Tia-Maria and Woody’s for men in Bermuda
In Bermuda’s heat and humidity, it is easy to smell sweaty ten minutes after showering.
The Love Grenade could help. This laundry and body spray calling itself “bottled swag” is one of more than 40 products sold by Tia-Maria Robinson’s new company, Woody’s Quality Grooming™ For Men in Bermuda.
The line includes beard oils and men’s hair gels and pomades, body washes, moisturisers and charcoal soaps, among other things.
“We have a lot to offer,” Ms Robinson said. “We are available in 13 different stores in Bermuda right now. Not all of the stores carry all of the products but we do have a few that carry everything.”
And she is also getting ready to launch five new Woody’s facial care products on the order and delivery app Sargasso Sea. Unfortunately the launch hit a snag when the new items went missing on the way to Bermuda.
“Having your shipment get lost is a big challenge,” she said. “We are not sure where the shipment went. It doesn’t happen often but it happens.
“In business anything that can go wrong will go wrong. You have to understand business to accept some things you can’t control. You have to pivot and determine the next move to make.”
So Ms Robinson is launching on the Sargasso App with several other new products she had on hand.
She is expanding to the app to appeal more to a younger demographic.
“We have found that millennials are really used to shopping online,” she said.
She has found that millennials really care about their appearance.
“The millennials have a mirror and they use it,” she said. “They are concerned with grooming. Whatever tickles their fancy, they will try it. Our online products are not just for millennials, but they are the inspiration behind it.”
Woody’s grooming products are made in the United States. Last year Ms Robinson was approached about representing the line in Bermuda because she has done similar work in the past.
Before agreeing, she did some research on the brand.
“I wanted to see what made the product different, and useful,” she said. She liked that the products were relatively simple to use. There were not a lot of steps to applying them, and they are relatively inexpensive.
And Woody’s does some fun marketing. The items have names like Messy and Wood Glue. One Woody’s shampoo, conditioner and body soap comes in a whiskey bottle.
“I am trying to put a few of those away with each shipment,” Ms Robinson said. “Those will make great Christmas gifts.”
There is also Brickhead, a hair styling gel you put in to hold a hairstyle.
“Today, some of our men are wearing helmets, and still want to style their hair,” Ms Robinson said. “They want to take their helmet off and have it stay in place.”
Ms Robinson, a designer by training, has always enjoyed shopping for men.
“I have always taken note of the aesthetic in terms of the clothing lines and product lines for men,” she said.
In fact, she likes a lot of scents considered typically male and wears them herself.
“I don’t even go into the women’s aisle,” she said. “I have to promote them on Instagram so I am getting to know them.”
One of the challenges has just been getting the word out there about the line.
In August she offered a discount on five select Woody’s items at the MarketPlace.
“We had marked them down to engage more men and let them know this line was exclusively for them,” she said. “We did move some product, but the minute the special finished, we moved a lot of product. Some things you can’t figure out.”
She said putting herself out there as the woman behind Woody’s in Bermuda was a little daunting.
“I enjoy having a low profile,” she said. “I have been a high-profile person in my former years. I have done everything.”
She was Miss Tourism of Bermuda in a beauty pageant in the 1980s, and also won an island-wide radio DJ competition. Now she is a design and technology teacher in a middle school.
Ms Robinson said that it can take years to make a business profitable. She dipped into her savings to start the business instead of taking out a loan.
“When the money comes in, then it goes straight back out to product,” she said. “It is a numbers game. The more that we sell, the more money that we make.”
She has converted a home gym in her house in Hamilton Parish into a warehouse to better store her products.