Shark Tank’s Mr. Checkout Discovers The Best Kept Secret In Skincare
The Best of Science and Nature. Novato-based California North has been crafting unique skin care, sun care, shaving and fragrances using the top ingredients nature has to offer- pairing them with proven science to create high functioning, health-conscious, eco-friendly, cruelty-free personal care for twenty-eight years. Shark Tank featured, Mr. Checkout, will now be introducing the line through select retailers in the United States.
Founded in 1990 in the seaside town of Sausalito, California North’s earliest products addressed the need for skin care that stood up to the rough micro climate that is Northern California. The first products were introduced after real world testing on outdoor enthusiasts and athletes. Mountain bikers and cyclists in the Marin headlands. Surfers off the coast at Bolinas. Rock climbers at Half Dome. Yachtsmen in the San Francisco Bay and beyond. Ultimate function with a forward outlook on true usage not only during activity, but during everyday life without compromise.
Crafted entirely in California, the line features core staples like Action Moisturizer, an instantly absorbed, lightweight, total body moisturizer with skin conditioning botanicals and an elegant citrus scent; and all time best seller, Self Tanner. Praised for delivering a natural-looking tan without the sun while conditioning skin, Self Tanner has been the best kept secret big conglomerates would no doubt rather not be discovered by loyalists to their mass market product offerings. The product also encourages sunbathers to choose a more sensible tanning method, aiding in the prevention of skin cancer.
“We were really inspired by what a natural-looking tan should be. Not overexposure, but healthy exposure during times of enjoyment in the outdoors. How does that look on a very diverse group of people, how do we make one product work for so many? Through a natural, sugar-based active ingredient at the core of our formulation, we’ve achieved a skin conditioning, easily applied and maintained tanner. Our customers love that they can control their level of tan. It’s very subtle and natural-looking”, said Jim Miller, Founder and CEO.
Specialty products also exist within the line. Gelskin Scrub is a popular multi-use exfoliant used to treat everything from ingrown hairs to smoothing out rough skin, and for better adhesion for Self Tanner usage. Razor Shavecream, winner of FHM Magazine UK’s Best Shave Cream (2010), Electric Glide Formula and After Shave Care round out shaving offerings.
Razor Shavecream was one of the first foam less shave creams available and quickly became a staple among both men and women due to its slick glide barrier and skin conditioning properties. Electric Glide Formula was next developed as the ultimate alternative to dry shaving. Designed for usage on all razor brands, preventing drying out of skin, lifting hairs for a hygienic-close shave, while delivering lasting conditioning.
California North fragrances for Men and Women give perhaps the best insight into the brand’s creative expression and ultimate aesthetic- The Northern California Lifestyle.
O2XYGEN for Women presents a crisp yet beautiful top note of water lily, jasmine and lavender, finished off with a hint of white musk and oakmoss, as if painting a picture of a vineyard garden overlooking rolling hills out to the Pacific Ocean.
O2XYGEN for Men places you on atop a ridge, between a mountain top and the waves breaking below, where the cool air meets the sea wind. Crisp and refreshing. Cedarleaf, geranium, lime and watermelon top notes build into a slightly bolder spearmint, ginger and clove body, finishing with a sweet amber labdanum, oakmoss, sandalwood and subtle musk.
California North Classic EDT for Men is a sunset seat at Muir Woods on the California coast. A rich, mature forest meets fresh water. Warm, masculine and musky. Bergamot, lavender and violet leaf lead into an earthy geranium, clove and cinnamon base. The experience then takes full hold with sandalwood, tobacco, oakmoss and musk lingering long after dry down. A flannel blanket by the campfire left to take it all in.
Haircare rounds out California North’s offering with salicylate, sulfate and paraben-free formulations in Sea Blast Shampoo, an ocean-inspired, lotion-based moisturizing shampoo. For those going the extra step into conditioners, Sea Blast Leave In Conditioner delivers rich moisturizing while leaving hair pliable. Watermint Conditioner, infused with mint and tea tree oil delivers ultimate moisturizing with a wake-me-up tingle.
The brand’s Creative Director, Onur Aybar, has, in recent years, penned sharp creative to drive the brand forward in the realization that their audience is now equally comprised of both men and women. He explains:
“Our early days exuded masculinity, and that is where we honestly started. Through the years, women began using every product based on performance, and our data continues to reveal an equal representation of both genders. We love that because it has truly become the voice of the business driving development of all products. A need-based approach versus gender-based only. In the lab we question everything. Performance, will this hold up to facial hair, legs, sensitive areas- how does it feel to actually touch and handle… In our haircare category, development of Sea Blast Shampoo and Sea Blast Leave In Conditioner was entertaining. I must have distributed dozens of bottles and pestered my entire network of colleagues, friends and family for feedback. Function, ingredients, endurance and sensory is everything in our work. So in our advertising, we want that same effort to convey- to help new customers discover us. And for our existing customers, to feel proud of the choice they’ve made. We have a lot of fun.”
