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Daily Inspiration: Meet Chris Grimm

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chris Grimm.

Hi Chris, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Black Friday of 2018. I bought some junk beard balm at Walgreens as I was out of town and left mine at home. It was so terrible that I determined right then that I would make my own. So that weekend I did,
I brought it to work, and showed a couple of friends. They were interested in buying some if I made more. I made some more and brought it to work. Other than a couple of friends nobody else seemed too interested.
I decided it was time to come up with the name. I spent a couple of years in Germany so I knew I wanted something German. Kühn is German, it means bold, brave, audacious, courageous. It was perfect.
As good as the name was, there was nothing exciting or new about my beard balm and label. How could I differentiate myself among the hundreds of smaller beard companies trying to do the same thing. I came up with the idea of a wooden label and burning my name into it. Once I did that, they were all purchased rather quickly from other guys at work. That’s when I knew I was onto something.

I upgraded to an actual brand that I could heat up and burn multiple labels at once. Then I was off and running.

I then spent the next few months of late nights learning how to make a pomade. Once I learned how to combine oil/wax and water, I realized I could make just about anything I wanted.

That was the summer of 2019. Now I ship all over the country and a few different parts of the world and you can find kühn products in multiple barbershops.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Actually, it’s been fairly smooth. I mean there are always bumps and growing pains, but the struggles have been minimal. I think anyway. People were drawn to the brand early on, I knew it was a matter of getting the name and product out there. Ha, I know, not a unique challenge by any stretch. I knew it would be successful, I’d just have to stick with it. I guess the few struggles or challenges on the way have been mostly related to growth and scaling production. I think those are good problems to have though.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I work from home full-time for Supplemental Health Care. We’re a staffing agency for travel nurses. I work directly with the hospitals in need of nurses. It’s a very fulfilling job. We provide a service that directly impacts patients at all levels of care. I like having a career that provides a service that literally saves lives. Even here though, where most of my co-workers are in Buffalo, New York, I’m known as the beard buy with the beard products.

I think what sets me apart is my drive and determination. What I mean is, for the first year at least, I was never in bed before 1am. I was busy doing something for kühn products. Whether that was the website, or learning about new products, or taking pictures, I was always up late working on getting this off the ground. I believe that most people who start something like this don’t realize how much time and effort goes into it. That’s why most beard product start-ups fail. It’s not easy. It takes an incredible amount of time and drive to keep it going when it seems never-ending. It also takes a supportive spouse. Take away either of those two and it’s destined to fail.

Can you talk to us about how you think about risk?
I am definitely a risk taker. I guess I should say, I’m a calculated risk taker, but a risk taker nonetheless. To be successful, you have to be willing to take risks. If you’re an entrepreneur, that’s a risk by itself so I think that in and of itself says a lot about a person and their willingness to take a risk. That initial jump to starting a business is the scariest. Nobody likes to fail or hear criticism for the first time, constructive or not, Risk is important to the growth of the company, as long as you understand and can accept the result. I would never risk my financial well-being, but I would risk part of it. I take risks all the time with new products or new marketing ideas, even a new logo. I like taking risks, you never know the outcome, and what if you’re right? It’s exciting.

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