Beardbrand founder Eric Bandholz talks about the increased awareness of the importance of grooming and cleanliness during COVID19, and how his business is helping men grow their work from home beards.
Founded in 2012 by Eric Bandholz, Beardbrand provides high-quality beard, hair and body products for “beardsmen” that are free from sulfates, parabens, and silicones. The company is a great example of the kind of innovative, direct-to-consumer brands that are helping men dress sharp in the digital age.
In 2014, Eric appeared on Shark Tank.
While the sharks didn’t invest, the experience helped present Beardbrand to a national audience. As Eric explained,
Before Beardbrand, beardsmen were typically stereotyped as lumberjacks, bikers, or outdoorsmen. Even though these are awesome beardsmen, I got really tired of the ZZ Top, Duck Dynasty, and Grizzly Adams references. I knew that there were guys out there who wore a beard, but didn’t fit those traditional stereotypes.
More work-from-home beards during COVID19
In terms of customer demand during the COVID19 crisis, Eric told me that, “we sell a few products to help keep our customers clean — their hair, beards, body, and hands — and hopefully will see continued interest in that.”
“I also suspect a lot of people will utilize the social isolation as a way to test growing a beard,” he added.
He expects to see a boost in sales for our products, like fellow innovative skincare brand Stryx, whose founder Jon Shanahan pivoted his messaging around looking your best while working from home.
Eric said that their supply chain has been affected but, since they order for a quarter at a time, he expects to be able to get through it with no disruptions to their customers.
Supporting small businesses like Beardbrand
I asked Eric what folks could do to support small businesses like his.
He responded that, “we exist not to be supported by our customers, but to support our customers.”
“The best way for them to support us is to actually invest in themselves, to make sure they maintain healthy grooming habits and keep a normalcy in their daily routine,” he added.
(My wife and I have made it a priority to keep our daily routine, including getting up at the same time we would normally go to work, showering, shaving and getting dressed into clothes that we wouldn’t be embarrassed to leave the house in. I’ve even found a new favorite shaving cream.)
To help customers stay clean, Eric has heavily discounted Beardbrand’s Utility Bar 3-Packs.
Individually the utility bars would cost $45, but you can get the set for $21.
For more ideas of small businesses to support:
- Check out a great group of brands for men, women and kids that are giving back during the COVID19 crisis through the Brands for Better coalition;
- Buy a (nonmedical) washable facemask for kids or adults from the many consumer brands who have converted production to meet needs during COVID19;
- Upgrade your work from home wardrobe by shopping these professional performance clothing companies that use athleisure fabrics;
- Upgrade your back-to-work wardrobe by supporting businesses that cater to professionals like custom online tailor Black Lapel, one of my favorite dress shoe companies Beckett Simonon, and heirloom-quality bag brand Satchel and Page; and
- Support your tired eyes by exploring the science behind blue light blocking glasses or getting new home try-on kits delivered to your door with these alternatives to Warby Parker.
About JakeJake is passionate about exploring entrepreneurs' global journeys. He founded Modern Fellows in 2012 to get to know the entrepreneurs behind the innovative brands helping men dress sharp in the digital age. Jake has written about entrepreneurship, international business and/or fashion for outlets including Business Week, Forbes, Inc., Details Style Syndicate and Primer Magazine, and has provided analysis on international business for BBC Radio, NBC News, CNN and Time Magazine.
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