Not many people can call themselves serial entrepreneurs by their early twenties, but Canadian brothers Sam and Alex Lewkowict can certainly claim that title. As early as age 12, the brothers were starting businesses reselling toys and sports jerseys to classmates.
Their ability to instinctually see a need, a market and an opportunity eventually led them from preteen toy resellers to full-on small business owners when they launched a car wash business in their native Montreal while still in high school. But 20 and 21, the brothers’ latest business venture, Black Wolf Skincare, isn’t about making a buck, it’s about providing a solution to a problem they had themselves: a lack of knowledge around how to care for their skin.
Their timing couldn’t be better. The men’s grooming market is seeing rapid growth, estimated to reach $29.14 billion dollars globally by 2024. And it’s being led by innovative, direct-to-consumer brands like Black Wolf.
Since the brand launched earlier this year with three products (a face wash, a moisturizing gel and a razor bump cream), the brothers have seen their sales double nearly every week. In fact, in the few times we’ve spoken since I first met them six months ago, they have sold out of product three times. Not bad for young guys with no formal business training.
It seems the secret is that, as the cliché goes, they’re also customers. The idea to start a skincare line wasn’t because they had (any) experience in the beauty industry. Instead, they wanted to help guys like themselves to look and feel better, but didn’t know how to start. The products they developed are specifically formulated to address a variety of men’s skin needs like including charcoal for deep cleansing or leaving pore-clogging oil out of their moisturizer. I spoke to the brothers about how they started a business from scratch, what they’ve learned and, most importantly, why skincare.