Beardbrand's Shark Tank Experience
WHAT A RIDE
I have only experienced one other emotional roller coaster like Shark Tank. Before we get into that, I'd first like to say how lucky I am for the experience and the opportunity to share Beardbrand's story with a national audience. All the people I interacted with at Shark Tank are top notch and the best in the industry.
The Sharks themselves are very fun-loving, energetic, and passionate people. For them to invest in so many budding businesses is a gift to society and I am lucky to have spent a portion of my life interacting with them. Robert, Lori, Kevin, Daymond, and Mark - thank you!
I can talk about what we are doing at Beardbrand for hours. We are so passionate about the company we are building, the customers we serve, and the community we are uniting. 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.
Rather than wait for someone else to build the community, we (my co-founders and I) stepped up to the plate. We wanted to be more than a company that sells products, and instead we want to guide men to become the individuals they want to be (beard or beardless). For many of our customers, that means giving them the tools they need to grow their beards out. I'm talking about guidance on how to handle the growth of beards physically and psychologically.
When I worked as a Financial Advisor, I felt like I was living in a shell. Like the real me was hidden away in a cage and could only come out when I was among friends or family. It's not as stressful as someone who is in the closet, but I would think it's a similar feeling. As a Financial Advisor, you always need to be putting on a show - you need to look the part of a person who's capable of investing money. Unfortunately, the corporate environment wouldn't accept me as a beardsman.
What made my career challenging wasn't just the corporate veil I needed to wear, but the fact that my wife and I were struggling with infertility. That experience was and is the number one emotional roller coaster of my life. Infertility is a very private affair, and I'm a public guy. You don't frequently read about the struggles that couples have in conceiving, nor the tolls it puts on a relationship.
We tried for 5 years, and after 3 failed IVF procedures we were finally able to celebrate my wife's pregnancy in early 2013 - just one month after the Beardbrand store launched. That was a good year for us. It was at this time that I was most driven to build Beardbrand so that I could avoid the experience of going back to the corporate world.
We busted our asses and the results showed. With very little investment and a lot of work we were able to grow Beardbrand from $0 to over $120k in sales per month. There's nothing like an addition to your family to whip your rear into gear.
Which brings us back to the Shark Tank experience. This TV show is like none other and it can take our business to the next level and ultimately help me provide support for my family. We couldn't pass up the chance to bring on one of the Sharks as an investor. While 17 million men in America wear facial hair, the Sharks do not - with the exception of Daymond's well sculpted goatee. I still think I could have done a better job explaining what it means to be a beardsman and what this movement is about - perhaps that would have gotten a Shark to bite.
But they didn't, and that's the facts. The good news is that we have done a great job building our business and are profitable and growing. We are continuing to launch new products all the time and we work hard to make our customer's experience the best.
We have no idea what Shark Tank is going to mean in terms of orders, so I ask you to please be patient while we work through the results of being on national TV. We only want you to experience the best, but it's hard to predict something like this. With that in mind, I'm asking that you do one of these three things before you leave:
- Buy some awesome products
- Sign up for our kickass newsletter
- Or share our company with a friend
It will mean the world to me to do one of those. Thank you for reading this long winded article and if there is anything you need, please contact us at email@example.com.
As always, thanks for everything and beard on!
Eric Bandholz, Founder of Beardbrand