Charles Moyer

Charles (Charlie) Moyer is the Founder and CEO of Badass Beard Care, a men’s grooming company that delivers natural and organic beard balms, waxes, oils, and more. Before starting Badass Beard Care, Charlie served in the US Coast Guard for 10 years until being medically discharged for injuries sustained while serving. He launched Badass Beard Care in 2014 with the mission of inspiring men to unleash their inner badasses.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Charlie Moyer explains how his father’s facial hair inspired him to start his company, Badass Beard Care
  • How Charlie grew his company using social media and word-of-mouth marketing
  • The lessons Charlie learned from hiring his first employee
  • Charlie’s superpowers and how he uses them to achieve success
  • How Charlie’s company website maintains an 8-10% conversion rate 
  • Badass Beard Care’s subscription program and why it’s so successful
  • Charlie talks about building a strong community through his company’s Facebook forum
  • The community-driven brands that Charlie admires
  • What is Badass Beard Care’s plan for growth?

In this episode…

Do you want to build a business with a churn rate of 1%? What about a company website with a 10% conversion rate? With his subscription service and social media fan base, Charlie Moyer discovered how — and he’s here to share his story.

After retiring from the US Coast Guard and growing his beard out, Charlie wasn’t satisfied with beard products on the market — so he decided to make his own. What started as a side hustle quickly became Charlie’s full-time business, and a successful one at that. With no experience or training in entrepreneurship, Charlie crafted a million-dollar company from the ground up using social media and word-of-mouth marketing. So, what is Charlie’s advice for growing a profitable ecommerce business that customers love?

On this episode of the eCommerce Profits Podcast, Joshua Chin talks with the Founder and CEO of Badass Beard Care, Charlie Moyer. Charlie shares the lessons he learned while growing his business from the ground up, how he built a strong community on social media, and his strategies for achieving insane profits using an ecommerce subscription service. You won’t want to miss this episode!

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Special Mentions:

Sponsor for this episode

This episode is brought to you by Chronos Agency.

If you are a direct-to-consumer ecommerce brand that wants to unlock the optimum customer lifetime value through email marketing, then look no further than Chronos Agency!

Our team of passionate email marketing experts have helped hundreds of brands generate over $70 million in return from email alone, and our clients receive an average of 3500% ROI from our efforts.

Chronos Agency has worked with a variety of brands, including Truly Beauty, Alya Skin, and many more. Our mission is to help real businesses achieve real results. 

If you want to take your revenue to the next level using email marketing, be sure to email our team at [email protected] or visit chronos.agency to learn more.

Episode Transcript

Intro 0:04

Welcome to the eCommerce Profits Podcast where we feature top founders and experts in the ecommerce industry and take an in-depth look at the struggles and successes in growing ecommerce brands profitably.

Joshua Chin 0:21

Josh Chin here. I’m the host of the eCommerce Profits Podcast where we feature top experts in the ecomm industry and we go behind the scenes of the struggles and successes in growing a brand. Now this episode is brought to you by Chronos Agency. If you’re a direct to consumer ecomm brand that is ready for next level growth to unlock optimal customer lifetime value through email marketing, Chronos is your company. We’ve worked with brands like Truly Beauty, Ally Skin, the UI, and many more to unlock over $70 million in additional revenue by email, and our clients get an average of 3500% ROI from our efforts. The next step is to email us at [email protected] That’s [email protected], or you can go to Chronos.agency to check out more. Today’s guest that I have with us today. Charles (Charlie) Moyer is the original Badass, and CEO of Badass Beard Care. In 2014, Charlie realized that beard products out there in the market just weren’t quite good enough, and he began making his own oils and balms. Today Badass Beard Care offers premium beard oils, balms, waxes, washes in multiple scents, deodorants, tools, and many more. Their mission is to inspire men to unleash their inner badass by providing inspiring content and premium natural products that promote healthy skin and beard hair growth. Charlie, welcome to the show.

Charles Moyer 1:50

Thank you for having me. I really appreciate that.

Joshua Chin 1:53

Charlie, first question for you. Tell us about your origin story. We were chatting a little bit before the show. And you have such an interesting background.

Charles Moyer 2:03

Yeah, yes, it’s funny, a lot of a lot of people see that I have a successful business. And I think that I came from a family that’s in the business or came from money and have some kind of leg up. The truth of the matter is I grew up in Santa Cruz Mountains, my parents were traditional Santa Cruz hippies that lived in a school bus, out in Redwood Forest. And that’s where I grew up, just kind of what inspired me to grow my beard, my dad had a beard my entire life and never saw him without one. And he passed when I was 14. So I never had a chance to, you know, to grow and grow beard and see if I look like him. So as soon as I was able to, I started growing my beard out just to look like my dad and I wanted to make him proud. So I made the best products that I could to do that.

