A while ago, I reviewed a really fantastic pomade from Grant’s Golden Brand. As it turns out, Grant is a super nice and interesting guy, and I wanted to know more about him. He sat down to answer a few questions about his brand, his interests, and his inspiration:
Electrogent: who are you, and what do you do? What would you tell someone who hasn’t heard of you or Grant’s Golden Brand?
Grant: Hi, I’m Grant Fukuda, the creator and owner of Grant’s Golden Brand Pomade. I’m an entrepreneur and I have an eclectic background that includes music, the arts, skateboarding, retail, marketing, and a passion in vintage car culture. Grant’s Golden Brand Pomade was launched in 2009 and we are the purveyors of carefully crafted water-based pomades that offer long-lasting hold, attractive light custom scents, ability to restyle hair throughout the day as well as wash off easily at the end of the day, all backed with first-rate customer service. We just recently added our Medium Blend pomade and we’ll be adding more grooming products in due time.
E: What inspired you to start Grant’s Golden Brand?
G: I was an avid consumer and collector of men’s grooming products and pomades. This included Japanese water-based pomades. But I didn’t feel Japanese pomades were very accessible for the American gentleman (availability, high shipping costs, high price, overly sweet scents for many of my American friends). So my passion for men’s hair products combined with my desire to make pomades that reflected the lifestyles of me and my friends inspired me to create my own brand.
E: Earlier you told me that you went through ten revisions of the product before you formulated the right pomade to market. What was missing from the previous ten versions, and when did you know that the final version was the one?
G: I started with testing a lot of different samples on myself, and then I had friends test the different phases of the products until we had all reached a point where we said “This is it.” We were trying to get right the hold (not strong enough?), the shine (too much or too little?), the smell (too strong or not strong enough?). The nature of the pomade also changes depending on climate so that can get tricky so we’ve had to test it through the seasons and in different environments. And then you just know when it all comes together and your vision of your ideal product is realized.
E: Your company’s motto is “Style is Everything.” What does that mean to you, and how does it play a role in your company?
G: We respect everyone’s unique styles, but for us style is about looking your best in a way that honestly reflects your true self. Not only what you put on but how you carry yourself. Pulling from influences is great, we all do it, but we don’t think people should only follow what “fashion experts” or friends tell you is the right way to look. It’s all about customizing, tailoring, adapting style influences to your personal viewpoint that creates your unique style. It’s a lifestyle.
E: What sets your company apart from all the other hair product companies?
G: We can’t speak for other hair companies. We’re just trying to put out quality products that we’re passionate about. We’re an independent, small family owned and operated company trying our best to provide products with high function and design. We make our hair products in small batches out of the West coast. We’re also really big on customer service. I think it’s something that’s strangely lacking these days. We want our customers to feel good about the purchase they made with their hard-earned money. We’re not trying to out-do other hair or pomade companies, we’re just really focused on being a good company with stellar products.
E: Where do you see your company in 5 years?
G: We hope to see more growth and to add on more quality grooming products.
E: What advice would you give someone who wants to start their own hair product line from scratch?
G: Persistence, persistence, persistence. Make sure it’s your dream and you’re ready to go all-in because it’s hard work with lots of sacrifice. My wife and I had to give up a lot to pursue this dream. We launched this company smack dab in the middle of the recession when people weren’t buying products as much and we didn’t have any money for marketing or a fancy website or designers. But if it’s something you love, the challenges pale in comparison to being able to say you had a dream and went for it. No regrets in life. And there’s a lot of grooming companies out there so you really have to put your personal mark on it.
E: Where does the “Golden” part of Grant’s Golden Brand come from? The color of the pomade?
G: The color of the pomade is definitely the main reason, but I’ve always liked that word because it has positive associations for me – something bright, something of value, something to work toward for the future while keeping an eye on the golden era (a play of modernity and tradition, the best of both worlds).
E: If someone told you that they prefer the cheapest possible hair product around, and would never buy something from a specialized boutique company like Grant’s, how would you convince them to leave the dark side?
G: Most of us are on tight budgets and we understand that it’s especially hard right now for everyone. We think that if you can only afford a $2 grooming product because that’s all you can do by way of budget, then you should feel good about that purchase. We have family members in that situation so we get it. We’ve been there. But I guess the way we look at it is we’re at a point in our lives where we’d rather spend $100 on a really well-made pair of shoes that’ll last a dozen years rather than constantly spending on $15 shoes that might keep breaking every few months. My wife will spend $50 on one really good beauty product rather than going to the drugstore and buying 10 different beauty products, which then ends up being more expensive anyways. Our cost reflects high quality ingredients and producing our pomades in the United States. Except for our customers who are creating a pompadour or a really stylized look every single day, for the rest of our customers our pomade should last a good deal of time. Our pomades are 4.5 ounces and if you use them every single day, you should on average get about two to three months out of them, if you’re using them every now and then, then of course you’ll have them much longer. A little goes a long way.
E: What is the first thing you do in the morning?
G: Make strong coffee.
E: Donald Trump aside, what is your least favorite hair style? Most favorite?
G: My answer goes back to what I said about style. My favorite hairstyle is what you make look good for you (maybe you don’t have much hair to work with or maybe you have too much – this doesn’t really matter so much as you make it look good with what you have and of course with a good product). My least favorite hairstyle is the one you created just for the purpose of looking like everyone else regardless of whether it actually works for you or not.
E: You’re based out of Seattle right now–if you could move your company and base it out of any city in the world, would you move? If so, where?
G: Seattle’s a great town. There’s a lot of beauty and charm here. You’ve got the city life (and lots of coffee houses and bars), but you can get away to the nature, to the water, to the mountains, take a long drive to the smaller towns. Food is fresh and pretty affordable, and also things like the electricity is the lowest we’ve ever paid in our lives (for a city), so being here is good for a small, independent start-up like us. And of course, our pomade producers are also based here, so it just makes sense all around for us to be here right now. With that said, my wife would probably like us to be bi-coastal with New York City (if money and practicality weren’t issues) – she loves the sun and she loves that city with a passion.
E: The Grant’s Golden Brand logo is fantastic. Who designed it?
G: I designed/hand drew the logo and then I had my friend who’s a graphic designer clean it up for me to make it print ready.
E: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
G: Thank you Andrew and Electrogent for getting the word out about Grant’s Golden Brand Pomade. For your readers who’ve never used pomades, we’re here to help with tips and advice, so we’d love to hear from them. We’ll be adding more hair products so stay tuned for that. In addition to the pomades, we just designed a new Tiger shirt that’s only available on our website and we’ll be releasing another shirt inspired by our new Medium Blend pomade in the summer.
Have you used Grant’s Golden Brand pomade before? Do you have any questions for Grant himself? Leave your comments in the comments below.