You know, when we decided that we were going to jump and really take The Simple Man beyond the ideas floating in my head, there were three goals I really wanted to make happen. Ok, who am I kidding, there were about 400 things I really wanted to happen. Let’s just say for the sake of this blog, there were three – thanks for playing along.
So the three things:
- Meet some amazing people and create a space where strangers became friends.
- Curate a collection of products that resonate with people. Products that have stories and are made by cool people/companies that make them unique.
- Create a brand that people recognize, appreciate and grows to becomes well-known.
Not too crazy, right? Some of it would take some hustle, others some research and knowledge and some, well, some I thought would be easier than others.
Let me share how OG customer, Eric Choat, helped me realize we are definitely checking off boxes on the way to fulfilling our goals.
But first, I want to share how he and I easily checked off #1.
I said above that Eric is an OG TSM customer. We met when our shop started in our original Benson location. Eric remembers that he first heard about it from his barber who thought he would like it. He came in, met this Boyd guy and both were part of the Omaha facial hair society. He has been shopping with us ever since!
As you’ll see in the pictures here, Eric, and his beard, get recognized. Beyond the Omaha Facial Hair Society, he competes in beard competitions around the world. YES, AROUND THE WORLD. When I asked him about this side gig he said this “I have no idea how many I have been to. Somewhere between 75-100 is my guess. As far west as LA and East to the UK. Next summer I plan on going to Germany for the 2023 World Beard and Mustache Championship. It was supposed to be in New Zealand, but covid has changed a few plans for all of us. :)”
I asked him why he has remained a tried and true customer and his response clearly made me realize I have hit #1 and #2: “The products that The Simple Man carries are products that I'm interested in. Boyd has become a friend and I love supporting local businesses and him. I can pick up what I need for myself and gifts for others. His service is second to none. He not only carries good products, but KNOWS the background and more about the product than if you went to any other store or read the about section on their website.”
See why I dig this guy?
This leads me to the coolest part of this story. His recent adventures around the world.
Again, here are Eric’s words:
“In August 2022, I went to the British National Beard and Mustache Championship in Rugby, UK, with a few others from the States. Whenever I travel I always pack a Simple Man t-shirt and my TSM hat. While I was visiting Windsor Castle, I approached a couple wearing Husker shirts (the game in Ireland was the same weekend). I asked if they could take my picture, explained I was from Omaha and was not giving them a hard time for wearing a husker shirt, but empathized with them. They were from Columbus NE. The guy asked about my hat saying he had seen the logo before. I let him know it was from The Simple Man, and he finished my sentence saying “oh that shop by Westside High school, right?” They have family near-by so knew of it. The Simple Man logo is very recognizable. Not only do I like it a lot, but it is a great conversation starter. People want to know what it is and where I got it.”
#3 – SUCCESS
I have found success. Eric (and many others) remind me of this daily.
Now I need to get back and keep hustling on those 397 others.