I’ve recently discovered the world of online shopping and I can tell you that it’s the Best. Thing. Ever. I vividly remember receiving my first ever parcel from the post and I literally jumped for joy as I hugged the items tightly in my arms. It was something I anticipated for a while now and it was awesome to finally have it within my grasps.
It’s these little moments of joy interspersed between our daily routine that makes shopping for items online a wholesome experience. I can’t help but ponder though that the fairer sex has more options when browsing the World Wide Web to shop for beauty and hygiene products, clothing, or more.
The selection may be wide for men as well, but perhaps not as wide or detailed as their fairer counterpart. As such, shopping for niche quirky goods as a man can be a tougher ordeal. Sure, there are the generic unisex brands and even men-centric ones which could offer beauty, fashion and grooming items on their site but it would not be too far-fetched to say that they are few and far in between, especially on our local shores.
Quirky And Made For Men
That’s how Bro & Joe, a local site which offers specially curated products for men came along to fill the gap within the market for such a platform. A quick browse through the website and one would be spoiled for choice on what they could add to cart. In fact, even as a woman, I’d like to “add to cart” everything on site. Rest assured men will love it just as much, if not more.
From quirky items such as an eucalyptus mist scented candle and a manatea tea infuser, to a retro coffee grinder and beard oil, the options are endless. In fact, founder of Bro & Joe, Jack Chan shared with Vulcan Post, “We’re like the FHM that’s locally bred. Bringing not only gift ideas and goodies to men, but also the latest info and news that’s least expected. All in all, a combo of an e-commerce store and an e-magazine.”
Besides the items on the site which also ships internationally, Bro & Joe also has an e-magazine which consists of content which runs along the entertainment theme. As for the price points of the item, when comparing one item to another, it is significantly cheaper. For instance, the Cards Of Humanity game set which retails for RM189 on another online site is sold for an original price of RM110 on Bro & Joe. Best part is, now that it’s on sale, it is ONLY RM56!
Other items are also sold at a reasonable price considering how niche they are. A camera motif mini pillow for RM57 and a wooden iPhone stand for RM36 is after all a good price for photographers and Apple users.
By 2 Men, For Men
The idea for Bro & Joe materialised as an online store in September 2015, when Jack and fellow co-founder Aryton Soliano pondered a thought aloud. “Where do men get cool stuff” ran through their minds. Jack relayed, “Of course, there are deal sites and marketplaces that sell stuff like this too but more often than not, the quality is questionable or the merchants themselves are a little dodgy. It’s either that or resort to branded items from high-end retailers. So that’s when we knew we could do something about it. With the introduction of an e-commerce store that offer gifts and goods for men.”
Jack is currently working with Astro Go Shop as a digital marketing specialist whilst Aryton is working with a media agency as a social media community manager, whilst also fronting a band called No Tyra. Clearly, the lads have their hands full, but as with all things, they found the time to work on what they call their “passion project”.
Jack said, “We’re really small and quite literally a startup since this isn’t our main gig. We’re fully self-funded and a two-man band. I’m serious. Everything you see on the store and magazine, that’s all just 2 guys. From the inventory, purchasing, delivery, packaging right down to the follow ups, social media and content. Just 2 guys.”
Homegrown And Still Growing
The way Bro & Joe makes themselves relatable to the Malaysian culture is with a name that is both quirky and fun. “We enjoy the play of words and we like it local. Having said that, we wanted a name that rings true to our ultimate goal of building a tight-knit community of men that like what we like. Giving them guides and gift ideas to ultimately make all “bros” more than just average “joes”. At the same time, what do Malaysian men call their friends or newly found acquaintances? Without a doubt, you’ll hear them calling each other “bro” or “joe” right?” Jack said.
On top of their memorable moniker, their items also live up to the standard by being carefully curated by the pair. Their first objective when looking for brands to add is that they must be indie. Yes, the lads consider themselves as borderline hipster and hence, they like to keep their brands independent, meaning none of their products are made by big-time brands.
“We try our best to look for local brands that can work with us. Of course, there are still international brands that work with us. Trying our best to source locally because after all, we want to support the local industry. Any brand that’s truly unique and have a vision that’s aligned with ours, those are the kind of people we work with,” Jack shared.
They are confident with what they are putting out there to the world, and have sold more than 300 items so far, with most of the customers being repeat buyers. Jack said, “We feel like we’re moving in the right direction and getting items that can excite our customers is our ultimate goal. Imagine a site that can give you an endless amount of gift ideas you won’t even think about? Or stuff you’ve seen around the internet that you can’t get in retail stores locally? That’s what excites us.”
(Feature image by Sylvia G/Peter Sudarso)