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Meet the Maker: Brothers Artisan Oil

In our Meet the Maker series, you hear from our Makers on their journeys as entrepreneurs and how you, The Grommet Community, have changed their businesses for the better.

The Shea boys from Boston are mixing up small batch body care, like all-natural beard oil, that’s Made in the USA. Brothers Artisan Oil started in the basement soon grew into a production facility, still in Boston. We recently caught back up with then to learn more about this family business and see what it looks like behind the scenes.

What advice would you give yourself 5 years ago?
We'd tell ourselves to get a real production space right away. We started the company without investors or loans, using only our own savings, and didn't want to shell out for rent. That was a big mistake. We got an order for 5000 units within two weeks of starting the company and basically converted our entire house into a production space, which was especially disruptive because we had a newborn baby. All's well that ends well, though!

What 5 personality traits do think have helped you become successful entrepreneurs?
Baxter is Hugh Honey, Owen is Vick Vinegar, Marie likes science. It works.


What lessons have you learned over the years that might help other entrepreneurs who are just starting out?
We've learned to trust in ourselves and our company, and make big equipment investments before we're in over our heads. If you doubt yourself and avoid spending big bucks on the tools you need to succeed...you won't succeed.


What has surprised you most about starting a business?
Honestly, the most surprising part of this whole adventure is how big it's gotten without any marketing. We've never paid for publicity, and yet we've been lucky enough to be featured in big publications like Vogue and Men's Health. None of us realized how much notice a company can get from just having a good product.


What has been the most rewarding part of business for you?
It's a cliche, but it's so rewarding to make a product that makes someone happy. We love getting emails from people saying they're growing an itch-free beard for the first time, or that their skin is finally clear.


What is the best or most challenging part of working with family?
The best part is that we can be totally unprofessional when we need to be, and we get the job done faster. It's kind of nice to just all be able to yell at each other, figure out what's going wrong, and move on, knowing we all really do love each other. The most challenging part of working with family is that you never truly leave work--there's always something left to discuss, and it usually comes up about 5 minutes before we hit the sack. Fun!

What's in store for your business?
We have a lot of products in development that we can't wait to launch!

Answers by Marie Shea

Learn more about Brothers Artisan Oil by watching our video, here.

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