Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur is Eric Fallon, who launched men’s skin care brand Rebels Refinery with his two best friends, Justin and Elan, after recognizing that the industry was lacking products that rivalled the quality of those for women…
Why did you start your business, what was the inspiration?
Mirrors were starting to make me look old. After surviving for a few months on my mother’s discarded skin care, I went to the drug store. There I found that most of the men’s brands were either just a quick afterthought to a women’s line and had harmful chemicals in them or just plain sucked. That’s when the light bulb went off in my head. More of a flutter really. I had been working in the soap industry for eight years previously so it made sense.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
To be perfectly honest, it’s telling my friends what to do. Going into business with friends is extremely difficult, but at the same time, who else would you rather see become successful? Oddly enough, the best part of my day would also be the most challenging: working and creating with my two best friends, Justin and Elan.
Where do you see your business going in 5 years?
I want to be the most successful independent men’s skin care brand in the world. But, I’ll settle for working on a brand I’m proud of with my best friends and a big smile on my face.
What does success look like to you?
Peace of mind for myself and for as many other people I can help.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
We have so much work to accomplish. Dragons’ Den was kind of cool (I get nervous in front of very accomplished business people) but giving our first cheque to Prostate Cancer Canada is probably the most memorable. Even though it was small, it was something. I’m also extremely proud that we’re moving all of our manufacturing from Portland, Oregon to Toronto.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Don’t be scared of quitting your job if you’re unhappy. Be terrified of waking up at 70 and realizing you never risked a thing. My other piece of advice is to be good to yourself. I’m cursed with ambition and far too hard on myself. Lastly, always remember that happiness is the most valuable commodity.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
We give just over 2% of sales to Prostate Cancer Canada with a higher percentage for co-branded items. I think it’s kind of insane that every company doesn’t give back. Imagine if a company like Google gave 2% of their sales to a cause like hunger, for example. We wanted a cause that affected men specifically. It was an easy decision after our close friend Julian’s father passed away to the disease. RIP to the great Canadian teacher and artist Gerald Zeldin.
What is Notable to you?
Please refer to the most challenging part of my day (section A). I think just being a good human being is the most notable thing you can do. We’re in serious need of a global love movement and I think it just starts with people treating each other better.
Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
How do you keep active, energetic, and vibrant?
A nice brunch at Ikea followed by a nap.
*Eric, Justin and Elan will be appearing on CBC’s Dragons’ Den on March 19 (that’s tomorrow!)
#LYNL | (Live Your Notable Life)