The Menswear Style Podcast

Jamal Pierre, Founder of Pierre Performance

December 23, 2021 Menswear Style Episode 156
The Menswear Style Podcast
Jamal Pierre, Founder of Pierre Performance
Show Notes Transcript

Jamal has experienced problematic skin such as embarrassing acne, hyperpigmentation, and excess oil. The skincare products he used were often formulated for teenagers, utilized harsh ingredients, or were off-shoots of larger, female-focused brands that didn’t target men’s common concerns. The inspiration behind Pierre Performance comes from his skin journey of wanting to find a solution, and his father who showed him the power of daring to care for your confidence and success. Pierre Performance is for men of all ages, sizes, backgrounds, and stages of life. Pierre Performance makes luxury skincare accessible for men with products that are all-natural formulations infused with vitamins, antioxidants, and botanical extracts which show visible results in clear skin and anti-aging. Formulated with every skin type in mind, including problem skin, these products focus on men's specific needs and untapped products for men such as chemical exfoliants and serums. The Miami-based brand is black-owned and encourages men to perform at their peak, embrace their individuality, and set high standards for their skincare.

In this episode of the MenswearStyle Podcast we interview Jamal Pierre, Founder of Pierre Performance about the founding store of his brand which he launched during the Covid-19 global pandemic. His men's skincare products are aimed at all men, especially those with problematic skin. Our host Peter Brooker and Jamal talk about his personal experiences with challenging skin issues, how dermatology ingredients have changed over the years, bootstrapping a business from personal savings, the differences between men's and women's skincare, the importance of sleep, sunscreen and hydration, and obtaining feedback on early prototypes. 

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Hello, welcome to another episode of the menswear style podcast. I'm your host Pete Brooker. Today in the last podcast episode of 2021. I am talking to Jamaal Pierre, the founder of pure performance. And pure performance is a skincare range for men of all ages, sizes, backgrounds and stages of life. Performance makes luxury skincare accessible for men with products that any man can afford all priced under 50 bucks, all natural formulations infused with vitamins, antioxidants, and botanical extracts to name a few show visible results in clear skin anti ageing and more. And here to talk about pure performance, in his own words, is founder, Jim LPEA. Yeah, so again, my name is Jamal here, I have founded the brand up here performance, really a men's skincare line that is just focused on the premise of when you look good, you feel good. And then when you feel good, that confidence really can drive your peak performance. The line I launched in late 2020, which when you think about kind of what was happening, not an ideal time to launch a brand. But I leaned in, you know, and I think I did more of a kind of like I called it a beta launch, where we put out a site. And I really just wanted to get some feedback from folks about the product, of course, but even more so the brand and what it stood for, and what they really wanted to see in a skincare line, and got some really great feedback. So did a more formal launch of the brand. Earlier this year, actually in May. So yeah, my innovate. And really, the suite of products is really focused on every man's skin, but really focusing on those who might have some problems. So blemish prone skin, acne prone skin, oily or skin. Down here in Miami, we are seasonal ranges basically hot to very hot. So that that is the foundation there to I think Bill Hicks called it lizard, whether only only lizards can get excited about that kind of where we're going. Beautiful in, you know, January through April, but then when you hit the summer, it's intense. Right? Now, maybe just talk about your skincare journey and how it's impacted your life, please. Yeah, you know, so growing up, my dad was really, really focused on his looks. And you know, it really wasn't necessarily from a vanity standpoint, but he really believed in this idea of, you know, confidence coming from looking your best and feeling your best. And what you're able to do, you know, when when you felt your best. So I had the fortune of through my career getting promoted pretty early. I started with a big global bank, right out of school in HR. And as I got into these leadership positions in these big roles, and was doing a lot of like, you know, public speaking in this corporate life, I started shaving. And that was sort of like the pivot for me because my skin went bananas when I started shaving and white shaving. But that wet shaving Exactly, exactly. So you know, really just reacted badly, a lot of ingrown hairs, a lot of just like the after marks of blemishes and things like that. So I started really learning about skincare more so not necessarily from a vanity standpoint, but more so from a pragmatic standpoint, I was like, you know, what cures this, what makes this better and just started learning about the different things and ingredients like Saleya, Silic acid and benzoyl peroxide and things like that. So as I got older, and I really started to figure out my own skin, that's what drove me to create pure performance, because I was essentially using a bunch of different products pulled from all over the place. And I thought it would be really great that I would have one line that really is focused on a man skin, and you can really get anything that you need from the line. Right? Yeah, it's interesting when you have like this coming of age, time in your life, and you can maybe upgrade your wardrobe, or, you know, maybe like your etiquette around people but your skin, you're kind of in the hands of the gods a little bit or at least I mean, I was I mean, I had really bad acne growing up, I mean, the