Today we’d like to introduce you to Anson Wu.
Anson, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
The year was 2005, before the iPhone was invented, Desperate Housewives was the top show on television, the Colbert Report just premiered on Comedy Central, and I was with sweaty hands standing behind a big podium, in front of our campus’ Chief of Police, Campus Safety Director, and a number of school board members.
I was the founder and president of the largest motorcycle club at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and I was there to convince the very skeptical school board members that it’s a good idea to have our annual motorcycle show on the main campus.
I was nervous but prepared, with multiple solutions for just about every concern: traffic pattern control, safety insurance, noise level control and crowd control. In the end, we got what we wanted and had a great show with 40+ motorcycles on display, 2 live bands and even the school cheerleaders performing. Later, I found out we almost didn’t get the approval from school. Despite our planning and enthusiasm, the board members were still skeptical. However, they were stunned to see me in a tailored suit, clean groomed and with a fresh haircut to complement an impeccable presentation. It shattered their perception of what a motorcycle club president should look like. At that moment, they began to seriously consider our proposal.
Thanks to that experience, I fully appreciate the power of defying people’s expectations. Ever since then, I have been helping people with their personal styles as well as encouraging others to break away from the stereotypes that our society puts them in.
In 2016, I founded dotGREY to instill this mentality into a broader platform as a brand. We built dotGREY to be a platform, as common ground for men who defy stereotypes and refuses to be defined by his job title. Those who resonate with dotGREY recognize that we are more than our job, title, ethnicity, or any set of labels. dotGREY is embarking upon unchartered territory in men’s lifestyle — and all who dare to share the journey are welcomed.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
No, it has not been a smooth road, but that’s pretty normal for an entrepreneur. First of all, my vision is much more than a skincare product collection and fashion line. I am in it to build a tribe of men who are defying expectations. dotGREY reflects the man who embraces the fact that he’s multi-faceted. He’s a guy who loves his day job and his side hustle. Or, maybe he has three hustles that make up his “work life.” Whatever it is, we’re creating a place for that man, the dotGREY man where he can connect with other like-minded trailblazers.
When I talk about trailblazing, I know what that means firsthand. As to be expected, I was scrutinized by peers and family for being too risky and seeking too large of an investment when I launched dotGREY. Raising money from them was tough. So, that just means I have a shorter runway. I know there is limited time to put a quality deliverable on the market. Being an outsider to the fashion and skincare industries, my first struggle has been the learning curve. I gave myself three months to learn about men’s skincare as an industry. I poured myself into reading case studies, interviewing anyone I could find within the industry, studying industry leaders, testing products, and visiting labs. After three long months, I won’t say that I’m an expert but I can spot numerous efficiencies and inefficiencies in the market. That’s enough for me to move forward.
I encountered another struggle when trying to find a supplier for our first skincare product. I am simply overwhelmed by the choices and variety. Using the basic pre-screening tactic of scrapping vendors with poor client service, low-quality products, and unreliability shipment, I narrowed my list to seven labs that can produce the skincare product in North America. After that, it’s the grind of testing every lab’s product and ingredients against our high standards.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with dotGREY Lifestyle – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
dotGREY creates exclusive lifestyle products such as all-natural skin care, bold fashion accessories and designer menswear for the multi-faceted modern man. We provide an outlet for our clients to express multifaceted individuality. dotGREY is embarking upon unchartered territory in men’s lifestyle—and all who dare to share the journey are welcomed.
I am most proud of the work we’ve done to create a respected men’s lifestyle brand without compromising quality. From our minimalist packaging and all natural ingredients, it’s a very different feel from your typical big store brand.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
We are looking to launch our first men’s fashion accessory line in Summer 2018. This will be our big step toward fulfilling our mission in creating a conversation-starter for us to recognize that we’re more than a one-sided public persona.
- HYDRATE | Men’s Nighttime Face Cream – $59
- PROTECT | Men’s Daytime Face Cream – $59
- WASH | Men’s Daily Face Wash – $39
- COLLECTION | Wash, Protect, Hydrate all included in one package – $139.00
- Address: 29 E. Madison st, 1620
- Website: www.dotGREY.life
- Phone: 312-600-5583
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dotgreylife/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dotgreylife/
Zakrey Kranz, Pierre Valmont, Timothy Kelly