The 18.21 Man Made Origin Story

The year was 2014.  As gentlemen ourselves, we knew men deserved a collection of grooming goods that supported their finer tastes—after all, a well-groomed man has confidence in spades. Most existing men’s grooming products didn’t feel special, so we set out to create something elevated, premium, and uncommon that delivered professional grade performance.

The heritage of our namesake is a reference to the 18th amendment which started the Prohibition of alcoholic beverages in the early 1900’s and the 21st amendment which, is a point in history that is well known for bootlegging. And the spirit of the prohibition era bootlegging is obvious in everything that we do. Materials just felt more substantial 100 years ago. Things were heavy and durable. We like the idea of using substantial materials from the old school but using fresh and modern ingredients because today, mixtures can be both high performance and respectful of our health.

Ideas were flowing fast, and they weren’t all good! But, one thing we did know? Our products needed to be instinctively masculine. We remember that long pause after we told the laboratory, “we want a high performing, fortifying shampoo, conditioner & body wash, in a whiskey bottle with a tobacco scent.” There was silence, followed by blank stares and the suggestion of “guys, just do what everyone else does.” But that wasn’t an option for us—men deserve better.

Our goods feel top shelf like they were made just for you. They feel substantial to hold and will become something that you are inspired to display in your bathroom proudly.

After a year of hard work developing products in secrecy, we finally had inventory of 18.21 products in our garage and we were ready to share them with the world. But, we only had enough stock to distribute in Texas. We kissed our families, loaded up the car, and hit the road with a trunk full of 18.21 products. We spent a week in Austin, then Houston, and then Dallas—so many hotels, so many tacos!

 As we started to share our products, there began to be a buzz around the brand. It was truly fulfilling to see others finally experiencing and loving the products as much as we did. The brand was quickly embraced and beloved by hundreds of the best salon & barber professionals in Texas.

That first year was so quick, you could have blinked and missed it. We even outgrew the garage! That year we learned so much about our customers' needs and aspirations. We didn’t have all of the answers or nearly enough resources, but we were filled with hope, optimism, and positivity as we grew the brand beyond the Texas border.

Ten years later, we’re an international brand, available at hundreds of retailers, surrounded by a wonderful team, and it’s all because of you, our customers. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all of you—you’ve fueled our passion, our growth, and have kept our dream alive.


Thank you,

Aston LaFon

18.21 Man Made President & Co-Founder