For Julien Blanchard, Etienne Côté and Maxime Leclerc necessity was the mother of invention. Living as flatmates, Blanchard and Leclerc began their respective journeys into manhood – Blanchard began growing a handlebar moustache and Leclerc grew out a beard. However, as they got deeper into this process, each realized the natural limitations of itchy, flaky skin and noncompliant moustaches. Much to their disappointment, they could not find the effective grooming products anywhere within Canada. It was not until Leclerc moved out of his shared apartment that Julien met the third player in the story, Côté, a frequent client at his bar with whom he joked about the experience he and Leclerc shared in their younger days. But Côté was hooked on the idea, and eventually the three banded together, and started to test products after work. After countless evenings of brainstorming these impromptu concoctions, in October 2013, these three fun-loving, hairy guys had launched Les Industries Groom : every man’s must have line of Montréal’s very own grooming products.
In my interview with Blanchard he stated that creating the products “was more of a game than a business venture.” His remarks signify a beacon of advice to fashion entrepreneurs that starting small, and engaging with something that you connect with personally helps it become more of a pleasure than business.
From the bold fragrances to each products sleek packaging, everything about Les Industries Groom screams allure. Each product is made from carefully chosen natural essential oils, the some of which are locally sourced. For example, all the beeswax used in the products come from a local farm in Québec, enhancing the freshness of the aroma. In order to “avoid fragrances similar to salon products that are ubiquitous,” Blanchard and his team aim for a more, as he calls it, “genuine” approach.
Blanchard explains that they “find inspiration in the traditional rituals and tools of grooming,” which instills a more “sustainable approach” to men’s grooming care.
It’s true. We have forgotten the elegance of tradition – take the art of shaving, for instance, once a calming motion of dipping a shaving brush into a bowl instead of spraying it crudely into your hands and slapping it on your face. Today, Les Industries Groom offers you these same traditional pleasures, but with a modern twist. In other words, they are bringing the barbershop into the comfort of your home, and all with a healthy dose of style.
Man-buns, neat beards, clean shaves, shaved lines…This ever-growing list of men’s hairstyles demonstrates how important it has become to take care, and groom oneself. Grooming is manly! Blanchard put it best when he said that, “Men’s hair[care] has gained territory in normalness.” There is an elevated sense of attention and pride in these routines. I insist that you make Les Industries Groom part of yours.