age of 16 when you just become interested in girls or whatnot. And then I had like this huge breakout right on my chin nowhere else. And it had like, I mean, just having acne around your mouth. It's just like, it just been how I mean, how is this possible that it's not concentrated everywhere else and why right? So here, I mean, I then went to doctors and got pills. I mean, how far are we on now say 20 years later with these kinds of products and this this kind of science. So you I think that that's the biggest thing is because if you kind of fast forward to, to from that point to not necessarily current time, but maybe like 10 years ago, there are different products out there like Accutane and different things like that, that people started taking and using for skincare, but was super harsh. And so you have folks who, unfortunately, still have kind of the, the side effects of Accutane to this day, it's been taken off the market. But my biggest thing was being able to leverage powerful scientific things and ingredients, but coupling it with naturals, so that you weren't using something that's gonna be super harsh and irritating. Because that's a bit of a challenge. When you're trying to treat acne, your thought is kind of strip the oil and remove all the dirt and the bacteria that's causing it. But it's such a fine line, because you end up doing the exact opposite, you know, when you're using things that are too harsh? Yeah. I mean, where do you start? on a, on a journey like this? I mean, where are the stepping stones for you with regards to getting the ingredients together? And and the prototypes? Where did it begin? Yeah, so I had the great fortune of working for Chanel. And I was heading up HR for them for their fragrance and beauty division. And just by virtue of the division of supporting, I started to just get a lot of information around skincare. And keep in mind, I had a real interest in it. All through through growing up. So as I learned more about what that industry was doing the marketplace, the space that there was for a men's dedicated line, I started doing some additional research as far as who could help me with that. And so I found a lab based in southern Florida, actually not too far from Miami and Boca that worked on this. And I told them, You know what I wanted to do what I had in mind, I gave them ingredients that I thought were really important to us. And so we put this together. And listen, there's several iterations and guessing test. I started this journey in 2018. And really didn't launch everything for it took me about two years. But yeah, that's why I feel so great about it is the amount of time the amount of iterations and evolution and the feedback that I've gotten on it. It feels really good to have it out there. It's something that I really feel proud about. Yeah, I mean, I think anyone knows that they've who's done a project, it might even be maybe a book, or something that's just taking so long to get out from under their feet to actually get it out in the open. There's no feeling like that. I mean, so how did you raise the capital for this? Did you crowdsource it? Was it your own investments? Yeah. So I, again, very fortunate to have worked for some incredible companies that performed well, and I was in positions where I was getting some hefty bonuses. And so obviously, I counted my pennies for some time. And as I was preparing to do a lot of this work, I fortunately had savings. And it was really important to me that as I did this, and as I continue to do this, that I not incur more debt than necessary. And I think anyone that's out there trying to start a business, really going into it with that in mind, because you always want to love what you do. And financial stability and financial backing, whether we like it or not impacts the joy a lot. And so that was really important to me, I really did not want to go to too far in debt and bringing this to life. So took my time and and saved up and yeah, I was able to kind of get it going. Yeah, and it's not just the money for shoulders, it's like the time that you invest in as well. So it's a sweet one to where you go, well look, I'm, I'm churning all of my waking hours, all of my spare time into this, you know, you have your nine to five going on there. And then you have quote, unquote, downtime, or you're investing another part of your life over here. So like, there's, there's two things I find going on in my mind is how much time and how much money and what thresholds? Can you draw a line under for each of those? Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. And that's a big piece of it is, what realistically, are you trying to get done? And when do you want to do it? And some of that will then like, kind of inform how much debt you have to go into, right? So if you're looking to do something with a short period of time and you don't have the capital, that's where that's where, you know, you've got to learn where to compromise. Okay, now maybe you can talk a little bit about the the products itself and, and also, if you can just inform us on what the difference between and this is a very men skincare, focus brand. What are the main differences between women and men skincare? Yeah, so that's a great question. That's a good starting point before going into the products and very straightforward men skin have a few differences, a few fundamental differences promoting skin, our skin is thicker. And so it's just that there's going to be more collagen and different things within our skin because it's thicker, that dermis, we have more sebaceous glands which basically means we sweat more. So we're going to be earlier we're gonna Have a bit more shine. And then we also have just the caveat that many of us shave. And essentially, when you're taking a blade to your skin, that is you're incurring a sense of trauma. And for some guys, the reaction to that is really severe. So, in designing the line, it was really thinking about those things and how to treat them and how to make sure that they were