Rin Gamache, a licensed Skincare Hacker (Esthetician), is the founder of Bare and Beards. Rin chose to concentrate on the male demographic, and create a clinic and products specifically targeting men. The beauty industry is associated with femininity since everything is geared towards women. Rin believes men don't have the skincare conversation because they aren't included enough; therefore, the conversation isn't happening. Rin's desire is to help change the industry standards, and jump start that conversation among men, because men want nice skin too!Rin has lived in Brooklyn, New York and Teaneck, New Jersey for a total of six years. She also lived abroad in Barcelona, Spain and Tianshui, China for a combined three years teaching English as a foreign language. Her interests include playing basketball, running, watching the Seattle Seahawks play, learning about different cultures, practicing her Spanish, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.
Tools / Books / Resources mentioned:Tools: None
Rin talks about why she chose to focus on male skincare and how she got motivated.
Rin talks about the operations of her business and how she has a multipronged approach of her own clinic, barber schools education, and direct reach.
Rin talks about her i=unique approach to get first paid customers by approaching men at malls to try out her product for free and tracking their progress over multiple weeks over social media.
How to price your products and service? Rin goes into specific details on bundling products, free education to help increase customers’ revenues, and determining the profit margins.
Rin talks about her own personal journey from journalism to media marketing to entrepreneurship. She goes into details on finding niches and defining customer personas.
Rin’s advice to business owners: 1. Talk to other owners and signup mentors 2. Learn by trial and error 3. Be consistent and persistent 4. Keep building credibility.
Episode Transcript (Click to expand)
Ramesh: Hello everyone. Welcome to the agile entrepreneur podcast. This is your host Ramesh Dontha. This podcast is about starting and building your own business with purpose, passion, perseverance, and possibilities. Today we have a guest and her business definitely interests me. So I would like to know a little bit more about, her name is Rin Gamache. Rin Gamache is the founder, an esthetician of Baden beards, men's skin and wellness clinic located in San Diego. Hi, Rin, welcome.
Rin: Hi Ramesh. Thank you for having me.
Ramesh: All right. My very first question, what is aesthetician?
Rin: So an esthetician is a skin care specialist. So yes. So we provide preventative treatments to people who are trying to correct or maintain their skin. So I'm like dermatologist who prescribe. Diagnose and prescribe. We actually provide the maintenance to help present skin issues.
Ramesh: Okay, excellent. All right so now let's get into the business itself. So really, if you could tell us a little bit about your business. When did you start it? How did you start? Just your story.
Rin: So barren beards men's skin and wellness clinic, as well as Skin care products, we are a product line as well. So I started it back in 2018. I got the idea, obviously I’ve always had a love for skin care cause I had my own skin care issues growing up at the middle school and it was just through trial and error, I found out how to pretty much target an acne and to keep your skin in good shape and looking good in our products. I had gone through many dermatologists, prescriptions, bingo peroxide, salicylic acid, different jokes, you name it. I just didn't do Accutane. So I got on the natural journey and that's what actually led ultimately to my skin just becoming better and better over time. And my skin got immune to it, but in a good way not to where it got immune to stuff like the chemicals and then it stops working. So I decided to go to school to become an esthetician to really study skincare. And for me my angle was men, because the thing I noticed is that men don't know where to go. They don't think about things to do or what to try. They can just see somebody pick it up and not realize that there is a method to it and they're not educated. It's just not a conversation that was had in the household. You know that of association with femininity? Women had the products, the masks, the cleansers, the different steps. Whereas men, that's nothing that they discussed or even really learned about.
Ramesh: But I keep reading recently that there, that is changing. I don't know if it's changing because of education or whatever, but the men also supposedly are taking care of the grooming and all that stuff. Is that what you see?
Rin: Yes. So right now that's becoming, currently it is becoming more prominent because of the metrosexuals, the gay men. But it's still a stigma among that guys, guy, right? The athlete, the construction worker, the mechanic, so those are the men that I'm like, okay, the metro-sexual and the gays, they get it and they're willing to purchase and Invest in grooming products. But like the barber, those people, the guy guys, those are the ones that aren't going to take the time. They don't have that time. And that's why I knew one, what I wanted to come out with a product line that was simple enough for a guy to be able to embrace and use. And I want it to provide that education to barbers because men, that guy guy and everybody goes to a barber and I felt like they need to be equipped with the knowledge and start bringing in skincare services into their business model as well as me having a clinic myself, a place where men could come and address their skincare issues. So it's not a spa, it is the clinic because I'm actually helping manage, achieve a specific goal.
