“In the late eighties and early nineties, razor blade technology and shaving software technology was cans of rubbish foam made out of chemicals, and razors made by Bik or Wilkinson Sword,” explains King. But his sensitive skin was having none of these harsh chemicals, and he started to look for alternatives to the shaving products on the market. “I came across a shaving oil that I enjoyed using, so I decided to develop a natural, exotic essential oil that would shave men’s lives,” smiles King. King started mixing the essential oils in his kitchen: “I read all these books about essential oils and went for it. I didn’t have £2,000 to bottle the first set of oils, so I spent two weeks hand-bottling 9,600. My girlfriend did 500 and her ironing lady did 100.” Today, KMI, King’s toiletries and fine fragrance business that is home to the King of Shaves brand, employs 50 people and is turning over a good, clean £42m. The bonus is that the all-natural King of Shaves product is as good for the environment as it is for men’s skin. “When you look at it now, and count the stepping stones back, I was absolutely bang on the money because it’s very carbon-footprint friendly, green and natural.” King has recently launched Patently Obvious, a "clean without compromise" range of cleansing products made from naturally derived ingredients and sold in 100 per cent post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. Will King was interviewed as part of the "My First Million" series, sponsored by Orange.
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