The EastWing Grooming Co. Brighton The Bearded Mans No1 Choice.
EastWing Grooming Co has quickly become a popular choice for bearded gentlemen who care about their appearance and their beard care products. Established September 2017, they have grown rapidly in popularity, gaining a reputation of being favored by professional footballers and athletes. Due to the high-quality health benefits for beards wrapped in a luxury style brand that they offer, it’s easy to see why.
The team includes a qualified Herbalist and Aromatherapist with over 35 years’ experience, designing and blending their oils & balms. They also incorporate Barbers & Bloggers to advise and shape the company image so that they stand out as a luxurious beard healthcare range designed with only professional input.
Giving us an insight is Company Directors James Wingate & Gary Easton.
- How did you get started and why?
As old friends and colleagues, we’d often thought about going into business together. Men’s grooming was an industry that interested both of us – as two guys unashamedly taking pride in their appearance and style – and we could see a real opportunity in the market with the increasing global growth in beard care products. At that point we were at very different stages with our own facial hair achievements; James sporting an impressive set of whiskers since his Movember 2016 stint and Gary only just starting out on his bearded journey!
Our aim was to create a premium range of beard care products that accommodates all aspects of the professional man’s lifestyle, whether suited up for work, relaxing at home or sweating it out in the gym (or the Airsoft field, in James’ case!). It had to look good on the bathroom shelf too!
Luckily James’ fiancée Shelley is a qualified herbalist so we were able to draw on her knowledge and experience, as well as that of her close friend and colleague Socha, a qualified aromatherapist, to experiment with blends and aromas using pure, natural ingredients. After many hours together, our signature aromas were created – Fresh Peppermint, Mellow Orange and Rich Citrus. Socha was also able to help us fine-tune the blend to ensure it had maximum benefit, keeping beards nourished and moisturised to avoid dryness and itchiness so often suffered by bearded men without proper beard care. We often get guy’s partners getting in touch to say how much more kissable their guys are with such great smelling softer beards. It’s nice to think we’re helping bring people closer together with their awesome beards.
And so EastWing Grooming Co was born! We’ve poured our hearts and souls into creating the professional look and professional feel to men’s grooming products and love what EastWing has become.
- Men’s grooming products are ever more in demand and popular. What makes you stand out from the rest?
We’re also very fortunate to be surrounded by an experienced team of industry experts, and it’s the team around us that gives us our edge. We are able draw to on the knowledge and expertise of those we know and trust.
With the help of Shelley and Socha we have been able to produce a range that is truly unique. In addition, we trialled our products with experienced barbers in Brighton, London and Sweden, giving our customers the confidence that our range has the seal of approval from the experts who know. With the support of our close friends Dave Smith and Katie Merrien (our industry and lifestyle advisers and bloggers), we feel this makes our team complete and the business the very best it can be.
- Tell us how you came up with your brand name/image
Both coming from professional, office-based backgrounds, we wanted to avoid the stereotypical Viking/lumberjack look and the woody/musky aromas so often associated with beard care products. We have created a range that not only provides great hold and outstanding moisturisation, but also incorporates the scents and style that modern men can enjoy. It also looks great on your bathroom shelf.
We spent hours trying to come up with the perfect business name to fit our premium, professional style, then had a light-bulb moment of a brand name that was unique and personal to us – half of each of our surnames! It was simple, really.
- What kind of feedback have you had about your products?
We’ve been overwhelmed by the response we’ve had in the short time since the business launched in September 2017. It’s a huge compliment to see our products have been well-received by our customers – including several professional sportsmen. We’ve had feedback on our unique aromas, with many of our customers having their own personal favourites from our range, as well as comments on how soft the products make their beards feel, and the lasting hold of our beard balms. We’re finding that customers like our premium, professional style, so it’s really encouraging to know that we’re doing it right.
Social media has enabled us to have a global platform and engage with audiences around the world. In fact, we were the first British company to be reviewed by www.keepgrowingthatbeard.com – an independent beard product testing site in Canada – who complimented the quality of the aromas as well as the professional look and feel of the products. The love we’ve had on social media has been unreal and we very much encourage our followers to join us on our journey.
- You have also been featured in GQ. How did that come about?
It had been a dream of ours to be featured in GQ ever since our first conversation about creating our own beard care range. To us, GQ represents everything we have been trying to achieve in terms of premium men’s style. We’d only been up and running for 10 days when GQ called and asked to feature our range in the ‘Dapper Gent’ Christmas gift guide in their December edition. It was a bit surreal, to be honest!
The feedback from GQ was great. They told us they loved our image, and couldn’t believe that we’d only launched the business a week and a half earlier. It’s been an absolute pleasure to work with the team at GQ and we’re incredibly proud of the recognition from such a prestigious institution so early on in the business. We’d also like to thank the team at Absolute for their support and the opportunity to do this feature; thank you very much!
- It looks like you’ve made some very good friends (i.e.: Bruno etc..) very quickly. What does the future hold?
We’re truly humbled and grateful for the love and support we’ve had from our friends, family and contacts, locally and around the globe.
As local Brighton boys, we’ve been fortunate enough to meet and get to know Bruno and some of the other Brighton & Hove Albion football players (especially as Gary has been a supporter of the Club since he was 4 years old!). We can’t thank Bruno enough for his support, and to know he uses our products by choice is a real privilege. He must have the most recognised beard in Brighton! Having the likes of Bruno support us has given us greater exposure, especially on social media, and has enabled us to be seen as a credible and serious player in the market.
We feel like we’ve achieved so much in the short time since we launched in September. We’re very proud of what we have achieved and we’re really excited about what our future holds. Our short-term plan is to continue building the business on the back of the successes we’ve had so far. We’re also planning to expand the product range in the near future, so watch this space! In the longer term, we’d love to secure a wholesale deal with a high-end retailer. It’d be a dream come true to see our products in shops across the world.
- It looks like you both are involved with the local community. What else do get involved with?
We’ve been involved with various charity events this year. As we’ll as donating part of our profits we also helped raise £7500 for the local Dogs Trust rehoming centre. As well donating prizes and raising funds for the Rocking Horse appeal we also attended a charity dinner and auction with Bruno and friends from Brighton & Hove Albion for Chestnut Tree House. Anyone looking to support them should check out their charity football team @ChestnutTreeFC which Bruno is an ambassador for.
We’ve also sponsored a team of students from Brighton University as part of their PR & Marketing degrees under the Bright Young Things project. We’ve allowed them to use EastWing for the next 6 months as part of their coursework and gives us further diverse insight with our social media and advertising campaigns.
- The best thing about Brighton to you?
They don’t call it London-by-the-Sea for nothing Brighton offers the very best in terms of fashion and style outside of London, and we wanted to reflect this in our brand. Brighton is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city that we love to call home. It’s such a mix of style and tastes where you can often find a connection with a complete stranger over the most random of coincidences.
- Favourite place for a working lunch?
Café Melbec, Church Road in the heart of Brighton & Hove is our go-to place. You can’t beat sitting in there with a good cup of coffee watching the bustling streets of Brighton go by. They do a mean selection of tapas too! In the evening we’re rather fond of Libation in Second Avenue, Hove. It’s a bustling Prosecco bar where we also had our Christmas party to thank the team for all their efforts in getting the company up and running. And of course, we invited Absolute Magazine as they’re like one of the family now.
- Where can people find out more?
You can find out more about the whole team and our full product range via our website
You can also join us on our EastWing journey on Facebook (@Eastwingroomingco), Instagram (@eastwing_grooming_co) and Twitter (@EastWingGroomCo).