We had the good fortune of connecting with Rocky Collins and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rocky, what’s the most important lesson your business/career has taught you?
Some mistakes are going to be expensive and painful. Recognize them early. Recognize them often. Pivot swiftly. In truth – most of the mistakes you make won’t reveal themselves as being mistakes until it’s too late. For instance – I once spend $5,000 on a marketing campaign shoot and didn’t realize until later on that the content we shot completely missed the mark for what our customers liked to engage with. It was too late then for me to recoup the expense, but you bet your ass that we now follow a very strict preparation and branding plan prior to producing any new marketing content. It took my expensive mistake for me to learn the proper questions to ask and approach to take in regard to our marketing.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I launched a skincare company for men because I felt men of color weren’t being serviced within the beauty/grooming industry. I recognized a strong need for a different type of product in my own life, while also hearing that my friends were dealing with the same issues. I also was working at L’Oréal’s Los Angeles office at the time and saw so much missed opportunity for men – so I decided to fill that gap myself. Skincare is important to me because confidence and positive self-esteem are the two biggest factors that impact how we engage in every aspect of our lives. A big part of confidence and positive self-esteem comes from how we feel about the way that we look. When you look good (to you) you feel good, and that confidence carries into everything that you do. Our products are different because our ingredients are better. We globally sourced them specifically to achieve the most effective, impactful, and healthy products we can offer. When it comes to skincare, we have to get specific about what we are actually putting onto our faces.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
It’s tough because we’re in the middle of a pandemic! Everything is closed or really restricted but here’s what I would suggest: Start the day with a workout by going for a light jog or taking a drive to Coast Fitness (the only gym currently open in LA). Breakfast at Blu Jam Cafe Day drinks on EPLP’s rooftop Go to the beach after to vibe out Next we’d go to HOME restaurant in Silverlake for happy hour or dinner at Saddle Ranch Chop House. Then we’d go to Mama’s Shelter for rooftop drinks and vibes. That would be the pandemic go-to experience haha.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First to my parents who instead of telling me I was crazy – they championed me starting my own skincare company. To the two women who were most instrumental in teaching me how to analyze, strategize, and make proper business decisions when I was first learning the ropes in the corporate world – Shazmeen Malik and Emily Silsby. To my peer-mentors, each of whom I learn from every time we converse – Abu Fofanah, Maya Brown, Sabir Hall. To my very best friends for listening to me vent every night on the phone and in-person until 3am in the morning – Egypt Ali and Dexter Fowler. As well as anyone who has ever sent me a text, DM, made a purchase or even a repost – the success of CALI HNDSME is as much yours as it is mine.