• Featured Brands: Rudy's

    Seattle barbershop-turned-product line Rudy’s is rooted in quality and thoughtfulness — even down to your shampoo. Get to know more about the new-to-UO brand in our visit to their HQ.
    Photos by Christina Hicks

    Your products are perfectly uncomplicated. Tell us more about the evolution of Rudy’s signature haircare line.
    It’s funny because perfectly uncomplicated is exactly how we describe the brand in many ways. We really aim to be an authority on effortless cool through our heritage, shops and now with our products. Our product line really grew from a place of realizing that there wasn’t a beauty or grooming brand out there speaking to our shop customers. With such an oversaturated market of products, it’s funny that still everything we see in the market has such a narrow definition of masculinity or femininity, which just doesn’t feel very modern or relevant to most of the people we talk with. We’ve got 25 years of experience styling and cutting hair, so knew we could create stylist-tested products that simply worked.

    Rudy’s is about owning who you are and where you’re at with bold conviction. How does this play into what you make?
    It’s integral to everything we do as a brand. Our founders wanted to create a space for all of their creative, weird, and interesting friends. But, also to create a place where anyone in our communities could feel comfortable hanging out and being treated with respect. When I first started at Rudy’s, we talked a lot about the persona of the brand and all agreed that we’re a bit of the rebel. We’ve never been afraid to make some noise and I think us creating unisex products really feeds this. We refuse to be put in a box that so many other brands seem comfortable living inside of. Where’s the fun in that?

    How would you convince someone to break away from their tired haircare routine?
    I’d tell them not to be too precious about it. Hair – for most of us - grows back pretty quickly. If you try out a look that doesn’t work, you’ll be through with it in just a few weeks. Beyond that, make sure to pick products and styles that best fit your hair type and your overall style. If you’ve got super fine, thick hair like me, you have to be okay with the idea that a tousled pompadour probably isn’t within reach.

    Rudy’s has expanded outside of its Seattle home base. From LA, to New York, to Tennessee and back, what themes connect these communities?’
    For us, it’s all about finding neighborhoods that have an energy about them. The communities with a mix of music, art, history and culture. Something unique is that each of our 28 shops is completely different and made to fit with the neighborhoods they open in. Often, people are surprised to hear that there’s more than one Rudy’s location, even in Seattle. We love that.

    What’s the process look like for creating a new product?
    It’s a labor of love. It all starts with talking to our stylists and barbers about the products they’re currently loving, what’s missing or needed, and what our customers are saying. We really try to involve the expertise of our shops throughout the entire creation process – from the product ingredients to the way the packaging feels. Our core product development team then spends time working with our lab (a USA-based company that practices green technology) to test various formulations and ingredient combinations. We also spend a lot of time on packaging and naming. We want the package to speak to the product in a way that feels natural, straightforward, yet stands out on the shelf next to our competitors.

    For those who are new to Rudy’s mission and products, can you shed light on your partnership with the It Gets Better Project?
    Rudy’s has always been a long-time ally of the LGBTQ community. Founded by three gay men and currently run by a gay CEO, we’ve made it our mission to support this community throughout the years. Recently, we continued an ongoing partnership with It Gets Better, an amazing organization we’ve worked with over the years, to provide support for homeless youth. Being a presence in so many major cities across the US, we’ve been astonished to learn just how much homelessness impacts the LGBTQ community, especially LGBTQ youth. Our give campaign provides a week’s worth of showering essentials to 12 (and growing) shelters across the country through every purchase of our shampoo, conditioner, or body wash.

    What bestseller do we need to get our hands on right now? What products do you suggest as must-haves for a Rudy’s newcomer?
    All of them? If you’re in need of an upgrade to your daily routine, the 1-2-3 bundle is our best-seller and what we made our name with in products: our iconic shampoo, conditioner and body wash that have an amazing citrus, cedar, and juniper scent people love. These products are really amazing. 

    I’d also recommend trying our Matte Pomade. It’s the perfect hair styling product for almost any type of hair and a really good go-to if you want a single product that can take you from the office to a night out on the town. Outside of Rudy’s, we’re loving Milk Makeup’s Matcha Cleanser and Alder New York’s clay face mask. We just ordered a bunch of both and can’t get enough of them. 

    What’s next for the brand?
    World domination! We’ll continue to focus on an amazing shop experience along with expanding our product line. Later this year, we’ll launch some more amazing styling products along with few items for the body and the home. And, in 2018, we’ll expand upon that with several product launches throughout the year. Beyond that, we’ll continue to make some noise and make sure we’re constantly redefining our industry. We’ve got to always be innovating with so much amazing competition around us. 

    If we’re planning a trip to Seattle, what neighborhood spots are required in our visit? What are the Rudy’s essentials?
    Beyond the obvious choices (Pike Place is still totally worth going to), we’ve been loving hanging out in Georgetown recently. A former industrial neighborhood, it now is home to a slew of amazing bars and restaurants. Pay a visit to Fonda La Catrina for some great Mexican food, have a beer at Jules Maes Saloon, and do some vintage shopping at the Georgetown Trailer Park Mall.

    Rudy’s has its own slew of favorites. You can usually find our team weekly on the back patio at Linda’s having a beer. We’ve also been known to pay a visit to Busch Gardens in the International District for some late-night, no videos allowed karaoke. For comp shopping and inspiration, we love to stop by Glasswing and check out their latest goods.  

    Shop Rudy's at UO