Born in Dubuque, Skullduggery Brings Vintage Class to Men's Grooming.
A few years back I attended some amazing parties in a little garage behind a house on Alpine Street. You’d expect a keg and a smell of oil leak. But no, this was a space with a vibe and a purpose. This was a little room filled with people dressed up in vests and ties and cocktail dresses drinking good liquor while a little live music was being performed on the little stage at the side. There was a bar, couches and mood lighting and most importantly, fun interesting people having a fun interesting time. No it wasn’t a fever dream I had. I was really there, more than once. Still, maybe it was part dream.
“Yes, .back in 2014, some friends and I converted my garage into a makeshift speakeasy where we sampled fine whiskeys and dressed in our finest suits, explains Zalaznik. “We called it “The Alpine Gentleman’s Club.” It was meant to be a joke. We were playing dress up, but it became more than that. Dressed to the nines, we treated each other differently. The environment became more respectful and proper. We began to host parties, charity events, and local music performances in the speakeasy/garage. It became a place where fine-dressed gentlemen and gentlewomen would get together and have cocktails, listen to live music, and have mature conversation. I loved the style and sophistication of it all. There was something to be said about adults getting spiffed up and seeing my friends in a different light with their new-found confidence. If you want to be something, you have to look the part. Being a designer by day, I wanted to somehow incorporate that experience and vibe into a brand I could say I created from scratch. I rolled with an idea and a lot of sweat equity.”
What came out of that life experience is Adam’s own Dubuque based men’s organic hair, beard and skincare grooming products called Skullduggery. It’s a very extensive line of personal care products that put some attitude into just about every aspect of looking and living better.
If you’re confident, classy, and stylish, you probably give a damn about grooming yourself. And if you give a damn about grooming yourself, you’ll probably feel more confident, classy, and stylish. That’s the vibe of the gentleman’s club that Adam was aiming for. And that is the vibe that he wants the men who use his precuts to infuse into their own lives and the attitude and confidence with which they approach each day.
But it’s also about much more than just good marketing and a slick container. If you are going to feel better about yourself, you need products that actually make you a better you, through quality ingredients, not just a great slogan.
“I’ve had struggles with dry and sensitive skin. I knew I didn’t want my own brand to have just some smell-good junk in it that ultimately didn’t do the job. Skullduggery products are all natural, vegetable protein-based, and have no harsh chemicals. I wouldn’t promote something I didn’t meticulously analyze and put through a strict vetting process. Skullduggery is great for all skin types, hair, beards, and mustaches. It adds the finishing touch to a sharp-dressed man.”
For Adam, it’s not just about creating locally, it’s also about sourcing locally.
“Over 70% of my products are made in my hometown, Dubuque, Iowa. I also partner with a family-owned company out of Ontario, Canada, that specializes in all-natural ingredients and products. I research and sample different scents to find the right combination I feel will leave my customers satisfied. Skullduggery products contain no chemicals, parabens, sulfates, diesel fuel, impurities, or insecurities.
You can browse the array of products, any of which would make great Christmas gifts for the gentleman in your life (or to treat yourself) online at www.theweekendgentleman.com.
“The Weekend Gentleman was born from my past experiences, personality, and design styles and is the home site for all things Skullduggery. The name and look of Skullduggery Grooming Co. was based on a play on words mixed with my fascination with vintage advertising. My brand is dedicated to men and women who still believe in style, class, and chivalry. I tell people chivalry isn’t dead, it’s just evolved. “
Listen to some of the great stuff you’ll find in the Skullduggery line. You’d expect deodorant, soaps and shave cream and there’s that. But think more along the likes of shaving butter, bear and sip spray oils, dead sea bath salts, lip balm, clay pomade, body bars and cologne. But even that last one isn’t a spritzer bottle of smelly stuff. It’s a very cool like of solid run-on colognes. Add to that mustache wax, beard balm, and specialized face and beard soap. And, oh yeah, he’s a gentleman so you know he’s got good coffee. "Good Morning Numbskull" Medium-Dark Roast to be precise. And round out the look with a variety of Skullduggery branded products from shirts and hats to mugs bottles and an essential oil soy candle. It’s a whole lifestyle, so embrace it all! Maybe kick things off with the Essentials Grooming Kit to get a feel for it, just $59.99.
I asked Adam what he would tell a guy if he had 30 seconds to turn him into a Weekend Gentleman. He took it quite seriously as a converation…
“Good day, sir. Do you hanker for the bargain smell-good body products at Walmart, or would you desire to up the ante and support good old-fashioned class and style? I’ll make it easy for you to try my high-end, all-natural grooming products and create a unique customer experience tailored just for you. My products pair well with a glass of fine whiskey and a night on the town. (Or, in pandemic times, a night in the house.).
And you’d tell a lady?…
“Good day, milady. Do you fancy your man groomed and smelling good? Like, clean and chemical-free smell good, not gasping-for-air-cheap-(cough)-
Even with a huge selection of products already, Zalaznik seems a lot or room for growth with the brand.
“Moving forward, I want to expand my product line and brand out across the United States. I do have some t-shirts and gear for purchase and am working on adding more unique gifts and accessories. I envision my products in higher-end barbershops and salons. If things go well, I’d love to start my own classic barbershop here in Dubuque. Professional barbers, unique atmosphere, and quality service you can’t easily find elsewhere. I want to have my Weekend Gentleman website eventually serve as a hub for men to read fashion tips and daily blogs, and to serve as a network or community of like-minded individuals who want to be a part of something bigger than themselves.“
I’d like to thank the businesses that have given me the opportunity to introduce my products to the people of Dubuque. I welcome anyone to reach out to me with feedback, ideas, or future business opportunities. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for supporting local!”
Currently, you can find Skullduggery products in Dubuque at Suppz Nutrition, Central Avenue Mercantile, 7 Hills Brewing Co., Capri College, Zazou’s Bridal Boutique, and at occasional winter farmer’s markets. Products can also be purchased online and shipped directly to you from www.theweekendgentleman.com. If you’re looking for a unique holiday gift this year, please place your order by December 10 to ensure you receive it by Christmas.