Carlos Calvo Rodriguez and Todd Hewitt have teamed with two more friends to launch KOOL for Men, an innovative and exciting lifestyle brand.
KOOL for Men is an innovative lifestyle brand for men featuring a collection of clean, conscious, sustainable grooming and wellness products designed to help active men look better, feel better, perform better, do better, and live better.
The new global brand is led by four men who have made health, wellness, balance, and connection part of their lives. The co-founders include Todd Hewitt, former chair of the International Spa Association and head of wellness for Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts; Carlos Calvo Rodriguez, wellness expert and former Assistant Vice President, Training (Spa) at Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts; fitness expert and Hong Kong Crossfit gym owner Allen Cai; and popular Chinese influencer Berlin Tan.
The unique, results-driven collection includes CBD tinctures, gummies, sprays, soft gels, and relief rubs; topical wellness patches to support immunity, energy, male endurance, joint mobility, and more; a grooming range; and a soon-to-launch skincare and makeup line. All of these were created by leading industry experts and meticulously formulated by doctors, nutritionists, and scientists from around the globe.
KOOL for Men’s line is currently available for purchase in Hong Kong with a variety of payment options, while international transactions outside of Hong Kong can be made through Bitcoin, making the brand one of the first men’s lines in the world to offer cryptocurrency as a payment method.
Also great is that a portion of the proceeds will support the children’s charity, GO Campaign, an organization with a mission to provide children around the world with access to education, medical care, shelter, food and clean water, and enrichment.
What’s not to love?
We spoke with Carlos Calvo Rodriguez (always a pleasure) about the KOOL for Men concept and the drive behind this amazing venture.
Talk to me about the KOOL for Men concept
When we decided to start this project, we had three things in mind: improve men’s lives, give back to the communities and do our part for the environment by having clean ingredients and being vegan friendly.
There are a lot of hidden toxic chemicals in skincare products. They don’t even list them because they don’t have to if they are in a minimal amount. We wanted to be entirely natural, organic when possible, and to have all non-toxic ingredients, without parabens, sulphates, phthalates, etc. In small doses, you might think that these chemicals are okay, but you get to the point that you can harm yourself, just think how often you put them on your skin. And there are so many of those products on the market. We wanted to do something different in that area as well as being cruelty-free.
Another key point for us is giving back to the community. We wanted to help kids, and we found the Go Campaign. The good thing with them is that 100% of the donations go to the projects. Sometimes with charities or foundations, 80% of it goes to the admin expenses and only a little to the actual projects. We’re happy because we’re able to choose the projects to which we donate. Kids are the future, and if we can contribute through Kool For Men, then we reach one of our dearest goals – contribution.
You have launched CBD products and wellness patches and will be launching a skincare/makeup line, correct?
Yes. The idea was to start with skincare and makeup, but we encountered a few issues because of our specific requirements. It was hard to find a lab to work with that could meet all our needs. We eventually found one in New Zealand, and in the meantime, we decided to debut the CBD line and the wellness patches, which are coming out of different labs in the US and UK. We aim to launch the skincare and makeup line at the beginning of next year. We also have the grooming line, which are eyebrow and beard pencils that are pretty popular here in Asia.
Tell us about the patches
These patches are indeed the best. I liked the idea because I take a few supplements on a daily basis. I’m a vegetarian, and I take B12, iron, and some other things. So, you end up taking six or seven pills, plus your multivitamin. Plus, when you take a pill, they have to go through the stomach, and the absorption is not a hundred percent. But, with the patches, you put them on your skin and absorb them throughout the day. The advantages are that you don’t have to take any extra pills, and it doesn’t go through the digestive system. You stick it on and forget about it and get a higher absorption to your bloodstream.
Talk about your decision to use cryptocurrency
We always wanted to use Bitcoin, and currently, that is what is allowing us to sell globally. People might be a little scared of that, but cryptocurrencies are here to stay, whether we like it or not. People will get used to it. Twenty years ago, people were scared to use their credit cards online. It was like, “Oh no, I’m not going to put my credit card on the website because they’re going to steal it.”
And now we don’t even look. We just type it in. So, it’s going to take time, but we want to be on that trend because our target audience is males between 25 and 45 years old, and those are the people who created cryptocurrency and the people who will start to use it daily.
Did you start this business out of COVID necessity?
Todd and I have known each other for 14 plus years, and we always wanted to create a side business. We had started working on it. Then COVID hit at the beginning of 2020, and things started to shut down. My last day of work was December 31, 2020. We knew that something was going to happen with our department. All the hotels were closed, all the spas were closed. It got to a point where we realized we need to push this through because it was going to be our next gig. We realized that COVID and its effects would not go away anytime soon and that we needed to dedicate 100% to the project. But I always wanted to do something entrepreneurial, and suddenly I had the time to focus on this opportunity. So, yes, we were pushed, but I think it’s more that COVID has allowed us to say, okay, let’s really do this. More of an opportunity than a necessity!
And we have further plans. We own the rights to KOOL for Women, KOOL for Kids. KOOL for Pets, KOOL for All, and Kool Botanicals. So, we’re here for a while, for the long run.
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