Quality & Performance at a Fair Price: Thoughtful Men’s Product at Harry’s

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In this episode of the Cowen Insights podcast, Cowen’s Retailing, Broadline, and Department Stores Analyst, Oliver Chen hosts Jeff Raider, Co-Founder, and Co-CEO of Harry’s, a brand focused on high-quality men’s shaving and grooming products.

Key topics include areas of growth opportunities for the brand such as verticalization, product innovation cycles, new brands, and platforms. They also discuss how Harry’s is defining innovation in the direct-to-consumer space, their customer acquisition strategy, and channel & distribution strategies. Press play to listen to the podcast.

Transcript

Speaker 1:

Welcome to Cowen Insights, a space that brings leading thinkers together to share insights and ideas shaping the world around us. Join us as we converse with the top minds who are influencing our global sectors.

Oliver Chen:

Harry’s is redefining personal care. This is a visionary podcast series about visionary ideas and people. My name is Oliver Chen, I’m Cowen’s new platform’s, retail and luxury analyst. And this episode of our Retail and Dream Visionary podcast series, we’re excited to spend time with Jeff Raider. He’s the co-founder, and co-CEO of Harry’s, which is a brand focused on high quality men’s shaving and grooming products, as well as a broader innovative platform. I use Harry’s every day, the company’s redefining personal care for new generations with fair prices, innovation, and a clear social mission. So, an introduction on Jeff Raider as co-founder of both Harry’s and Warby Parker, he builds companies and brands that people like more. Prior to Harry’s Jeff co-founded Warby Parker, and before founding these companies, Jeff worked at Charlesbank Capital Partners in Bain. He graduated from Johns Hopkins with a BA, and masters in international studies and affairs, and also, has an MBA from Wharton. Jeff, it’s great to be here with you.

Jeff Raider:

Oliver. Thank you for having me. It’s good to see you.

Oliver Chen:

We’d love to hear about your founding story. How has the brand evolved since the beginning?

Jeff Raider:

Yeah. So, our founding story at Harry’s happened in late 2011. My co-founder Andy, who had been a good friend of mine for a while, G chatted with me one day. Sometimes we say he called me, but the truth is he G chatted me and he got in touch with me. And he essentially said like, “Jeff, I had a pretty bad experience with Drugstore. I waited for 10 minutes for someone to unlock the razor case, I overpaid or razor blades and shaving cream. Looking at my package, there’s like a picture of a blade flying over the moon. This just doesn’t feel like a great purchase experience for me. Could you take what you learn building Warby Parker,” and I’d done that sort of prior, “And apply it to men shaving, and personal care more broadly?” And I sort of… I remember sitting back in my chair and thinking like, wow, Andy’s right. It’s not a great experience buying razors and blades, these big brands, like Gillette can take advantage of us as customers. There’s got to be a huge difference between what it costs to make these products, and what they charge for them.

Jeff Raider:

And the brands are telling me I’ve got to be the best. I just kind of want to be me. And I feel like we could do it better. And if we could do it better for ourselves, then I wonder if we could do better for lots of other guys out there. And then we went down this whole path of trying to figure out if we could actually make that happen. So, I think first we tried to validate that like other guys felt the way we did. We weren’t just kind of two of the only people in the world had felt that way. And it turned out that we had lots of guys did, that I think lots of people wanted really, really awesome products, design that they believed, in a brand that shared their values, that did good for them in the community that they could access where wherever and however they wanted starting online, and that delivered their products at a fair price.

Jeff Raider:

And so, I think that was the first thing. And then we had to figure out how to make really good products. And I learned this really on at Warby Parker, and certainly translated to Harry’s, great products matter so much. We take so much pride in every single thing that we make. And with razors and blades in particular, a razor blade’s like a knife that you take to your face every day. It’s got to work well and be good. And you can’t just make one good razor blade. You have to put five blades in a cartridge and all those have to work together in a thoughtful way. And then you have to make sure that every one of those shaves performs in the way that it should, which means that you need sort of complete precision across millions, and millions, and millions, and millions, of very small metal pieces, these blades.

