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Trading the trades for shaves with passion project start-up, Tame

The grooming industry is forecast to reach a value of $82 million by 2024 according to Statista, and Nik McIntosh is ready to be at the forefront for the Kiwi scene with Tame.

Before making the decision to take over the world of grooming, Nik McIntosh had his fair share of careers, specifically within trades.

From 15, McIntosh was a plumber for around five years, before taking up an opportunity at a design consultancy specialising in trades such as plumbing.

McIntosh was able to work his way up that ladder to managing 30 to 40 people, but realised he was “losing creative outlets”.

“I was dealing with people, people issues or whatever those things are,” he says.

After working on the side creating a business focused on online education for tradespeople, Trade Lab, McIntosh decided to dive into the competitive world of the grooming industry.

The idea for Tame first came about for McIntosh during the pandemic, when he had spare time and he found himself pushed into the grooming space.

“I started to look at it a little bit closer, it really became, I think, a bit more apparent than most of the stuff out there was basically you either have hair or you have no hair, and that was being communicated to guys and girls,” he explains.

“We felt that was not necessary for the modern world.”

Tame was built on the conversation of body positivity surrounding body hair and McIntosh wanted to express through his brand to have confidence around how people choose to present themselves through grooming.

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The current grooming industry is a competitive market that specifically caters to separate audiences of male and female.

McIntosh says he wanted to target the societal pressures everyone faces in regard to body hair and that is what makes Tame different.

“That sort of segmentation between those two genders has driven businesses to have to separate out the genders. And I say with what’s happening at the moment, I think it just creates a different opportunity, which is super exciting,” he says.

Nik McIntosh.

“We wanted to make sure that people had really access to the correct tools for them to be able to present themselves in a way that makes them feel comfortable and confident.”

By targeting both ends of the spectrum through Tame, McIntosh says it makes them more dynamic as they head into a space that is rapidly changing.

Though McIntosh hopes to become a gender-neutral brand, there are still challenges along the way.

“Part of the challenge is trying to figure out how to be gender-neutral in the way that we are presenting things and to make sure that we’re able to straddle the differences between men and women’s grooming, and make sure that everybody’s got flexibility,” he adds.

As someone who specialises in trades, McIntosh found that running a business outside of his comfort zone was a massive adjustment.

“Trade Lab is an online education business with no tangible product that you can touch to be able to manage and is purely knowledge based. With that knowledge base, it’s a lot more niche, but also, it’s a lot more difficult to be able to scale because you need other specific pieces of knowledge or other specific knowledge bases,” McIntosh says.

“Whereas obviously with Tame, it’s a tangible product. The management processes, the entire business processes between the two of them are very, very different.”

But despite the challenges, McIntosh is aiming to be the Kiwi at the forefront of the grooming industry, with goals to expand globally over the next five years.

Along with entering new and different markets, McIntosh says Tame is currently working on new products, to be released soon.

With this new opportunity, McIntosh is set on making the world of grooming a place of accessibility, affordability and acceptance.

Bernadette is a content writer across SCG Business titles. To get in touch with her, email [email protected]

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