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Meet The Maker: Beardbrand



BeardbrandFoundingTeam

Each month Yelp Austin selects an Austin made maker (#AustinMade) to feature and go behind the scenes with, the purpose being to help shine a spotlight on artisans, creators, and all-around-badasses around our city. This month we introduce you to the man behind the beard, Eric Bandholz

What was the moment you knew Beardbrand had to happen? 

It was after attending an event in Portland, OR where I noticed a lot of other guys had beards and didn’t fit the traditional stereotype of lumberjacks, bikers, or hippies. I came up with the idea for Beardbrand to unite the community of “urban beardsman.” 

What obstacles did you run into? 

Building a business is always a challenge and every day there are obstacles. Probably the biggest hurdle that was vital for our success was finding my co-founders Lindsey Reinders and Jeremy McGee. Without them, we wouldn’t exist and Beardbrand wouldn't be what it is today. With their support, we've been able to overcome inventory issues, vendor difficulties, and building operations to become a well oiled machine. 

What surprised you during the creation of Beardbrand? 

Building this company has been great because it’s an extension of myself. There haven’t been too many surprises other than the sheer number of imitators who have popped up. They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and we are glad there are others out there to help educate the market about beard care and men’s grooming.

If you could go back, what advice would you give to you when all this was getting going? 

I would probably tell myself to plan for larger growth than you expect. We’ve really run into a lot of inventory issues during our growth and having that planned out in advance would have helped us generate more relationships with customers. 

Any Beardbrand projects or partnerships in the works that you can discuss? 

Yes! We are in the middle of launching a product with the incredibly talented designer Tobias van Schneider. He’s the lead designer for Spotify and he has an incredible beard. We’ve produced a limited edition, custom formulated and custom designed bottle of beard oil. It’s absolutely stunning, smells phenomenal, and is probably the best beard oil we’ve ever released. 

When did you finally feel like you "made it"? 

You know, I still don’t know if we’ve made it. There is so much work left to do, and we have such high expectations for what this company can become. Perhaps when I totally get out of the day to day and focus on strategy alone; then I’ll know I made it. 

Who or what inspires you on a daily basis? 

I love business and learning from those who have built great things. There’s too many businessmen to mention – but the big names like Peter Thiel and Elon Musk really inspire me. While they've got me beat with their superior intellect and business acumen, I’ve got a pretty good beard. So at least I have that going for me. 

How do you and your team work together? 

I’m so lucky to have the team that I have. We have a lot of trust in our team members because we are a work-remote organization. We don’t have layers of management and there is very little oversight. We require our team to execute and to perform, but with they get a lot of freedom. It’s not the easiest thing to implement; but it’s something we are passionate about. We spend tons of time on Google Hangouts chatting with each other and working out day to day issues. I can’t imagine not having Google Apps.

How do you respond to failure, and what major failure has come your way that you've learned and bounced back from? 

You know, I wouldn’t be happy with our business if we weren’t failing from time to time. It means we are trying new things seeing what works with our audience. Obviously we don’t want a total failure; but we must push ourselves forward. We’ve released a lot of products that didn’t fall in line with our core value and those products didn’t move like they should. It took a lot of resources from us and it’s given us a better vision for launching new products that are on point with what our customers want. 

What is the future of Beardbrand?

We will continue to expand our reach and make it even easier to find and buy our products. Our product line will continue to grow and we will offer items that all men will be able to use to take care of themselves. Beardbrand will be synonymous with premium men’s grooming.

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Want more? Follow Beardbrand on Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook.

 

P.S. Don't forget to keep up with Yelp Austin on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook to catch our next #AustinMade maker! 

 

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