Jeff Raider:

And it turns out that razor blades are incredibly complicated to make, because of all those factors. I learned later, you actually change the molecular composition of steel when you make a razor blade. You have to heat it and cool it to a place where you can then put the right edge on the blade so that it’s both very durable, and very sharp. Then you coat it with complex coatings, put it into cartridges in ways where each of the blades excessively cuts hair, like there’s real science behind it. We ended up finding a razor blade manufacturer in Germany that at the time, they had been around for about 90 years, that made really, really high quality blades. And so, we started to work with them. And thank goodness we found them. I remember the first time I shaved with their product, I was like, “Wow, this is good. We might actually have a solution here.”

Jeff Raider:

And then early on to our journey at Harry’s, we ended up buying that factory and vertically integrating the business. Because at that point in time, we had conviction from our customers that the products were making were good, that they liked them, and they were coming back. And because we were reaching out to them on direct to consumer, we had clarity on how we could actually continue to innovate on those products and improve them for people. And we’ve done that over the last eight years since we bought the factory, which has been a very cool thing to get to do, and see, and actually watch come to life. So, that was sort of the initial part of the business. So then, we had an idea that validated a big need, a product that we thought met the need. And then it was about bringing a brand to life that guys really loved.

Jeff Raider:

And that’s what we tried to do with the Harry’s brand. A brand that made people feel like we were there for them that was sort of warm, and open, and celebrated people for kind of not being the same as everybody else for zigging when other people zag. I think Andy and I tried to kind of be ourselves as we built the brand, not shaving experts, but just regular guys, like you, who wanted a better solution for ourselves. We felt like if we could do that, and connect with people directly online to start, and really get to know them, and learn from them, and be there for them, and then do good in the community while we’re doing that. We built a model where we give 1% of our sales to organizations that support the purpose of the brand.

Jeff Raider:

We’ve spent a lot of time in the last number of years around men’s mental health, which has been super important to both us as founders in our community. We felt like we could build something that we would really be really proud to be a part of, and a product and brand we’d be really proud to use, and it’s been a fun journey from there.

Oliver Chen:

Yeah. There’s so many cool parts of your business, authenticity, vertical integration, customer centricity. What is your secret sauce and or core competencies as you’ve tackled many challenging problems and customers love it?

Jeff Raider:

That’s a great question. Our mission as a company is to create things people like more. And it sounds very simple, but you kind of compare it to other big corporate missions with lots of words on the page that we just thought that was just sort of a simple way to define what we need to do. And so, that, for me, kind of starts with understanding people, and putting yourself in their shoes, and figuring out, “Hey, would this be better if we did this? Would life be better tomorrow than it is today?” One of the fun moments I had in the Harry’s journey is I went to the UK as we were about to launch there. And I talked about how we changed a set of choices for guys in the US. Now, there were new, better options for them that were good value and good design. And the big brands couldn’t just kind of take advantage of people anymore.

Jeff Raider:

And people were like, “It’s going to be awesome when this comes to the UK. Life is going to get better for shavers.” And for me, that’s like a articulation of create things people like more. And so, we think about that, not just for Harry’s, but for new brands, we built like Flamingo and Cat Person, for new products we enter like body wash, or face wash, or hair styling products. And each of those products for me, needs a very simple articulation around how it could be better in someone’s lives. We also think about it vis-a-vis ourselves. If we make our razor blades better, and better, and better, and better, we charge the same price, we’re creating things people like more every day. Or we build a new scent of body wash people go crazy for like, we’re creating things people like more every day. And so, we think a lot about that. It’s sort of the ethos of our business.