Ramesh: Interesting. So for the training the barber's, so you go to their place or you have a facility where they come?
Rin: So, well, what I started doing and this past year is going to barber schools, because I find that the future barbers are the ones where I can make the most impression. So I go there, I do a demo, I talk to them about, you know how to set themselves apart from the other barbers and how men's grooming and skin care is starting to become more popular and that they can actually build their business, make more money and be more profitable if they add this into their piece. I do give demos to barbers who are out there in the world today, but it's a little bit harder, cause most barbers are stuck in their own way, you know, so they're not adding that service. But then you get those barbers that get it. And I target those. Yes, I will go to their place of business and give a skincare demo.
Ramesh: Got it. Okay. So let's talk about the business itself a little bit. Okay. So in 2018 so started your business, how long did it take for you to actually start the business?
Rin: So basically, I opened up my clinic in June, but I didn't open up my clinic to the public until August. So what I did, my goal and my strategy was I am going to get my clinic and I'm going to go out and find some men who have issues. I want someone with acne. I want somebody with some scarring. I want somebody, I just want three different types of models to bring them in, offer them the service for free. All I want is a before and after pictures and a testimonial. That way I can see what works, how long it takes for them to see results and how to price my services once I opened up to the clinic. And then too, I would have those pictures, the progress pictures. So I went out, you know, I was at a grocery store. I'm paying attention like if it's a cashier, the guy or if I see someone at the gym or I mean if I go stop at a gas station, the clerk there, whoever I ran into, I would give out my business card, introducing myself, letting them know I had a clinic in the area for men and I would love to have them as a model.
Ramesh: So how successful were you in recruiting these models?
Rin: Well, I was pretty good. I mean it was depending on, so kind of like when the guys that had the issues, those are the ones that kind of were a little bit turned off by my approach. So it's very sensitive, very sensitive situation. But I was able to find, like I had a clerk that I had at my local grocery store. I knew for years just by saying hi, bye, how you doing? Basic casual, you know, converse small talk when I am going into the grocery store. So I noticed he had some razor bumps, so I just, I didn't bring up the fact that he had it. I just invited him. So because of that, we knew each other just based off of me shopping there he came. Another guy, actually, he worked at a gas station and I just said you know, it was, there was no one else in the store. And I was like, you know, hi, my name is, you know Rin. I have a skin and wellness clinic for men in mission Valley. I was like, I feel like, you know, I'm looking for some models, you know to help my business. And I was like, I think I can help you. And he had very bad red postural on his face and he said, you know, I’ve tried everything. My skin has never been better than this. And I was like, give me a chance. And he came. So that was a good one. He was willing to come. And then there was another guy when I was in school and I was promoting on social media. He had saw my promotion for school and he came in to see me at school and stayed in contact. So I was, and he had those acne pockmarks, those indents from old acne. So I asked him to come in since I knew him since he had came to me when I was in school and was one of my clients at school.
Ramesh: So let me ask you, yeah. So this strategy is interesting, so it could be seen as pushy or aggressive work, so were there any people put off or did you get any rude comments from anybody? Was there any negative side of this particular strategy?
Rin: No, it's just, you can sense it. So you know, when you walk up to someone and you're like, hi, you know, my name is Rin, here's a card. I want to give you my card. I just really want you to be a model for me. I do skincare and I think I can help you. If they had, like I said, if it was visible and they knew and I knew, you can just tell that. Or like they would take my card, but you could just tell they didn't want to have the conversation like they knew, or they'd be like, Oh yeah, okay. And I see them again and Hey did you, when are you going to come in? I'm really looking forward to it. Oh yeah, yeah, I’ll call you. So it wasn't that they would feel rude, but I can just tell by the energy, their expression that they're embarrassed by it.
Ramesh: Yeah. Yeah. So got it. So you recruited the models and then you got the before and after and then, yeah then what did you do afterwards?
