Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Uriel Smilovitz, Founder of Barber Depot, located in Las Vegas, NV, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Barber Depot is based in Las Vegas, we distribute and manufacture all major barber industry-related brands. Currently, with one location and opening a second by Q3 2023, we serve over 500 Barbershops and thousands of customers in Nevada. We At Barber Depot also serve end customers and provide services such as Clipper Repair and all Sharpening services for customers and businesses.
Tell us about yourself
In 1998, I was a young guy just out of high school, deciding what to do with my life. I knew I had a passion for history and knowledge. The kind of person who is always asking "how things work" and then designing a way to make a living out of it; I refused to get into the traditional way of living, going to college, getting married, stable job, and I think you know the rest… I moved to Israel to live in a kibbutz to find the roots of what it is to build a life from the ground up, close to ancient history, Artisan origins, etc. I mostly made my daily income from playing guitar in the streets of Jerusalem, and obviously, one of my needs was to shave. So I got my first straight razor, trying to save every penny (or shekel) I could. After slicing my face a couple of dozens of times, I finally mastered it, and I fell in love with it.
After a short time, life and my father took me back to the "real" world, and after finishing college took a job in a multinational corporation where in no time, I had great success, a great position, and life pretty much set. If it were not for meeting the love of my life, my wife, whom I have dragged all over the world chasing my dreams and supporting me in every single endeavor, I would most likely be in the corporate world. That's why in 2009, I decided to leave everything behind and dedicate my life and soul to what I love. I worked as a watchmaker and started formulating cosmetic products in my free time till our company started picking up and moved entirely to our current business. I think that at the end of the day, it will always be really hard to "make it" in life; better do it on something you love.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I have created several brands now recognized worldwide and owned the largest men's grooming company in Latin America with over 1000 POs and 20 owned locations.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
In 2016 After several life-threatening experiences, we knew we had to leave, and after being blessed with my beautiful son, we left everything behind and moved to the States. So here we were in 2018, and back to basics. We managed to save some money to open our barber supplies store in Las Vegas and again follow our dreams.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Don't try to be good at what you know you are not; always aim to be the best at what you are good at.
- A business is made to sell what people buy, not what you like.
- Keep your employees, long term associates are the base for growth.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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