Craig was an Awesome Acorn on the 6th Acorn Enterprise Business Accelerator Programme in Fife.
Founder of Bearded Basturds, Craig has gone from running his business at home to exporting to over 13 countries. He has signed multiple deals with salons to produce white-labelled products that avoid using harsh chemicals and alcohol. Craig has recently opened Bearded Basturds Barbers in Dunfermline with a second shop being planned, in just over a year, since launching the business!
Read on to find out more about his business, advice for other new businesses and how he benefited from the Programme.
Why did you apply for the Acorn Enterprise Business Accelerator Programme?
I was fed up working for shitty companies and shitty bosses for shitty pay. I knew I had to break away from the rat race to provide my Son, Jaxon, with the future he deserves.
As a business owner, how would you describe yourself in three words?
Hairy. Determined and Ambitious.
What or who motivated you to form your business?
My gorgeous baby boy, Jaxon.
How would you describe your business in three words?
Hairy. Exciting. Brave.
What was the best bit of advice your received on the Business Accelerator Programme?
To never listen to friends, family and everyone who isn’t in your position. If you believe in something, just go for it.
How has your business grown since being on the Programme?
It’s been fantastic. I joined the Programme in a dead-end job, skint and struggling to pay my bills.
Now I have a full-time workshop, a barbershop franchise, with more shops planned for, customers from all over the world and retailers selling my stock in Germany.
Plus white labelling contracts in London and Scotland so to say it’s helped me is the understatement of the year.
What are you most proud of about your business?
How far we have come in a short space of time. It has also been done without grants, loans, bank funding, credits cards or other borrowings.
From the very first customer order we have recycled all monies into growing it organically.
What are the three most important things you would tell an aspiring business “Acorn”?
- Never give up.
- Never give up
- And never ever give up!
If you started over, what one thing would you do differently?
I’d learn to be more ruthless. In business, being too trustworthy and nice is not ideal, people take the piss out of you. I’d come back more assertive that’s for sure.
Who’s the most famous or interesting character you’ve met whilst running your business?
I’d say the Kilted Coaches, they are rising You Tube stars, popular all over the world. I’ve had the pleasure of Stephen in my workshop, both him and Rab came to help us open the barbershop and now we’re in talks with them to produce and make their bespoke branded beard care products for them to sell to their adoring fans.
How do you unwind?
I like to go running. There is an amazing little Loch just down from where I stay that I like to run around and clear my head.
What book would you recommend that every entrepreneur read?
Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.
How would you describe Acorn Enterprise?
The best thing you’ll ever apply for!