Slowly, slowly, slowly. Creating Products with Purpose.
A Simple Ideal.
Ruffians began with one concept, which was simply to think of everything from the customer’s point of view. That meant making sure that the quality of our service and our experience was always thoughtfully done, and to the best possible standard. Back in 2012, a trip to a barbers often meant hair in your tea and feeling a bit intimidated – not knowing what to ask for or being properly listened to. Never seeing the same stylist twice. We were determined to do better, and when I found a retail unit in a sunlit corner of Edinburgh’s West End, the adventure that became Ruffians began.
We started with one employee – to whom I am forever grateful – who took a leap of faith in my vision while the shop was still a building site, and my wife and I learnt how to shampoo and give head massages at weekends. Now we have a team of sixty fantastically skilled barbers, we’ve cut over half a million heads of hair and we’ve just won Best UK Barber Shop for the second year running.
I often think that the level of skill in barbering goes unrecognised. Done well, it demands both real talent and hard graft. We put a big emphasis on our education, training new recruits and bringing their knowledge up to our standard, equipping them with the techniques they need. But as an industry it can be horribly under-valued, and I am hugely proud of our team for leading the revolution in modern barbering.
Exceptional skill. Bottled.
It was only a matter of time before we started wanting the same quality from the products we were using. The men’s grooming product market is booming, but as with the barbering industry of old, we feel like nobody is properly considering it from the customer’s perspective. We wanted a range that paid close attention to different hair types, lengths and styles. We wanted assurance that the stuff in the bottle really worked, that its source and journey there was the best it could be – honest, high quality and simple.
Most of all, we realised we had an amazing resource right at our fingertips – our award-winning, super-skilled team of barbers, who run their hands through this stuff on a daily basis.
So we’ve taken our time, perfecting formulas, devising scents, testing and involving our creative team along the way.
And slowly, slowly, we have five products that we are extremely proud of, and we will gradually bring more to the table. They work, they look good, they are good – there’s nothing in them that harms either you or the planet. And they should make you feel pretty good too. It’s always been about delivering that sense of confidence when you walk in, and now you can take it home.
I hope you enjoy using them as much as we enjoyed creating them.
Co-founder and chief Ruffian.