Waterford startup Mohecan is eying up a Christmas boost with Amazon launch, writes Trish Dromey.
Targeting the fast-growing male grooming market with a range of corrective cosmetics for men, Waterford company Mohecan has launched on Amazon UK just in time for Christmas.
Since setting out to develop the first Irish male cosmetics brand two years ago, Mohecan has developed an offering that includes concealer, a tinted moisturiser, a bronzer, eyebrow gel, and an anti-shine product.
Pointing out that beard care sets and men’s moisturising sets have become popular gifts in recent years, company co-founder Charlotte Matabaro says she is now hoping to see Mohecan products joining them under the Christmas tree.
Estimating that 30% of company sales have been bought by women for their menfolk, she’s expecting to see good sales over the next month.
Ms Matabaro says that the male grooming market which includes corrective cosmetics, as well as beard care products, has taken off in recent years and developed into an industry worth billions around the world.
She believes that acceptance of the use of male corrective cosmetics is growing, especially in the UK and Germany, and will grow in Ireland too.
The launch on Amazon in October is seen by Mohecan as a first step towards developing international exports.
“We are now up and running with Amazon in the UK and Spain and in 2020 we have plans to sell on Amazon in France, Germany, and Italy and also in the US by the end of the year,” she says.
Because male cosmetics is a new area, Ms Matabaro and her co-founder Marc Power have found it hard to get Mohecan off the ground.
Since setting up two years ago, they have had some difficulty securing funding and are now tapping revenue from sales to grow the business.
Nonetheless, they plan to launch a €150,000 fundraising round in the New Year. Both were working in recruitment when a chance comment about a dream job, prompted Mr Power to say he’d like to make corrective male cosmetics and for Ms Matabaro to say “let’s do it’’.
Having used women’s cosmetics to cover up skin conditions, Mr Power felt there would be a market opening for a range that was especially designed for men.
They did some research and followed up on the idea by signing up for Enterprise Ireland’s New Frontiers programme.
Discovering that men were often using women’s cosmetics or using cosmetics which hadn’t been specifically designed for men they decided to create “a new virtually undetectable range of water-based male cosmetics”.
“Finding a company to manufacture product for us was particularly difficult,” says Ms Matabaro, explaining that many didn’t want to deal with a small company or weren’t interested in making male cosmetics. They eventually found a company in Spain willing to make the cosmetics they wanted.
“We specified no fragrance or reflectives and that we wanted water-based products which wouldn’t be noticeable,” she says.
By the end of 2018, they launched their first products on their own company website, using social media as a marketing tool.
Because of difficulties with funding they have operated by having their products made in small batches.
“Selling on Amazon has been our goal from the beginning,’’ says Ms Matabaro, because their research showed that men mostly buy grooming products online.
The founders began working part-time in other jobs to keep Mohecan going in 2018. But now that they have launched on Amazon UK, they are optimistic about future growth and are preparing to launch a new skincare range next year.
Although the main focus is on developing international sales, Mohecan is hoping to develop retail sales in Ireland and is currently in discussions with a pharmacy chain.
Ms Matabaro says Mohecan has plans to sell in the world’s six largest male grooming markets — the US, the UK, Brazil, South Korea, Germany, as well as China.