30 years ago Ross MacDowell was an advertising executive in Sydney, Australia. While on a U.S. ski holiday he came across a product not sold in Australia, aerosol shaving gel.
“Shaving gel, what’s that?” I thought. It was 1989 and shaving gels weren’t sold in Australia. My ski friend told me aerosol shaving gels had nearly 50% of the U.S. shave preparation market. The American aerosol gel shaved brilliantly. “Why don’t we have this in Australia” I asked out loud. Phoning some contacts in the large multi national companies who supplied aerosol foam to Australian supermarkets revealed they thought Australia’s market was too small for shaving gels! How disrespectful to Australian shavers. They thought we were only good enough for their outdated shaving foams. Believing Australian shavers would buy shaving gel, I mortgaged my home and set about formulating Australia’s first shave gel. Not being able to afford a $1 million deposit for an aerosol production batch, I formulated what became the worlds first non aerosol shave gel, a lightly foaming translucent gel packed in a tube. My product was named Fast Shave Gel, a play on words relating to the then market leader, Colgate’s Rapid Shave. Over the next 25 years I encouraged my customers, both men and women, to contact me so I could listen to their shaving problems, a type of communication big shaving companies weren’t interested in having with their customers. Talking with my customers has allowed me to develop products that fix your daily shaving problems so you can step out the door without rashes and irritations.