Launched in 2021, Humānery is an online marketplace offering a wide selection of male beauty and personal care products. Humānery was born after its founder Sid Baveja faced his own personal struggles with choosing personal care products.
Humānery removes the stress and anxiety out of purchasing self-care products, giving men a safe space online to discover brands they love in their time of need. We caught up with Sid Baveja to find out more.
How did it all start?
Humānery was born following my own personal struggles, and journey with self-care. After experiencing post-shave razor burn, I found it a huge challenge to find a product from a traditional beauty store that catered for my needs.
I tried several options, and always ran into the same issue: lack of choice and lack of education and a stigmatized experience. Many stores don’t even have dedicated salespeople for men’s grooming products. After speaking with friends and family, I quickly realised this was a broader problem that many men were experiencing. Those who wanted to buy self-care products had no idea where to go to purchase them, and who to turn to for advice. The market needed something for men that was curated and convenient.
We launched Humānery in October 2021, to help remove the stress and anxiety out of purchasing self-care products, and to ultimately give men a safe space online to discover the brands they love, in their time of need.
How was the transition from finance to men’s grooming?
The transition from finance to becoming an entrepreneur in men’s grooming was a challenge, but my own personal struggles with finding the right products for me kept me going. Coupling my commercial acumen – having accumulated over 10+ years at Viagogo and Just Eat – with sheer determination to find a solution, was a hugely beneficial combination throughout the journey.
I’ve also been lucky enough to meet some amazing beauty and grooming experts along the way, many of which are now part my team. There is always more to learn, but Humānery is surrounded by supportive individuals who believe in our mission to break bias within the beauty industry and empower even more men to look and feel great.
What makes Humānery fundamentally different?
Humānery puts both the customer and the brand first. We have 2-sided marketplace model, as opposed to being a wholesale buyer with the capacity to undercut a brand and showcase less relevant products to customers in a bid to recoup costs.
Coming from a minority background, I truly believe that many groups are overlooked and underserved in the beauty industry, and I am passionate about changing this reality. Humānery is carefully curated, with a range of products that cater for men from all spheres of society. We are the big brother, sister, cousin or best friend supporting all men in their journey of education and discovery.
Humānery champions some of the world’s finest independent brands and gives small businesses an economical opportunity to sell their products. Whilst charging smaller fees means we make less profit; I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Each brand that we work with has a strong ethos and interesting story to tell, and we love nothing more than introducing our customers to a curated collection of self-care products to discover.
What is the best bit of feedback you have had from men who use Humānery?
First and foremost, the amount of choice we provide. Many customers praise the platform for helping them discover new products that have really help them with their personal self-care goals, or aesthetic concerns.
Second, our customers love the convenience, and ease of the journey from discovery to purchase. Customers can explore the platform at a time that suits them, and do not have to face the social anxiety or awkwardness that might be attached to an offline shopping experience for men’s grooming products.
What tend to be your best-selling products and why?
One of our best-selling brands is Patricks, a premium men’s grooming brand from Australia. They have incredible solutions for men’s hair loss, skin anti-ageing and natural deodorants. In fact, men’s hair loss and thinning hair is the top-most cited concern for our customers and is our best-selling category.
Ruffians is another well-loved brand by our customers, and Ruffians Hair Cream is definitely one of our best-selling products. Described as a “smoothie for your barnet”, this multi-purpose cream is an incredibly versatile wonder product that gives hold, conditioning, strength, and shine. We think it’s La Mer for Hair.
What are your favourite male grooming products?
One of my favourite grooming products is the HEATH Oil Control Moisturiser, from HEATH skincare. HEATH is a contemporary British brand on a mission to deliver fuss-free, ethical products, with fast results – that do not compromise on quality.
Their Oil Control Moisturiser is formulated with Lemon Myrtle Extract, spot-fighting Salicylic Acid, and mattifying Tapioca Starch.
I love it because it helps keep oily skin in check and has amazing credentials. For example, it is made using 92.30% natural ingredients, is free from parabens, sulphates, and has zero artificial colourants.
Another grooming brand I love has got to be skincare by Dr. David Jack. Dr Jack’s simple yet highly effective skincare products are some of the best I have ever come across. I’ve also had the huge privilege to get to know Dr. Jack and his philosophy really resonates with me: well-formulated, uncompromising but simple skincare routines done over a long period of time show the best results.
As with anything in life, the best outcomes take time and they come after nurture and care. His entire range is available on our platform.
What is the future for mens’ make up?
Men’s makeup has definitely become more of a part of the zeitgeist over the past few years, but not in the way it should be. The adoption of the market has been slow – we’ve been watching it for well over 10 years to try and gain a foothold and it’s obvious why it hasn’t.
We see that brands who sell men’s makeup as a patronising-curiosity like Chanel’s Boy de Chanel, rather than a serious, core part of their offerings, damage the wider adoption of men’s makeup because it’s ‘weird’ or ‘unusual’ – more like a PR stunt than a genuine proposition.
Many brands are still targeting early adopters rather than the majority – which is a fine strategy in many cases, but it’s been a decade and we’ve not moved on. At the same time, selling it like it’s militaristic ‘man armour’ is equally strange, tapping into this myth that all men have wildly fragile egos and grooming products have to be sold like F1 cars. It’s not what men are thinking or feeling, it’s a stereotype cooked up by marketing and PR departments and it’s becoming outdated. Men are not portrayed well in modern media as either ‘simps’ or psychos and it’s something we’re working hard to change.
Makeup for men should be as common as cleaning your ears or washing your face, that’s how we’re treating it at Humānery.com – it’s not a big deal and sensationalising it with overzealous headlines and ‘freak show’ messaging doesn’t make it acceptable – it’s just concealer, not a head-transplant.
Are there any future products or product areas you want to focus on?
We are looking to build further on our fragrance curation and grooming tools selection. We’d love to be able to offer premium and cutting-edge solutions in these product categories, just as we do for haircare, skincare, shaving and other categories. So, we’re calling out to all premium brands in fragrances and grooming tools to reach out to us. We’d love to have a chat.
What is next for you and Humānery?
Since its launch Humānery has seen steady growth. Starting from a small idea I dreamt up a few years ago, to gaining seed investment last summer, launching in October, and now through our second round of funding. The journey has been amazing so far, and I believe we will continue this upward trajectory.
The Male BPC (beauty and personal care) is the fastest-growing category in the global beauty industry, currently valued at more than $160 million dollars – and growing more than 4% year on year. It is a hugely untapped market that Humānery is set to capitalise on.
In terms of what is next – we will continue to grow our loyal customer base, and further our mission to encourage more men to put self-care first. I have a strong feeling about the future and cannot wait to see what it holds for both Humānery, and the grooming industry.
To discover more, visit: Humānery.com
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All imagery courtesy of Humānery / Sid Baveja.