For the latest edition of Marlo Meets, we're thrilled to welcome James Dashwood Chase, the visionary founder of Baz & Co - a revolutionary skincare brand committed to natural and sustainable beauty. With a passion for eco-friendly practices and a dedication to creating effective, organic skincare products, James has successfully blended his love for nature with innovative skincare solutions. Join us as we explore James' journey, the challenges he faced, and his vision for the future of Baz & Co.

If you haven't entered already, we've teamed up with Baz & Co to offer you a chance to win the ultimate Father's Day gift bundle worth over £470! 

Click here to enter. Competition ends at midday on 12th June.


1. Tell us about BAZ & CO? 

I founded BAZ & CO while working in the alcohol industry, pushing our family brand, Chase Distillery, championing the field of bottled spirits. Burning the candle at both ends, I quickly realised I needed a change. I dove into natural skincare, which helped my skin and influenced my approach to fitness and diet, creating a holistic view of self-care. Fast forward a few years after Diageo acquired Chase, I seized the moment to launch a simple four-step routine for men. We champion basil (which means 'king' in Greek) grown in vertical farms. It's been a wild ride, and I wouldn't have it any other way!

2. How did growing up watching your father build successful businesses influence your decision to start your own business, BAZ & CO? 

Growing up on a farm in Herefordshire immensely shaped my values. I'm forever grateful to my father and family for instilling a solid work ethic—something ingrained in farmers from a young age! Chase Distillery could have been a family legacy, but I knew I wasn't cut out for corporate life as we sought a partner. A round peg in a square hole, if you will. I had to create something new, a brand to help men over thirty take better care of themselves. It's difficult, and I often ask my dad for advice. We love chatting about other brands, their successes, and their failures.

3. What are the foremost vital lessons and skills you learned from your father's entrepreneurial ventures that you have applied to set up on your own?

The biggest lesson is to never settle. Innovation is key. If you don't innovate, you die. Our successful product releases were driven by critical innovations that boosted sales. It could be the farmer's mentality of always finding a way to make things work, but constant innovation is crucial. It can be harsh on the team as things move fast, but with the rise of direct-to-consumer sales, it's essential to put things out there and fail fast.

4. What was your childhood like? What are your fondest memories of time spent with your father?

I'll never forget harvest time, the smell of fresh soil, and helping my dad pick potato boxes, ensuring the best ones were on top for buyers. When we started creating brands, we'd travel up and down the country with Tyrrells Crisps, visiting farm shops and shows and talking to passionate owners. Those are memories I cherish deeply.

5. When did you start working with your father first, and how did that shape your relationship?

I always had an interest in working during holidays. I didn't go to university and tried a few jobs in London, probably to escape Herefordshire! But when the distillery was starting up, I knew my calling. With firsthand knowledge of the best bars in London and spotting the impending craft spirits boom, I jumped in to help build the distillery. It's been a mix of challenging and great times, allowing us to travel the world, for which I'm forever grateful. However, I always advise family members to gain external experience before joining the family business—your input will be invaluable. 

6. Have there been any challenges or obstacles you encountered while starting BAZ & CO that your father was able to provide advice on and help you overcome? 

Men still find it uncomfortable to shop for self-care. Brands like Aesop have bridged this gap with their beautifully designed stores, but reaching my target demographic (men aged 35-55) has been challenging. Unlike the distillery, I don't have cocktail bars from which to build the brand, so inspiring customers has been more difficult than expected. Post-COVID, our shoppers are more open to trying things online, but we eventually hope to have a brick-and-mortar store.

7. How do you think your father's legacy in the business world has influenced how you view success and failure in your entrepreneurial journey?

While it doesn't weigh heavily on my shoulders, I am competitive and driven to create a meaningful brand. I also assist with his ventures, like Willy's ACV, a probiotic vinegar brand making waves in gut health. My father advises that knowledge is more important whether you succeed or fail, and you must learn quickly from your failures.

8. What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs who want to set up their own business?

While following your passion is standard advice, find something you're good at first. I'm passionate about skiing but'd be a terrible ski instructor! You need to identify a rising trend early on (starting a gin company now would be a bit late) and believe in it so you can tell your story. Your product doesn't have to be perfect—just get it to market and learn from customer feedback. 

9. What aspects of your entrepreneurial journey with your father do you hope to pass on to your children?

We have one daughter, Clara, who has just started walking, and I'm struggling to keep up with her! I want to instil the idea that finding something you're good at and making it your passion is critical. Get out into the world and question everything. Asking 'why' is so important. Whether they start their own company or not, they will find meaning in what they do.


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