Meet the 30X30: FACULTY Founder Fenton Jagdeo is Building a More Inclusive World in Men’s Beauty
Our sixth annual Bay Street Bull 30X30 guide showcases a group of incredible individuals who are redefining the way we do business, championing their communities, and cultivating entirely new industries. From tech and environmental pioneers to cryptocurrency entrepreneurs and media trailblazers, each of this year’s inductees is challenging Canadians to think (and work) differently for a brighter future.
In our series of one-on-one interviews, get to know each honouree a little better: their values, mission, lessons learned, and best advice.
Co-founders and co-CEO, FACULTY
What is your elevator pitch to the world?
Fenton Jagdeo: I’m an entrepreneur and problem solver striving to create better, because everything deserves to be better. I do this through a passion for action, by inspiring others, and by investing in those also building for better.
What excites you most about the work that you are doing?
Fenton Jagdeo: I’m excited about giving people experiencing masculinity an outlet to look and feel good, by breaking down norms in an industry that has had a singular gendered expression for hundreds of years. I’m excited about championing self-expression, and how self-expression can add another $500B to the global beauty market. I’m excited about making beauty cool for masculinity.
What does the “New Wave Masculine” mean?
Fenton Jagdeo: New Wave Masculinity is the current era in masculinity that is steeped in individualized self-expression. We are no longer living in a world where masculinity myopically means loud, aggressive, rigid, etc. We are living in a world where masculinity means something different to everyone, and a world where you should be allowed to express that unique definition free of constraint.
How have you seen traditional standards around masculinity be challenged and/or evolve in the past five to ten years?
Fenton Jagdeo: Traditional masculinity has been challenged and will continue to evolve holistically. This includes an increased emphasis on mental health and conversation, self-care and unorthodox self-expression, openness to vulnerability, and more. These new approaches (practiced by Gen Z) are rendering outdated manliness a pop-culture joke, and it’s helping to check ourselves on what really matters for new standards.
How do you think that the evolution of the men’s beauty and grooming industry reflects society’s evolving commentary around gender norms, inclusivity, and diversity?
Fenton Jagdeo: They’re directly related, and as we continue to see more positive commentary on shifting gender norms, inclusivity, and the dynamic definition of masculinity, we will begin to see evolution in product formulation, marketing strategies, and influencer and cultural icon engagement. Given the gendered design of beauty, the category is the ultimate testing ground for the commercialization of this cultural conversation, and we’re going to see boldness because of it.
What do you predict will be a gamechanger to this industry in the next five years with regards to men’s beauty and grooming products?
Fenton Jagdeo: Cosmetic products made without non-comedogenic ingredients will be a gamechanger. The male skin type is more porous, meaning skin is more prone to impurities from the elements that clog your pores, creating skin issues like acne and irritation. Current cosmetic products also clog pores because they are made with comedogenic ingredients. Cosmetics made with non-comedogenic ingredients are better for the male skin type, and by design, better for everyone.
How has the word “impact” manifested in your work?
Fenton Jagdeo: All my work is for impact. From championing self-expression for a population that has been ignored by the market, to teaching the next generation of innovators at OCAD, oversight and governance for the TTC as we move millions of people daily, to my consulting and volunteering work… everything is based on an ideology of creating better for the ecosystems I operate in, and when things are better, it impacts everyone positively.
How do you define self-care for yourself?
Fenton Jagdeo: Self-care is the triangulation of activities impacting the mind and body. I take care of my mind through reflection, reading, moments of silence to think into the endless abyss, and conversation to release my worries and anxieties. I take care of my body through a rigorous skincare and grooming routine, trips to the nail salon, massage therapy, workouts at the gym followed by a steam or sauna, and good (great) food.
What is one lesson that you hope people will learn or walk away from your work?
Fenton Jagdeo: I want people to understand that it only takes an idea and the will to begin to advance our collective existence—tools available to everyone. Despite there being nothing special about me, I am hoping to do something special, and I want my work to inspire others who want to do something special too.
What has been your proudest moment as an entrepreneur? Your biggest milestone?
Fenton Jagdeo: My first conversation with an organic customer that happened at random. It showed me that people cared about FACULTY. My biggest milestone was raising over 3.5M USD from celebrities, financiers, and venture funds, with Estee Lauder Companies, the largest cosmetics company, leading our most recent seed-round.
Why does your work matter?
Fenton Jagdeo: FACULTY matters because fully and wholly accepting and embracing yourself, and looking good while doing it, cascades into a better quality of life. If you look good and feel good, you can go out into the world and do good. This work matters because beauty and masculinity should belong in the same conversation.
What have you learned about yourself as you’ve built your company and raised your voice?
Fenton Jagdeo: I’ve learned that entrepreneurship is not a test of intelligence, but a test of resilience. There are going to be uncontrollable issues big and small that dynamically change the trajectory of your business (and your emotions). Success will be derived by staying optimistic about the vision, and ultimately resilient in an environment consistently outside your comfort zone.
What is a major career goal that you have set your sights on and hope to accomplish in 2022?
Fenton Jagdeo: To continue to build FACULTY into a global champion for self-expression rooted in a modern Dopp kit of cosmetic and grooming products