adds.

This spring, Danduran looks forward to launching a sports therapy line catered to athletes. Deemed Performance Remedy, it will soothe the muscle aches and pains associated with playing sports through Jack Black’s signature formulas and natural ingredients. With the recent celebration of their 10-year anniversary, Danduran and Dalton want to continue to expand into other categories. “We’re kind of gathering our thoughts and strategizing what we want to do next,” Danduran comments. “I think what we’re pursuing now is getting into some new categories like accessories and possibly apparel, seeing how far we can take the Jack Black brand.”

Running Jack Black has taught the two women what it takes to do well in this industry. “One of the key success factors is having empathy for the consumer, knowing what their needs are and being able to translate that into products,” advises Danduran. In this highly competitive industry, it helps to be one step ahead of the curve, and Jack Black’s innovation and hard work have paid off. “All we know is beauty, it’s been our whole lives and that’s our passion,” reveals Danduran. “It took a few years, but we finally got there. I knew what I wanted and I went after it.”

STORY: Jo-Anne Somera