Jeff Raider:

And then I think another thing that probably sets us apart, I think two other things. One, I think this started with us early on, and we try to continue to push the team to do this, is to take big, bold, inspired risks. People can’t always tell you exactly what they want. They want you to inspire them and make them smile. And so, how can our brands do that in fun and interesting ways? Buying a factory for us that was almost 90 years old, with 420 people when we were less than a year old with 30 people, that was a big risk. But I think we did it with our customer in mind. When we went to retail, putting images of a beautiful product on a package, and not having that plastic blister pack have to show the product, A, it was good environmentally. But it was kind of a risk in terms of, Hey, we think this is going to make someone’s lives better. It’s going to enable them to be more inspired when they find our brand.

Jeff Raider:

And so, how we’ve kind of done things over time that have maybe broken the mold a little bit. And I think that’s enabled us to have some success. And I think the last thing is like, it’s fun to just get to learn and try things on DTC. We have all these ideas, but we learn really quickly from actual people about kind of what works and what’s not. Maybe the best illustration I have there is, we built this brand called Cat Person under the Harry’s umbrella. We sort of had a bunch of traction on the Harry’s brand said, “We can take some of these learnings from Harry’s that I’ve just been talking about, and apply them to new brands and new categories.” And there was a guy on our team who was a cat owner, loves cats, was fostering seven cats at the time, and couldn’t find good food for his cats.

Jeff Raider:

Cats are obligated carnivores, and they need meat. And a lot of the food that cats had was filled with grain, and kind of made for dogs, who are omnivores, and humans are omnivores, and like, you just need a different thing for cats. It’s like we should do something that’s cat first in the world. And so, we said, we completely agree. And there’s all this stigma about owning cats. Like it’s awesome to own a cat, let’s create an incredible brand called Cat Person and give people the product they need. Well now, our challenge that Cat Person is in the world is we’re trying to get cats to convert from eating the equivalent of McDonald’s, which is what a lot of cats have been eating before. Would you feed your kid McDonald’s every meal? Like maybe not. And I know, look, McDonald’s is great every once in a while, but we’re trying to get cats to go from eating McDonald’s every single meal, to eating [inaudible 00:10:27] every single meal. That’s a complicated transition process for them.

Jeff Raider:

And so, how do we do that? Like well, we have to learn about what foods those cats that have been used to McDonald’s start to like to eat [inaudible 00:10:38], and what’s the right sort of starter packs? And what’s the right instructions for cat parents? And how does that kind of work? So that we can over time get cats to eat healthier and healthier and healthier food, and do so in a way that the cats are actually going to accept. And so, that’s interesting for me, an interesting articulation of like how we leverage DTC and all these direct relationships to learn, and then we can listen to people, understand what they’re saying, and we have a ton of data on behaviors, on things that are people are asking for through CX. And I think that gives us a pretty unique perspective to then take these big brand ideas we have, and try to bring them to life in a way that better and better creates things people like more.

Oliver Chen:

Jeff, you are one of the premier direct to consumer brands, and one of the originals. So, how has that really infused as you think about the optimal distribution strategies, and the partners you take on, as well as innovation, test, read, and react, and use your customer interaction data to help redefine what innovation is.

Jeff Raider:

Yeah, that’s a great question. I think we expanded to retail, really sort of mass retail, in 2016. The reason that we did it is because our customers wanted us to be there. It was the right thing for us to do for them. And since then, we continued on that journey. And I think that’s been great for us, and for our customers. And, I guess, like when we started, I think one of the mistakes I made over time at Harry’s was when we kind of started, we’re like, well we’re at retail, but we’re really DTC first. The majority of our business is DTC, it’s the leading channel for everything that we do and try, and we still do a lot of that. It’s a really great place, as I just mentioned to learn, and experiment, and grow and take all those insights into retail, really meaningful and important.

Jeff Raider:

Then over time, our retail business community to grow, we expanded to new retailers, that was great for people in the world. After Target, we went to Walmart, gosh, half the US population walks into Walmart every day, and it’s a great place for them to find our brand. And they’ve done a great job being good stewards of our brand with us. Like, that’s a good thing. Target’s also a phenomenal partner. And over time, we’ve expanded to places like Costco, and CVS, and Walgreens, and Kroger, and it’s good now that customers can find our products in more places they want, as long as the brands and the products show up in a thoughtful way. We care a lot about consistency, and so, the nice thing is that the price you see on DTC, is the price you get everywhere. The products you see are the products you get everywhere.

