J.P. Mastey Corpus

Two decades ago, J.P. Mastey turned the classic men’s grooming brand Baxter of California (established in 1965) into a contemporary cult favorite. For his second act, he’s founded Corpus, creating a collection of natural deodorants and skincare products that are equal parts efficacious and luxurious. What drove you to start your own brand? In 2015 I was expecting my first child, and in the process of preparing our home, I began to obsess over the idea of clean and safe ingredients. All the “natural” products I found were either not really natural, or they made me feel like I was sacrificing aesthetics, scent, texture or performance. I was prepared to do better

I have a lot of experience in the industry—I was the owner of Baxter of California for more than 10 years before it was acquired by L’Oréal in 2013—and in the mid-2000s, I’d made several fruitless attempts at creating natural formulations. I’d given up since I just couldn’t get it right. One decade later, the science had delivered on the promise. The major ingredient suppliers have put big efforts into making safe and bio-based alternatives, and that has made natural product formulation easy and effective.
“Failure will most certainly arrive, and when it does, everything depends on how you deal with it, learn from it and grow.”

What’s your favorite product in the line? That's a little bit like asking a parent who their favorite child is. I love them all in different ways! The crowd favorite, and what ended up being my personal favorite, is No Green, which we now make in a deodorant, a cleansing bar and a body wash. The scent is a beautiful mixture of citrus notes, with more rind notes than juicy ones. The rind of the fruit is what makes me happiest. I have childhood memories of peeling tangerines by the pool and having the oils scent my fingertips. That’s what I thought of as we worked on this scent.

What are your morning and evening routines? I do not use an alarm clock to wake up in the morning. Sleeping well is just as important as eating well and exercising, so I’ve been making it a priority to get between seven and eight hours of sleep every night. Shamefully—and I am working on it—once I do wake up, I usually go straight for my iPhone to check my email and my calendar. Then it’s time for coffee and a quick rowing session to get my heart beating. Some days, I take my 6-year-old daughter to school. No matter what, I shower, which is critical for my thought process; I take advantage of the lack of distractions and think about what I want to achieve that day. Running a start-up means that I need to be ultra-flexible and expect the unexpected.

In the evening, I shower again. Although my showers are like a test lab of work-in-progress products, at night it’s less about soaps and shampoos, and more about feeling refreshed and clean. I need to decompress my overactive brain, and although many will disagree, I use TV to change my frame of mind and relax. I watch 20 minutes to an hour, max.
What would people be surprised to learn about you? That’s a great question, and one maybe best asked of those around me. I think being in the beauty industry for most of my life makes people surprised to know that I love boxing and have spent a lot of my adult life in a boxing gym. What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting their own business? I think the consensus from non-entrepreneurs is that it must be nice to be the boss. It is nice, but it comes with trade-offs. Being the boss means you’re ultimately responsible and accountable for just about everything. It requires a great amount of self-discipline, drive and a relentless mindset. My advice is that if you feel like you have that in you, you should go for it—regardless of the business idea or your level of experience. Failure will most certainly arrive, and when it does, everything depends on how you deal with it, learn from it and grow.
Corpus Body Wash
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