We had the good fortune of connecting with Jon Shanahan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jon, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Both sides of my family growing up ran their own companies which both still operate today. One side is trucking and logistics while the other is a homemade ice cream shop where I really cut my teeth. In the back of my mind when I went to college it was always to come back and run one of the family businesses after gaining enough experience “in the real world”. After stints at companies as small as 8 people to Apple and everything inbetween I was able to build a side hustle into a full-time business with my Kavalier YouTube channel. Had I not made that jump from corporate to entrepreneurship then I would never have been able to jump into Stryx. One of the key learnings from my time at big companies is that I don’t make for a great employee because I feel I know too much but without being able to turn every dial it becomes very frustrating. So in my mind running a business myself vs trying to change someone elses was a much clearer path to fulfillment.
What should our readers know about your business?
Stryx was started to fill a massive gap in the personal care industry. In most stores you’ll find a men’s and women’s personal care section where the women’s aisle is 3-5x larger with more products, choice, and brands. Until Stryx you could not find a cosmetic product in the men’s aisle. By combining skincare and cosmetics built from the ground up with men’s needs in mind we’re helping men get an introduction to the benefits of cosmetics for that instant fix for any skin issue. We launched with our concealer tool and tinted moisturizer in 2019 but quickly expanded to 10 mainline products including our best-selling Energizing Eye Tool and our Daily Moisturizer with SPF 30 so a man’s full daily routine is covered. A surprising fact about our customers is we have a lot more men over the age of 40 buying than you’d expect. Every guy wants to look and feel their best. Most guys have used their partner’s concealer in the past in a pinch but we’re trying to make it as quick and easy as possible so they can use it anytime, anywhere.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Of course none of this is possible without my family and upbringing. They all dealt with me as I was a nuisance in school while always scheming new ways to get myself into trouble. My wife has supported me from the day we met to shoot for the moon. Our mutual support is the most constant force in my life that makes everything possible. My Uncle Jack was one of the original catalysts for leaving my job and has continued to support me through strong mentorship ever since. Finally the network I’ve made of fellow creators, builders, mentors, and investors has made this entire journey feel less lonely in so many ways. I can’t thank everyone enough.