Craft Chronicles - Part II: Interview with a Traveling Beard
Near the back of the warehouse
which housed the merchants at the Punk Rock Flea Market, I met a man with a beard and a woman with a tattoo. They presided over a table of beard cosmetics, with a nifty logo of a beard and mustache, the mustache and nose making up J&J.
Previous mustache waxes I've enjoyed (like the widely-acclaimed Fisticuffs wax) have come in a tin. This product looked like lipstick and was extremely convenient. I have yet to use it on the fly, but I do keep it in my pocket on a daily basis. I give Josh props for thinking of convenience with the package design.
Since the event, I've reached out to Josh, the founder of the company, for some insight on starting his business and the travel involved in selling his wares.
[Answers edited for professionality, given the interview was over Facebook]
Joe: What got you into the cosmetic crafting business?
Josh: I've had a beard since I was about 14-15 years old. As soon as it started growing. I've never shaved my entire face since then. I joined the New Jersey Beard and Mustache Club in 2012 and started making some stuff here and there. I started making mustache wax for the club so we could generate some money to go to competitions and things like that. I also starting making beard oils and selling them to the guys in the club. People kept telling me to start my own company and it clicked that I should be. So after lots of experimenting and whatnot I launched J&J Beard Co. in Jan. 2014. Now here I have all sorts of products and going to events on a regular basis.
Joe: How much do you end up traveling for J & J Beard Co.?
Josh: I [don't] travel to events that are too far away. Mainly here in Jersey, possibly NY or PA but not much farther than that just yet. I'll be vending at the Inked Out NJ 2016 Tattoo convention Sep. 9th, 10th and 11th here at the Meadowlands.
Joe: What are some tips and tricks you'd recommend for those looking to travel to craft shows?
Josh: Don't sell yourself short thinking you wont do well. Give it a shot and see what happens, you'd be surprised. And if the first doesn't work out, try a different type of show or different demographic.
Joe: What's the craziest thing you've encountered when attending a craft show?
Josh: I've had all sorts of people buy from me at crafts shows, from little kids to 70+ year old men and old women. Ive seen a lot of interesting things at shows. A lot of dead animals for sale in various ways. Clocks, lamps, jewelry you name it.