How Two Black Entrepreneurs Made Their First Million Out of Their Apartment Home - Bshani Radio News
A small apartment turned into more than living quarters for two homegrown entrepreneurs. It was the setting for a million-dollar enterprise that today is changing how Black men groom and view self-care. Evan Alexander Grooming is now an inspiring movement towards empowerment and confidence with the underlying message that dreams are attainable for Black entrepreneurs, but let’s rewind to the start.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
Joseph Evans III, a former real estate executive, and Brandon Patton, a former marketing professional and social media influencer, noticed the lack of men’s skincare and grooming resources for Black men. Brandon had done his homework and had started a YouTube platform (BlackMensBeard) where he discussed and shared tips on men’s issues, including educating men of color on the fundamentals of growing a healthy and attractive beard.
With research in hand and personal knowledge, the duo started Evan Alexander Grooming (a derivative of Joseph’s last name and Brandon’s child’s name), a men’s fine grooming line from the ground up. Joseph would eventually leave his real estate position to devote full-time to the company, with both of them saving enough money to survive for a year without depending on company funds.
Beginning with a team of six, they focused on all elements of the business, from branding, marketing, and social media to shipping, ordering materials, and working with manufacturers.
The overall hard work of the team in multiple areas greatly supported their achievements. Each team member brought their expertise to the business.
• The in-house videographer and social media manager helped to accelerate content and ad presence significantly• Content creation was a driving factor that increased global reach, utilizing platforms and networks such as Facebook, YouTube (over 20 million views), Instagram, and GQ (formerly Gentleman's Quarterly)
• The customer service team delivered a personalized customer experience, providing beard and skincare tips and looking at photos to determine possible remedies to customer concerns
The team was in place. Now, onto the next step.
What Will the Neighbors Say?
Imagine what the neighbors thought when they saw 18-wheelers coming to the apartment to drop off several pallets of raw materials (not an everyday occurrence in your average apartment complex!). Multiple daily deliveries and traffic going in and out of the residence made a few people skeptical about the happenings.
So what was in those boxes and containers? Why hundreds of gallons of oils, such as grapeseed and jojoba oils, in addition to hundreds of pounds of yellow beeswax, coconut oils, and shea butter, of course! The amount prompted the team to meet drivers at an agreed-upon location and load their vehicles with products and raw materials just to be able to navigate the quantities.
The team made room for all the deliveries by doing some quick rearranging. The piano, dining room table, and living room sets were replaced with racks, products, and shipping boxes. All equipment and materials were put on wheels to swap space for video content creation and ads. The kitchen became a makeshift laboratory.
Joseph and Brandon are quick to give a shout-out to the property management company and their neighbors for being so understanding and patient as they made their dreams come true.
With hundreds of thousands of dollars of inventory and raw materials now stored in their apartment, it was the start of bigger and better things ahead. They made their first $1 million and things continued to grow.
What Does Grooming Have to Do With Empowerment?
Joseph and Brandon are entrepreneurs and thought leaders within the Black community. Their motto: Show up with confidence and don’t settle for anything less.
As a Black-owned business, they invest in educating and empowering the community. They know fine grooming isn’t just about products but also building the success of their counterparts. They encourage their users to operate at their highest potential.
It was more than time to change the perception of grooming for a diverse range of hair and skin, creating a line just for melanin skin and hair. Evan Alexander Grooming was just the beginning.
The duo has started a Facebook Group (Black Men’s Beard VIP) that dispels stereotypes about Black men with beards, sharing self-care tips with a dose of self-love included. Caring for your beard, skin, and hair is admired and encouraged with this group. It keeps the conversation about what is important to Black males. Their platform provides research, guidance, and lifestyle content for men globally who are committed to standing out in the way they look, dress, and maintain their appearance.
Through extensive research and testing, the brand has determined the most effective ingredients for the line of rich nourishing fine grooming products. The collection includes an organic leave-in beard conditioner, face scrub, all-natural deodorant, and non-GMO hair supplements designed to enhance the health, quality, and appearance of men of color.
Don’t Be Afraid to Bet on Yourself
Some of the biggest takeaways from Joseph and Brandon’s journey are the importance of teamwork, dreaming big, and feeling supported.
“Both Brandon and I sincerely feel that dreams are attainable with the right motivation, planning, and community support,” said Joseph. “We are eternally grateful to have grown our business with the help of a strong team behind us. We are accomplishing our personal goals and doing fulfilling work. We weren’t afraid to bet on ourselves and it’s paid off in many ways. Our vision was not executed alone. Our teamwork made the dream work.”
For more information and/or to purchase products from Evan Alexander Grooming, visit EvanAlexanderGrooming.com
Also, be sure to follow the brand on Instagram @EvanAlexanderGrooming