We interviewed creator Joshua Esnard, who made the first template at age 13 with plastic from his parents’ work folders. As of now, you can find the product-which he’s sold 75,000 units of in less than two years- on their website and Amazon. He’s currently working on getting it into retailers such as Walmart, Target, Walgreens, CVS, RiteAid and Bed, Bath, & Beyond.
When asked if he would be introducing more products to the market, he said, “Of course, I am a inventor! I have a book with over a hundred great ideas. The Cut Buddy was just page one!”
Here’s what else he told us about…
How the Idea Came About
I was born in St. Lucia as an only child and I took it upon myself to learn how to mess with electronics and fix them. I spent a lot of time as a kid drawing and building gadgets. Back in those days by dad used to cut my hair and honestly I was sick of the same hairstyle! It was the flat cut. As I was going into my middle school years, people were starting to wear the nice clothes and the nice sneakers, and I wanted a nice haircut! I started cutting my own hair at the age of 12. I messed up my hair many times! There were bald spots and I’d push my hairline back regularly. I realized most of the problems I had cutting my hair were at the precise hairlines at the side of my head and on my forehead, on the curves. I would mess up the curve every time! So at 13, I cut a little plastic template from folders that my mom or dad had for their teaching and I pressed it against my head and I ran a razor the first time and then a clipper. That thing came out sharp! It was nice and crispy. I was like, “Wow!” I looked as good as my friends who were going to the barber!
How Sales Went Up 2,000% After YouTube Marketing
I scouted YouTube for some handsome and talented individuals who would look great with my product that had audiences I thought would be interested in The Cut Buddy. I eventually found some influencers in that respective niche that had great beards, cutting techniques, or hair in general. I sent them the product and had them use it and share the videos on their channels and it all snowballed from there. I recruited Nick Wavy, 360 Waves Process, BRDGNG, and WEZSTYLES first. I offered them a coupon code in exchange for a percentage of a sale that came from their channel. Our daily sales volume went up by 2000% in that period because of that YouTube influencer marketing.
Being Thankful for an Amazon Partnership
We began picking up speed in our second month of operation and Amazon’s product team reached out to us and helped us get our product listed. They were great! I had my own rep named Michael Kappler and he was there for every step of the process. I wish he could be with us still, but they basically stay with you for a few months until you take your training wheels off. He ended up being critical for our success; if it wasn’t for him my account may have been shut down when we went viral and we were struggling to fulfill orders. We had run out of inventory and Amazon was still very patient with us, I’ll always be very thankful to them for that.
Advice for Future ‘Tank’ Contestants
Shark Tank loves great stories. So work on your “why” in terms of your product and your company. Why do you exist? What need do you address? What is your story? Control your nerves and focus on being the best you. The Sharks look for interesting people with great companies. They always respect a jockey over a horse. Even if they are not interested in your product, stay confident and respectful and remember that ABC airs contestants who don’t get deals as well and that can help any business tremendously off of exposure alone!