Jeff Raider:

You can have a consistent experience now, you can get products, how, and when, and where you want more conveniently. And so, we’ve found that’s a really good thing for our business, it’s a good thing for our customers, etc. And the other thing that we found is that these channels interact with each other in an interesting way. So, for example, if you were to come to our website, or any website for that matter, a great converting website might convert at 4%, 5%, 6%, I don’t know. But some number like that, sub 10%. Very few websites in the world converted more than 10%. Even if you get a site to convert to 10%, 90% of customers who convert on the best converting site in the world, don’t buy right away. They come to the site, they look at your products, they read about your brand, they understand it. And then they might see you on their Sunday family shopping trip, and buy you there. That’s still a great experience.

Jeff Raider:

Now, they’ve gotten the context, they need to make a good decision for themselves, and a convenient purchase experience. Similarly, when a retailer will put you on endcap, and let you sort of tell the story of your brand, that’s a wonderful billboard for the brand that builds awareness,

[inaudible 00:14:17]

build awareness, but it’s also has the implicit buy in from the retailer, or support from the retailer that, “Hey, this is something you should care about.” And so, we build awareness that way too. And so, it’s been a great way for us to continue to just, again, try to put people first, and create experiences they like more, and that’s sort of driven a lot of our expansion into new channels over time.

Oliver Chen:

Jeff, what about the future of customer acquisition, and acquisition trends? There’s so much happening in the world of social and privacy, and it’s very dynamic.

Jeff Raider:

Yeah.

Oliver Chen:

What’s on your mind?

Jeff Raider:

For sure. One of the things that we did early on at Harry’s was we tried a lot of different channels to talk to people. We felt like that was super important. We weren’t sure what was going to work the best. And clearly, social places like Facebook, and Instagram in particular, have been really seeing ways to talk to people. People are on those platforms a lot, they’re highly engaged. And so, and I think they like discovering products and brands there. And so, we certainly try to learn about those channels and understand them, but we also focus on a bunch of other places, like having radio hosts and podcasts hosts, who just actually liked our product, go on and talk about them, just in the way that they normally would. Having my co-founder Andy tell the story of Harry’s, and how we bought the factory to make awesome products for people, and do that out in the world.

Jeff Raider:

And so, we’ve tried to diversify the way that we reach people, because we’ve been curious about what people respond to best. I think as a result, we’ve got a broader set of relationships, and we are finding today that some things are working better than ever, and some things are more challenged than ever, and would imagine that those trends will continue. There’s also new and emerging platforms that are kind of developing where people are spending a lot of time engaging. And so, we’re thinking a lot about those as well. And so, yeah, I think that the landscape as dynamic fluid as ever, I think information is more fragmented than ever. When we launched even Warby Parker before Harry’s like we had a print article in GQ, it literally blew up the brand. And then we got the same thing at Harry’s, blew up our brand. Like love GQ to death.

Jeff Raider:

I mean, gosh, what an amazing magazine, but probably now, if you think about where people are getting information, they’re not just getting it from GQ print articles, they’re getting it from their friends on Instagram or TikTok. They’re getting it from a whole plethora of different sources already. They’re getting it from podcasts like this one, like there’s just so much, many more places that people can find information. As a result, people I think are just looking for more targeted areas for folks to get information, as opposed to just going to somebody who appeals to all of the US. They can go to somebody who lives in the town that they live in, who has a bunch of the same behaviors that they have, who might be more of authority for them personally. And so, I think it’s about figuring out who your customer is, and how you want to continue to find them.

Jeff Raider:

I think the word you said resonated with me in the most authentic way possible. It doesn’t feel like you’re a brand, just kind of trying to push product to them, but you’re having people tell stories about your products, and in the best way you can. And I think that’s going to continue to change faster than ever. And so, we got to be on our toes to understand those trends, and then try to continue with that sort of ambition.

