St. Lucian-born entrepreneur, Joshua Esnard, is the founder of The Cut Buddy, a product designed for cutting hair at home – which he first created when he was just 13 years old.
Uniquely designed with curves and edges suitable for all head shapes and types of hair, the product works effectively for diverse kinds of beards, appealing to even those without hair on their head.
An Immigrant from St. Lucia, Esnard’s dad was the type that would want to do everything by himself, including barbering his own hair and that of his siblings. Esnard recalls getting frustrated with getting “buzz” cuts from his dad. For 13 years, he got the buzz haircut from his father, which he says he hated.
“I grew up, I got to 13, and I was sick of this haircut and I said ‘you know what, ‘I am going to cut my own hair but I didn’t have any money, my dad wasn’t going to send me the barber and I decided to cut my own hair,” he shared with an audience at a TEDx Raleigh event.
Esnard inadvertently messed up his hairline and got bald spots the first time he tried barbering himself, according to Stlucia. Having identified a problem, he set out to address them, leading to the birth of the Cut Buddy.
Supported by his fiancée to scale up his invention, Joshua started pitching his business idea to investors and friends, however, he was either rejected or laughed at, but that did not deter him from pursuing his dreams.
He later built his business relying on his personal savings and the help of affiliate marketers and micro-influencers. Within three months, his product went viral and he instantly became a best-seller on Amazon. He also got featured on several media platforms and ultimately got a slot on Shark Tank.
“March 5, 2016. A video of our product went viral with 12 million views and sales skyrocketed,” he told Biz Journal. “Amazon helped me get a place-hold in the market, and we just relied on influencer- and affiliate marketing to get our story going.”
In 2017, he appeared on Shark Tank and secured a deal from Daymond John — who made his fortune with the FUBU brand of clothing. He invested $300,000 for a 20 percent stake in his company.
“Appearing on Shark Tank we got more attention from retailers, like big stores who wanted to carry our product,” Esnard said.
Before appearing on Shark Tank, he made sales of $700,000 in 2016 alone, thanks to a viral skit about his product that went viral.