top of mind. And so the cleanser that we have the fixer face is the facial cleanser. So it has a tonne of salicylic acid in there to really control blemishes, acne and oil. And then the naturals in the cleanser is really it's incredible. So we'd have seaweed in there. There's some real UV radical fighting ingredients within seaweed that just keeps you looking good. We also have peppermint. So peppermint is something that really is just there to reinvigorate that has anti inflammatory properties. And the smell itself is really incredible. So that's the cleanser, we then have a saline Silic acid exfoliator. And this is a game changer for folks who have not used a exfoliator before. And so what you do basically, is you put it on, and it depends on you know how oily your skin is. But the frequency in which you use this should probably be starting once a week. But I have some guys that will use it about three times a week, you put it on for about 30 seconds and up to two minutes. And then you're just going to wash your face off with some cool water. What it does though, is it reduces your oil and your shine, really incredibly and it treats post shaving skin and a really great way. So a lot of anti inflammatory properties that that will really help you out there. We also have our our even keel brightening serum. So the serum is just a really great way to smooth over even out your skin. If you have any like post acne scarring, this is a really incredible way to treat that. We have our eye cream, which has a touch of coffee beans in there some caffeine. So that will literally wake your eyes up. And so things in there that will constrict the swelling below your in your your under eyes, sorry, that will that will help you to just lose the bags and the puffiness below your eyes. And then two more products, we have our never thirsty moisturiser, which is basically blended with glycolic acid, and jojoba oil. So it has an incredible sense as well, super lightweight, non greasy. And then we have a blemish drying lotion, which is kind of like the miracle drugs. So this is something that if you have a blemish, you have an acne or a pimple, you put a touch of this on the directly on the pimple before you go to bed. Overnight. What it does is it basically dries it out. So when we say blemish drying lotion, that's literally what it does, it will reduce the size of the pimple significantly, if not take it away overnight. So that's kind of the miracle in a bottle, but everyone needs to have in their cabinet. Yeah, I think a lot of guys can relate to, to that a lot of what you just said, on how when you do have a shave, it's almost like you're throwing the dice as to how it's gonna turn out if you're not preparing or using the right products. Or maybe you might have a new new blade, and you have maybe an event that you need to go to, there's probably a reason, even if it's work, there's something that you're going to be customer facing front facing. It's just crazy that we're kind of like well, let's just hope this turns out all right. So I think this will actually be, you know, some good news for some guys who had this anxiety when it comes to shaving in their own skin. And that's the biggest thing is, so much of what I wanted to do with this brand is making it okay for guys to care about what they look like. Right like and to the point of like, you're going to be facing customers, you might have some big deal or sales thing that you're trying to pitch. It matters what you look like you should care and you should invest the time and the money into looking your best. So kind of getting rid of all that toxic masculinity nonsense. That guys don't care, you know? No, no, no, I get it. It's uh, do you have also you touched on like the the bags on the rise? I suffer from that a lot of the time. Do you have any kind of skincare tips for the general nutrition of your skin? Yeah, and you know, a lot of what I'm going to say is stuff that's gonna annoy people, because it's stuff we just deprive ourselves of, but hey, get more sleep. Like, and you've probably seen it the amount of studies that have been done just on the power, have more sleep, honestly. And what it does for your skin is really incredible, when you're sleeping is essentially when you're rejuvenating. It's when your cells turn over, it's when all of the good stuff happens. So to the degree you're not getting enough of it, it's gonna reflect on your face, and there's only so much you can do to combat that. So that's why most water is essential and just based on the makeup of our bodies and the amount that we need, but just making sure that you're drinking a tonne of water again, Other things that I know are not going to be profoundly groundbreaking. But sunscreen is critical and staying out of the sun as much as possible. And I know, you know, especially living in, that's no problem for us. I've seen sun in about nine days, to places like Miami and South Florida where, you know, we live in the sun. So it's just making sure that you've got a really incredible sunscreen on at all times, even when it's cloudy. And there's even been studies done that at night, you still can catch different rays, you should actually have sunscreen on at night. So there's real power there. And do any of your products have the SPF 40 That kind of protects against these UV rays, you know, so not yet one of the things that we're launching is going to be a moisturiser with not only SPF, but also brightening serum in it. So just an effort to reduce the amount of steps you have in your routine, but also adding just that protection of the SPF. So coming soon, on the way. And so like you, you mentioned that you had like a beta, like a soft launch for the website, were you able to get your your production line to just have small runs initially. And now that you've had the feedback, and now you've had the competence, you can now extend and do more more production. That's basically it. Yeah. So what I'm able to do with the exactly my initial run, and the manufacturer that I was