Editor’s Note: I LOVE this company! (at the end I’ll tell you how to get free samples and no, I swear this isn’t a paid ad. This is just a great company)
Let’s start with where did the idea come from to start a beard care business and then we’ll move to the products.
If we go back to the very beginning, I don’t remember ever seeing my dad without a beard while I was growing up. He died when I was around 15 so I never got the chance to see if I would look like him with a beard and then I joined the Coast Guard when I was 17 and didn’t have the opportunity to grow it for those 10 years. When I got medically retired in 2014 I immediately started growing my beard out, which my wife wasn’t really keen on because she has sensitive skin. She told me it had to be soft, well maintained, and I couldn’t look homeless (laughs). I looked in CVS and Target and they had nothing and things online had mediocre reviews. Being just released I had no job and didn’t really have the money to try these online products that might not be great. I finally went to this store called The Art Of The Shave in the mall and they had what they called a beard wax but all it was pretty much petroleum jelly, beeswax, and turpentine and some black pepper fragrance and it was $23.00 for a half ounce glass jar, which was expensive. My beard was growing and getting itchy and I was getting dandruff on my face and the turpentine was burning my face, so I started doing research on what was good for hair and my skin. I was trying things and took some to my college and let some of the vets try it out. They were giving me feedback on the consistency, how well it worked, scent etc until I honed it based on their feedback. After a few weeks the vets at the center were telling me they wanted to buy some for themselves and for gifts for family and friends. People were calling me on days I didn’t have to be at school and asking me to drop some off until it felt awkward like it was a drug deal (laughs). I put sample tins online and shipping was $2.00 and it was local so they would get it the next day. The first sale was to the guy at GoDaddy who was helping me with the site. (laughs) I put it on IG then Facebook gave me $100. worth of free advertising if I started with them. So it was $20. a day for 5 days and I hoped for the best. I was getting 20 to 30 orders a day for the free samples with $2.00 shipping and it started taking off so I had to make full size products and I had to decide between school and starting a business. When I started doing it full time within a month I got an email from the casting director of Sons Of Anarchy telling me they like the image, read the reviews and would I be interested in coming to LA for the Season Finale cast party and give some to the cast members and hang out. I was like “Are you kidding, sure!” They made me get a booth and I was giving away the products and I thought it would be cool to have the actors autograph products and double the markup and give the proceeds to a veteran charity. They signed 50 items and we sold them for $50.00 each. That really resonated with our target audience which really wasn’t even the plan. I just wanted to give back. By the time I got home I had to hire our first employee. It all happened that fast. A lot of social media.
You basically turned your beard care company into a beard lifestyle company!
Yea! It was really crazy the way it resonated with people. It was like a commonality with the guys, almost like the military where there was this brotherhood. It doesn’t matter what your background is, you all joined up to serve your country and that’s what you bond over. When bearded guys, like tattoo guys see somebody with nice ink they’re like ”Hey man, nice work!” Same with beards and you both have tattoos. There’s a whole community with tattoos and that’s what happened with the beards. A lot of guys with tattoos and beards tend to be very patriotic and support law enforcement.. Not all, but I think a lot and that drives it. A lot of word of mouth. They talk to each other and we started a customer group where they could interact and like you said, it’s a lifestyle brand now.
So you started with the beard balm and beard oil and now you have the wax, your own line of deodorant..
And we’re launching a line of palmade. We sent out samples to see what our customers liked and we narrowed it down, we run contests and people like that they’re being rewarded for following us plus it gives us really good feedback before it goes to market.
Ok, and no plastic combs!
No, you never want to use plastic. Plastic will create static so beards have a tendency to have a mind of their own and frizz out. It makes the hair dryer and more brittle and makes it stand out more plus plastic combs are made from a mold so where the mold comes together there’s a little seam and that makes a sharp edge and when you run over your beard it knicks the hairs and makes it course and wiry and just creates damage so we suggest wood or bone or ox bile comb. Hand cut, hand sanded and they don’t have those seams and they’re cool looking. Same with brushes, the plastic or nylon creates static so we suggest a boars hair brush which also evenly distribute the product and takes and excess and it absorbs into the brush hairs and stops the over saturation of the products.
I got my pair of scissors yesterday and they look amazing and are amazing. Everything about them is great.
Oh good. You know there are so many middle men with scissors and barbers can pay $300. and up. Just so many levels of marketing so what costs $15. to produce costs $300. to $500. We went straight to the manufacturer and had them make them to the same standards. We can sell a pair of $500. scissors for $50. because we cut out all of the distributors and sales people.
And your line of apparel.
Yup, we like to sell it as cheaply as possible. I believe in word of mouth marketing and we’re not here to make money on shirts. If I can make a shirt for $10. and they like to wear it. With the name Badass people stop me in public and ask where I got it so It doesn’t make sense to sell it for $20. People talking about is worth way more than the other $10. But I still want then to be quality. If it isn’t the highest quality, I won’t put it out.
And you STILL give away Free Samples.
Yup, and I still have our original ad running. We’ll send out a sample of oil, a sample of balm, a sample of wash, a sticker and an instruction card with a guitar pick. All FREE, shiping is $2.50 and the Coupon Code is BADASS all one word and we’ll mail it out the next day!