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Real Guys: Introducing Elliot Waldron

Real Guys: Introducing Elliot Waldron

25 Oct 2021

Real Guys: Introducing Elliot Waldron

By Aquila

Founder of Hunter Lab, Elliot Waldron, opens up to Aquila about how Hunter Lab came about, why skin health is so important, and what he does to switch off.

Elliot Waldron

Some of the best brands are born out of frustration. Being unable to find exactly what you’re looking for ​—​ which is how Hunter Lab, created by Elliot and Susie Waldron came to be. Unable to find an elevated natural skincare brand, the couple created their own. Now, five years into their journey, the business is continuing to grow and they receive constant feedback from men who’ve experienced the benefits of Hunter Lab. Here, Elliot opens up about the brand’s expansion into China, why skin health is so important, and what it was like moving in with his in-laws.

On why he created Hunter Lab…

“I love educating and getting guys using skincare and creating fantastic products. We started Hunter Lab about five years ago and it took a year and a half to create formulas and meet the right people we wanted to work with because I couldn't find a brand that I wanted to use in terms of skincare and skin health so we decided to create our own brand. It’s an
all-natural skincare brand. It’s about using the very best natural ingredients and no synthetic fillers. We wanted to create a brand I was proud to use and my friends were proud to talk about amongst their tribes. We’re always talking to our customers and guys who have never used skincare before are contacting us and telling us how much they enjoy using it in their daily routines. We can give back to them with education and new products along the journey, and slowly getting them to add new products to their ritual is really cool.”

On why skin health is so important…

“It’s the window to our soul and I know a lot of people can neglect that, whether it’s time or not knowing what products to use, so we educate around that, trying to convince guys the reason why they should be investing in their own brand, so when they grow up and grow older their skin looks as good as it can.”

On his biggest ‘pinch me’ moment since starting the brand…

“Launching in China at the start of this year. It was 18 months of hard work to get over there. The scale of the Chinese market is on another level to Australia, and they love Australian products. We sold out within five minutes.

On how he switches off…

“I'm really big on work life balance. We try and switch off when we finish up on a Friday and won’t switch back on again until Monday. It doesn't always work that way but we live down on the Mornington Peninsula in Melbourne and we’ve got some acreage and horses. We try to stop thinking about work even for a day, it really helps.”

On how he finds working with his wife…

“It’s really enjoyable, working with Susie. It's not for everyone but we’ve really loved it and we’ve got really strict roles within the business. It's great to get home and to continue talking about work in a more casual environment. We both have a real passion for the brand and what we do.”

On his transition into fatherhood…

“It's been amazing. I went into the whole fatherhood thing a bit unknown. Ignorance is bliss - I ​read a few books but its been an incredible experience. It's a juggle but it also means that I can start work earlier and finish a bit earlier and spend some time with the family which is really important.”

Elliot in the Eduardo

Elliot wears the Eduardo Loafer in Tan

On his life before Hunter Lab…

“I was in marketing and advertising making TV ads. I think from where I was [working in TV advertising] to jumping into the skincare game, a few of my friends were surprised by that but they were also surprised when the brand came out and they started using it and enjoying it ​—​ it's something they weren't expecting.”

On his passion towards sustainability…

“Sustainability is really important. We have started a natural brand we love using ingredients from mother nature so whatever we can do to protect that ​—​ ditch single use plastics, focus on recycling, reusable coffee cups, and all of these things we use in our daily life. If there's a way around the consumerism on single use its really important to rethink our choices.”

On the hurdles of launching a brand…

“When we started we sold our house, our car and moved back in with the parents and that was a challenge. But these are the things you do and you get through and it makes the journey an even better experience. We moved back in with Susie’s parents for 12 months. That was a pretty big stint, I hadn’t lived with parents since I was 21. We wouldn't be where we are today without that 12 month period.”

On his personal style…

“Pretty laid back. It always starts with my skincare in the morning. It helps me feel great in whatever I’m wearing but I'm pretty happy in shorts and a T-shirt, or can throw on a suit if it’s work related or I’m going to the races. I’m pretty casual.”

On his Christmas plans…

“Christmas this year will be different. We’ve got Louis our new son, but we always get the family together once we switch off from work. It’s the busiest period for Hunter Lab but we switch off on Christmas Eve and spend time with the family. Christmas gifting is hard, we work on christmas from January so by the end of the year you’re pretty burnt out by Christmas, but I jump online in November or December and do all my shopping in one go.”

On where he searches for style inspiration…

“Online these days is an incredible place. It’s so easy it’s at your fingertips. Instagram, blogs — ​they all have their fingers on the pulse. Or retailers ​—​ stores like Aquila ​—​ are a great place to start.”

On his most memorable shoes…

“Having grown up on the coast, there’s always a pair of thongs that you wear around but I’ve always shopped at Aquila and always bought really great shoes from there. The ones that stand out most are the ones you’ve spent a bit more on for the races or to wear with a great suit. They’re memorable and you walk a foot taller when you’re in really great shoes.”

On his shoe style…

“Shoes wise I’ve got a pretty varied wardrobe ​—​ everything from thongs to loafers to shoes that go with suits ​—​ probably not a sneaker guy but everything else is pretty cool.”

On his summer shoe style…

“This summer I’m always looking for a pair of great loafers or a boat shoe style, anything that goes well with shorts.”

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