Oliver Chen:

Jeff, as a leader, what have been some of the hardest problems you faced? And also, what have you had the most fun doing too?

Jeff Raider:

Good. Great question. Look, I think every business has adversity, and I think we’ve had our share, especially in the last couple years. I mean, at the beginning of last year, we had signed a deal to merge Harry’s with another business called Edgewell. We have gotten down that path. For me, it was an exciting opportunity because we were going to get to take over a bunch of brands that Edgewell owned in their North American business, and run them, and have this multi-brand vision that I’ve been kind of talking about. That’d been cool. At the same time, we were building that ourselves. And so, if the deal hadn’t happened, it wouldn’t have been the end of the world for us. Like we were really excited about our own vision sale of the company.

Jeff Raider:

But we ended up moving forward with it, and signing a deal with them. And then, ended up getting blocked by the government. And so, we’d spent a lot of time working on something that didn’t end up coming to fruition. That was challenging. And we had to go up in front of the team, and for the first time, I think in the history of Harry’s said, we’re sorry. Like we really had… We made a big decision. It didn’t work out the way we thought, and here’s what we learned from it. And we’re sorry for having to have you know… Had to do a bunch of work that didn’t come to fruition. That really stinks. And I think we talked about all the things that we’ve done well, I think together with the team building the business over time, and how we had this exciting vision for the future. But I think it was important to pause on that one, and understand what we learned and express that to our team.

Jeff Raider:

I think managing through the pandemic was challenging. There’s just a lot of external things that are happening in the world that we couldn’t control, and global supply chains have been really challenging in the last couple years, and in ways that we didn’t fully appreciate. I mean, we’re just learning so much. I think what I’d say is for both of those experiences, they’ve made it so much better and stronger. I was just chatting with our COO today who oversees our supply chain. And we’re talking about all the things that are happening in the world right now, and what impacts those could have on us. We wouldn’t have been having those conversations a year ago, or two years ago. We would’ve just said, “Hey, there are things happening world. We’ll wait and see. Now, we’re like, “No, no, we have to be much more proactive understanding.”

Jeff Raider:

And those are, I think, just a good learning that we’ve had over time. And so, I think the result is that it will make us so much better as a business over time because we’ve had to go through these things. And I’ve just been so incredibly impressed with our team, with their resilience, and thoughtfulness, and approach, and it’s been really cool to see our business grow a lot during even the most trying time. So, that’s one. I think on the, what’s been most fun for me, I think what’s cool at Harry’s is that we continue to do new and interesting things. Whether it be being part of the subscription revolution on DTC and V1, or being one of the first brands that went from online to retail and had huge impact, or expanding our business into new markets, or getting to launch new brands in big and exciting ways. Or buying a business, we just acquired this amazing business brand called Lumi.

Jeff Raider:

Like, it’s just fun to continue to be in a business in a place where we want to really do good for people in the world. We want to have a ton of impact, and we continue to do new and exciting things to go make that happen, and hopefully take some risks to get there. And the other thing that’s been just wonderful, is getting to work with just such exceptionally talented people to go make that happen. I think that we… And of course I’m biased, but we have a team that is really highly engaged, and I think about the future, and excited to do big things, and that’s always fun to be around.

Oliver Chen:

Jeff, another big important thing for Cowen, is profits with purpose and thinking about stakeholders. So, could you talk to us about mental health? There’s a huge opportunity here.

Jeff Raider:

Yeah.

Oliver Chen:

A second question, Jeff, is this whole idea of Harry’s as a platform.

Jeff Raider:

Yeah.

Oliver Chen:

So-

Jeff Raider:

Think about that.

Oliver Chen:

… how can you do that, and how do you make sure to have the right priorities, and drive the right threat of synergies? Thanks.

