“What really separates us out is our president discovered his passion for hair when he was 12 years old and he is still here with us. Many other companies become investments for the buyer and lose who they are but we eat, breathe and live what we do. And we’re not willing to be number two.”—Socrates Real
When asked to describe Johnny B. Hair Care, Brand Project Manager Socrates Real shares an analogy used by Founder and President, Alfonso “Al” Anorga: “Al has compared the brand to a Mini-Cooper; it’s small but it’s impactful and powerful when it needs to be. It’s cool, classic but with a modern twist. We aren’t inspired by a fad or a trend to develop our products. We developed essential, timeless products that will sell for years to come and that perform for the salon professional or barber but they are also great for the consumer.”
Established in 1994, Anorga launched Johnny B. with his Original Pomade and today the brand offers a full complement of men’s grooming products including beard and shave, as well as accessories and even a masterfully crafted barber chair. The esthetic is street-wise and barber shop proud.
While mentioning that everyone at Johnny B. wears several hats, Socrates directs the education team. In the seven years since he joined the company, he has seen tremendous growth and expansion, especially in respect to education. The demand from salon professionals and barbers to connect with the brand necessitated the development of a network of Johnny B. Ambassadors across the country.
“I had a barber in Lubbock, TX contact us and I said, come to our facility and I will train you for a day or two. It started with that one barber. Now we have the Barber Academy where we host 12 attendees twice a year and it is our formula for creating educators.”
Educators begin as Ambassadors, and their duties include visiting beauty and barber schools, making sales calls with distributor partners and being at the Johnny B. booth during industry trade shows. With enough experience and training behind them, they have the opportunity to join the elite team of Johnny B. educators.
A Johnny B. educator must have, first and foremost, a passion for their work. “I know that can sound corny but the life of an educator is not always the most lucrative so you need to want this because you are passionate about your craft and about teaching others,” Real says. The other qualities he seeks out: personality, dedication and loyalty. “We get it, there are so many brands out there that are trying to copy one another and there are a lot of choices and options. But if you are looking for the best performing gel, we make it. If you are looking for a family and a team to grow with, we offer it.”
Johnny B. education focuses on clipper cutting because, like the products, it is a timeless skill and service. “We encourage salons to work on building their men’s business because men return, every work or two, and they are loyal clients. Many stylists want to learn how to cross over and even go back to barbering school and we facilitate that by providing the education that inspires them to go back for their licensing. So many are on commission or renting and creating that strong male clientele is ensuring you have a check coming to you every month.”
Coming up in 2016, salon professionals, barbers and fans of the brand can attend a Johnny B. Grand Prix to connect with the brand and its people. “So many people want to meet Al, to visit Los Angeles, so Grand Prix will be similar to our existing Barber Academy but it will be more fun. In addition to a Master Class, we’re even including a one-day pass to Disneyland in the ticket.” This behind-the-scenes immersion is limited to 10 fans. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org and B. quick about it.
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