Julius Arriola AKA Julius Cvesar and Miguel Gutierrez AKA Nomad Barber, two of the creators behind STMNT, discuss the process of creating and developing a unique brand using their combined experiences across the barbering industry.
How did you begin to develop the collection?
Julius: “Sofie (Pok AKA Staygold), Nomad and myself are not typical. Not that there’s anything wrong with being typical, but that’s just not us. We’re not barbers working behind a chair, seven days a week – we’ve earned our stripes in that part of the market already. We’ve also all been shop owners, worked in education, content creation – so we put those experiences to use in the development process, and I think it translates in our products.”
Miguel: “We all have different styles, but we wanted to combine them to create one thing. It’s weird how we all had such different ideas, but once combined it was such an easy process to make it.”
You started with 14 products in the STMNT range. How did you settle on this?
Miguel: “A lot of ranges will have one or two really good products and the rest will be a bit disappointing. I never wanted to take on full ranges at the shop – it was always an odd product from here or there.
“That inspired the idea behind STMNT – we wanted a complete range of hero products which could cater to every type of clientele. They also mix well, like a cocktail, so you can create any type of style within the barber shop. We all had such different ideas, yet we were aligned by how we wanted it to look and feel – premium.”
Is there a hero product in the range?
Miguel: “Thinking about what’s popular right now, we’d have to say the Matte Based Spray, the Grooming Spray and the Spray Powder. There’s also the All-In-One Cleanser, which works as a face cleanser, body wash and hair wash as well.”
What was important to you when developing the collection?
Julius: “I always say you’ve got to ‘nitch the glitch’ – focus on being niche whilst fixing a glitch, a problem. I don’t know many brands that come out with 14 products off the bat, and whilst that could be overwhelming in some cases, because as Miguel says, our products all work together like a cocktail, they’re quite special – and at the same time solve the problem of people having to shop different brands to find products they like.”
In terms of the future of retail, do you think barbers have more to prove to their clients?
Miguel: “I think barbers need more market training and understanding. It’s something that we never really had because we don’t typically deal with sales reps. Usually, barbershops carry small ranges, and it might be from the wholesaler. Salons are usually exclusive offering one range and everything they can within that range to all their clientele. With 14 products, that all work well together, our range is an equivalent option for barbershops – and other salons, too.”
What is STMNT’s approach to versatility?
Miguel: “You don’t need the word ‘men’ on a product anymore. It’s not to say we’re representing all genders, but we’re not excluding them. I think everything should be inclusive, especially when you think back to stories of women with short hair who go to the barber shop and get told to leave.”
Julius: “I think the word barber is tossed around a lot when we’re introduced, which usually translates to, ‘This is for men’. But it’s like music: a new Jay-Z song is more likely to be played in a club, because it makes sense in that setting. But over time, it might trickle down into a café. So, whilst our products work better in a barber shop, from a business standpoint, we want to prove that they can work in spaces such as salons too and encourage them to trickle down into these settings. We wanted to genuinely, with intention, be inclusive – not just say we’re inclusive. We really stand behind the story we’re telling. It’s an authentic story. We’re not just like ‘Oh, this is for man, woman and child.’ We really think this range can work for everyone.
“We are inclusive, but sometimes that gets lost in translation, because we still say we’re exclusive, and it does have that elite feeling. We’re trying to break that barrier so we can be both; we want to offer an elite product, but for everyone. Build it and let everybody come.”