Rin: So I mean basically with that, I was able to use that to build my website, to do my social media marketing, to think of marketing strategies to get people to come in. So now what I had was at the same time that I was opening up my clinic and doing this, well, I had a chemist working on formulating my first product on my skin care line, which is a bear and beard four in one day cleanser. Cleansers, it exfoliates, it moisturizes, and you can shave with it. It's for all skin types and it targets a razor bumps, ingrown hair and acne. So I want, again like I told you earlier, I wanted to be able to come out with a skin care product in line that's going to simplify that man man's skin care routine and give them something that they would target what they would be dealing with, but at the same time not cause a lot of time, otherwise they're going to not do it. So with that, while I was doing my demo, my models was using my product too. So by the time it launched in October, my clinic has already been up and running on for two months I was advertising on Groupon for my pre shave me show, which I called it. I made sure I had a facial for men. And yes. So I was doing that and then I have my products and then I started going to barber trade show. So barbers, they have trade shows where they go and they do contest, haircutting contests and you know, they have vendors that sell things like products for hair care. That's the one thing that was missing was skincare. I networked within the Barbara community and was just like, listen, I want to be a vendor. You know, skincare should be something that you guys should be doing. And again, one of the people that threw one of the trade shows called mow down in Carson, Cal cornea, her name is Louie. She got the idea and she was like, yes, I want you to be a vendor, but I also what you to do a quick workshop on something that the barbers that come in to the tent, will be able to get good information and take something from it. So she gave me a platform to be able to be that skincare guru, that person of knowledge to be introduced to the Barber community in Southern California.
Ramesh: Excellent. So basically, you're not only marketing and promoting to the customers directly, but you're also helping barbers who also reach to your customers, expand their business by offering in addition to hair care, something like a skincare.
Rin: Exactly. And I'm teaching them, well, I started just this when going to schools and this is what I'm doing, but I'm teaching them how to sell products. Because one thing barbers don't know how to do, they don't know how to sell products. And they have, if you've ever been into a barbershop, you see they have a section where there's products on display that collects dust. They don't understand that, that is another profit for them. They get a percentage, or they can buy wholesale, bring products. And so I'm teaching barbers, you guys need to be learning and studying about ingredients that deal with or target things that your customers are going to be experiencing with their scalp, their face. Because that's going to be not only are you helping people, you're knowledgeable about something that they can benefit from. You're solving a problem and you're going to, you know, make more money. And you're not going to just be that $20 barber and you're going to have to sit in the barbershop for 14 hours. So for me, I went to the barbers because I'm like, okay the men come to you guys, my product, I wanted to, I wholesale my products to the barbers as well as sell directly from my website and to clients who come to my, to come to my shop. So I had to network with the barbers.
Ramesh: Yeah, very good. Very good Rin. So good. So a little bit more into the business aspect itself, which is pricing and the pricing is a very important element of a business. So how did you go through the process of figuring out how to price number one, your products? Number two, your services?
Rin: Well, when it came to my services again, what did I need my services to do? It was either to clear up acne, razor bumps, help with hyperpigmentation. Help with under eye puffiness, wrinkle. So basically and I'm using natural organic ingredients, chemical free products. So based off bad, natural, organic, chemical free is expensive. And then I wanted to know how long is it going to take four them to see results because that's what people, it's all results driven and then I'm going to send them home with something. So one is the new model. Two, at the same time I know my value, but I still had a price it and be competitive and so I went and looked at, see what other surrounding estheticians were charging in their businesses companies and I found a middle ground for me, what will be comfortable, especially it being such a niche demographic, like just solely going after men. I mean women are welcome too, but men, just my marketing, my visibility, everything is for men. That's what I’ve looked into. Again, just those models help me gauge how I'm going to price and then the products that I was using and what it could do and then getting that feedback from the model. So the serums that I would send them home with, that type of thing. Now for my product the funny thing is, when I first started because it was a four-ounce bottle and that was the thing. The chemist was like, you know, and she has her own skin light skin care line as well too, but she said, you know you're probably a cleanser. You can only probably sell it for like $12 to $16 and I said, well the product that I'm doing because it's going to be four in one and I believe it's going to last three months, it should, I think I can sell it for $30, she was like, that's a high price point. She was like serums? Yes. Most people invest in price for serums because you can sell them for a lot, but for me, my idea was I'm offering four products that targets different things. It's natural, organic. I think I can sell at a higher price point. But once I got the product being a new brand, I brought it down to $18. I was like, I'm just going to sell it for $18 and I’ll wholesale it to barbers 10 bottles for $130 at the trade shows. So I was doing that for a while, was doing, being successful, fast forward six months because and I was telling Barbara is your market price could be $25 or $30, because $80 on my website plus shipping came to about $23, $24. Well, one thing, a barber, a student came to me after I did a presentation and he bought five of my bottles and he was like, you know, it's going to be hard for us to sell your product for $25 $30 when on your website it is $18 and he was just like, the product does four things. That's four products in one. And he was like, it is all natural and organic. He was like, I think that you're selling it for way less than you should. So I was like, he's absolutely right. I knew that. But I kind of was using it as a test or just see. So now I changed it. I said, you're right. So I changed it to $25 a bottle and I wholesale them for 10 for $150. And so it was kind of like I did a couple other trade shows and it's for new clients. I sold it for $25 a bottle and people were buying it just the same.
