Scotch Porter founder Calvin Quallis shares details on the brand’s new fragrance collection


Since its launch in 2015, Scotch Porter has swiftly locked in its spot as a grooming go-to. 

The brand first left its mark with its highly rated beard care products, which have become a must-have among those wanting to keep their beard both moisturized and healthy. 

After making major impact in the beard care community with its line that offers products specifically formulated for the more coily and curly beard textures of Black and brown men, Scotch Porter expanded its grooming offerings with the launch of skincare and hair care collections.

And in November of last year, the brand added yet another offering to its suite of grooming products — the four-scent It Hits Different fragrance collection.

But Scotch Porter’s exciting brand evolution hasn’t been limited to the beauty space.

The brand has also recently taken a step into the tech space with the exciting launch of its Get Bearded Instagram Filter in November 2020 as part of its No Shave November campaign.

The launch of the filter offers just a glimpse into the fresh ways Scotch Porter is looking to engage with its loyal consumers. And Scotch Porter’s founder Calvin Quallis recently caught up with the Post to share more details on how the brand is looking to continue to grow and innovate in the grooming space, the journey to launching its new fragrance collection and the pride he carries as a Black entrepreneur.

Why was it important for Scotch Porter to take part in supporting the No Shave November movement last year? 

Every year No Shave November drives awareness around issues that affect men’s health. As a wellness brand, helping men to feel better about themselves in addition to arming them with the tools needed to live a more fulfilled life is part of our mission. This past year took a toll on many so it was important for us to be there for our consumers not only from a product resource perspective but also as an ally for their self-care overall.

What was the process like working on the Get Bearded Instagram Filter and did it turnout how the team imagined it would? 

Ahead of No Shave November, we knew we wanted to engage with our audience and provide them an opportunity to take some of the weight off. We often know especially when it comes to self-care or speaking about one’s health, it can be challenging. In working with the team, we focused on developing a filter that drove participation in an organic manner while helping to facilitate the conversation. Participants simply could select the beard of their choice, capture their photo or video, caption it with what they’re doing to keep their health in check and tag it with @ScotchPorter #GetBeardedSP for a chance to be featured on our social channels and win Scotch Porter products.

Can we expect any more tech projects from Scotch Porter in the coming months? 

Absolutely! We will continue to meet our consumer where they are. The digital space is a major part of their daily consumption and we will continue to tap into it in unique, interesting ways.

Now let’s talk about the new It Hits Different fragrance line. What made you want to add a fragrance collection to the brand?

The ultimate inspiration behind Scotch Porter’s fragrance launch is to transport people to special moments and times that they find enjoyable. With all that transpired in 2020 alone, we believe there isn’t a better time for our customers to find moments to escape, to unwind, to be inspired to take risks, to indulge in self-care, and ultimately find joy in the many treasures of life. To find little moments to escape is so meaningful, especially in the current climate. We believe fragrance has the ability to be the conduit to transport and change our moods and feelings, just like a fresh cut has the ability to turn a funky mood around and instill self-confidence. 

How would you compare the process of creating a fragrance to that of formulating Scotch Porter’s hair care, beard care and skincare products. 

The product development process couldn’t be more worlds apart. Product formulation for hair, beard and facial skincare products can be a much lengthier process, as there’s lots of consumer testing across a range of different hair and skin types, along with very picky ingredient selection criteria that we have — all of our products are vegan and non-toxic — that helps or alleviates particular problems like dryness, frizz, breakage, dark marks, etc. We then follow this up with safety, compatibility, stability and other lab testing. Although we follow the same ingredient selection, safety and stability testing process for fragrance, the final decision for fragrance comes down to does it smell great and does the fragrance linger on the skin long enough. It’s just a different process.

How long has the brand been working on the fragrance collection? 

We’ve considered launching fragrances for a couple of years now. We’ve been in the ideation stage of figuring out what they look, smell and feel like for about a year now. We felt a need to move a bit faster and offer fragrances, because again we believe fragrance can be a great mood booster, and we all can use a bit of a pick-me-up with all that has transpired this year.

What’s your favorite scent in the collection and why? 

I have two favorite scents: Miami Duppy and Glenwood. Glenwood is the location of my first home. Scotch Porter and a bunch of firsts started for me there. For me, Glenwood represents, taking a leap of faith, betting on yourself, getting out of your comfort zone, taking risks. Miami Duppy is a mood booster; it gives me happy and optimistic vibes. Plus, I personally love smoky, saffron, boozy scents.

What is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned over the past year as an entrepreneur and how will you use that knowledge to inform your future decisions — either for the brand or as a business leader. 

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is how important systems are to the survival and growth of a business, especially in uncertain times. I’ve learned that you must build systems within each business unit or function, and let systems run the business and people run the systems. In uncertain times, systems remain constant.

What does it mean to you to be the founder of a brand that celebrates Black and brown men and the history of grooming in our communities — especially during the last few months when there was a very intentional movement and conversation around amplifying the centuries-long work of Black-owned businesses. 

Being a Black founder is a role that I’ve always viewed as bigger than myself. In fact, as a Black business owner, I feel I have a responsibility to my community. One of the things that’s always been important to me is providing access, opportunity and employment to people that look like me. It’s really intentional. I’d say about 95 to 98 percent of the folks that work with us look like me. We provide opportunity, and we provide what I consider great pay. I remember when I was working for somebody else, feeling like I had to fight to climb the career ladder. The limitations that were put on me had nothing to do with my skill set. When I was starting Scotch Porter, I made it very important to hire people who look like me and give them an opportunity to climb up.

What are you most looking forward to with the brand in the new year and do you have any new products in the works?

Our mission is to promote internal and external wellness, while arming men with the tools needed to live their best, most-fulfilled lives. In recent years, men have become much more interested in wellness and personal care. We feed that interest by educating and providing experiences that showcase how health, wellness, and taking care of oneself shifts how one feels and performs in their personal and professional lives.  

Scotch Porter is in a unique position to continue to educate and arm our customers with information and products that are aligned with internal and external wellness. You can expect diverse product assortment from us in the near future.

And finally, with a new round of holidays approaching, including Valentine’s Day this week, what would you say is the best gift from Scotch Porter? 

Our It Hits Different Fragrance Collection – all four of our unisex fragrances – and our Head to Toe Collection make really great gifts.

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