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"As a Gen Z founded company, we want to see more brands catering to this generation's perspective on inclusion, diversity, mental health, and self care."

Co-founder of FRONTMAN, Annelise Hillman shares how she and business partner, Nick Bunn, want to change the beauty industry to be more inclusive of Gen Z men.

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Can you tell us about FRONTMAN and what inspired you to start the business?

FRONTMAN is the Gen Z self care brand giving guys functional cosmetic solutions. Think Glossier for men. Nick and I founded FRONTMAN when we realized the vastly different way that society teaches guys and girls about self care, grooming, and skincare. Women have a million and one solutions for their beauty needs and guys have next to none. FRONTMAN is closing the grooming gap by giving guys intuitive, simple products that target their biggest pain points, starting with acne.

Tell us about your hero product!

Our hero product is FRONTMAN Fade, our acne fader that covers breakouts in seconds and treats them all day. We spent two years developing Fade with Dr. Elise Hillmann MD, our medical advisor, resident dermatologist, and Annelise's inspiring mother. Fade is unlike anything currently available for men, an OTC product with salicylic acid that actively treats acne while providing great coverage.

Frontman FADE(1).jpg

As an independent business yourself, what advice can you give to other self-starters?

If you see something that needs to change in the world, believe in your ability to change it. In the words of Margaret Mead, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." You're just as equipped as anyone to start a brand – and perhaps even more, since you have the vision.

What changes do you want to see in the beauty industry?

Men's skincare and cosmetics have been growing dramatically over the past couple years, and we're excited to be leading the movement towards men's mainstream cosmetic use. We define "guys" as anyone who identifies as one, because the relationship between gender and product should not be prescriptive. Our brand aims to be the gateway into this category as this cultural shift occurs in the next 5 years. As a Gen Z founded company, we also want to see more brands catering to this generation's perspective on inclusion, diversity, mental health, and self care.

What are some of the lessons you’ve learnt from mistakes along the way?

A brand is only as alive as its founders. Make sure to prioritize your self care, even when creating something that helps others. It's almost comically easy to burn out by stressing over things beyond your control, like launching during a pandemic, for example. In 2017, a study found that entrepreneurs are 50% more likely to report having a mental health condition compared to others. If you take care of yourself, you'll be much more likely to have a thriving business and an impactful brand.

Any other independent brands that you want to shout-out?

Shiffon Co is a fine jewelry company closing the gender funding gap by donating a portion of its profits to female founded companies. An investor in FRONTMAN, Shiffon is constantly pushing for change and championing brilliant women. 

Anything we should look out for with FRONTMAN in 2021?

Look out for some awesome new products, FRONTMAN in the news, and some exciting partnerships!

What can we do to support your business?

Follow us on IG and TikTok @befrontman and reach out if you'd like to collaborate!

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