What’s in a name? As it turns out, a lot. Especially when that name is Billy.
In a world full of Williams, Billy always stands apart. There’s “Piano Man” Billy Joel, for example, who wields his baby grand like a weapon. There’s British rocker Billy Idol, whose platinum spikes and signature snarl made pop culture from punk. There’s also Smashing Pumpkins front man Billy Corgan, whose musical genius is … well, genius; Green Day’s Billy Joe Armstrong, who made rock operas cool again; actor Billy Dee Williams, who blazed trails as the first black actor with a major role in the Star Wars franchise; and funnyman Billy Crystal, whose comedy is as classic as a 1965 Ford Mustang. And don’t forget Billy the Kid, whose legendary gunslinging made the Wild West wild.
Clearly, Billy Jealousy is but one in a long line of badass Billys. In the world of men’s grooming, however, we’re the only Billy you’ll ever need to know. Independently-owned, independently-operated and American-made, we’re an everyman brand for extraordinary gents. This is our story.
From Razor Bumps to Startup Success: Our Humble Beginnings
The year was 1982. The place was East Texas. Our founder and president, Pat Parsi, was a skinny teenager with the wispy beginnings of a pubescent mustache. He hated to admit it, but: The time had clearly come for his initiation into the age-old male ritual of shaving. So, he made a reluctant trip to the nearest drug store to purchase the only shaving supplies that were available to the primitive men of the 1980s: a $1 can of shave foam and a disposable razor. Although shaving with them was like shaving with sandpaper, he used them daily well into adulthood.
His face hated him for it. For over a decade, Pat’s mug was a battlefield of nicks, cuts, bumps and burns. Then his dermal fortunes changed. On a happenstance visit to a department store in the mid-1990s, Pat encountered something he’d never seen before: a premium men’s shave gel. Although he wasn’t yet ready to spend the extra money, his face kept screaming at him. Soon thereafter, he therefore heeded its call and made the purchase. Straight away, his angry skin began smiling again. Not only was it smoother and more comfortable, but it also looked healthier.
That shave gel was a gateway drug through which Pat discovered a new and growing world of men’s grooming products. Shave gel led to aftershave, which led to moisturizer, which led to eye cream. His skin was looking and feeling better every day.
Finally, in 2003, Pat’s skin-care obsession reached a fever pitch. An executive in the booming tech industry, he became a casualty of the dot-com bubble when it burst. So did his partner, Dani Rouso. They both were out of work and looking for a new opportunity when they visited a specialty men’s grooming store in Uptown Dallas. Just a few years prior, it had been hard to find men’s grooming products at the cosmetics counters in department stores. Now, here was an entire store devoted to them. Clearly, Pat wasn’t the only guy with a thirsty face. There was now an entire market of men who wanted handsome, healthy skin. That day, a seed was planted.
The seed sprouted months later. Pat was thinking about opening a store of his own when Dani casually asked him, “Why don’t you just start your own brand?” So, that’s exactly what he did. He put together a business plan, began meeting with labs that he found in the phone book and eventually connected with a bottle distributor who introduced him to a chemist and cosmetics-industry veteran who helped him formulate his first products.
Suddenly, Pat was no longer a teenager with razor burn, or a down-on-his-luck dot-commer. He was an intrepid entrepreneur on a mission to make men look and feel their best. Brick by brick — or rather, fluid ounce by fluid ounce — he and Dani turned an idea into a business. And in 2004, Billy Jealousy was born.
Meet Billy: Our Namesake
But who is Billy Jealousy? It’s one of the most common questions we’re asked. And honestly, asking it is like asking who is Ziggy Stardust, or Sid Vicious? Who is Slim Shady, or Dr. Dre? Who is Hulk Hogan, or The Rock? Ice Cube, or Bruno Mars? Jamie Foxx, or Cary Grant? Billy Jealousy isn’t a person. Like famous alter-egos in film, music and wrestling, he’s an idea, an inspiration and an icon.
If he were flesh and blood, however, who would Billy be?
Billy Jealousy is a thoroughly modern American man. A lot like you, probably. He drinks cheap beer and expensive bourbon. He’s a gearhead. He digs Springsteen, The Weeknd and Johnny Cash in equal measure. He dresses up for dinner and down for drinks. He’s got impeccable style and flawless hair, and a gnarly tattoo that you wish you’d thought of first. He spends Mondays in the office, Saturdays on the trails and Sundays in the woodshop. He plays a mean guitar and smokes a killer brisket. He spends too much on shoes and not enough on wine. He’s unflinchingly loyal to his dog and to his buddies. And most importantly, he never forgets to call his mom.
All of which is to say: Billy doesn’t fit neatly into a box; instead, he steps on boxes, then kicks them aside. (Into the recycling bin, of course. Because Billy doesn’t litter).
Efficacious, Eco-Conscious, Ethical: Our Award-Winning Products
When Pat and Dani established Billy Jealousy in 2004, the most important thing a man could bring with him to a job interview or a blind date was a clean-shaven face. For that reason, our first signature product was Billy Jealousy Hydroplane Super-Slick Shave Cream, whose unique water-activated formula makes for a shave that’s as comfortable as it is close. Years later, it’s still one of our top sellers.
But men have changed since 2004. And so have we. Instead of baby-soft cheeks, the average American male now has a rugged face that’s thick with whiskers. From the shortest stubble to the longest ZZ Top beard, majestic facial hair is a sign of the times. And for men everywhere, a new look demands a new grooming routine. Billy Jealousy has therefore evolved. To be sure, we’re still a trusted shave brand. But now we’re also a celebrated beard brand — that also provides guy-approved products for the hair, body and face.
Think of us as a one-stop shop for head-to-toe men’s grooming solutions that are both on-trend and timeless.
Although we’re a dynamic brand that grows with our customers, one thing that will never change is our commitment to excellence: All Billy Jealousy products are cosmeceutical-grade and salon-quality. That means they’re based on science, not marketing. Featuring proven ingredients in unique formulations, they make promises to your hair, beard and skin — and then they actually keep them.
Maybe that’s why we’ve won so many accolades, including more than 25 awards from magazines you know and trust, like Men’s Health, Esquire, GQ and Men's Fitness, just to name a few.
Perhaps the best part about Billy Jealousy products, however, is their positive impact. When you use them, you won’t just look good and feel good. You’ll also do good, because all Billy Jealousy products are cruelty-free, vegan-friendly and PETA-approved; made with natural ingredients that are free of planet-harming sulfates, parabens and phthalates; and produced and packaged by American workers in American factories. It’s a win-win-win-win — healthy skin, healthy animals, a healthy environment and a healthy economy.
And also, a healthy nation: Thanks to our unique partnership with the Wounded Warrior Project, we donate a portion of every sale to help injured veterans and their families, which strengthens the American values for which our military men and women fight, and the communities to which they belong.
That’s the Billy Jealousy way. When we started out, we wanted to make men’s skin better. Years later, we’re trying to make the world better, too. And we’re just getting started.