A story about Artisan Luxury Brands
A story about Artisan Luxury Brands As-told-to Beatriz da Costa When the clock struck midnight on January 1, 2020, it was never in my mind to establish a parent company. At this time I was already the owner of two successful barber shops in New York City, Artisan Barber and Orchard & Ludlow, and had my hands full with the two of them. However, as the world saw happen just two months later, Covid-19 upended life as we know it.
In this period of struggle and uncertainty, I found myself turning to the Bible as I often do, due to being raised by a religious mother, and found a few verses that resonated with me. Matthew 25 14-18 and Matthew 25 28-29, forced me to remain solid despite the legally mandated shutdown and pushed me to expand my growing empire.
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them,” verse 14 starts. “And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey.”
“Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money.” There are lessons in each of these verses, but the following verses 28-29 is what spawned the creation of Artisan Luxury Brands.
“So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.”
At the start of the pandemic and throughout it, I felt that every business owner was given a choice. Either we shut down and bury our talent, remain active and try to double our growth, or ride out the pandemic and see what happens. I chose to remain active and in that I mean that I took a look at the resources I already had at my disposal. That includes the connections and relationships I’ve made since my time at L’Oreal as a master barber which includes the CEOS and executives of various industries as well as creatives.
That in hand with different types of content I had, let me know that I had enough to double all the resources I had and see success. With this intellect and the skills I gained from my Goldman Sachs 10KSB program, I was able to grow another brand from Artisan Barber which became Orchard & Ludlow and I quickly acquired a European men’s grooming brand, Duke & Hyde.
All three of these brands both new and old fall under my parent company, with the final additions of my media agency in these past few months, Artisan Media Group and The Grooming Alchemist, a men’s lifestyle hub. With my agency, I continued to surround myself with creative professionals to help me fulfill any and all media obligations, including our in-house projects. The Grooming Alchemist not only serves as a place for men’s lifestyle and career advice, but also a platform for consulting and the sale of digital products.
The creation of Artisan Luxury Brands and the new brands that came with it this year is my way of taking what I already had and creating more with it. I’ve had more responsibility this year than I’ve had in the past but I’ve seen more opportunity with it as well. I’ve been placed in positions that benefit me and my company, from networking opportunities to photoshoots and more. I see that this is the universe’s way of rewarding me and letting me know it’s pleased with how I navigated the pandemic. My parent company came to fruition in one of the worst times in modern human history and I am seeing the fruits of my labor.