Ramesh: Because you're delivering more value and four in a way, sometimes this four in ones, it's difficult to convey the value. But I think once you're established, it looks like you're able to do it.
Rin: Right. Yeah. But the customers who had been buying and, and repeat customers, I charged them what I charged them in the beginning. I didn't change the price on them because, you know, and I see this first year of me launching my product, my first product as a testing period.
Ramesh: Yeah. Yeah. You're iterating. You're tweaking trying to find the right you know, business model as well as the right pricing model. Yeah. That makes a lot of sense to me. That's good. So Rin now I think we covered a lot of ground on your business. I think we have a really good idea of how you're operating. Let's talk about you a little bit. So you had healthcare, sorry skincare issues and then you said, fine, I want to get into this one. Like why start a business? Did you think about going and working for somewhere? Were you're thinking about a business for all your life? Tell us about Rins’ dreams and aspirations.
Rin: Well, my background actually is in journalism and journalism, sorry, and media marketing. So I did write a lot of articles on health care issues, diseases. I did some skincare as well. And I also have just experienced in marketing and sales. And the thing I did was I worked for a small startup. It was an ice cream company. It was my first sales job not too long ago. And first it was a niche product because they targeted, it was ice cream for diabetics. And I had to sell this product into stores and I just, that was a passion for me to be able to, it was a cause that I was interested in, had to do with health. Natural, organic and I'm marketing it, you know, selling it. So and I’ve always a lot of being in business for myself, but I never knew what I was good at. I never knew what I would do. I always thought I could help other businesses grow. But when my position was eliminated and they downsize completely, I decided, I was like, okay, what am I going to do? Like what do I really want to do right now? And I knew I wanted to start my own business and I was like, what am I feel passionate about? And it dawned on me, I'm like, skincare. You mastered it for yourself. I love, I can spend hours in vitamin Shops just looking and reading at all their skincare ingredients. I love reading and researching ingredients. I just, I'm very much into natural organic products. I said, I should come out with a skincare line. I know I can make; you know, I know I could or something like that, team up with someone. I was like, I know I can help people with their skin, let me go to aesthetics school. And I went to an aesthetic school and I loved it. I loved the science behind it. I loved working with people. So I just kind of, I just kind of said, I want a niche. I like niche markets. It gives me that challenge, because I'm not going to sell to women. I can, I can do, I'm pretty sure I would be super successful and rich right now if I targeted women. But it's so easy. I need a challenge. So I wanted to target men because I felt like I can actually help them. And there, that's an untapped market, like really, and I was like wondering why isn't there an aesthetics clinic directly geared to men? I was learning that, there are products for men, but I felt like another thing, there's not one that I feel represent or show images of men of color. And that's all men of color, all Brown people. I feel like all the ads for men's skincare products as a whole, all just feature Caucasian people. So I just wanted to find something that would, that I can do and target the minority races out there.
Ramesh: I see. Okay. That's interesting. So I think you really wanted to identify your ideal set of customers at the same time, you niche down to the men that is for sure. But within that also your sub niched and identified where the areas of opportunity are there. That is very good. So then, yeah, so let me talk about this journey, right? I mean this journey is not smooth. So you went to school and then it takes some time to establish yourself. So did you take any external financing and you finance it yourself.
Rin: Yes, I have probably invested so far over like almost 20,000 on the way up, but I had money to invest and I was like, when am I going to do with this money? I want to invest it and I invested it in myself and I'm going to tell you, no, it's not easy and I did not quit. You know, I am working side hustle to keep everything going and continue to fund. I'm looking for partner but want the partnership to be right. And that would be great. But in the meantime, no, I am funding it because right now it is fundable and it's not, I'm not at that stage for an investor just yet. I don't, you know, but I know as I continue to build this brand, I know I'm going to start attracting. So I'm just learning all areas of the business right now. I've learned so much on this journey and I think had I did this 10,15 years ago, I wouldn't be that successful but successful. But because I had my background in journalism, because I had my background in research because I had a background in marketing and sales. I have this experience and I'm able to, I took a business class, I took an accounting class. So I am rounded in this way. So I'm just really just enjoying the journey of learning of how to build this business model and branding, because I know how to brand and I'm just doing the branding. And I'm still working on it. So the wellness side. And that's another part. So I'm actually going to be going to medical school because I'm going to add that, I'm going to start working on men's health. So infertility, right, PTSD., erectile dysfunction. So I want to be that bear and beards, men's skin and wellness clinic that's going to be that hub for men, so they have a place.
