James Vowles, CEO of Tangle Teezer on the value of an Active Partnership

James Vowles is the CEO of Tangle Teezer, the category defining British haircare brand. The company produces a range of innovative detangling, blow-drying and styling hairbrushes famous for their unique teeth technology and innovative design. The company has grown to become a leading global brand selling its products in over 75 countries.

What qualities drew you to Mayfair as a partner and made them stand out?

 Mayfair’s core philosophy of backing people and their ideas is not lip-service; they mean it and follow through with their promises. Before our partnership began, Mayfair had taken the time to develop a deep understanding of our business and brand and build relationships with our people. That made the decision to work with them simple. Their Active Partnership model allows Mayfair to not only advise but help execute. Whether it be in helping to shape our expansion approach, or making key introductions, the whole team has been there all the way.

Where has Mayfair provided the most value to Tangle Teezer?

Mayfair has been most active in three key areas: entering new markets, the evolution of brand marketing, and ESG.

With regard to brand marketing, Mayfair Managing Director and Marketing Effectiveness Specialist, Nick Keegan, has helped us pinpoint what makes our brand unique and how we can translate that into an identity that engages consumers across the globe. In fact, Nick dedicated two to three days of his week to Tangle Teezer while we ran the recruitment process for a new CMO. Nick has continued to be an active extension of our team, providing extra bandwidth, resourcing, and alternative perspectives to complement ours when it comes to marketing.

Mayfair has also provided advisory support to us on ESG, an area to which many companies are currently turning their focus. As we develop our ESG strategy, we’ve leant on the expertise of Maria Carradice, also a Mayfair Managing Director and ESG specialist. When any company is looking to develop or refine an ESG strategy, it’s important to get it right, and Mayfair is helping us do just that.

What we really appreciate about Mayfair, is that their interactions are across the business and not exclusively at a senior level. If we take ESG as an example, our committee is composed mainly of mid-level managers with Maria joining their meetings and interacting with the team. On the marketing side, Nick has spent time in our office, working  directly with the marketing team at all levels. I think this makes Mayfair stand out: it’s not just about their technical expertise but their people-led approach where they work closely with our people, displaying humility to influence up and down the organisation.

Has there been a standout moment working with Mayfair?

Every moment with Mayfair has been the perfect blend of consistent professionalism, humility, and expertise. There’s not one moment I can pinpoint because it’s just a very consistent, strong partnership. They’re a positive extension of our business and a great complement to any company. We work as a team.

 What does the future of Tangle Teezer look like?

Since Tangle Teezer’s very first product launch, we have continued to expand through our growing range of products and into different markets. We continue to grow in our home UK market and have incredible momentum as the brand gains market share in the US and China.

We will continue to invest in product innovation, which could include entering adjacent categories. You could think of Tangle Teezer as being a bit like Dyson and vacuum cleaners: there’s a core product built around proprietary technology but a range that extends into other categories where we can create genuine value for consumers.

We will also keep investing in our brand driving awareness and engagement with consumers throughout the world. We’re continually delighted by the level of engagement we achieve. For example, a Tangle Teezer hairbrush was one of the luxury items included in this year’s Oscars® gift bag. That’s a $20 brush in a bag with contents valued at a phenomenal $140,000. We’ve had incredible PR off the back of this with reports of A Listers such as Kim Kardashian and Rachel Zegler using our brushes to create their Oscars® hair. We feel very humbled and proud of this achievement. We’re a brand that started in South London and we’re now on the Hollywood red carpet.

 There are so many opportunities for our business and we’re very excited to be embarking on this journey with Mayfair who have supported us throughout this entire process. The future’s bright for Tangle Teezer and we look forward to taking our business to the next level.