Without small business, we’re nothing. TheLatch— and GoDaddy have teamed up to rally behind local businesses and entrepreneurs during this unprecedented time of change.
We’re speaking to small businesses and entrepreneurs across the country to better understand how they’re adapting to stay open, how they’re keeping their community safe, and how we can support them now during this time, and beyond. We’re focused on keeping Australia open for business, even if doors are closed. #OpenWeStand
Ewan Belsey and Tony Tsianakas are the founders behind Tony & Munro — a beauty brand leading the way with blending skincare and makeup for men.
Launched in November last year, the Australian brand is passionate about empowering men to express themselves through their products. The tagline of the company is “Tony & Munro. Be Fearless, Be Confident. Be You.” and these values are exemplified through its culture, which includes a zero-tolerance bullying agenda.
Belsey and Tsianakas noticed a gap in the market for men, as many were using products designed for women’s skin. Men’s skin is roughly 25% thicker than women’s and is usually oiler, so Tony & Munro’s products are designed to be more absorbent.
The Tony & Munro range currently consists of a simple three-step regime, which includes a Hydrating Eye Gel, a colour Correcting Concealer and a Nourishing BB Cream in three shades. The brand is planning to extend the range later this year. All products are sulphate and paraben-free, ethically tested, vegan and cruelty-free.
We spoke to Ewan Belsey and Tony Tsianakas about the challenges COVID-19 has brought upon their industry and plans for the future.
TheLatch— Hi, Ewan! Hi, Tony! Could you please tell us a little bit about your business, Tony & Munro?
Ewan Belsey & Tony Tsianakas: Tony & Munro is a first of its kind Australian fusion cosmetics brand.
Simply put, it’s skincare meets makeup. We launched in early November 2019 to cater for a burgeoning market of men who care about their skin, want to look good and feel their best — and want to use products that are designed and formulated specifically for them.
Whether you’re after a bit of hydration, to cover up some blemishes — or your sins from last night, SPF protection, or more even-toned skin, we provide men with their own brand of products, so they can feel confident all day long.
We’re made for men, by men… and we’re all Australian made and owned, have an Australian based supply chain, operate a sustainable business using recycled paper and cardboard to create our packaging and support a zero-tolerance bullying agenda.
TL: When did your business first start to feel the effects of COVID -19?
EB & TT: Around early March, when everyone started working from home, spending mainly on essentials and reducing spending on non-essential products like cosmetics.
TL: What does that mean for you now?
EB & TT: We’re here to stay and committed to supporting our staff, our partners, customers and the community. We are using this time to focus on growing our brand and our engagement with our customers and community.
That means doubling our efforts with the help of our business partners, to raise brand awareness and relevance, offering our customers great products and great value (free shipping Australia wide and a 15% discount when you buy all three products) and maintaining our support of the Alannah & Madeline Foundation, by donating 5% of profits from the BB Cream line.
“We are using this time to focus on growing our brand and our engagement with our customers and community.”
TL: Have you had to pivot your business?
EB & TT: Yes, it’s no longer about looking good to go out, but looking good and feeling good at home, whether you’re on a work video conference call, a video catch up with friends, or simply giving yourself a bit of a confidence boost for a Friday night drink at home — in that way the messaging has changed.
We have also taken into consideration the economic challenges all round and are now offering free shipping Australia wide and a 15% discount when you buy all three products.
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It’s as easy as 1,2,3. ⠀ ⠀ We’ve taken the guess work out, by devising a numbering system to help you get the best results. However, there are no hard and fast rules. After all, rules were made to be broken, right? ⠀ . ⠀ . ⠀ . ⠀ . ⠀ #tonyandmunro #tonyandmunromen #aussiebrand #australianmade #australianbrand #australianlabel #mensskin #mensskincare #menscosmetics #mensmakeup #makeupformen #mensconcealer #menstyle #mensstyle #mensfashion #menshealth #makeup #concealer #bbcream #eyegel #menofinstagram #mentalhealthmatters #supportlocal
TL: Has it been hard to make those changes?
EB & TT: Tony & Munro has always been an agile business, our store is online and we work with business partners who are also agile and locally based. For us, we acknowledge we wouldn’t have a business without the amazing support of our customers, so pivoting the business, making changes, evolving with the market and continuing to meet the needs of your customers, is just a fact of business.
For us, we’re super thrilled that we are still able to support our entire brand ecosystem (including staff, partners, customers and the community) during this time.
TL: What advice do you have for other small business owners for getting through this time?
EB & TT: Now is the time to focus on building your brand and customer engagement. It’s been historically proven time and time again, that brands who maintain their level of investment (if you can) with promotion and advertising, during an economic downturn, come out the other side stronger and poised for a quicker rebound and faster growth when the market picks up… and it will pick up.
“Now is the time to focus on building your brand and customer engagement.”
TL: Do you think the way you operate your business will be changed for good?
EB & TT: Yes, the market has evolved, the way we purchase, what we purchase and why we purchase has evolved, so we have to evolve with it and continue to meet the changing needs of our customers.
TL: Do you think there’ll be a positive to come out of this?
EB & TT: There is always a silver lining to every cloud. Recently, we’ve seen so much devastation and heartache globally, but I think what we will see coming out of this crisis is a stronger emphasis on relationships, communication and community.
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“But I have a beard, won't it stick to my hair?” ⠀ ⠀ When we talk to men about our BB Cream, this is one of the most common questions. So, we want to set the record straight. ⠀ ⠀ Our BB Cream has a thicker consistency to suit tougher male skin. Gently massage to increase absorption and blend into the hair, beard or neckline, wiping away any excess. It's like it's not even there, only your skin looks even better! ⠀ . ⠀ . ⠀ . ⠀ . ⠀ #tonyandmunro #tonyandmunromen #beard #beardsofinstagram #beardlife #aussiebrand #australianmade #australianbrand #australianlabel #menskin #mensskincare #menscosmetics #mensmakeup #makeupformen #mensconcealer #menstyle #mensstyle #mensfashion #menshealth #makeup #concealer #bbcream #eyegel #menofinstagram #mentalhealthmatters #supportlocal
TL: How can we support you during this time?
EB & TT: At Tony & Munro we believe in paying it forward. We start by offering our customers great products with great offers and encourage customers, to keep looking good, feeling good and putting their best face forward, by continuing to purchase, where they can.
That, in turn, allows us to keep our staff employed, work with the best in industry business partners and support or community partner (Alannah & Madeline Foundation), all so we can keep producing great products and offers for our customers.