Jeff Raider:

For sure. Good, two great questions. So, on mental health, what we’ve learned about Harry’s over time, I mentioned kind of this idea of really encouraging people to be themselves, and to look how you want to look kind of how you present yourself says something about who you are, and you don’t have to look like everybody wants you to look. Like we can help you with your image, whatever your image is, shave, don’t shave, smell the way you want to smell, style your hair the way you want to style your hair, like look the way you want to look. And that says something about you, and you feel great on the outside. We hope that helps you feel good on your inside. And we hear that from lots of guys. And so, Harry’s, I think has always been this brand, starting with shaving, which kind of crafts how your face looks in many ways, if you have facial hair or not. I think guys have always trusted us in some way with their image.

Jeff Raider:

And when we started, as I mentioned, we reached out to all of our customers after they buy from us, and to say, “We’re here for you. We love you. We want you to have a good experience with that brand.” And we got some amazing feedback from lots of customers. And I think what we realized in that process is that sometimes guys are just looking for people to talk to. You just want to have a conversation with someone. And sometimes, it’s actually easier to do that with the CX team at a brand like Harry’s, than maybe with your friends or whatever, because it’s a little bit more distant in the relationship, but there’s still someone who seemingly really cares about you, and we do. And I think we recognize through a bunch of those conversations, and then kind of looking at a bunch of data about just like where guys were going that there was opportunity to talk to guys about mental health in a more interesting way.

Jeff Raider:

And as we talk to our customers, we recognize that the majority of people recognize that mental health is an issue. Lots of them, majority again, I think feel like it’s an issue for them, but the significant minority have had real conversations with folks to address it. So, there’s this huge gap and we felt like we could partner with incredible organizations to try to make an impact, to make a difference. And what’s exciting is, we give 1% of our sales. So, as our business has grown, we’re able to have more and more impact. What we’re working on now is something that we’re super excited about, it’s initiative called Open Minds. And what Open Minds is doing is we’re going to pledge $5 million to one idea to fundamentally bend the curve, change the given mental health. We’ve asked for submissions, we’ve gotten hundreds, put together an incredible outside panel, and we’re pretty close to kind of deciding and announcing who the winner will be.

Jeff Raider:

And I’m just so excited about working with an organization around a big, big idea to really try to change the game and bend the curve. And I think that’s another example of how we, as a company, can be innovative and continue to try to have impact. And so, we’re very much focused on it. We’ve given, I think at this point, over $7 million. We’ve helped almost a million men with mental health issues. Our goal is to get to 1.5 million in the next couple years. And we’re going to continue to kind of chip away at this. And we hope that in doing this, we can inspire other businesses to give to mental health, which should wonderful, or to give to other organizations that they’re really passionate about, but to give back and to do good in the community, you think it’s so important.

Jeff Raider:

Your second question was around building a platform, and how do we stay focused as we do more, and what infrastructure can we leverage as we think about this. I think it’s a great question. And one of the things that we spend a lot of time internally as we’ve built more brands, is how do we operate them as [inaudible 00:24:50] as possible? I think one of the things that was helpful on Harry’s, is that we had dedicated teams that were very focused just on Harry’s every day. How do we let people know about our products, and make our razor and blades better, and build a brand that people love, makes them smile, etc. And we learned a lot about how to build those teams, and who the right people are on those teams, and how they can focus. And some of those people who we’ve had at Harry’s for a long time also are like really excited, not about the future of Harry’s, which I am super excited about to be clear, but about getting to go do something smaller.

Jeff Raider:

Like about what Harry’s was six or seven years ago. A few people sitting around a table, coming up with ideas and bringing them to light very, very quickly. And so, one of the things that we’ve done is now we have, we’ve incubated brands like Flamingo, and then Cat Person, and Headquarters, which are all new brands that we’ve built. Flamingo is for women’s hair removal and body cure. Generally, Cat Person I mentioned is about better serving cats in their parents. Headquarters is a brand that helps you have healthier hair by having a healthier scalp and roots, so it really sort of gives you great products for your scalp and roots that then leads to healthier hair. We just bought Lumi, they have an incredible team.

