New York Shop Consigliere Is On A Mission To Be Men’s Beauty BFF
While they don’t announce it, most beauty stores target women and cater to their preferences. Chad Beightol has opened Consigliere, a New York beauty shop specifically targeting men, to put guys at ease as they keep up with their upkeep.
“Because I’m in this business, I go to Sephora, Ulta, Bluemercury and Credo. While they have products that are unisex, their environments don’t make me comfortable to be there, especially a place like Sephora where the music is loud and the lights are bright,” he says. “I don’t really want to be at a party. I want to get great advice and be able to try products.”
At Consigliere, Beightol has assembled some 25 brands across the haircare, skincare, body-care, shave, beard and cosmetics categories. The store plays matchmaker connecting its customers to offerings right for them. Its goal is to acclimate men to regularly using a cleanser, moisturizer and sunscreen, and among the products Beightol suggests to them to kick off their regimens are Ursa Major’s Fantastic Face Wash, Blind Barber’s Daily Face Cleanser, Yu-Be’s Moisturizing Skin Cream, Etude House’s AC Clean Up Gel Moisturizer, Anthony’s Day Cream SPF 30 and Salt & Stone’s SPF 30.
“We named the store Consigliere for a reason. It means advisor because that’s what we see our role as. Advice is hard to get when you’re shopping on Amazon and reading the reviews,” says Beightol. “I’m really focused in the near term on guys in New York City. There are men here that can use the guidance and help. If we can really solve for them and build the business in New York, then we will think of next steps.”
“We named the store Consigliere for a reason. It means advisor because that’s what we see our role as.”
He places Consigliere’s customers in two camps: men pretty unfamiliar with beauty buying a haircare product or two and relying on a three-in-one product for the rest of their personal care, and men more familiar with beauty on the hunt for products to address certain issues. For customers in both camps, the store asks questions about lifestyle and skin type to drill down on the products suiting them. Beightol notes customers in the former camp are price sensitive compared to customers in the latter camp.
“Guys tell us everything. They talk about their relationships. They talk about their jobs. They talk about their needs with health as well as with grooming and beauty,” he says. “What I realized we were doing is we were giving them a space to have a conversation about issues such as acne, wrinkles and razor burn that they might be self-conscious about. We are having conversations with guys that they aren’t having with anyone else.”
In a tight 225 square feet in the East Village, Consigliere’s merchandise is arranged by product type. It houses the merchandise in a modern setting with navy walls, unfinished light wood with black steel fixtures. Beightol likes to pick up brands’ full ranges and, therefore, he stays away from brands with smatterings of weak items. He doesn’t consider Consigliere a luxury destination and attempts to present a diversity of price points.
“The beauty world is about taking care of yourself and helping yourself. I’m intentionally saying it’s a men’s beauty business because that’s really what we are about.”
Discussing his product evaluation process, Beightol shares, “The primary thing I look at is the product formulas so I can understand the intention of the product. What does the product feel like, and is it effective? I raise those points because what I’m looking for is a methodology for the assortment versus one hero product that works great.” While Consigliere sells its own brand called The Man Shop, he emphasizes the importance of carrying many brands. Beightol says, “I know very well that no one brand works for everybody. We can help everybody with a multibrand strategy versus being a monobrand store.”
Elaborating on product prices, Beightol says, “It would be hard to sell a $70 to $80 eye cream. We do have serums that go up to $68 or $70, and it takes quite a lot of education to explain the benefits of those, but our guy doesn’t balk at a $30 face wash or $40 moisturizer. I would like to see additional offerings at the lower end. I would like to have a retinol serum that’s $20 or $45 instead of $50.” In the absence of available lower-end skincare products that satisfy Consigliere’s requirements, Beightol is contemplating extending The Man Shop, a line with 35 stockkeeping units concentrating on fragrance at the moment, into accessible skincare.
Consigliere grew out of an accessories concept called The Lodge that Beightol, who previously held retail merchandising positions at Coach, Levi Strauss & Co., Gap, The Children’s Place and Abercrombie & Fitch, introduced in the fall of 2014. From the start of The Lodge, which remains online, he had a men’s grooming section (Baxter of California was an early entrant) that expanded with the strength of its sales particularly in skincare with brands such as Alder New York, Crux Supply, Jaxon Lane and Ernest Supplies. Recently, Beightol has been dabbling in makeup with Menaji. He brought in the brand after customers requested concealer.
Beightol doesn’t shy away from the term “beauty” and believes his customers should either. For Consigliere, he argues men’s beauty is a superior descriptor to “grooming,” the traditional label for male personal maintenance. “To get groomed is something that is done to you, and we want guys to realize that it’s something that they have to do for themselves. It’s an active process,” he says. “The beauty world is about taking care of yourself and helping yourself. I’m intentionally saying it’s a men’s beauty business because that’s really what we are about.”