Please take a moment to introduce yourself/selves. Who are you and who is your team (if you have one) where are you based?
My name is Cody Wade Branson, and have a team of 3 employees currently. They are Madisson Duke, Kyle Duke, and Skyler Little. We will be hiring a full-time employee soon. We are located in the Friendswood and Pearland area in Texas, which is south of Houston.
How and when did you get started brewing your own products?
Started to style my hair for my wedding and realized that there was a large homebrewing community. I realized that there was a lot of opportunities to grow a business and really express myself through it, and Flagship Pomade was born. Since then, its been a blast making new innovative products that cover many different styles as well as move into bath and body and even more outside of Flagship.
What’s behind the name?
I heard people talking about their 'flagship' products. It came across as a great name due to the theme surrounding it. Being from the Houston/Galveston area, the Flagship Hotel in Galveston made it hit home. Glad it went that way because all I had before that was Pompous Walrus. That wouldn't have done so well haha.
If you had to choose a ‘hero’ product/s from your line which would you say it is and why?
Three for this actually: Black Ship, Dead Sea Clay, and Streamline Cream Pomade. We are currently reformulating the Matte Paste, and hope that will bring more attention to it. We are also working on a Steel Horse Cream Clay that we think will be the bee's knees too.
If you had any advice for budding home brewers who are interested in making their own products what would it be?
Research, experiment, repeat. Don't be afraid to try new things. Do as many batches as you can to perfect the products. Listen to your internal compass... You can't please everyone, so make something you love and promote it because you love it. Money is not the end game, a fulfilling hobby and career are.
If not answered above, what are some of the challenges of being an independent brewer that the average consumer may not be aware of?
I'd say it's dealing with the bookkeeping and daily operations as well as finding ways to continue to stay relevant. The market is inundated, so you have to ask yourself what you're doing to push the envelope and be better than you were yesterday. Work/life balance can also be hard. Knowing when to shut things down for a little can be a game changer.
How important is packaging/labeling?
Very. People buy with their eyes. What are you doing to attract them to begin with?
What can we expect from Flagship in the future?
More options. We have shampoo, conditioner, bar soaps, fragrances (both through Flagship with natural oils; higher-end aroma molecule blends through a to be determined brand name), expansion into private label manufacturing, and using our Limitless Mercantile to build stock with some of the other big
names in the homebrew market as well as clothing, other bath/body options, and dry goods. That will be a storefront for the local area we are in.
But wait there’s more!
At Flagship, we are really here for the passion of the craft. We don't always get to show it because I work full time and run the business, have a wife and 2 kids, and need to relegate my time appropriately. But I am so grateful for the support and love that we have received since we started. Everyone that has bought from
us has literally kept my family supported. That's the definition of small business. Because of that support, we look to continue to improve and build with the money everyone has invested in us. The horizon is the limit, and all of you have given us the steam to push this ship forward. Sail On!
Be sure to check out all of the Flagship products on our site here.