Jeff Raider:

And so, it’s exciting to see these brands come together and then to have them at different stages of development. The way that we enable them to run efficiently is by having dedicated teams that focus on them, that have really clear focus. And then what they benefit from an infrastructure perspective are in many ways, like hard infrastructure. So, analytics tools that enable you to get data in a much more robust way, and ERP system that is sophisticated, state of the art. A distribution platform that enables you to get products to people quickly at lower cost than you would’ve. Better media rates in the world because we’ve got relationships with lots of big advertisers. Great retail relationships, if and when you’re ready to go to retail. And I think a lot of knowhow in that process. I think the challenge that a lot of companies face today is really getting big and maintaining purpose.

Jeff Raider:

And if you kind of look at the world the way we started to see it is, it’s easier than ever to build a brand, to get one out online, the barriers are much lower than when we started Harry’s. Probably harder than ever to really scale one. It’s expensive to build the infrastructure, to get a brand from kind of point A through B, to C, to D. There’s been a bunch written about the messy middle, and how that’s just complicated, and kind of get through that. And then there’s brands that are big, but maybe don’t have a feeling that they’re really doing good for consumers, and taking risk, and innovating the way that we’ve done at Harry’s, and so, I think our opportunity is to find brands, and work with brands that start small, but they can get big quickly because they can lever some of the infrastructure that I mentioned. That’s what we’re working on.

Oliver Chen:

Yeah. There’s so much dynamicism in scaling and opportunities to address new generations.

Jeff Raider:

Yeah.

Oliver Chen:

So, Jeff, a final question. We both went to Wharton, and were involved with the Wharton Retail Program.

Jeff Raider:

Yeah.

Oliver Chen:

When you look back at your MBA version of yourself, what advice would you have wanted to give that version of yourself?

Jeff Raider:

Yeah.

Oliver Chen:

Go back in time, and then any remarks you may have as well.

Jeff Raider:

Yeah. What I think I would’ve encouraged myself to continue to do is to just to care a lot. Like starting a company, you’ve got to be all in, 100% of yourself, maybe 110, 20, whatever, the most of yourself has to be in. I care so much about Harry’s, and our team, and the community that we have, and our customers, and I never want to lose that. I think it’s what enables us hopefully, to be successful over time. Because if everybody else cares that much, like it’s just a lot. The people who care a lot are going to do the right thing over time for business. Not that we get it all right all the time, but I think it really matters to care a lot. I think as a founder and I felt this more in running a company than I ever have in any other job I’ve had. I’ve talked to lots of other founders about it. So much of your own emotional wellbeing in some ways, is tied to the business.

Jeff Raider:

The business has a great day, and I’m on cloud nine, and the business has a hard day, I’m like, “Oh.” And I think that what I’ve had to remind myself over time, and I think this has helped me with my own sort of mental health and wellbeing, is like the good days aren’t always as good as they seem, and the bad days aren’t always as bad. And like it’s been really helpful for me over time just to learn that lesson, still celebrate them on the good side, and work like heck to fix things when they don’t go as planned, but of keep more of a calm emotional center. And I think that’s been a journey for me starting at Warby Parker. When we were started at Warby Parker, I felt the same way.

Jeff Raider:

And I learned a lot there, and I’ve learned a lot Harry’s over time on that. And it’s clearly kind of been part of my own maturation process, which has been good for me. And I think great for our team as well. And so, I probably would’ve sat myself down and just said, “You’re going to have a lot of great days ahead, and you should celebrate them, love them.” But the emotional highs that are there, enjoy those. And when things are tricky, it’s never going to be quite as bad as it feels in that moment. And there’s always a way to continue to build and grow and learn from it. And I certainly felt that way in the last few years as well.

Oliver Chen:

Well, Jeff, it’s been amazing to learn so much more about all the authenticity you’ve built, and also the pure innovation, and really changing the world of personal care, and integrating profits and purpose as well. Thanks for your time, Jeff.

Jeff Raider:

Thanks, Oliver. Really appreciate it.

Speaker 1:

Thanks for joining us. Stay tuned for the next episode of Cowen Insights.


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