DECATUR – The men's up-market grooming brand St. James of London is now being brought to you by Todd Fisher, formerly of Decatur.
The 48-year-old businessman was born and grew up in the city and graduated from the then Stephen Decatur High School before leaving for college. Later, he headed up global marketing for major sports brands like Reebok and Wilson Sporting Goods. He learned the world of high-end grooming products while serving as North American CEO of English firm Truefitt & Hill, established in 1805, and eventually got the itch to own his own luxury brand.
He looked to England for inspiration and worked out an agreement with a manufacturer called Creightons, who specialize in the luxury grooming trade, to acquire a brand of theirs called St. James of London. The deal was done in 2013 and Fisher, who now runs St. James from offices in Hinsdale, says he's shaving an increasingly wide swath through the marketplace.
“We redesigned the packaging, we created a new logo and created new formulas and we officially launched in June of 2014,” said Fisher, whose mom, Jerrie, and grandmother, Vada, still live in Decatur. “We're now hitting on all cylinders and it's been a fantastic fourth quarter for us.”
The St. James product range goes from shaving creams applied with genuine badger hair brushes to colognes, post shave soothing gels, shampoos, conditioners and even a rosewood handled corkscrew and a fitted leather case to keep it in. “Every man should own a corkscrew. Even better if it's a classy one,” says the St. James website at www.StJamesOfLondon.com.
Fisher said his products are now being sold all over America, Britain, Denmark, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Greece, and in Decatur at the Brass Horn men's clothing and accessory store. Fisher says the owner, George Streckfuss, used to sell him clothing when he was a teenager and Streckfuss was working at the former Bachrach's store in the Hickory Point Mall.
“I kind of feel like the wheel has come full circle,” added Fisher.
Streckfuss says he's glad to see a local boy who's made good and the St. James products line is worthy of Brass Horn shelf space. “It's going fantastic,” he said of the St. James sales, where women are often the best customers.
“Especially during the holiday at Christmas,” added Streckfuss. “It's an instant thing: they come in, smell the cologne, say 'Oh, this is nice,' and they buy it as a gift.”