A highlight in advertising is the 2012 Self Tanner work. In bold copy you get a taste of what California North delivers in short bursts, each dropping an anvil of a statement which leaves no doubt as to how big of a deal Self Tanner must be. A sense of the conviction California North employs.
“Base tanning, we just rendered it obsolete.
Caribbean beaches, you inspired us.
Sun, go ahead, ask how we did it.
Tanning beds, we’re sorry.”
The follow up work, this time for Pacific Foam Shave Gel in 2013. A popular product amongst women for shaving legs, alongside Razor Shavecream. The work captures the same essence in tone. With the image of a woman playfully rubbing shaving cream into an amused man’s face, Aybar’s copy reads-
“He forgot his, so I lent him mine. California North Pacific Foam Shave Gel. For Women, and Men.”
Male-centric advertising has not left the brand completely. A late work for Electric Glide Formula in which a man is pictured, impressed with his shave, with copy playfully dancing alongside-
“His electric razor just slipped on a banana peel. Trip your electric razor. Electric Glide Formula.”
A 2013 Razor Shavecream advertisement in which a man, happily smiling at himself in the mirror with smooth skin post shave also takes a gender-specific approach with some flare.
“Smooth as a baby’s adorably cute, man’s handsome, left, right, cheek. Get smooth, in a manly way.”
Female-oriented advertising has also been a staple, with most recent work for Action Moisturizer featuring a playful focus towards jewelry. The ad work features a woman’s hands before and after application, but the focus is not the product, it’s just a tiny dab. The true focus is the a platinum halo set engagement ring and pave set diamond wedding band. The copy doesn’t even feature the product title until nearly the bottom of the page. Aybar’s copy delivers:
“When’s the last time you saw a diamond ring modeled on sandpaper? Never, and for good reason. Halo settings and rough hands don’t go together. We assure you, it’s not smoke and mirrors- it’s California North Action Moisturizer.”
“We are a behind-the-scenes part of people’s lives and that’s the point. We all have goals, achievements and interests and most of those start with personal care. In the shower, shaving, spritzing a refreshing fragrance before heading out, applying lotion on a cold day.”
“The model is actually my wife! I sat there thinking on how long I had to save to afford the rings, and how many of our customers or soon-to-be customers are in that stage of life- marriage, or this stage or that stage and so on. What are the memories we take with us here and there? A wedding or the lead-up to one is a monumental moment for most people. So we remember it with tradition, and that’s often jewelry. These are also beautiful things that represent emotion in design, so it’s really strong on its own. Creatively, I let the strength of our product reside in the background, out of the way but at the center, just like CN.”
California North is deeply rooted in Northern California and it shows in product names such as Richardson Bay Spray, and past names like Barbary Coast Scrub. Also through the brand’s belief in both science and nature even takes the most well-known industries in the area into account as well.
Jim Miller explains:
“It’s a living, breathing, unique part of the world we are lucky to call home and draw inspiration from. If not for this area, we wouldn’t exist in concept. So we pay homage to the landscape and our unique experiences here. Not far from us is wine country with world-class scenery, wines and wine makers. That inspired our Appellation Grapeseed line. There’s also an old computer manufacturer’s campus, and as you can imagine, the world today is driven by technology. All-natural is the soup du jour right now, but we believe in science and nature working in harmony to deliver safe, effective, long-lasting performance. Our surroundings showcase that. Through science you make wine. Through science you build Apple computers, Teslas, and California North skincare. All while the most natural surroundings envelop you, and you appreciate the importance of each facet of life here. It’s not one or the other. It’s achieving balance.”
As an EU-compliant and registered line, California North has proven that its full complement is safe against the most comprehensive regulations in existence. Formulations are scientific in part to allow for a lengthened usage cycle versus the often time-sensitive all natural offerings. As each customer has unique needs, a focus has been to give ample time for usage without any breakdown in formulas. Also in export operations and in retail environments where shelf life is important.
Mr. Checkout will be introducing California North skincare and fragrances in select US retail markets this summer. The retail partnership will put the brand in front of a new customer base nationwide in diverse store settings unique to the network of Mr. Checkout distributors.
About Mr. Checkout
Established 1989 | Mr. Checkout is a national group of Independent DSD Distributors, Full-Line Grocery Distributors and Wagon-Jobbers. We represent products in over 60 major retailers and our distribution network services approximately 35,000 retailers across the United States, Canada and parts of the Caribbean. Distributors, Wholesalers and Retailers turn to Mr. Checkout to find the best selling products, learn which categories are trending and discover what is the next hot new product.
For additional information, please www.mrcheckout.net.
About California North
Founded in 1990 by Jim Miller, California North crafts unique skincare and fragrances for men and women using the very best of science and nature. The highest quality, health-conscious, eco-friendly, cruelty-free personal care made in Northern California.
To learn more, please visit www.californianorth.com.