By Kevin Anthony
Joe Sanchez had no intentions of starting a business.
He just wanted to have a nice beard.
“I never heard of beard products before my brother-in-law
gave me beard products for Christmas,” said Sanchez, who started Average Joe’s
Beard Essentials in January 2017.
When he started looking for other products, Sanchez said he
wasn’t finding much that was all-natural, and nothing from this area.
A month after that Christmas gift, Average’s Joe’s was up
and running, selling beard oil, balm and wash, each for $15.
“I ran out, did some research and said, ‘I’ll just make it
for myself,’ ” Sanchez said. “Then I found out there was no one selling it
around here, so I thought, ‘Why not?’ ”
Sanchez, a warehouse worker for the city of Richland, didn’t
have any experience remotely related to creating his own line of beard care
But he said it only took an initial investment of $200 to
get started, and a few months later he had a good base for all the products.
He’s been tweaking the formula ever since.
Sanchez and his wife, Maegen, do all the work right in their
home, mixing up the product at the kitchen table. It’s adds up to a couple of
hours each night after work, and full time on the weekends. It leads to a busy
life, with three children already and a fourth on the way in June.
Maegen designed the website, which she learned for her own
business of fitness-related nutrition.
She said their entrepreneurial spirit took root when they
started their family.
“Before, I never said I would work from home or for myself
at all,” she said. “But being a parent, I wanted at least one parent home for
them all the time.”
There has been plenty of trial and error along the way, such
as the mixture that tried for the scent of cloves that went particularly off
Sanchez gives batches of new mixtures to his barber and
waits for the feedback.
He is particularly proud that all his ingredients are
natural, and most are bought here in the Tri-Cities.
Being a lifelong Pasco resident has its advantages. He knows
a “bee guy” who provides the wax for his balm.
“We try very hard to buy all the ingredients locally,” he
Most of sales have been around the Tri-Cities — either from the website or in local barbershops. But word is getting out.
Average Joe’s has sold coast to coast, Sanchez said. The key
to getting the word out, he said, has been social media
(@averagejoes_be on Instagram, @AveragejoeBE on Facebook).
He’s a member of a slew of social media beard groups —
Beards of Seattle, Beards of Portland, Bearded Villains, etc.
Yes, guys posting about their beards is a thing.
“When two guys with beards are in a conversation, eventually
it will come up,” said Andrew James of Pasco, an Average Joe’s customer. “
‘What kind of waxing compound do you use?’ ”
Taking care of those whiskers has grown into big business.
Surveys show a third of men have facial hair, and one in five have stopped
The global men’s toiletries market was valued at $19.2
billion in 2017 and expected to continue to grow, according to Hexa Research, a
market research and consulting group. The market growth is primarily driven by the growing
the male population who are very conscious of their appearance and
significantly spend on their beauty treatments, apparel and grooming, according
By all accounts, beards have gone from shabby to chic, and
they’re not just for hipsters, gold miners, “Duck Dynasty” fans and lazy guys
who don’t like to shave. Check out the Boston Red Sox baseball team.
“I’ve sold product to a wide range of guys,” Sanchez said.
“Hard, rugged construction guys to stay-at-home dads. We don’t discriminate
over beard size.
“All beards matter.”
Chauncey Bass, another customer who lives in Pasco, said
he’s grateful that Average Joe’s beard oil works well for African Americans,
whose whiskers tend to come in a little more curly and coarse.
“I was looking for beard care for black dudes for a while,”
Bass has been growing a full beard for three years and
hasn’t trimmed it at all in seven months, coinciding with his wife’s pregnancy.
He added that beard care for men is similar to skin care for women.
“My wife gets up every morning to do her makeup,” he said.
“I do my beard.”
Average Joe’s is far from big business just yet. Sanchez
said it brings in enough money to pay for itself and reinvest back into the
Last December was his best month, with about $1,500 in
Average Joe’s oil and balm come in 13 scents, from coffee,
cinnamon and vanilla musk, to spearmint, lemongrass and pine. It’s a $15 price
tag for the 20-milliliter oil, 2-ounce balm or 8-ounce wash.
“I’m proud of him,” Maegen said. “It started out as just
something for him. And now, when I watch him come up with ideas and brainstorm
- it’s nice to see him passionate about something in life.”
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