Ramesh: Yeah. It looks like you are focusing on areas that are, like people don't talk about naturally, PTSD.
Rin: Exactly. Exactly. Yes.
Ramesh: So they're not comfortable bringing them out, but you are identifying those things and you're touching them. That's very good.
Rin: Yes. Because guess what, it is something that men care and want to do. But guess what? There's no one that's, I feel like if they don't, I want to make it comfortable. I'm trying to make build that comfort. And if you go and check out my social media, I'm covering certain topics. During the month of June for Father’s Day. I talked about, I touched on sensitive issues, like what does it mean to be a father. Right now I see by latest posts, did you know men get yeast infections too? So I am trying to definitely, I am toying with it that side. And touching on those nerves and I'm definitely doing that because I'm like, listen you guys need to get your checkups. You guys need to be, there's things you guys should be doing. Don't avoid the doctor. Don't wait until it's too late. So I am pulling in, not only is it skin health, but it is health, health.
Ramesh: Yeah. Yeah. So basically, you're specializing the sensitive areas kind of stuff. That's very neat Rin. And I think I like it. As we wind down the podcast and you said you learned a lot and then you couldn't have done this business before because you're well-rounded in all the areas in all these things came to a point where naturally it led you to get into the business. So what are the key learnings that you could explain to us?
Rin: Well, talk to other business owners. Number one, talk to other business owners. Make them your mentors, even if they don't know that your mentors learn, you're always going to be learning. Trial and error. Don't be scared to try something. Yes, it might not work, but that's okay. You can try. I've done some small failures, but, calculate things, calculate every move you're going to make before you make it. Think about the pros and cons because especially depending on where you're starting, I'm starting, I feel like a little later in the game, I don't really have enough room for too many big mistakes to want to start all over again. So it has to be very calculated and definitely, yeah just stay true to what it is you're trying to do. Everyone's always going to be doing the same thing and you're going to be like, dang it if I'm not doing that, I'm going to miss out because it seems like that’s what’s working, no, go left sometimes because guess what, it might seem like it's going to be slow, but you're going to see those little wins along the way. So I feel like when it comes to that and then just stay consistent and persistent, like you have to stay consistent, persistent. Cause guess what? You're building confidence, not only your own confidence, but you're building the confidence for those people watching you into you. Like that's important.
Ramesh: That's very true. That is very important. I mean, that is the purpose of this podcast as well, that, you know, people listening to us and people listening to you, you know yeah, they become confident. Okay. So Rin Gamache, she did it, she went this route and then she picked on these areas. She just being successful. So that's I think very neat Rin. And the other thing that I'm also noticing that you're not, you're educating yourself, like you said, to get in the wellness you are going to medical school, to get into the skincare you went to an aesthetician school, right? So all those things, you're investing in yourself
Rin: I am building credibility because I didn't want to just be a brand with no substance and a person who's just selling it. No. I'm passionate. I'm showing the people who I'm targeting that listen, I care. I've learned, I’ve done it and I know what I'm talking about. But yeah, I will hope to hire other people, but when I hire other people, I want to be able to know what they're doing too and be able to step in where I can when that time comes. But no, yes exactly. I'm educating myself and I want to build credibility behind the brand because a lot of other, that's what separates myself from the other brands out there. There are people with money to market and to put into it, to just go out there and they probably don't know much about skin care. They got somebody else feeding that information to them. Whereas me the brand owner, I know I did my work, my research, I did the trials and the errors. So that's what makes my brand different from the other men's skin care brands.
Ramesh: I can't agree with you more. I mean, this is phenomenal. So it's a very fascinating journey Rin. So good luck to you as you keep expanding and then so into different areas. Thank you very much for your time. It's been a good podcast.
Rin: Yes. Thanks so much, Ramesh. Thanks for reaching out to me and choosing me to go on this journey with you, I like you and your book and your podcast.
30:24Ramesh: Thank you. Thank you.