Besides Dollar Beard
Club, another fledgling beard-products brand, the
Goatee Saver (a plastic stencil that fits over goatees to allow
men to shave around them) recently won distribution from Walmart.com and a trial in
some Walmart stores.
And Procter & Gamble Co.'s Gillette just last month
continued its lament of a
trend of men shaving less weighing on sales.
Dollar Beard Club sees it all as a serious market opportunity.
The company's viral video has had early success akin to what Dollar
Shave Club experienced in 2012, with 1.3 million YouTube views
since late June leading to 25,000 subscribers.
Co-founder Chris Stoikos, who stars in the in-house-created
video, struts through a warehouse a la Dollar Shave Club's
founder/video star Michael Dubin in his initial
video. But he makes a different point.
"What is Dollar Beard Club?" Mr. Stoikos asks. "Well, you sure
as hell won't be receiving any fucking razors from us to demolish
your manhood. …If you cherish your beard and you want to
keep it healthy, feeling smooth and smelling like the beard of
Zeus, then you're going to need some oil in that hedge."
While the base proposition is $1 beard oil, early buyers have
averaged orders of more than $20, said Mr. Stoikos. DBS sells oils
that range up to $7 depending on size, as well as waxes, combs,
brushes, money clips and beard shampoo for as much as $17. Even so,
co-founder Alex Brown, a former genetic pharmaceutical executive
behind product development and operations, said the club's prices
are well below sparse offerings previously out there for beard
Mr. Brown acknowledges rumblings that beards have peaked. But he
said prior to the world wars, when men shaved to join the armed
forces, as many as 70% of American men had beards vs. an estimated
30% today. With recent generations of Americans having mostly
averted military service, he hopes the beard trend can defy any
short-term fashion backlash.
"We have all kind of cool campaigns planned to try to influence
guys to grow out their beards," Mr. Brown said. Beyond that, the
broader male grooming market "is absolutely exploding," and he
plans to vie with the likes of Dollar Shave Club to create "a man
To date, Dollar Beard Club has only a lone angel investor vs.
the eight- and nine-figure venture-capital pools behind
online-shaving purveyors such as Dollar Shave Club or Harry's. But
early success has the bearded guys mulling their funding options,
Mr. Brown said.
DBS sees its role as "beard education," pointing out that
untreated beards get dry and stinky. Fragrance is a key selling
point for the oil. And beard dandruff is a thing – one that
can be treated with shampoo, oil or a beard cream, the latter still
in development. Also in the pipeline are beard wipes and a beard
comb/bottle opener combo.
"We think the sky's the limit," Mr. Brown said.