New World Natural Brands, a holding company based in Chicago, has announced that it has acquired premium men’s grooming company 18.21 Man Made. The deal marks New World’s fourth acquisition in the beauty and personal care space since 2018.
Inspired by the bootlegging of prohibition era America, 18.21 Man Made was founded by Angel del Solar, Aston LaFon and David del Solar in 2014, making a very memorable appearance to the trade during Cosmoprof North America’s 2016 Beauty Pitch. The company makes premium grooming blends using high-end materials and ingredients and custom crafted aroma profiles, including their signature Sweet Tobacco. The founders will be staying with the company.
The deal looks to offer 18.21 Man Made immediate access to “resources and expertise to elevate our brand offering, strengthen our distribution relationships, overcome key challenges and provide the business with a better chance to scale quicker and more efficiently,” said Co-founder Aston.
New World saw the brand at a trade show in 2018, and was immediately attracted by their booth.
“They had a great booth that we couldn’t help but stop at – a full bar build out featuring their products. In addition to the booth, their unique packaging and branding, and the founders immediately drew us in. We had previously identified men’s grooming/personal care as a category we wanted to be in, as men’s is outpacing the growth of the category. We look for brands that have a deep understanding of their consumer, and 18.21 was a perfect fit,” said Kim Ryan, VP of Brand & Product Strategy.
The biggest opportunities for 18.21 include allowing founders to focus on their passion: product development.
“David, Angel and Aston are experts when it comes to product development, branding and men’s grooming. We see the biggest opportunity as taking some of the back-office responsibilities off their plate so they can focus on what they really love. Additionally, like most indie brands, capital is key and by partnering with New World they will be able to take on a more opportunities,” Kim added.
New World Natural Brands’ 2018 acquisitions included digitally savvy Baetea and Baebody, as well as skincare brands nügg beauty and suki skincare. The company defines natural by looking at five main categories: natural, safe, sustainable, cruelty-free and mission. While 18.21 hasn’t necessarily marketed themselves as a natural brand, “they are doing a lot of things right in these areas. As consumer demands continue to require products to follow these guidelines, we will work with 18.21 to deliver and message these results,” Kim said.
New World’s executive team is comprised of four executives: Shannon Curtin, CEO; Stacey Quince, CFO; Tom Ryan, VP of Business Development and Operations; Kim Ryan, VP of Brand & Product Strategy. The executive team and shared services (finance, operations, supply chain, customer service, HR and legal) work across all the brands in the portfolio. Brand Teams are led by Brand VPs and work only on their brand. “This keeps the ethos of the brands intact while allowing for scale on the backend,” said Kim.