Starting an eCommerce Store For the Bearded Gent Generating Over 7-Figures /YR

SUCCESS STORY

Eric Bandholz

FOUNDER

Eric Bandholz

BUSINESS

REVENUE
Revenue figures are reported by the founder and are not independently verified by Cloud Income.

7

FIGURES /YR

FOUNDERS

3

EMPLOYEES

10+

Hey! Who are you and what is your business?

I’m the founder of multiple businesses and brands. Most notably is Beardbrand, a 7 figure business that sells men’s grooming products. We launched in 2012 and started selling products that focused on beard care.

Through education on our blog and YouTube channel, we’ve been able to assist hundreds of thousands of people to improve their style and grooming routine.

We believe strongly that when a man takes the time to invest in himself, he’ll then have the confidence to support his family, his co-workers, his community, and ultimately make the world a better place.

Later in the year, we will be launching a new brand called Sovrnty which will offer versatile products that help customers simplify their material possessions and focus on the important things in life. All products will have multiple functions and will be something the entire family can use.

The last notable business I am part of is Area 627 and it’s an Angel Investment fund that focuses on six-figure businesses looking to grow to seven figures (hence the 627 number).

We focus on eCommerce businesses with passionate owners who want to build a legacy business that is profitable.

We aren’t looking to invest for unicorn growth and to sell the business. We believe in enjoying the journey and want to help share our expertise to those newer entrepreneurs who are open to partnerships.

What is your background and how did you come up with the idea?

I use to be a financial advisor at a mega bank. I hated the corporate environment, the dress code, and shaving my face. I stopped working there and decided to grow my beard out and start a graphic design business.

While still immersed in the business community I’d be called “ZZ Top, Duck Dynasty, or Grizzy Adams.” Those are all great dudes, but not a lifestyle I identify with.

I ended up attending an event where I met other guys like me – entrepreneurs, designers, doctors, lawyers, salespeople, etc. I realized there was a community of people who didn’t fit the traditional stereotype of a bearded guy and I wanted to unite them and provide the tools to feel confident about their beards.

I would go on to describe the community as “urban beardsmen” and Beardbrand was going to be the company to unite them. I convinced my friends Lindsey Reinders and Jeremy McGee to join the company as co-founders and that’s how the company got started.

Beardbrand - Beard Products

How did you build and launch the business?

Beardbrand first started off creating content on a blog, Tumblr page, and YouTube channel. As we created content we got approached by beard care companies and decided to start reselling those products. So we started as a simple eCommerce retailer of other goods.

We always wanted to make our own products, so we ended up developing our own line to fit our preferences for the product. The early products were formulated in our kitchen and made by my friend’s mom. As we grew we started working with more established manufacturers to ensure consistency.

We’re big fans of being lean and getting products in customer’s hands to get feedback. We made many iterations in the early days and ended up with a class-leading line of products.

How is the business doing today and what does the future look like?

I feel very fortunate to have the business we have. It’s a great business with wonderful business partners and amazing team members. We have very modest lifestyle goals as owners, and once we hit $3 million in revenue we realized we had everything we needed in life.

So since that time, it’s just been a process of improving our products, our marketing efforts, and business relationships. Subsequently, we’ve seen to grow a lot faster when we focus on balance rather than growth at all costs.

A few years ago we started selling our products in Target and we’ll continue to look to grow our wholesale relationships. From a marketing perspective, we’ll be looking to create more engaging ads that resonate with our intended audience.

The most exciting part for me (as your typical ADD entrepreneur) will be launching Sovrnty later this year. I think we have a great brand message that will really connect with customers.

Where have you seen the most success in customer growth & retention?

We invest a lot of energy into content marketing. We have a robust blog with class-leading articles and will frequently drive email subscribers to those blog posts. In addition to that, we have over 1000 videos on our YouTube channels to help customers visually see how to best care for themselves. This helps us with customer loyalty as well as building trust.

On the website side of things, we were to improve our landing pages and provide all the relevant information without too much extraneous information. It’s a balance that takes a bit of finesse and skills, but when you lean on your data sources you’ll find the correct answer.

If you were to start your business over, what would you do differently?

The value proposition we have for Beardbrand’s product offering is a wide variety of fragrances in multiple products. This is very challenging to do operationally and if we had a clear vision from the start we probably would have not done it. But the blessing is because it’s so hard a lot of other companies won’t be as dumb as us. 🙂

Another big mistake we made was not having faith in our paid marketing efforts. You’ll never have perfect attribution and your goals need to be to spend as much money as possible to get in as many people as possible. Use email to market to existing customers and your paid acquisition should be focused on customers who have never heard about your company.

What crucial tools do you use in your business?

Which people, books, or other resources have had the most impact on you?

James Clear wrote Atomic Habits which is a mindset I greatly connect with. In addition to that, we’ve leaned heavily on Scaling Up as a blueprint for managing your team.

Andrew Youderian of eCommerceFuel is an amazing person, podcast host, and community builder for the eCommerce industry.

Where can we learn more about you & your business?

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