This is one post of a series showcasing badass startups, mentor genius, and insights from entrepreneurial ecosystems around the world. Follow the journey via www.catgeorge.com or on social media @kittengeorge via Twitter & Instagram.
He’d never admit it, but Moises Hamui has always been “that guy”. The one who looks good, smells good, dresses well – men want to be him and girls want to date him. But this goes beyond surface appearances. Hamui is a firm believer in the adage that if you don’t feel your best then you can’t perform your best. Though we often use external measures to define self-esteem (like clothes that people wear), it’s the internal drive to take care of yourself that is the most transformative. And this drive doesn’t only do good for you but permeates goodness beyond to the people around you. The consistency of feeling good inside and out is an imperative part of self-esteem. But what about if you can’t access the products that make you look and feel good? What if you don’t have somewhere that you trust to find these things, ask questions, and to purchase products? This is especially true for male grooming products. Hence, why SoyMacho was born. Think of it as if Dollar Shave Club, Amazon, & GQ had a love child. SoyMacho is an online marketplace for male grooming products in Mexico. Male grooming products (true translation – male beauty products) has been an up-and-coming industry trailblazed by companies like Mr. Porter, Harry’s as well as publications like Esquire and Men’s Health. And this male grooming market isn’t slowing down. In Mexico alone, the male grooming market boomed 40% over the last 5 years.
“If you don’t feel your best, you can’t perform your best.” – Moises Hamui, Co-Founder @SoyMachoMx
SoyMacho sprang from a poignant negative experience Hamui had looking for an eye cream in a female beauty department. The sales reps were degrading, unhelpful and made him feel like sh*t. Moises Hamui went into a beauty store with a simple goal – not to look like shit. Instead, he felt deprived of his masculinity from the treatment of the sales clerks. Instead of internalizing this experience as a fault of his own, Moises realized this likely wasn’t only he experienced. He wanted a store where he could feel comfortable shopping for male grooming products. The success of SoyMacho’s launch validated Hamui’s hypothesis. The first 3 months of the startup, they grew from 30 orders per month to 60 to 150.
The male grooming market in Mexico has boomed 40 percent in the last 5 years.
What was the secret sauce that drove this success? A campaign in which SoyMacho offered 10% off the first product to all new customers and then an additional 10% for referring another customer which resulted in the acquisition of over 1,800 emails in under 10 days. A pretty legendary launch in terms of startup campaigns. The company is bootstrapped to date but still shows great numbers in that it has 20% revenue growth year over year. Another telling statistic is the fact that their recurring customers – about 750 a month – are loyal beyond reason and tend to purchase a product every 33 days. Not to mention, there are a few game-changing tools Hamui recommends that drove results behind the campaign and still fuel SoyMacho.com today including:
The secret behind this success is twofold: marketing expertise and innovative products. Their main marketing mediums are Google Ads, Facebook Ads, stellar SEO and prominent social media presence. Not to mention, they are bringing a new conversation to the table. “We’re talking about things in Mexico that no other person or company is talking about. People are looking for it and we’re the first (and only) thing that is the answer to their inquiry.” Likewise, content creation and a blog that is a thought leader in style, grooming, and lifestyle for men drives customers and generates 40,000 views a month.
“We’re talking about things that nobody else is talking about.” – Moises Hamui, Co-Founder @SoyMachoMx
Not only does SoyMacho pride itself on being a place that makes men feel welcome to find products to make them feel their best, but it also has the widest variety of products for all markets in Mexico with over 600 products. This is even more than conglomerate franchises like Sephora, Nordstrom, and other major department stores. These are products from both big and small brands with one thing in common – they have been tried and tested and loved by Moises himself. The team curates every product that they sell in the store and they are uncompromising in the fact of only selling the best of the best. Their criteria are simple: they use it, experience it, and if they’d use it again and get rave reviews from their peers, it’s a go. Otherwise, no way. Of all these products, Moises’ favorite is hair pomade and Kiehl’s eye cream (insider exclusive for you =).
“Some entrepreneurs want money, other entrepreneurs want to build something that lasts.” – Moises Hamui, Co-Founder @SoyMachoMx
Moises shared a few thoughts on startup leadership. “Some entrepreneurs want money, other entrepreneurs want to build something that lasts”, says Hamui. “One isn’t better than the other, but each type drives different motives for decision making and leadership. Some entrepreneurs are willing to suffer more than others.” Hamui thinks there are 2 types of CEOs: visionaries and business savvy. Visionaries are born salesmen – bleeding the passion that sells itself and willing to do anything it takes to make their customers happy and their partners excited. Whereas business people are able to keep an eye out for operational necessities such as logistics, the legal and financial health of the company. Being the CEO who embodies both of these CEO profiles is ideal, though not something you see every day – a lesson Moises has learned from experience.
SoyMacho is one of the 35 global startups apart of Parallel 18’s Generation 3 cohort. The greatest value according to Hamui has been acquiring a global network of friends who are genuinely willing to help you. Not to mention, access to great feedback, unbelievable mentor talks, and a space that empowers you to try new things have been huge value adds to Moises and SoyMacho. But, mentor whiplash and learning to filter the best advice can be a challenge. You can respect the mentors’ advice, and acknowledge it’s all good but you also need to trust your gut on what is the right fit for your company as well as stay diligently focussed on the advice that will yield the most value (and simultaneously learn to say no to advice that leads you down rabbit holes of ideas).
“Create a company for fun & have fun while doing it.”
– Moises Hamui, Co-Founder @SoyMachoMx
Hamui’s advice to fellow entrepreneurs, simple: create a company for fun and have fun while doing it. Otherwise, move on. Not to mention, Hamui shares a few more practical resources that have been transformative for operations at SoyMacho. His favorite game-changing tools include Mailchimp, Shopify, Recharge Payments, Yotpo, Ad Espresso and Loyalty Lion. As for the horizon of SoyMacho, the company is relentless on being the go-to place for male grooming products providing the highest quality and greatest variety of products. Though currently serving customers in Mexico, they’ll be expanding throughout Latin America – Argentina, Brazil, Chile– which is the largest up and coming e-commerce market on the planet.
SoyMacho is relentless on being the go-to place for male grooming products providing the highest quality and greatest variety of products.
Check out SoyMacho for yourself → www.soymacho.com
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