Bulldog founder Simon Duffy on life at Grand Union Studios

Bulldog founder Simon Duffy on life at Grand Union Studios

Skincare brand Bulldog is a key new player in the booming male beauty industry. We talked to its founder Simon Duffy about his business and why he's based it at Grand Union Studios.

Founded in 2005, the skincare brand Bulldog is one of the success stories in British business. According to the skincare brand's website, 'after two years of painstaking product research, design and development, Bulldog made its debut on the shelves of a leading British retailer.' That British retailer was Sainsbury's.

Simon Duffy in the office


The brand was born of a frustration with current options out there - which were severely lacking when it came to high quality, natural skincare. They wanted to compete with some of the major brands in the industry like L’Oreal, Nivea and Gillette, and thought that many of the existing skincare brands for men were really an afterthought. 

'We quit our jobs in 2006 and spent a year and a half raising money from investors, formulating the products with some brilliant people, working on the branding and creating the designs and speaking to retailers,' Simon explained in an interview on the Mankind website. 

Since then, they've won lots of awards, including the Men’s Health USA Grooming Award 2013; Shortlist Best Eye Care Product 2013; Shortlist Men’s Grooming Awards 2012; and Cosmopolitan Awards – Best men’s Face Cream 2010.

Now the brand is sold all over the UK and in 14 other countries. They've just launched in Walgreens stores in the USA. They’ve grown from seven employees to 17 within two years.

Bulldog has been based at Grand Union Studios since June but were in another Workspace building before. Simon Duffy told us about the advantages of being located in Ladbroke Grove. 'It’s a great space. It feels much bigger; it’s very flexible. We’re able to spread out a bit and we’ve already seen the benefits of that within the team.'

Grand Union Studios


The Bulldog team have also been taking advantage of the amenities at Workspace, Simon explained. ‘We’re also finding the building to be really flexible. So for example, every Monday, we have a break out meetings in some of the other meeting rooms you can hire as part of the bigger use of the building so that’s been terrific.’

We love bringing people to the offices and I think it creates a really good impression.

Simon Duffy, Bulldog Skincare

He adds that it's a great space to invite clients ‘It’s also really cool. We love bringing people to the offices and I think it creates a really good impression. There's also a real community feel within the Grand Union Studios. It’s fabulous to meet other businesses that share the space with us.'

He sees Bulldog's location as key to attracting the talent the brand needs if they are to continue their quest for domination of beauty aisles all over the world. 

Grand Union Studios joins a host of iconic London landmarks and institutions in the home of Notting Hill Carnival; it's over the road from Trellick Towers, just across from the Innocent Drinks headquarters and a quick walk to Portobello.

The office


Breakout spaces


‘It’s nice to be in such a buzzy area and I think that will attract more people to come and work with us in the future.

The fast growth of the industry bodes well for expansion. According to Mintel, the number of personal care products for men has grown by 70 per cent since 2012.  In the US, according to the Telegraph, men's skincare was worth $4.1bn (£2.7bn) last year. That's up 6.7 per cent from 2012 and 19 per cent from 2009. Mintel predicts sales will grow to $4.6bn by 2019.

We guess the Bulldog HR team will be kept quite busy.

Find out more about Bulldog

It’s not hard to see why our office and studio space is proving so popular at Grand Union Studios. With comfort cooling, floor-to-ceiling glazing and terraces with spectacular views across London, if you’re interested in securing space less than a mile from bustling Portobello Road click here to view our last remaining spaces.

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