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Aboyne father-son duo launch Scottish beard grooming products

Adrian Stuart, co-owner of Stuart's Grooming products, alongside his range of beard balms and oils.

Remember those scruffy hairdos we all grew during lockdown?

Well, it turns out that many men had also been trying out growing beards, according to Aboyne business owner, Adrian Stuart.

Along with his son Rory, the duo run Stuarts Grooming Products which started running in March this year.

A selection of Stuarts’ Scottish scent inspired beard balms.

Their business is centred on beard oils and balms inspired by distinctly Scottish scents like whisky and seashores.

Local craft fairs have been the business’s main port of call with personal interaction among north-east locals’ key to its early growth.

Best of all, there’s been no family feuds between the father-son pair – yet.

“I think the combination works well,” says Adrian.

“We get along well together.”

Adrian Stuart
“We really like the interaction that we get at the craft fairs,” Adrian Stuart.

Beard lovers

Adrian, who possesses a very impressive moustache himself, has had his beard for the last four years.

Rory ventured into beard growing at the beginning of lockdown and Adrian believes that the beard growing trend has been widespread during the pandemic.

“I think a lot of people took advantage of lockdown to see what it’d be like to have a beard,” he says.

“I’ve spoken to people at craft fairs that have said the same about growing their beards during lockdown and that they’ve liked it.

I think once you’ve got a beard, you don’t want to go back to a bareface.

“To be honest, nobody really likes shaving – it’s a bit of a chore.”

Adrian styling his beard and moustache.

Scottish scents

Having worked as a quality control inspector in oil and gas, Adrian was inspired to pursue a new career path as the industry gradually became more unpredictable.

Enlisting the help of Rory, the pair first drew up their beard grooming business idea in October last year and spent a further six months testing their products.

Though Adrian feels that the beard grooming market remains “saturated,” he believes that there’s a distinct gap that Stuarts Grooming Products can capitalise upon.

A selection of Stuarts’ Scottish scent inspired beard oils.

“Some of the products we were buying for our own beards were quite expensive,” says Adrian.

“If you’ve just parted £20 and the product doesn’t smell good, that’s not great.

“Although it’s a bit of a saturated market, we came up with the idea of these unique Scottish themes and scents for our products.

“We thought it would be an unusual twist for the products and [also be] our USP (unique selling point).”

Rory Stuart fixing labels and filling bottles.

Building an ethical brand

The pair’s beard oils and balms work to keep both skin and facial hair healthy, moisturised and well-conditioned.

Butters, beeswax and fragrance oils are a handful of the ingredients which go into the pair’s products, which they source both locally and ethically.

“Rory does most of the blending,” says Adrian.

“He sits with the pipettes, test tubes and things which he all puts together to make the scents.

“We source essential fragrance oils from a company in Scotland.

“Then we blend them together to make our own scents that we feel have got a Scottish theme to them, including whisky blends like Angel’s Share.

We try and keep it all natural, vegan-friendly and cruelty free not for a selling point, [but] because it’s the right thing to do.

A personal touch

Most new businesses today have online presences via websites and social media pages to spread word about their brand.

Though they currently have their website up and running, Adrian and Rory have opted to go down a more traditional business approach by appearing in-person at various craft fairs throughout the north-east.

Adrian with Stuarts’ beard balm.

Yet, Adrian does admit that trying to achieve similar customer experiences online compared to in-person at local craft fairs has presented its challenges.

“We really like the interaction that we get at the craft fairs,” says Adrian.

“You get on the spot feedback, which is really valuable.

Smell is a large part of our oils themselves. If someone smells and tests the product, they’ll usually buy it.

“But sometimes, it’s harder to put that experience across on a website.

“We’re about to set up free samples on the website to try and allow people these experiences.

“We also have a Facebook business page and will have an Instagram page up and running very soon.”

“We’ll listen to what people want as a basis for thinking about more products for going forward,” Adrian Stuart.

New ideas

As the father-son duo aim build their online presence going forward, they’re also looking to expand their product range.

Four different scents of beard balms and oils are currently available on their website and Adrian expects there to be more variety to come in the near future.

“We’re always looking for new ideas,” he says.

“We’ve perfected what we think is the right formula for a post-shave tonic to appeal to those who shave.

“But we’re also looking at things in the future such as moustache wax and beard washes as you shouldn’t use regular shampoo in your beard.

“We’ll listen to what people want as a basis for thinking about more products for going forward.”

“We’re always looking for new ideas,” Adrian Stuart.

Visit Stuarts Grooming Products online for more information, or to buy products.

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