6 Questions With Dr. Squatch CEO Jack Haldrup
You’re probably familiar with our HSIC (Head Squatch In Charge) Jack. But have you heard the Squatch origin story? We sat down with the man himself and got a chance to dive into some of the details about what inspired him to start the company, the secrets of the brand’s success, and what’s on his outdoor adventure bucket list.
Since you’re a proud member of Squatch Nation, you’re probably familiar with our HSIC (Head Squatch In Charge) Jack. From his humble beginnings mixing homemade soaps in his garage to growing Dr. Squatch into the company it is today, Jack’s redefining what it means to be a CEO and entrepreneur. But he’s also a regular guy just like you. We sat down with the man himself and got a chance to dive into some of the details about how his background helped shape the business, outdoor adventures, and the power of a funny Youtube video.
Wait, so you’re not the guy from the videos and commercials?
Ha, no. A lot of people think that actually! That’s James Schrader, our official Squatch spokesperson who’s also a comedian, actor and a writer. It’s been a blast collaborating with him since our first video but, believe it or not, we’re actually two different people.
Why did it start with soap? At what point did you know “Yeah, this is gonna work”?
Really it all started because I was trying to find ways to deal with my own psoriasis (an auto-immunde skin disorder). I first got interested in natural products by way of researching different diets and nutrition to deal with the symptoms I was dealing with, and this led me to explore actual soaps and skin treatments. I found natural, cold process soap at a farmer’s market and it was the first type of soap that didn’t make my skin feel tight, dry, and itch after the shower. From there, that led me to really dive into learning about the actual old school, cold process way of making soaps. I started experimenting with making my own and also saw an opportunity in the market. At the time I was thinking about starting a business and I figured there must be other guys out there like me who wanted better natural products, but weren’t sure where to find them. Plus, soap also seemed like a great entry point into better personal care products as a whole.
There were a few key milestones where I realized we were onto something. We got our first big exposure and shot at wider distribution when we got into a few of the larger monthly box subscription companies. This gave a wider audience a great way to give us a shot. From there, in 2014, we really figured out how to use facebook ads to scale our business at a relatively low cost. That milestone really hit me when I realized one day that the company was growing fast enough that I could quit my full time job and focus solely on running Dr. Squatch, obviously that was super exciting. The third moment was seeing the success of our first video we launched back in 2018. Like Facebook, it really showed us the power of going viral and how we could use it to grow our business. To see that evolve into the chance to run our own Super Bowl ad is crazy and amazing.
How and why did you come up with the name Dr. Squatch?
Originally I knew that I wanted to create a brand that was focused on natural products and manly but also one that didn’t take itself too seriously. My awesome and creative sister is an artist and we worked together to develop the first logo and branding that we still use a version of today. At first the brand was named Sasquatch Soap, but as we developed the look it continued to evolve. We really wanted to create something that could represent more than just soap and also become a character that could represent the brand. Ultimately we landed on Dr. Squatch and it just stuck. Looking back it was just one of those natural creative evolutions and I think it worked out perfectly.
Going back to the now-legendary first Youtube ad, what led to the decision to use humor as a basis for the ad?
As I said, I always wanted the brand to be one that delivered great products and education but never one that took itself too seriously. So, funny videos seemed like a natural way to go. I knew how powerful the growth opportunities in the digital space were for us and I also knew we had to be digital platform-friendly and deliver education and brand awareness in an entertaining way. So as we developed our creative and strategy we focused on creating content that got attention, entertained, and delivered value, all of which then creates trust. It’s not just education and not just entertainment, it’s a great balance of both. We also knew that Youtube was a hugely powerful platform so we decided to start putting it to work for us.
What’s the best piece of life or business advice you’ve ever gotten?
A mentor of mine told me once, “Do stuff today that your future self will thank you for.” I still think about this advice all the time and it has served me really well, whether I’m making big or small decisions. Ultimately it’s about delayed gratification and it really helps me think about the big picture.
What’s your favorite outdoor adventure that you’ve been on? What’s on your adventure bucket list that you haven’t done?
As far as a few I have already done, two really stand out. I went to a surfing camp in Costa Rica and it was awesome. It was so relaxed and beautiful and I just surfed all day. A second is an overnight hike I went on with some friends in Colorado. We hiked 10 miles to the top of a secluded hot springs and there was a mini village of other hikers camping out at the hot springs overnight, it was really memorable. As far as destinations that are on my bucket list, Patagonia is definitely at the top of my list. There are so many amazing sites and places to see in that part of the world, it’s really inspiring!