Joshua Chin 2:45

I’m sure he’s proud man. You’ve done amazingly well for yourself. And you’ve created such a incredible community. So let’s dive a little bit into the business. Tell us a bit of a kind of a quick overview of how the business came about. For someone who doesn’t know.

Charles Moyer 3:05

Yeah, so 2014, I was still active duty in the Coast Guard. But I knew I was getting out, I was getting medically retired. And I had some leaves there. So I was able to stop going into the coast guard while still being active duty and I didn’t have to shave every day. So I started growing it out and realized I needed some kind of products to take care of my beard. My wife especially was not fond of how prickly my face was, or you know, the lingering scents. She was really weird, she wouldn’t want me to look homeless or, or be out of place, she was used to very clean cut military man, she wanted to make sure that even with a beard, I’ve kind of maintained that type of appearance. So I made it my mission to do it right. And yeah, I started making products just for myself, and on a budget. And when you start making products for yourself, a little bit goes a very long way. There was actually a lot of leftover product, and I didn’t want it to go to waste. I was going to school at the same time that I was doing this and there was a veteran tent on campus. So even though I didn’t have a beard yet, I knew that that’s where it was going. And I wanted those products. So I started actually getting this extra stuff to these veterans who are growing their beards already asking them for feedback and trying to improve the products about the time that I was growing a full beard these products ready for me type of thing. But it was very quickly that the people testing those products off me started asking if they can buy the products themselves or they had a roommate to try them out when I brought it home that we may want to. And it was getting close for Christmas. This was around October of 2014. And people started asking if they could buy it for Christmas presents. And you know, I was going to put it online at the time. It wasn’t really selling it the idea there was someone gave me $10 or $15 at school and I gave them a bottle of beard oil. But I put it online. My very first storefront was on GoDaddy. And I set up an evening with a GoDaddy employee that helped me set it up over the phone. And that employee was actually my very first sale on the website. He bought a bottle of beard oil before he left and left for the night. So it grew really quick, I was still thinking was just gonna be a side hustle. And I put it up on social media on Instagram first. And the first month and a half was just me pushing pictures and Instagram. And the same little little sizes that I was using the feedbacks, and the veterans at school, I turned into a free sample. And I offered to get people’s free sample of my beard products, obviously some of the shipping and then shared that offer with the friends just to get the name out there. And it It grew pretty quickly. But it was manageable. Until it was in November, that Facebook, started doing their Facebook ads and opened up for all the businesses on Facebook and no, no longer like a beta that anyone could advertise on Facebook. And so I put that same picture that I had an Instagram on Facebook, saying get a free sample just show us to your friends. And I put $20 behind it. And I made a mistake. And it took me a long time to realize this mistake. But I said message me for the coupon code. Instead of just putting the coupon code in the text. And I wanted to make sure that when people are sharing the offer, they were getting a coupon code. But I woke up the next morning and I have over 100 messages waiting in my inbox. And I made a line that like 10 o’clock at night. So just in the time that I went to sleep and woke up, I had over 100 people who wanted to order this free sample. And very, very quickly. That was like so that was November of 2014, October when I first when I first really started going. I had you know, about $1,000 in sales in November, that jumped up to like $3,000 in sales. And then December because those people in November got a free samples, December with $30,000 in sales. And that’s in that first year in 2014. And then every month after that I was always afraid that things were gonna drop off, it was a fluke, or someone shared this that was famous or something happened as outside of my control. And that it wasn’t it was just a good product. And, you know, I guess the easiest way to a bearded man’s heart is to have something free. It exploded in popularity. And then we were able to build a community around that to social media, kind of inspiring guys to live their best life and be the be their best selves and be a true badass in that sense. They’re not like a hardcore macho man, but more of a traditional shrew, you know, just inspiring person. This is what we try to treat our community in a way that does that. So they’re successful, we raised a lot of money for different charities, we’ve raised a lot of money for different customers and hard places. And we utilize the Facebook groups to grow that community. So I think we were one of the first companies that really started a group specifically for like a fan base or a customer group. And yeah, that since then, that has really taken off in popularity as well.

Joshua Chin 7:55

So you started effectively, a referral program before referral programs were cool.

