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Male grooming is nothing new. Part of many men’s morning routines include shaving their facial hair, but today we’re talking about shaving something that’s a little more… southern.

Over the years, there have been brands popping up around the globe to break the taboo of manscaping. There’s the iconic Manscaped from the US, and brands like Bovem from Singapore.

And now, there’s Nateskin from Malaysia.

Actually, it started in Australia

Although both co-founders were born and bred in Malaysia, the two studied accounting and finance in Australia, and later started their careers down under too.

Jared kicked off his career with investment banking, which somehow led him to learning digital marketing, of all things.

“Throughout the first two years in my career, a lot of university students would reach out to me for career advice on how to get a job in the banking/finance industry,” he explained.

Image Credit: Nateskin

He continued, “I was no career coach by any means, but I decided to compile the experiences of a few friends and my own experiences and published by first book, ‘How to get a Grad Job’ in 2019. Through this experience, I had to self-learn all aspects of digital marketing.”

This resulted in a career change in 2020 that would build the foundations for Nateskin. In actuality, though, Jared’s entrepreneurial streak dates back to even earlier days.

“I’ve always had a little entrepreneurial blood in me since I was young,” Jared shared. “I remember my first ever ‘venture’ was when I was in primary school.”

He went on to share how he and his sister would make homemade wands with chopsticks and a hot glue gun (Harry Potter was huge at the time). After giving the makeshift wands a paint job, they’d sell them for RM5 a pop in school. 

“For my sister, it was an arts and crafts activity,” he clarified. “For me, it was an opportunity to make more pocket money.”

But the stakes were higher with Nateskin. It wasn’t just pocket change at this point. Yet, Jared and Rebecca decided to take the risk of entrepreneurship while they were young and could afford to fail.

With the knowledge that success wasn’t guaranteed, the two took a leap of faith and launched Nateskin in Australia and Malaysia. 

A sensitive topic about a sensitive region

Considering the conservative nature of Malaysia, the co-founders were surprised to find that the reception for Nateskin was much better at home than in Australia. Jared thinks this is due to the lack of men’s grooming products in Malaysia.

Seeing the results, the entrepreneurs decided to move back home and grow the team locally.

Jared agreed that talking about self-grooming, especially when it comes to intimate areas, is somewhat uncommon in Malaysia.

Image Credit: Nateskin

“We wanted to empower and be a voice for those who feel ashamed or awkward,” he said. “We want to make it a norm because we believe everyone deserves the best solutions to their problems and no one should ever feel ashamed of taking care of themselves.”

Okay, but who’s Nate?

When asked about the inspiration behind Nateskin, Jared gave a refreshingly realistic answer.

“During lockdown in 2020, I left myself truly unkempt,” he started. “My usual waxing appointments that I used to go frequently were closed for months on end.”

Jared tried using a razor to keep himself groomed but that left him with cuts and nicks. He even bought a shaver from a well-known brand designed for chest hair, but that somehow resulted in severe in-grown hair.

Image Credit: Nateskin

Eventually, Jared decided that enough was enough, and he had to create a nick-free, affordable solution for himself. 

But instead of calling the brand JaredSkin, the co-founder felt like “Nate” had a better ring to it.

“If you were to look up Nates in the dictionary, it actually means buttocks!” Jared added.  “Since our first product is a hair trimmer for your back, sack, and crack, Nateskin had the best blend of catchiness and subtle wittiness in its name.”

Cutting out a niche for themselves

According to Jared, normal razors just don’t do the trick for the nether regions.

“I have used razors in the past, and I’ve butchered my privates using them,” he declared. “I’ve also heard the same nightmare stories from my friends and on forums online.”

The Nateskin team / Image Credit: Nateskin

This, paired with the fact that normal razors are not known for their durability, led him to the Nateskin Trimmer’s design. The trimmer uses ceramic blades, which are supposedly sharper than normal blades but yet are safe.  

Nateskin’s R&D team in Australia works with an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to create a customised product. You might see similar designs in the market, but Jared said the way his trimmers differ comes down to the edges.

While the OEM’s version have sharp rectangular edges, Nateskin’s design features a slight curved edge on the blade, which makes it gentler and safer on the skin.

These trimmers are also 100% waterproof, perfect for easy clean-up in the shower.

The company offers a “No Nicks guarantee” too, because as Jared explained, “To be truly confident about the quality of our product, we want to put our money where our mouths are.”

This guarantee, as outlined on Nateskin’s website, lets customers get a full refund if they experience any nicks or cuts on their “precious pair”.

Apparently, some do take the brand up on the offer, though Jared said it has only been a handful of them, with around one refund in 500 sales due to a defective unit, usually.

Not just for manscaping

Down the road, Nateskin wants to break out of the manscaping shell and start providing solutions to all sorts of awkward topics. This includes things like body odour and bad breath.

“We are currently working on our next product range which is a 100% natural deodorant to combat odour, which we aim to launch in September 2022,”Jared revealed.

This would allow the brand to open up its demographic to women, a group that Jared says has actually reached out to the brand as they were interested in female-friendly products.

Image Credit: Nateskin

However, Nateskin Trimmers are entirely unisex, according to Jared. This might not be obvious at all, though, considering the language Nateskin uses in its marketing.

If you visit the brand’s about page, it might elicit a laugh or two as it uses a lot of euphemisms for male genitals.

“We don’t take ourselves too seriously,” Jared said regarding the branding. “We want to be able to have a good, fun, time creating a strong brand, and we use humour a lot in our branding to give people a good laugh, and hopefully, a lasting impression.”

  • Learn more about Nateskin here.
  • Read more articles we’ve written about Malaysian startups here.

Featured Image Credit: Nateskin

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