I've been so excited to do this. Welcome to the Founder Series, where you'll get intimate with the ultimate Cut Buddy – me, the founder of the Cut Buddy. We are going to explore a lot of topics and we are going to talk about all things Cut Buddy from industry knowledge to the entrepreneurial journey to behind the scenes. We're going to talk about everything so you new entrepreneurs can get all the knowledge you need.
Welcome to our first week of the Founder Series with The Cut Buddy. I'm Joshua Esnard, the
CEO of The Cut Buddy, and this week we're going to focus on the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey. I need to let you know that I did not own or know how to own any business before I started The Cut Buddy. The Cut Buddy was actually my first business, it was my first product that I actually brought to market. So for all of you that feel that you can't do it and you need experience, you do not need experience.
So the company started, uh, way back when in, uh, the Caribbean. My dad used to cut my hair and I used to hate his haircuts. He only had one haircut, it was the buzz cut, and I hated that haircut. So I tried to cut my own hair as a kid, and, you know, that's very tough. Ended up with bald spots all over my head. So the thing that I realized that was hardest about cutting my hair was doing a perfect edge up. And I started cutting up these shapes out of detergent bottles and pizza boxes and it became a template that I could put against my hairlines and make a perfect curve. So it helped me cut my hair perfectly. I never thought that I had anything special, I just used this thing for 15 years. I'd go to it in my bathroom and cut my hair and never thought it was
special but, uh, with my wife really pushing me to not be content with my life because I like to party. I was in South Florida and things like that, living La Vida Loca. But, um, you know, it
was time to get serious. Uh, so she pushed me to get serious with my life and I went to a patent attorney and I took that, uh, that template tool that I was using as a kid, uh, to the patent attorney
and asked if I could patent this product. And that is how we got the world famous Cut Buddy shaping tool.
So this is a patent. If you don't know what a patent is, a patent is a way for you to save or protect your intellectual property. So from the ornamental design of a product or the utility of a product or if you have a new plant or a process, you can protect this idea and you can be the inventor of that idea. So I patented my product. I'll let you know that from there it was super tough because you're using your own money. I get it, it's going to be tough at the beginning. I mean, I almost
went homeless using up credit cards and all my savings, begged my grandma and my parents for money. And I saved up just a little bit of money to be able to file for a patent.
So after that, um, I thought I could get some more money, so I started going to pitch competitions. But that's not where success happened. Actually I ended up losing every pitch
competition that I went to. I went there with the Cut Buddy shaping tool. I thought it was the greatest thing ever, and nobody would fund me any money. I wouldn't even get, uh, anywhere close to winning the competition. So if you go to pitch competitions, don't ever feel bad if people don't understand your idea. The only person that needs to understand and love your idea is you, alright?
So I kept saving money, I kept using my credit cards and, uh, my grandma, rest in peace,
gave me some money. My parents gave me a little bit of money, and with about five thousand dollars, that's how I initiated The Cut Buddy company. Um, total, to start the company, I probably spent about eleven thousand dollars. And, uh, I ordered my products overseas. Uh, you
need to get a CAD file of a product done, which is a computer aided design. Uh, and that's like a 3D render. And then you get it, um, you get it manufactured with a manufacturer. For a manufacturer, you need to open up a mold, and we can get into manufacturing in other episodes, but I want to give you an overview of how I started. I did not have any traditional funding, uh, it was all bootstrapped. Bootstrap means using your own money and reinvesting into your own company.
So, launch the company and, uh, sales were going pretty slow actually. I was doing my own videos, cutting my own hair, and people started roasting me. I didn't understand why they were roasting me, they actually loved the product, but they didn't love me as the model. Uh, it was because I was going bald, and my hairline was a, a five-head. I was ahead of my class, uh, I had a Vegeta hairline, these McDonald's Arch line. That, those were jokes that people were making about me, um, so realized that I wasn't the guy to be the model for the company. And at that time, I was one of the first grooming companies to use affiliate marketing and micro and nano-influencer marketing and utilizing my first set of influencers. 360 wave process Nick Wavey,
Beard Gang, Wes Styles, they were popping on YouTube, so they used my product and the company blew up.
So we went viral in 2016, and fast forward, here I am standing at the biggest pitch competition in the world: Shark Tank. So Shark Tank was a great experience. Everyone asked, is Shark
Tank fake? Is it scripted? It is not scripted, it is actually, the cameras are ABC and Disney, they're shooting you in an actual business meeting with the sharks. You're actually out there for a long time but they cut it down for purposes for TV. So it is not fake, it is all real.
Uh, fast forward today, this tool that I created when I was 13 years old is in over 2 million homes and now we have a whole line of products. We have tools that help you cut your hair and shave your hair, we have the Bald Buddy shaver that we made. You know, I went bald, we needed to make a bald shaver. Uh, we have trimmers, we have clippers. So now we're servicing the whole haircut and shaving industry.
So I want you to know that it sounded like I said a lot, which I did say a lot, but you can do it. Just have an idea, patent and protect the idea, and manufacture it. It's always good to use your own money because you're more in love and connected to the company than using someone else's money. You lose their money, nothing happens to you, rather use your money. Uh, put yourself in an Ali situation, the rope-a-dope when you're, when you're back against the wall
and you, and if you mess up one time you could be homeless. That's when you fight the best and that's when you get innovative.
So join me as we continue with the Founder Series to get into all the great stuff about how the Cut Buddy was created, what we're doing, our social mission, just all types of industry insights and knowledge. And I look forward to seeing you next week. If you have any ideas for videos that you'd like me to cover, please comment below and I'll sure, I'll be sure to get it to the team and we'll comment on that in our future videos. Thank you guys, see you soon.
Welcome to the founder series of The Cut Buddy, where you will spend intimate
Tips from the Clip
This was the first vlog from the Founder Files Series, where founder and CEO Joshua Esnard walks us through the beginning of his process of creating the Cut Buddy hair-shaping tool. He shares a lot of valuable information regarding the steps to starting a business, from patenting tips to funding the process. Here are our tips from the clip:
In the Founder Files Series, Joshua will talk about all things Cut Buddy, from industry knowledge to the entrepreneurial journey to behind-the-scenes looks.
In the first episode of the series, Joshua is focusing on the beginning of his entrepreneurial journey. The Cut Buddy was his first business, and he had no experience before launching the company. You don’t have to have experience to become an entrepreneur.
Joshua created his first shaping tool when he was very young, and he made it out of pizza boxes or detergent bottles. He designed the tool to help him cut his own hair at home because he didn’t like the way his dad cut his hair. However, he struggled with getting the perfect edge-up, which is why he created the shaping tool to help get the perfect curve.
Years later, Joshua took that same tool to a patent attorney to get a patent. This is a very important step if you want to start a business and protect your idea.
The toughest part of starting your own business is the funding. You may have rough patches at the beginning before things take off, but it’s important to see the vision and focus on the future.
Going to pitch competitions to pitch your idea is a great way to try to gain more funding for your business.
You need to get a CAD file of a product done, which is a computer-aided design, that's like a 3D render. And then you get it manufactured with a manufacturer. Joshua will get more into manufacturing in later episodes.
Using affiliate marketing and working with micro and nano-influencers was vital in the success of The Cut Buddy, so consider using these tips for your own product.
The three main steps to starting a business are to have an idea, patent it, and manufacture it.
It’s always a better idea to use your own money to fund the process because it makes the experience more personal to you. You’re more likely to fight for what you want if it’s your own money on the line instead of someone else’s.