Better late than never! We thought we would write about the things we learned, loved and benefited from at our first ever Barber Expo Show this past October.
If you weren’t a part of our fundraiser campaign or didn’t see the multiple posts we blasted at all of your social media accounts, then I’ll fill you in; WE NEEDED MONEY! We were contacted by a few of our local barber friends to attend this highly beneficial Barber Expo in Santa Cruz, California. We were only a few months out from the event and hadn’t even thought about what a banner with our name on it would look like. After our team talked it over with the event planners, we decided to jump head in and launch a GoFundMe fundraising campaign to help cover the $400 booth price, plus PLENTY of much needed start up costs.
Tip #1: Never be afraid to ask for help!
We knew we couldn’t do this without our friends, family, and local barbers lending a hand, so we asked. Our friends at The League XS who were putting on the show, let us sell tickets to help pay off our booth, plus they let us pay in chunks giving us time to feel the full affects of our fundraising campaign. We ended up raising nearly $100 in ticket sales which helped tremendously.
On top of that, we managed to fundraise through GoFundMe and generous cash donations nearly $1200! This was $400 more than we were asking for! All of our money came from friends and family, those who believed in supporting our movement and we couldn’t thank them enough. Our plan is to use the remainder of the money to rebrand our product line and upgrade our marketing strategies.
Tip #2: Teamwork makes the dream work
Our idea at Uncut Standards is the best idea in the room wins. We believe in teamwork over individualism any day, so this was the fun part for us.
We put our feelers out on social media, in hopes to team up with a local barber who held the same passion for growing business as we did. We ended up teaming up with insanely talented Barbers Jose Moya(@get_faded) and Christopher Sandoval(@christhebarber_sc) from Santa Cruz, CA. Our goal was simple, offer free shaves all day at our booth, demonstrating our products in a real life scenario. Our booth was packed! Here are just a few shots from the show with the talented Jose and Chris in action:
We sold plenty of product and got a ton of feedback on everything from packaging designs to scents that we offered for our products. Teaming up with local barbers was an invaluable decision that paid off highly in the end.
Tip #3: You can never bring too much product
When we were preparing for this Expo, we had no clue how much product to bring. There weren’t any blogs out there telling you what to expect from your first show. So what we did was we brewed up everything we had! We brought a majority of our popular scented beard balms and stache waxes, but also brewed a few out-of-the-ordinary scented items as well, which actually played out well in the long run. One thing we have been learning as we test out different scents is, everyone is different. Some prefer mint, some prefer musk. It’s a matter of what you like and what activities you do throughout the day while you’re wearing the product. We offer unscented beard balm for example to cater to the more modest men out there, where as we also offer a date night blend for when you go out for a drink after work or with your girlfriend. Options people!
Here’s a shot of our booth with our dope wooden truck prop engraved by our brothers Scott and Ryan over at @SantaCruzEngraving:
We offered gift boxes for the holidays and discounts for combining products as you check out. We reasoned with our buyers because we felt extremely honored that they stopped by our booth and showed some support in purchasing our products. We met so many great people that weekend, and got to talk shop with some greats in the barber industry.
Tip#4: Go with the flow of the show…
We have had some crazy opportunities by sticking our necks out there, but they haven’t always gone as planned…
For example, we had talked about meeting up with our friend Corey Santistevan (@InsideTheParlor) from Atelier Barbershop and Salon in San Jose, but had no clue we would be involved in a one-on-one interview at his booth during the show. This was both a huge honor and a huge surprise! We’re excited to see the final film aired on his youtube channel coming soon. We rolled with the flow.
We couldn’t know for sure if our fundraising efforts would even cover our gas there, let alone the booth price. But as you can see, we received plenty of funding and are now able to fund other parts of our business that was lagging due to blind leaps of faith. We rolled with the flow.
We couldn’t fit the 300 lbs barber chair in my truck, so we tied it to the tailgate and prayed it didn’t fall off on the freeway. We also had hardly anyone to help us lift it out of the truck once we got it to the venue, but low and behold our friends and family came through once again. We rolled with the flow.
We were frantically running around the night before the show, trying to find a way to hang our banner up at our booth, figure out where to get our signs printed and how to prop them up on our table. We felt like we were prepared beforehand but had no clue how much preparation actually went into prepping for a full Expo event. We rolled with the flow, yet again.
The list goes on and on, but you get the point. To have an optimistic mindset takes a lot of patience and wisdom, which in turn takes a lot of effort, but it can pay dividends for your company and your presentation to customers and partners that you are a strong company and have good values in business.
We felt extremely loved and supported throughout this whole process, and are really starting to gain traction in the barbershop industry because of the fans, business owners, barbers, friends and family that have given us the time of day. Thank you again from the team here at Uncut Standards, and we hope our life lessons have served you well.
Tip#5: As always, keep it classy #abovethecollar