The original idea for men's hygiene wipes came while Stu was still a student. In the summer before his penultimate year at University, Stu was on a surfing holiday with friends in France. They were in and out of campsites and found a lot of the time that the showers were not working.
"One of my mates…brought along a packet of pink baby wipes. You know, the big, flimsy packs with the resealable opening - all of us were like, 'We're not going to use those.' A couple of days in, all of us were picking from them and they did a good job." Says Stu.
Stuart's idea was to create a version for men, brand it right and they will come. The wipes would be larger, have a more masculine smell and great packaging to make sure they last long and look cool. The Top Gun inspired Wingman brand is something that appeals to men straight away and was chosen because it’s always by your side.
Using his student loan, Stuart developed a prototype. He made an initial batch of 10,000 samples which he sold at festivals and nightclubs and even managed to send some over to British troops abroad. This gave him great feedback and a chance to see that there was a market for his product.
The 24 year old graduated from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism, Film & Media in 2009 and decided to go full time with Wingman after seeing early potential in the product. He also was working a deal to have the wipes stocked in vending machines, but this soon fell through. It did not defeat Stu though and by October his product was in 264 Boots stores.
He had applied to the BBC to a show called 'Britain's Next Big Thing' which was presented by Dragon's Den star, Theo Paphitis. The programme followed several products from prototype to finished article on the shop floor. This gave Stu the opportunity to pitch his idea to Boots and boy did he take it.
With festival season coming up Wingman will be there to make sure you never fly solo. Stu has built a great brand and I think this will see his products fly off the shelves and it holds the company in good stead for the future as they extend there product range across the male grooming industry.