Vancouver’s Peregrine Supply is bringing grooming supplies to the everyman with the help of experience-driven retail.
Just three years ago, Tyler Hill and Katrina Moscato started bringing their products to farmer’s markets to see if other men wanted to take care of their faces and beards with natural ingredients and relatable branding. Now their products are in stores across Canada, and are featured in thisopenspace’s first experience-driven retail store, Sleepover, in Toronto. We sat down with their co-founder Katrina to talk about their growth, men’s health and the power of community.
Where did the idea for Peregrine come from?
This all started by a bit of a happy accident. Tyler, my partner, started making products for himself. He didn’t love how men’s products were being marketed to him. Everyone was targeting being a pirate or a cowboy—super macho. He thought, “hey, maybe everyone doesn’t feel that way.” We wanted to create a line that reflected who we are. Just for regular guys who want to use grooming products.
We started selling at farmers markets, and two years ago we got into a couple stores. I was at a job I didn’t love and we decided to take the plunge and do more than showing up at a farmer’s markets every Wednesday, so we signed up for every single holiday event possible, and we’ve been going like that ever since.
How is Peregrine innovating in your industry?
We try to be really careful with the ingredients we select. We look for quality ingredients and make products at a price point that’s affordable for everyone. We’re not just tobacco and gun smoke, we use orange and sweet birch. We want our scents to be fun and unique, but we want them to have a purpose.
Ecommerce has really picked up for us, so we do things like offer subscription services so our customers can get their products automatically when they need them.
How have in-person experiences become increasingly important for your brand?
We’ve relied heavily on markets and pop up shops because we recognize that with apothecary products, people need to smell, touch and try them. We try to make our booth as experience-oriented as possible. We have a beard bar setup with samples so you can come and try the product in a space away from where we sell. Tyler has a beard and he’s always there to help. People don’t have a ton of knowledge about these products so we spend a lot of our time educating and explaining what a beard oil is and what a beard balm is.
What role has ecommerce played in your growth vs brick and mortar?
We want our products on shelves, but Canada is challenging. It’s hard to get in every town and city. Last January we had the opportunity to redesign our website and it’s really helped us reach customers that don’t have stores near them. We try to connect with our audience on a personal level, tell our story, and give incentives to the people who follow us. Our blog also helps us get our brand message out there. We’re still surprised when people read things. With our lifestyle stuff, like our cocktail series, we had a ton of people come up and say “we watched those episodes and made the drinks!” and that felt awesome. We just share the things we actually like doing like mixing drinks and cooking.
We also put a lot of emphasis on our packaging to get it to a level that expresses us. We try to get information about us at our stockists so people can easily find us and learn more about us.
How are you building community online and offline?
We don’t want to just be another brand that only makes products. We want to contribute to the well-being of the people who interact with our products daily. We want to go further and go deeper to build a community.
We’re hosting an event for Movember, a gent’s night. Men’s mental health is overlooked. I was shocked to learn three-quarters of suicides were men and we don’t talk about it. We don’t connect guys to resources, there’s still a lot of stigma, so I think it’s so important to have branding that encourages people to just be themselves. We haven’t had a chance before to host an event, but this year we’re getting the chance with Sleepover to help build a community of people who are thinking differently and I think that’s where we can start breaking down that stigma.
Why did Peregrine decide to get involved in Sleepover?
It was part of our goal to move across Canada and have our products available on the east coast, but we didn’t have a physical touchpoint to reach people. So we direct people to Sleepover to experience the products firsthand. Ninety days gives enough time for people to hear about it. But there’s also a sense of urgency. I love the idea of experiential retail, it feels super different. Retail is changing and people are looking for more than just a really cool store. They want more, and they’re used to getting that online. Online there’s quite a few touchpoints, order confirmation, shipping, a comeback coupon, there’s so many more interactions you can have, so people want to interact with brands in a different way in person too.
This whole local scene we have in Vancouver, it’s created this desire for people to want to know more about brands. People are actually interested in the story, and Sleepover gave us a unique opportunity to do that. I love the aesthetic and the branding, it felt like a perfect fit.
What’s your favourite product that you’re featuring at Sleepover? Why do you love it?
For me, it’s the Detox Clay Face Mask because I can use it too. We find a lot of the guys who are buying our products are like “sure i’ll try a facemask,” so we try to keep things at a reasonable cost because it might not be in their nature to try a face mask. We also get a ton of couples that come in and get masks together for date night. Super cute.
How will this experience with thisopenspace help your brand grow?
Gaining a presence. There’s a lot of really strong brands. In Vancouver we’re local, we’re the home team, so I hope with Sleepover we can make an impression on a new city. Our goal is to reach Europe and the UK, so this will help us to continue to push.
Stores by thisopenspace are the place for online brands to sell in real life. Full-service retail spaces in premium locations available on flexible terms. Interested in selling with thisopenspace? Learn more here.