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  1. Monday, May 27, 2024

  2. Tuesday, May 28, 2024

MALIN+GOETZ: An Interview with the Founders

How's it been and how's it going?

MALIN+GOETZ bath and body amenities have become a fixture in the 21c experience and it’s not by chance. Their products have not only become a mainstay for consumers looking for quality and simplicity, they’ve become a mainstay in all 21c Museum Hotel rooms and suites. Our guests have been enjoying the luxurious M+G products since we first opened our flagship hotel and museum in Louisville, KY in 2006.

We sat down with founders Andrew Goetz and Matthew Malin to gain some insight into how their iconic brand and products began and how it’s all been going:

Can you tell us a bit about the M+G origin story? How did you all meet and when did you decide to start a business together?

Andrew and I have had a personal relationship for 29 years and a professional relationship for the last 18 of those. We met in a bar in the East Village of NYC and ten years later, started M+G. Andrew is the entrepreneur and had been working for a family run Vitra in marketing with a focus on design and architecture. I had been in the beauty industry, mostly working for independent, family run businesses. Andrew noticed that many small independent start up beauty businesses were being sold off to large corporations like Estee Lauder and L’Oreal. He suggested that we pool our experiences of design and beauty and fill a void–make skincare easy and uncomplicated. This was March 2004. We self-funded and here we are, 18 years later…

What’s most important to you when you think about beauty products and skincare?

Less is more. The beauty industry has overmarketed to us, created gendered products and vast regimens. Our grandparents did not use products like that and apothecaries of past created a simple treatment to address a specific concern. Our ancestors had nice skin.

How are your personal skincare regimens similar or different?

Andrew is oily and resilient and I am dry and sensitive. When I met Andrew, he used a bar of soap to wash his face, body, hair and to shave. I used a thousands things and my skin was a mess. I have spent my adult life using topical and oral medications for rosacea, eczema, and seborrhea. The goal was to create a brand that we could share, with limited space in a small NYC bathroom, that looked great on our shelf, and that worked. Today, we both use a similar regimen of cleansing and moisturizing and add an item as needed, based on our skin and concerns at that time. Our products are geared to be daily staples for all skin types, so we are easily able to share most of our items.

Can you tell us a bit about your product development process?

It is not simple, not easy and quite detailed and exacting. We spend an inordinate amount of time looking to create a single item that is necessary, fills a void, has mutiple benefits, and can address the majority of individuals–even the most sensitive. We test on ourselves and volunteer family and friends. We work with specialty chemists and manufactures–local to NYC–to ensure that we get each detail right. Sometimes we get lucky and create something in six months, sometimes, it can take four years (like our Eucalyptus Deodorant).

Anything new on the horizon that you can tell us about?

We are excited to extend our reach for both product and shopping convenience. We have just relaunched a limited edition scent, Strawberry, as a permanent product! It has been a great success. We are working on a Cream Cleanser, based on consumer demand, and a new Retinol Serum! We are also opening two new shops in Manhattan, making that seven in NYC and a new shop in London and San Francisco for a total of 15 stores globally.

What did you set out to do when you founded M+G and how have your goals for the business changed over time?

We planned to make skincare uncomplicated and continue with this idea. We want to make it easy, effective and genderless. I think that we are on to something…

How do you all divide and conquer?

After 18 years, we have a wonderful CEO and incredible team that support all of our efforts and goals. However, Andrew and I have always approached the business from different perspectives and collaborate on everything. Andrew always oversaw manufacturing, production, operations, and creative. I ran sales, training, product development and we both managed brand marketing. Team effort!

Any learnings from COVID that you’d like to share?

Digital is a must and brick and mortar are still vital. Our sales staff is more important than ever, and we can get through anything as a team.


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