Charles Moyer 8:02

Yeah, I felt like I also kind of missed the last human one. I don’t want to say that I did. Besides, you know, I didn’t know what I was doing. When I started in 2014. I was a gunner’s mate in the Coast Guard. And I was going to school for homeland security emergency management. And you know, the class I was taking, I had no education in business, no education in entrepreneurship, no research on a new subjects. I always had a passion for business. And I’ve always wanted to do things on the side while I was active duty, but I never studied and prepared for so and especially with social media, social media was a totally foreign concept to me. You know, I was still on MySpace. It was interesting, I came out. And when I first picked us up on Instagram, I realized I didn’t have any followers. And I didn’t have any way to really get that, you know, engagement out there to have people see it. So I started offering people that had you know, 20,000 or 50,000 or 100,000 followers free product, if they would just post a picture of the product for me. And so I did that for about four or five months. And suddenly the people that were doing that for me said Oh, hey, look at other companies that are reaching out now to they want me to post pictures of their stuff. I’m going to start this like scheduled pre-payment system, there’s no longer like you just send me some free products. And that kind of complicated kind of quickly. And at that time, I prefer the ease of just paying Facebook to put it in front of you instead of having to deal with a ton of individual influencers. Looking back now I kind of wish I’d stayed 50/50 and put more effort into growing the influencer side because now it’s even more ridiculous and expensive to try to get with influencers. So I could have been much bigger right now on Facebook. We have 300,000 followers and on Instagram, it’s like 45,000, so a fraction of the amount and it’s because we devoted so much effort into the Facebook marketing space with advertising and kind of left that influencer side of Instagram alone.

Joshua Chin 10:07

Gotcha. What was the biggest turning point for you personally, in your six years of, six years plus seven years of the business?

Charles Moyer 10:20

Um, hiring my first employee. Because like I said, originally, this was supposed to be kind of a just for myself. And then it was supposed to be just a side gig. And I was like, Oh, well, maybe I can do this myself and run this as a business. And I don’t need to have a career outside of this. And then you know, within three months, it was, okay, I need an employee and things are getting serious now. Now I’m gonna have other people depend on me to continue making sure the company is successful. So that was a big turning point, if you want me to do better and to work harder, because now I had other people that were depending on me to succeed as well.

Joshua Chin 11:01

What was most meaningful to you, in hiring an employee?

Charles Moyer 11:10

I think in terms of meaningfulness, kind of a status, where I had a business that was successful enough that not only could afford an employee, but that I needed an additional employee, so to me, that meant that, you know, it was at a point where it was no longer I guess, a chip on my shoulder, you know, kind of kind of dig into a little bit. The first month that I started it, and I told people, you know, really, seriously contemplating making this a business and dropping out of school and not pursuing a job in the federal government. And the response, even from family was, well, that’s going to be a good hobby, but you should probably not stop what you’re doing. And so it’s a little, little bit shifted. And it’s like, oh, yeah, look at me, now I need an employee. And this is now no longer like a side gig, it’s a full time functioning business. I think it’s a sense of pride as well, in terms of in terms of meaningfulness.

Joshua Chin 12:08

Is that employee still with you today?

Charles Moyer 12:12

No, no, that was probably the worst exit for an employee I’ve had. I would, I would say 99, we had in the last seven years, probably 60 or 70 employees transition, and currently full time I have about 20. So turnover, employees average two years per turnover. And so we’ve cycled through about that many. 99% would come back again, they either find other opportunities that are paying more and they go back to school to get a you know, a more career specific job. And we’re totally for that I try to push employees to better themselves in that way. I don’t, I don’t envision any of our lower level employees that are capping bottles, and labeling and shipping to make a career out of capping, labeling and shipping. So I’m glad to provide this kind of circumstance with for those guys to be able to do that. But yeah, that first employee when he when he left, he told me that he was at lunch, either I’m leaving, and I say, Oh, are you going out to lunch? Because normally, he would stay at the shop and eat there. And he’s like, No, I’m done, I’m not coming back. And he left, just a random Friday at lunch. And it was like four weeks into the job.

Joshua Chin 13:30

Why?

Charles Moyer 13:31

I think part of it was he was my very first employee. And so I didn’t have any standards. It was like, Oh, you want to work? Let’s work, there was no hiring process, there was no way for me to vet them. I didn’t know what I needed, or what I wanted. Or, you know, the personality types that would work best, you know, whether it be for that type of job or work to me specifically, because I can be kind of a unique person to work for. Challenging, I would put it. But yeah, now I’ve got a better idea. The questions that I ask our hires are much less skill based and more personality based. 

Joshua Chin 14:12

You seem very self aware, Charlie. So what have you learned from that if you had to go if you could go back in time and hire your first employee again, knowing what you know today, is there anything you do differently?

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