working with is been really, really great. And so we did a smaller run, put the site out, got some really critical feedback, and I'll be honest with you didn't make dramatic changes. But I mean, it's all about the detail. And I got some really great feedback that that informs some small tweaking and some small changes that we made. But yeah, then I was able to do the larger run after that once we launched the the official site, and how do you go about so someone might have their own product in mind? Or they might be looking to do something similar to you? How do you go about doing market research like this? Is it literally just a case of giving some of the products to your mates? Or is it bit more in depth? Yeah, you know, I've always said that the getting feedback process is is such a tricky one, because everyone's feedback matters. But focus groups of one can be quite dangerous. And I found myself in a position where, especially for your friends and your family, because they love you and they want to help you. So they're giving you all of this feedback. And some of it is just, you know, as much when you have someone who is not a marketing expert, and giving you feedback on your marketing plan, sometimes you got to do a timeout. But there are a lot of companies out there that you can leverage for surveys. And I have a very good friend of mine actually, who happens to own an insights company. And so he helped me put together a bunch of different surveys, but anyone can do it, you know, go to like Survey Monkey, or any of these sites out there, we put together a survey just assessing what you want to know. And we we surveyed everything from the name of the brand, the look and feel of the packaging. And then we also once we got product out there, did the feedback around specify specific products and ingredients and got some really, really great feedback again, nothing that we changed dramatically. If anything, it reinforced that we were doing the right things, we had something going out there that that we could be proud of. And, and now is it just you is still the one man band? Or do we have, you know, a team, a kind of a loyal base, the team is building, what I have found right now is I cannot continue to do everything on my own. And so a content and a marketing standpoint, I've got some help there. And we are now putting together a basically a sales team. But they're going to be more so brand ambassadors that are going to go out there and push the product. So the team, the team is building. Alright, and you and I talk about maybe some social media, do you have campaigns as a platform that you'd like to hang out on? Yeah, so we're big on Instagram. So again, the name of the handle is at Pier performance. And that's really where we're leveraging a lot of our news. The different product launches when we're running sales and promotions, Instagram and Facebook are starting points. But we've got a YouTube channel as well that we've got some commercials out there and and some different how tos and routines on how to use the products. And then obviously we have our site so our site is the best place to go for updated updates on the products and on the brand. We've also got commercials out there on the site. So it's a fun place just to play around refund check out his Yes, I like the images as well. Like kind of all walks of life really. And then yeah, everyone. PS skin by the way.com is the place, PS skin.com. And we'll put all the links over on the show notes so people can check it out. And I'm on a performance is on Instagram just having a run through following the hell out of that. Yeah. So what's next, Joe? I know you know is you mentioned that moisturiser with maybe some SPF going on, but is there any other plans to kind of expand upon this now? Yeah, so we've got some some new products coming out next year that we're really excited about, I mentioned the moisturiser with the serum and the SPF that is really going to be great. We also have a pure sunscreen that will be coming out. So both for face and body, and that'll be coming next year. And then we're also going to be launching what I'm calling a beard kit. So different products to help those, those guys who are shaving. And then a couple of surprises, that I've got some surprise lunches that actually will be coming out probably very early on next year. That I think will be a lot of fun. Awesome. Man, it's been great talking to you. Thanks so much for taking the time out and speaking to us today. I always like to ask this question at the end. What advice would you give to your younger self? Or you know, maybe the three years ago when you started this project? You know, what advice would you give to your younger self and maybe future entrepreneurs? Oh, God, I would tell myself a couple of things. I think, first and foremost, just be kind to yourself. There, there were moments where like, you're just going to feel really down, you're going to question the hell out of what you're doing and why you're doing it. And just always being kind, I think is important. The other thing is, is really, you know, I think especially for somebody like me, who has been in corporate America and really within that construct for my entire professional career, you know, you've got to take the risk, and so it's gonna be scary as hell, you've got a degree that you prepare for it and you plan and you plan and you you, you feel like this is truly your passion and what you want to do and what you believe in. You've got to take that risk because at the end of the day, you don't take a chance on yourself. Who can you take a chance on your mouth? Yeah, founder of pure performance pleasure talking to you. You've been listening to the menswear style podcast be sure to head over to menswear style dot code at uk for more menswear content and email info at menswear style dot code at UK if you'd like to be a future guest on the show. Finally, please help support the show by leaving a review on iTunes or wherever you're listening to this podcast. Until next time