King Brown is a true Aussie brand that has done a phenomenal job in penetrating local and international markets. Creative, and inspiring barber specific products have helped them achieve great heights and recognition. This is an Australian brand that we should all be proud of.
Daen the owner of the brand gives us insight into the highly successful North American tour that recently took place where the reach of the brand and its presence continues to grow.
Back in early January ’22 we received a call from Mike the GM of our USA/Canada distribution. ‘Hey guys, Barbercon is on in NYC in July, are you interested in coming over?’. After 2 years locked down on our beloved island home we immediately agreed even though international flights in and out of AUS had only just resumed and we were still living under a cloud of restrictions.
Quickly plans evolved to include not only Barbercon but also a number of ‘look & learn’ sessions spearheaded by our lead ambassador from the UK, Jen Winters. NYC, New Jersey, Seattle, WA, Austin, TX, Miami, FL and finally Mexico were added to an itinerary which also had us enduring 9 flights and what would be countless hours in transit. Living the traveling dream. Ha
Barbercon NYC as expected was a heaving event and bursting at the seams with plenty of beats, hype men on mic’s and a broad mix of top US and International barbers and brands. Our booth was flat out from the moment doors opened with Jen showcasing a number of cuts and much to the crowd’s surprise our booth featured live snakes, an activation we had done a few times in Australia prior but definitely not a common site for the standard US barber show.
The day after we made our way south to Asbury Park, NJ for an educational session at Swagger & Blade then straight to the airport for our flight back across the country to the Emerald City, Seattle, WA. If you haven’t been I’d highly recommend it, the rolling hills, greenery and slower pace are a vast contrast from the hustle of places such as NYC. We toured the town checking out the sites and stockists before hosting 2 more educational events at Dexter Ave Barbers and Seawolf Barbershop.
Then onto Austin ,TX. Our time at each location was short so we were running on minimal sleep and a constant intake of coffee to ensure we made the most out of everyday, we can sleep when we get home. We managed to slip in a group trip to the iconic Rock of Ages Tattoo, a dip at Barton Springs and a feast at Brown’s BBQ in between visiting KB stockists such as Skinny’s Barbershop. A trip to Austin is not complete without a night or 2 out sampling the thriving music scene, it’s amazing the options on hand any night of the week!
Our timing of being in the US meant that we were able to accept an invitation from our Mexican distributor to have Jen present at an event in Merida, MX alongside one of Latin America’s top barbers Erick Gomez. Two flights later we arrived in Merida, MX greeted by 2 guys in KB shirts with big beaming smiles ‘Welcome to Mexico’! After a quick check-in to the hotel we headed straight to the venue to set up for the next day’s showcase which was set for 70+ attendees and over 6 hours of tutorial and product education. As a first timer to Latin America I was honestly blown away by the talent, enthusiasm and work ethic of everyone that attended the event, it was a long but extremely successful day rounded out with a feast of authentic local cuisine, cervezas and group sing alongs. Hilarious when you are not skilled in Spanish.
Thankfully after the hectic schedule of the previous 10 days the last couple of the trip were dedicated purely to RNR so we got to enjoy a day of tourism, tacos and tequila in Merida, I also got the opportunity to have my wig chopped at Rebels 108 Barbershop before flying out to Miami, FL and start the long trek home to Australia.
A huge thanks to all those who dropped by the booth, the shops who hosted and individuals that attended. Massive thanks also to KB USA, KB Mexico and Jen Winters for helping bring a successful tour together, lets not wait 2 years for the next!