How many times have you strolled into the beauty section to ‘just quickly pick up new soap or lotion’, but instead waste an hour doing an in depth, side-by-side comparison of 10 ‘potential’ winners. . . only to go home empty-handed from decision fatigue? Or you just keep adding water to your soap because you’re too lazy to just go into the store to buy more (if you could see me right now…my hand is raised.)
That’s where Morgans comes in to save the day and your soap from total dilution.
I had the opportunity to chat with minimalist entrepreneur, Morgan Hirsh, the founder of Morgans: an innovative new company with one simple goal – Deliver quality basics every couple of months at a fair price. Morgans is a brand that is truly embracing simplicity while also providing a standout service. I absolutely loved learning more about the inspiration behind this new brand and even got to try out the products, first hand. Needless to say: I was impressed! It’s always so inspiring to hear from other entrepreneurs and get inside their brains, learning more about this brand only got me more excited to share their story. . . so without further ado, here’s my convo with minimalist entrepreneur, Morgan Hirsh:
LJL: What Inspired You To Start Morgans?
M: When I was younger I wanted to be a Ninja. Not because of the martial arts. I had this idea they lived a simple modest life with only 4 plates, 4 knives and forks in a simple one room apartment. I don’t know if longing for that kind of thing was so deep. I was just a kid and it meant Ninjas didn’t have to waste time doing lots of dishes, or cleaning up lots of rooms. And sure, they had Ninja Stars which is also pretty cool. My mother actually found a school in Japan for me to visit. But ultimately, my father wouldn’t have it.
Practicality got the better of me and in my 20’s I took over my family leather goods business. I loved creating and working with people. I loved the design component. But, I didn’t like the fashion component. And I think that’s an important distinction. To me, selling people the same thing season after season in a different color or with a slight modification didn’t make sense. I wanted to make things people really needed.
Soap and toothpaste were perfect because people need them, but the way they were distributed was broken…. or at least in my opinion, absurd.
Going into the drugstore and seeing thousands of ugly bottles designed for the shelf, not the home, really stressed me out. Most of the brands were owned by two giant companies. Which to choose? Does it matter? Aisles and aisles forcing you to spend energy making meaningless decisions. On the other hand, fancy products that looked nice were disproportionately priced. I knew from friends in the industry that the cost of a bottle of shampoo is a few bucks, no matter what you put in it. I saw an opportunity to do it better and went for it. We’re on the right track but we have a lot we can improve on. For example, I really think we could reduce plastic waste. And we have some exciting innovations that will take a couple of years to complete. But, we’re working on it. Everything is a work in progress.
LJL: I love your ‘philosophy’ section, Can you provide a bit more insight into why you chose those two:
M: Every company selling a product or service talks about one thing at some point: how do we differentiate ourselves? When it comes to personal care I think a lot of companies struggle with this, and then go in a direction that isn’t altogether truthful. The products whiten teeth, the products reduce aging, or whatever. But, for both aging and yellow teeth maybe the better course of action is to stop smoking or some other real lifestyle change that have nothing to do with products and everything to do with our habits. I wanted to make it clear that our products do what they are supposed to do, nothing more, nothing less. They are simple…and good.
LJL: They also smell good! I absolutely adore the shaving cream, it’s almost minty! (not to be confused with the toothpaste, which is a bit minty as well.)
LJL: What about Minimalism is most attractive to you?
A: Minimalism to me has two meanings: one pertaining to lifestyle, the other to design. As far as lifestyle goes I like it because it keeps me aligned with what I think is important. Once basics are provided for, we derive happiness from friendships and experiences, not things. As far as design goes I actually like all kinds of styles. But for this particular category my preference is simplicity. But truthfully, more ornate products can look great too. The problem is they are harder to fit into every space and I don’t know what my customers bathroom looks like.
LJL: The products are USA-based and all-natural, what was the process like sourcing everything?
M: First we teamed with natural products experts to make sure we could best advise the labs on which ingredients we wanted to use, and which we didn’t. Then it was a lot of calling random companies. Some led to dead ends, some to referrals. We inquired into their processes and vetted them. Asked for samples and vetted again. Tested them on ourselves and our friends. Requested changes. We did that over and over with each product and each vendor until we all loved everything.
LJL: Why not offer a few different shampoos or conditioners?
M: I don’t think people need more than one shampoo. If someone doesn’t like ours, that’s ok. We’ll never be everything to everybody. Our customers are after beautiful simplicity… I don’t want to make them choose… that’s my way of differentiating: by offering less.
Luckily, most people who try our products love most of them and order again.
LJL: Do you think people will appreciated how carefully curated the collection is?
M: Yes. What people love is not having to think so much about this stuff. We deal with the basics and our customers and think about whatever’s more important or more fun for them.
LJL: What inspires you most about living a cleaner and simpler life?
M: Well… it’s funny, all this new age philosophy is in fact ancient and actually taught in every faith, because at the end of the day it’s common sense. The idea is that if we’re grateful, we’re happier. It’s amazing how practical that is, but how it’s sometimes hard to embrace. And once we’re grateful we start wanting less, so life automatically becomes simpler.
LJL: Anything you’d like to add?
M: Yes, some people think that business is somehow at odds with this sort of outlook. This isn’t true. Commerce is a way to solve problems, big and small. Pursuing goals and being grateful aren’t mutually exclusive. Learning and building is human nature. And, forgive the cliche, but it’s about embracing the journey not the goal.
LJL: Love that!