Who are you and who is your team (if you have one) where are you based?
I'm Robert Watkins, Master Barber, and Owner + Founder of The Mailroom Barber Co. We are a barbershop and grooming supply brand located in Florence, SC, US. We started making grooming goods in 2014 because the generic grooming products I was using were a huge letdown, not to mention I had no idea how or under what working conditions they were produced. Our mission is to provide ethically sourced, all-natural products that help you look sharp, smell great, and feel confident. We have a killer team of people now who share this mission and make all of our products from scratch. This team includes my wife and some of my best friends.
How and when did you get started brewing your own products?
I got started brewing products in march of 2014 after attending a conference on human trafficking. I learned how everyday products can contribute to trafficking so a friend and I started researching ways to make our own grooming products. Through research, we learned of ingredients and methods we wanted to use. From there it was all trial and error!
What’s behind the name?
When I first started cutting hair, I was meeting friends anywhere that worked. Then, a friend of mine who owned a business in downtown Florence offered me his mailroom as a place to see clients. I gradually gained the moniker "mailroom barber" and turned it into the product and barbershop brand we have today.
If you had to choose a ‘hero’ product/s from your line which would you say it is and why?
Matte Clay Pomade. Our customers would argue that we make one of the best oil-based matte clays on the market and we would agree! It has great texture, a soft/medium hold, and a bright evergreen scent. Most importantly it has a matte finish.
If you had any advice for budding home brewers who are interested in making their own products what would it be?
Thoroughly research your ingredients and packaging, their sources, and the ethics of the companies behind them. Your product can only be as good as your ingredients.
If not answered above, what are some of the challenges of being an independent brewer that the average consumer may not be aware of?
Wearing too many hats. When I first started making products, I was the head of operations, production team, marketing & sales department, R&D Lab, bookkeeper, shipping manager, website developer, graphic designer and creative director. I was also working as a barber 45 hours a week. Let's just say it was a lot. I'm thankful we've made it through that period and we now have employees in most of those positions.
How important is packaging/labeling?
It's usually the first thing the customer sees so I think it's one of the most important things to get right.
What can we expect from Mailroom Barber in the future?
We have a shampoo, conditioner, and deodorant coming out very soon! We want to head in the direction We have a shampoo, conditioner, and deodorant coming out very soon!
Be sure to check out all of the great Mailroom Barber Co products available on our site here.