Jackfir personal care products
By Tom McDermott
It’s a no secret that when men and women are together in a room, the guys are usually talking about sports; but what men like to keep to themselves is that, after the women leave the room, talk inevitably moves to … skin care.
Okay, I made that up, but if you’ve been to see your dermatologist lately, and, let’s face it, gents, we get around to this much too late in life, we really should be paying much more attention to our bodies’ largest and most visible organ. As Charlie Razook, Rye native and founder of personal care and lifestyle brand Jackfir, says, “It’s time we started taking care of ourselves.”
For Razook, that became a matter of survival. After learning that he was suffering with leukemia while getting his MBA at SDA Bocconi School of Management in Milan several years ago, his body and psyche had to endure three-and-a-half years of intense treatment at Sloan-Kettering. Razook went through a year of intravenous chemo, constant transfusions, and more than two years of additional monthly treatments. During that time, he came to terms with the fact that his disease was not only a matter of genetics but also environment.
That meant not only watching his diet, keeping fit, and giving up tap water. He became aware of the many toxins in his everyday life. When he looked into his medicine cabinet, what he saw did not reflect his new regimen – chemicals. That was the genesis moment for Jackfir. “I wanted to find a super-clean, natural option in the men’s care aisles, and I wanted it to be high-quality and effective,” said Razook.
Jackfir’s Classic Daily Facial Cleanser and Facial Moisturizer, and its Classic Shave Cream are powered by plants. They contain minimal ingredients, all with a purpose and are all organic or natural. It took more than two years of testing, finding the right formulas, developing clean packaging and tubes from post-consumer recycled material. The diligence paid off – the products contain 70% organic ingredients and have received the highest “NSF” approval.
The Jackfir Adirondack connection is not just about a natural theme. It is personal. Razook grew up visiting the Lake Placid area with his family and continues to do so. The brand reflects the founder, the outdoors, and natural scents and textures.
While highly motivated to remain healthy – Razook’s disease is in remission – it took more than an idea to create Jackfir, the brand. Razook has paid his business dues. After graduation from Rye Country Day School, he entered Princeton where he studied Politics and Italian and was a member of the Varsity Diving team for three years. From there he became an A&R man at Atlantic Records but became disillusioned. “I wanted something that was creative, but it was not a match, I was a tiny cog,” he recalled. Following his natural instinct – both sides of his parents’ families have a history of entrepreneurship – he joined a swimsuit start-up, Solid & Striped.
Razook continued to have an entrepreneurial bug at business school and as an e-commerce intern at Gucci. After regaining his health, he finished his MBA at NYU. He used his own savings to seed Jackfir for a year; the company received additional private funding earlier this year and has opened an office and showroom near Union Square.
Those who order from Jackfir online – Razook has been talking to a limited number of retailers for future distribution – will be treated to a truly botanical experience. The Daily Cleanser is powered by Jojaba beads, aloe, calendula, and sunflower seed oil with a scent of wild violet, pine, and balsam. The Shave Cream contains soothing aloe and cucumber extract for prep with a scent of chamomile, violet and cedarwood. This reporter has been using both and can say in guy-vernacular: Both make you feel garden/forest fresh yet do not leave a trail. Subtly great, in other words.
Research has shown that women purchase as much or more men’s personal care product than men as presents. Note to wives, daughters, girlfriends: Christmas is just around the corner.