It doesn't take long for the server at Santa Monica's Library Ale House to notice Dollar Beard Club CEO Chris Stoikos sitting on a barstool. Stoikos — sporting a beard that reaches down below his neck — is intent, showing me a rough cut of the video above, which his company will use to announce its entry to the Canadian market, happening today.
"Are you the Dollar Beard Club guy?" the server asks.
Of course he is. But Stoikos confirms anyway.
The server replies with effusive thanks. Her boyfriend recently shaved, she tells Stoikos, and she is upset. Dollar Beard Club's initial launch video provided some reassurance that her protests against the move were not misguided, she says, even though she lost the battle.
Since the release of that first video on June 23, Dollar Beard Club, which sells beard oil and some other male grooming products, has gained over 15,000 subscribers, according to Stoikos. Those subscribers are paying an average of $20 a month for the periodic product delivery, he says, something Dollar Beard Club has modeled after Dollar Shave Club.
There's not much of a relationship between the two clubs, Stoikos explains. "We're taking the guys with beards, they're taking the guys with razors," he says. Though they don't overlap, it seems possible Dollar Shave Club has inspired a new "Dollar X Club" business type similar to the "box of X" companies inspired by Birchbox.
Dollar Shave Club declined to comment.
Dollar Beard Club will soon expand its line of products to include beard wipes and a money clip. Also in the works, says Stoikos, "manly flavored toothpaste and body wash for your chest beard, your leg beard, [and] your head beard."
"Is that a real lion in the video?" I ask.
Indeed it is. "The lion's name is Felix," Stoikos says. "He is a very badass lion. You can't get too close to him."
A photo of Felix, Stoikos and the widely followed Dan Bilzerian recently showed up on Bilzerian's Instagram feed, which has over 11 million followers. The bearded Bilzerian, as it turns out, is adviser to Dollar Beard Club and is planning to throw a party with it in Los Angeles next month. "There will be beard police," Stoikos says. "In order to get into the party your beard will have to be at least a half inch long."