Andrea is an Account Director at Vovia. Nothing brings her more joy than seeing a project through from planning to execution to results. When she's not sending emails or creating work back schedules you can find her on the trails or on the pavement wearing out her running shoes.

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Vovia Client Feature: Get to Know Cleverman

In the era of COVID-19 sweatpants and personal appearance falling to the wayside, Cleverman has been able to break through with their fresh take on men’s beard and hair dye in an underserved market. 

Launching an appearance-centered eCommerce startup during a pandemic may seem impossible, but through collaboration and deep knowledge of our respective industries, Vovia and Cleverman accomplished this feat. The relationship between Vovia and Cleverman began in December 2020, with the goal of building a digital strategy to drive sales of their beard and hair dye kits. Working with Cleverman’s unique sales funnel for their customized product, Vovia has been able to drive significant leads and spread the word about their innovative products.

We caught up with Mariana Lee, Chief Marketing Officer at Cleverman, to learn more about the company and what is in store for their future.

Cleverman hair and beard colour

How did Cleverman come to be?

Mariana: Cleverman started 3 years ago, when founder Carlos Barreto left Revlon to start his own business. He identified male hair dye as an underserved category. The products available had limited shade ranges and provided basic application tools, which can result in an artificial color. Some formulas faded quickly and were damaging to the hair, and the overall process (from selecting the shade in-store to applying it at home) could be intimidating and messy – especially when compared to the wide variety of options in the women’s hair color aisle. He realized there was an opportunity to introduce a better alternative for men. Carlos recruited for his core leadership team and advisory board people he knew and trusted, colleagues he had worked with in the past. In his words:

“We worked hard to develop a formula that was long-lasting, good for your hair and that provides a natural, masculine result. We developed a DTC model where our products are easy to shop online and easy to use at home. We customize everything  (color, gloves, tools, instructions, timing, hair or beard care) so that it’s exactly what you need for the look you want. Customization is a huge trend today. And we ship directly to your door.” 

What was it like launching a business during a global pandemic?

Mariana: A challenge for sure. We produce in Italy, so our supply chain was disrupted for a while. It’s also been hard to have everyone remote, but we adapted quickly to the new situation. While we are based in NYC, our employees, vendors, and partner agencies are located across more than 10 countries. On the positive side, eCommerce has exploded as a result of the pandemic, so customers are more open than ever to a direct-to-consumer service like ours. 

Anything new and exciting on the horizon for Cleverman in the coming months? 

Mariana: We are kicking off our blog with interesting articles on dyes, hair/ beard color, and other relevant topics. Also, a Senior Colorist just joined our team, who will be providing support for our content as well as with consumer questions. 

What are your goals for your business in the coming years?  

Mariana: Our mission is to help men look good, feel good, and be their best self. Cleverman strives to empower each man to discover his unique look, supporting him with the highest-quality products and tools he needs to do so. We believe every man should feel good about looking good, and you look your best when you look like yourself.

We want to of course continue to expand our US male dye DTC business, but are also evaluating new geographies, channels, products, and even brands. 

How would you describe the relationship between Cleverman and Vovia?

Mariana: Our relationship is very collaborative. We are in the early stages of growth and rely heavily on digital marketing, so we are very involved, working closely with the Vovia team to drive the business forward. 

If you could describe Vovia in one word, what would it be?

Mariana: Knowledgeable. Vovia knows the digital marketing space well, and has been invaluable in supporting us as we navigate it. 

We are so excited to see what’s on the horizon as Cleverman continues to grow. Cleverman does not sell in Canada currently, but if you are reading this from the US, be sure to check out the Cleverman website if you’re in the market for reinvented men’s hair and beard color!