Washington D.C. – Once considered by tastemakers as conflicting with society’s fashionable palate, beards and facial hair have reemerged as the de rigueur trend among hipsters and men in their 20s and 30s. The new must have accessory for men is to sport facial hair in the forms of beards, mustaches, and stubble. As seen as with hirsute celebrities like Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden, Hip-Hop artist Rick Ross, and Legendary Record Producer Rick Rubin.
As stated on Statista.com, “The global male grooming market for 2016 is estimated to be worth about USD 21.4 billion.” Serial entrepreneur Edward Bert Oliver Jr., who owns two businesses, is set to capitalize on the increasing demographic of male grooming products with his organic line E.B.O Beard Butter. Oliver, hailing from the southeast section of Washington D.C., the 23- year-old soon to be 24 is a Business Management graduate of Norfolk State University. He used his initials and created the E.B.O Beard Butter to moisturize, strengthen, and enhance a man’s facial hair when he began growing his beard in August 2012. He found that most of the products he purchased did not cater to the unique texture of African-American hair. Like a consummate entrepreneur, Oliver decided to create a solution to this problem in the summer of 2014 and sought to create a product. He enlisted his mother who played a significant role in assisting him in finding the necessary tools to manufacture his product. From there, Oliver committed himself to researching quality ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil and their effects on African-American textured tresses.
With his first batch, he tested it on his beard and found the results outstanding. “When I first used my product on my beard, it made it feel soft shiny and had a pleasant fragrance,” recalls Oliver. “People kept saying that I should sell it. I took to social media and announced that I had made my beard care product, and the response was fantastic.” In November 2014, Oliver officially launched E.B.O Beard Butter and received excellent reviews from his clients from all over the country. Without any exaggeration, a quick look at his website will reveal numerous of praises of his customers from men excitedly proclaiming how his products have improved the overall appearance, feel, and growth of their facial hair. Even female customers have declared how they adore how their boyfriends, fathers, brothers, and friends look better when they use his products and have even used the products themselves on their natural hair and eyebrows.
“I’ve been able to ship to clients in 33 different states, in over 240 cities, and I have international clients in Canada and the United Kingdom,” says Oliver.Customers have an assortment of choices to choose their favorite scents from the burgeoning line like Mango Madness, Perfect Peach, Anjou Pear, Black Raspberry and Vanilla, Ladies Love It, which has a hint of passion fruit, Ocean, Ginger Spice, Green Clover and Aloe, Aruba Coconut, Sandal Wood and Vanilla, Mediterranean Fig, and Naked, which is non-scented.
He has been able to differentiate E.B.O Beard Butter line from other brands by actively engaging with his customers through social media. Oliver promptly replies to their inquiries and following up to make sure his clients are satisfied with their purchases. He even incorporates them into the process of product development by voting on new scents and posting satisfied customers reviews on his social media platforms. “Some of my clients have built their following as a result of their business ventures, and I can leverage exposure for my brand by posting pictures on my sites,” says Oliver. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr has proven to be a tangible business asset for Oliver because it allows him to interact with his customers authentically. As a result, his clients are regularly updated on sales, events, photo and video testimonials from other customers, which has only increased his client base. “Sometimes I release limited Beard Butter for special events; for example I recently launched a Cherry Blossom scent for a limited time, and it was extremely successful,” explains Oliver.
Word of mouth has attributed to the rising popularity of his merchandise.
“People like my product so much they spread the word to their family and friends. My reputation also helps, people like me because they know I grew up in a troublesome environment. They are witnessing me doing something positive, and they want me to be successful,” asserts Oliver.When asked how he plans to continue to develop his company, Oliver vows for the E.B.O Beard Butter to incorporate products like an organic beard shampoos and conditioners. He aspires to have the complete beard grooming set for his clients. He is seeking to have his E.B.O Beard Butter products available in retail stores like Whole Foods, The Yes Organic Market, and other organic retailers worldwide. “I want to be able to go to different countries and see my products on selling off the shelves. I also aim to use a portion of my revenues to do community work,” states Oliver. The next step on his entrepreneurial journey to immense success will be to attend more trade shows and continue showcasing his products at private events. “I’m very excited to see what the future holds for E.B.O Beard Butter,” this sentiment echoes in his growing customer base.