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How Entrepreneur Calvin Quallis Went from Making Products In His Kitchen to Raising $11M In Funding for His Scotch Porter Men’s Grooming Products Brand

Calvin Quallis is the CEO and founder of the successful Black-owned men’s grooming product Scotch Porter, which happens to be all-natural and vegan-friendly.

Available at Macy’s, Target, Walmart, and Amazon, Scotch Porter provides grooming kits that are handmade. Based in New Jersey, Scotch Porter is a fast-growing business, having generated, it claims, more than $1 million in its first 12 months of operation.

Now he is looking to expand further.

Calvin Quallis is the CEO and founder Scotch Porter (Photo: Scotch Porter)

The Making of Scotch Porter

Scotch Porter was launched in 2015 by Calvin Quallis. After opening a barbershop in downtown Newark, he wanted to create grooming products to deal with some of the skin issues his clients faced.

After hearing complaints from his male clients that their grooming resources would lead to dryness, brittleness, and thinning hair, Quallis took matters into his own hands and tried to solve their issues with a home remedy from his kitchen using just natural ingredients.

“The barbers and stylists had this unique ability to help people feel better about themselves. That experience really stuck with me,” Quallis told Shoppe Black.

The vegan-friendly products include key ingredients such as shea butter, aloe, nettle leaf, and kale protein.

From exfoliating beard and face wash for $10 to its new variety of enhancing non-toxic fragrances called “THE IT HITS DIFFERENT COLLECTION” for $270, Scotch Porter is both an affordable and luxury item for men’s wellness.

“With rapid growth comes the need for investment and resources,” Quallis told Beauty Independent. Scotch Porter raised a small round of funding in 2018, he said, and, in May of 2021, closed a funding round led by Stage 1 Fund for an undisclosed amount.

Expanding

In February, the product line got added to 2,300 CVS drug store locations nationwide.

“At Scotch Porter, we are committed to meeting our consumer where he is when he’s in the market for clean, affordable, efficacious grooming and wellness products,” Quallis said in a statement. “With CVS’ commitment to community, health and wellness, we have identified an alignment with where the Scotch Porter customer shops and are ecstatic about partnering with CVS to extend our reach deeper into communities.”

In April, Scotch Porter closed a $11 million series B round of funding, according to WWD. The company plans to use the funding to scale operations and expand the product offering. They have already expanded the staff.

Keeps on Growing

Every year the company has grown. And it saw a major uptick during the COVID-19 pandemic as people were unable to go to barbers as often.

According to Beauty Independent, the company’s Scotch Porter’s sales rose about 70 Percent in 2020.

“Fewer folks were visiting barbershops, but they still needed to feel good and take care of themselves, so they created that home regimen,” he says. “Part of that is shopping online and discovering new brands like ours.”

Social media influencers have also helped spread the word about the product. And the family-oriented Quallis has been strategic in the influencers he partners with.

Many of Scotch Porter’s influencers are Black fathers with beards, representative of Scotch Porter’s primary customers.

“To provide healthier, multi-purpose beard, hair, and face care products that are highly effective and easy to use,” is the company’s mission. 

“The brand awareness that comes from that, I think has been super helpful,” he says. Scotch Porter’s collection is available in roughly 1,900 Walmart stores, and its skincare and beard products are stocked in nearly 800 Target stores.

Paying it Forward

Quallis joined the Target Accelerator Program as its Founder in Residence in 2021, where he annually mentors over 20 minority brand founders. And in October 2022 he launched the Scotch Porter Impact Fund, through which the company pledges to contribute 2 percent of its online U.S. sales, combined more than 1 percent of its total sales, “to empower communities,” according to its website.

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