THE LOCAL BARBERSHOP TURNED BICOASTAL SPOT TO SEE AND BE SEEN;
NOW HAS THE FOUNDERS OF THE BLIND BARBER TAKING A ROAD TRIP TO LAUNCH THEIR NEW AWARD-WINNING PRODUCT LINE.
About a week and a half ago The Blind Barber, a barber shop of which I had been frequenting at their location in Barney’s in Chelsea when I would be in New York whenever I need a haircut or a beard trim contacted me. Their service was always impeccable and end results were flawless, I mean how could they not be? They are located in one of the most well-known department stores in the world, so naturally I was very intrigued to see what the message was about. Their team informed me that they had built a mobile barbershop inside a 1988 G30 truck to coincide with the launch of their new product line that was to be released in the coming weeks. Being someone who can’t trim their own beard for the life of them without taking a very noticeable chunks out quite frequently, I have to visit my local barber Kelly at The Den in Laguna Beach every ten days like clockwork for a beard trim. So needless to say I made plans to come experience this first hand. They explained how they would be taking their new mobile barber shop on a road trip across different states, and would be starting the tour in Venice, and then proceed to Culver City on August 11th which is where I would meet them and get to experience their new platform for expansion, ironically parked outside of Platform LA.
We confirmed an hour long time slot for me to attend have the mobile barber experience that Saturday, and I was set for what was to be quite the experience. The vision the team had in mind for the group of influencers they invited to experience this event was one in which they would give them feedback on the idea in general and the new products they used and provided. The list of people at this event included myself, Brendan Brown founder of Mr. BGB, Josh Peskowitz, co-founder of the menswear store Magasin. Matte Brooks, photographer Clint Robert, Dathias Hoang creator of the menswear Modern Man Journal, nutrition blogger and fellow GQ Insider Dave Coast of The Happy Camper, Brock Luker CEO & Co-founder of Creator Arcade, and photographer and videographer Jeremiah, collaborative videographer for MVMT Watches. SoCal Magazine was on hand to cover the pop-up event, and cold House Beer was served to the guests while they received their free haircuts, beard trims, and a gift box complete with all of the products from their new line.
Not only was I stoked on the fact for the beard trim because I actually needed one, I was very impressed with the quality, design, and packaging of the new products. The textures and formulas were just right, and had quite possibly one of the most genius marketing techniques I have ever seen on a product. Think about it for just a second, when men go into a barbershop for their haircuts and beard trims, what do they do? They shoot the shit, they drink, talk about women, and they laugh. The trio of founders behind The Blind Barber, Jeff Laub, Adam Kirsch, and Josh Boyd; had devised a perfect play on the history of barber shop guy talk by marketing the campaign of their new product line by indicating the strength and hold of the new products just as if they were alcohol manufacturers labeling the potency of their liquor, by the proof.
They started with their new 60 Proof Hair Wax, which is water-soluble and can be easily rinsed out with water. If the 60 proof is not not strong enough for you (sometimes you need that double!), try their 90 Proof Pomade which provides a stronger hold ( 30% if you do the proof math!) and also leaves your hair with a matte finish. With their 90 Proof Pomade they recommend working from the back of the head to the front, to insure that you coat your roots and helps alleviate any clumps forming in the front of your hair. Another great selling point part of their new alcohol inspired hair products, they only cost $18! Like many brands before them, they have created membership based delivery service, where you can chose to select to be a part of the Blind Barber’s Regimen Program, where you save 15% on all your products but they are replenished on a schedule that you set. Much better than any of the subscription services I have signed up for where I have needed to commit to months on end and then deal with the hassle of cancellation processes and periods.
In addition to the aforementioned hair products, their new line also includes Lemongrass Tea Shampoo & Conditioner (also only $18 dollars), Water Mint Gin Shave Cream retailing or $22, and a large Tompkins Scented Candle which is crafted to look like it belongs on your barber’s workspace to disinfect his tools, this being the most expensive product retailing for $88. All these products were included in the personalized gift box presented to each of us after our haircuts and trims, which were done by an incredible barber named Chris. Talk about company loyalty, Chris actually to California with the sole hope of one day working for The Blind Barber. However, during my personalized session there was a product on the shelf that did catch my eye and one that was not in the gift box as it has not yet been released, so it naturally naturally became my favorite of all the products. This was their new formulated 40 Proof Sea Salt Spray, which has yet to launch on their online store or in any of their locations that do not run on wheels. Since this was the first time in which I have seen that product manufactured and tailored specifically towards men, I asked if I could buy one and they graciously let me take one home with me. I have used it everyday since, so I do hope it comes out for sale soon.
During my time at the Blind Barber pop-up, myself and my two friends got to know the whole team behind the brand. From the head of social media, to co-founder Jeff Laub himself (and his beautiful wife and adorable baby). It was from talking with Jeff I got to learn the story of thebrand and how it was created, that they literally own the trademark for #StayHandsome, which to my shock Jeff said was not hard to get. I had also been under the impression the brand was an extension of Barney’s, when in fact their location in the Chelsea retailer is their only outpost associated with the company. But if you are going to be a high-end barber there is no better company to be associated with than Barney’s New York. He informed me that have stand alone locations in Brooklyn and the East Village in addition to the Barney’s Chelsea location, and a shop in Culver City where artist James Goldcrown is a frequent patron. Jeff states that “we built this as friends and I was mentioning in the cafe that I’ve known everyone in there for 10 plus years and the past 5 with Adam. It’s been fun to build this with family and friends.” Just as much so for its loyal customers.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Jeff’s partner Adam Kirsch mentioned that “when it’s referred to as a ‘clubhouse’ that makes me overjoyed. We wanted to create a spot where we could just hang out any time of day — whether you’re partying, relaxing, getting your hair cut, or on your computer just doing work.” Since it’s inception, it has been the Blind Barber’s credo to have cuts and straight-razor shaves in the front, and cocktails and beers in the back. What Jeff had originally intended to be just another Manhattan speakeasy has turned into 5 locations and more in the works. Having been featured in huge publications such as The New York Times ,Vanity Fair, Opening Ceremony, The New Yorker, Allure, GQ, The Coveteur, Business Insider, Complex, and Entrepreneur, Blind Barber’s trajectory is heading nowhere but up. They have collaborated Sapporo Beer, Todd Snyder, NYFW, Urban Outfitters, the Sundance Film Festival, and Gant, just to name a few.
The road is wide open for the Blind Barber boys to take what was once a dream, one location, in one state, and make it into a modern day male grooming empire.