We had the good fortune of connecting with Stacy Blackman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stacy, do you disagree with some advice that is more or less universally accepted?
One piece of conventional advice that I disagree with is creating a business plan. For the very first business I launched, we created a very long and involved business plan. We ran all the numbers, thought through the entire marketing plan and all the product specs. We were incredibly prepared and buttoned up. However, I promise you – no one ever read that business plan. And once we launched, we never really looked at it again. Because in some ways the business plan was just a fantasy, and I believe that very often, they can often become tools for procrastination. Of course I do believe in strategy, back of the envelope numbers and a certain level of preparation. But I also know that you will never, ever have enough knowledge, money, time, experience or preparation to launch a new business. And because of that, once you have done some thinking and preparing, you really just need to take the plunge. You need to test and learn and iterate, learning as you go.
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?
Stryke Club is a skin care line created especially for teen boys. As a mother of three, I noticed that while my daughters joyfully engaged in personal care, my son did not. But I also realized that he cared about his skin and his appearance. I knew that he had feelings, aspirations and a desire to be his best. He just did not have the right tools. With Stryke Club we aimed to formulate something different: dermatologist formulated, clean, non-drying, anti-inflammatory, acne-fighting formulas that a boy could use with pride. The packaging is cool, the scent is minimal and the products can be used as part of a simple, streamlined routine. Many of our products are “no sink needed”. Boys can clean up easily, on the road, in front of their computer…wherever and whenever!
This is my very first consumer products company and it has not been easy. Lots of mistakes, challenges and setbacks. Packaging errors, manufacturing delays, out of stock situations during Covid…we have experienced it all. But one by one, we do overcome each challenge and we are making progress. One year in, you can find Stryke Club in over 1,000 Target stores nationwide.
Throughout this journey, I have learned a lot about consumer products and skincare – ingredients, operations, marketing, channels and so much more. Perhaps more importantly, I have learned a lot about myself and my ability to execute on a big project and realize a dream. I have learned that I can learn anything, even really hard complicated things! I have learned that little baby steps each day really can add up to something enormous. I have learned that if you are creative and push hard enough, there is always a solution,
I am so proud of the amazing brand we have created, and the impact we are making on boys – helping them look and feel their best, by empowering them with great tools.
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?
So many great spots…where to begin? Downtown we’d visit the Broad Museum and then head over to Grand Central Market for lunch at one of their many vendors.
In West Hollywood, I’d hit Gracias Madre for some vegan Mexican and Craig’s across the street for always delicious basics and fun people watching!
Cabana Cafe by the pool at the Beverly Hills Hotel is a fun classic.
By the beach, I love just walking along the bike path, stopping in for brunch at Back on the Beach Cafe, or slightly off the beach at Gjusta.
People often think that LA is just about the beach, but the mountains are amazing too! So many good hikes. One of my favorites is the hike in Griffith Park up to the Griffith Observatory. The movie in the planetarium is a great reward after the hike…as is a snack or lunch at The Trails Cafe!
Of course we’d also need a stop in Malibu. I love the Malibu Pier, paddle boarding and shopping at the Country Mart.
That’s a good start… Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I need to thank my other founders for incredible partnership. Each one of them picks me up when I am down, fills in when I am overwhelmed and contributes their own set of skills and talents to the Stryke Club equation. Thank you Darci, Sheilagh and Nicole!