Brian “Gibs” Long, CEO and Founder of GIBS Grooming, is truly an entrepreneur’s entrepreneur. When attempting to secure a loan for his first business, “I got 10 nos before I got a yes,” he remembers. “That’s the difference between a normal person and an entrepreneur.” From selling veggie burritos at Grateful Dead shows to creating a bagel store chain, to forging an entirely new grooming category, he’s been able to achieve success across a variety of industries thanks to one key difference: A win-win attitude. That in turn, has attracted him the right talent and key contacts. “The bagel was more than a round piece of bread,” he says of his former bagel store chain. “It was a cultural brand. It was a movement that the town rallied around.” And just like the bagels, Gibs has made GIBs grooming about more than a bottle of beard oil. Turns out what can truly change the trajectory of your business can be something that can’t be quantified on paper.
|Announcer||Welcome to WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY™ hosted by Jodi Katz, Founder and Creative Director of Base Beauty Creative Agency.|
|Jodi Katz||Hey everybody, welcome back to the show. I am super excited to be sitting with Brian Giblong, CEO of GIBS Grooming. Welcome to WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY™.|
|Gib Long||Well, it's great to be here. I was great to meet you about, what was it, six months ago?|
|Jodi Katz||Yep. We saw each other in Las Vegas at CosmoProf.|
|Gib Long||Yep, and now I'm in New York City having an interview that should be pretty cool and a lot of fun. So I'm excited.|
|Jodi Katz||I want to give our listeners some background. So number one, I did air quotes, which no one can see because this is audio, but Gibs is your nickname, but it's the name you go by, right?|
|Jodi Katz||Nobody calls you Brian. If someone yelled Brian on the street, would you turn around?|
|Gib Long||I'd think it was the police or something. I would think I was in trouble, but yes, I'd probably turn around.|
|Jodi Katz||All right. So I first learned of GIBS because my friend Elizabeth handles your social media. I met her many years ago and you were one of her clients. She was just so amazed by the traction that your brand was getting on social, like people are just eating it up and wanting to be a part of the community. And the community was easy to grow, right?|
|Jodi Katz||So I've been watching you for a long time and it's super exciting to sit with you here so we can talk about the journey that you've had. So let's start with something simple. How will you be spending your day today?|
|Gib Long||Well, like I shared with you before we were on the radio, I got in really late last night. There's a lot of moving parts with the brand and now we're blending into Thanksgiving. And so between getting work done, seeing the city, which New York is my hometown, so it's always nostalgic to be here. So doing some of that, seeing some of my friends, and getting ready to lock and load for family. So it's an eclectic visit, but full of high energy. I'm excited.|
|Jodi Katz||How long are you in town for?|
|Gib Long||Well, I'm actually on the east coast for a week now right through Thanksgiving because that's traditional, Thanksgiving with the family. But I'll be in New York City for three days.|
|Jodi Katz||So let's talk about nicknames for us because [inaudible 00:02:15] So tell me about how you acquired the nickname Gib.|
|Gib Long||Well, it's not an in depth story. It's just my brother doled them out as we, again, spoke earlier, that he would just give people nicknames whether it be the rest of the family or friends, and they stuck. And they usually stuck because you didn't like them. So I didn't like the name Gib and I didn't like it for most of my childhood. Then it started to work for me, and then it felt comfortable, and it became wherever I did an entrepreneurial venture, I just threw the name Gib on it because it's simple. It has a ring.
And this last, this company I'm in now, the beauty company, GIBS Grooming, I did not want to call it Gib. I wanted to call it a T Vaught, which is my best friend, a 50-year-old man, but I have a best friend, because he was the inspiration for the brand. He actually lived here in Manhattan and my mentor said, "No, we're going to call it GIBS, but this is not about your ego. This is about an acronym, G-I-B-S, Guys Into Beard Stuff. So that resonated. I was like, okay, I could go with that now. Now it's not about me and I didn't exclude my friend, Tom. It's about an acronym, but I'm still Gib of GIBS Grooming.
|Jodi Katz||Okay. So I want to take this nickname conversation further. All of your siblings have nicknames.|
|Jodi Katz||Tell us what those are.|
|Gib Long||Well, you have my oldest brother and he's Porky.|
|Jodi Katz||And he's the one who was naming everybody? He gave himself that name.|
|Gib Long||No, we had to throw it back on him because he's a chunky fella. He's going to listen to this. We did call him, full nickname was Pork Fat, but we call him Porky for short. And he didn't like that. Good for him. And then my older sister, she's just Sissy. And then the baby sister is Baby Wheeze, Wheezy, Wheezer, all derivatives. I think from The Little Rascals, remember?|
|Gib Long||As older siblings, we always took care of Wheezer and that was part of the thing. So those are the four nicknames for the four kids in the family, the long family.|
|Jodi Katz||And your parents call you by these names?|
|Gib Long||Yeah. No, Pork Fat, Porky doesn't get Porky. My parents still call him Charlie.|
|Jodi Katz||Do Wheezy's friends call her Wheezy?|
|Gib Long||The ones in the neighborhood that grew up, like her college friends don't, but the neighborhood and all grammar school, high school, the group. Yeah, she's Wheezy.|
|Jodi Katz||I love it. I think one of the things that I have latched onto this and it makes me giggle so much is the fact that a lot of things don't live on, like these ideas and notions that they are there for elementary school and they fade away. And the fact that after all these years, your family and your friends still ... I guess the friends have their nicknames too, but your own nicknames, and that it lasts. I don't know. I think it's really romantic. There's something really incredible about it.|
|Gib Long||It is. And I was just romanticizing with my friends. There's about 15 of us that have all known each other since fourth grade and we still are tight. We see each other every year. That's 40 years strong and that's so unique and so many other groups have, because I moved to Colorado, you meet other people, and then they meet our group of friends and they have the reaction you're having about nicknames. They're just like, that is such a unique, romantic, beautiful thing. You should cherish it. And we do, we really do. It's incredible that we have that.|
|Jodi Katz||Yeah. It's unusual and super special, so thank you for sharing that. I'm giggling because it's like a movie. There's something there.|
|Jodi Katz||Okay. So let's move on to life as an entrepreneur. So it sounds like your life as an entrepreneur started when you were a Deadhead selling tee shirts.|
|Gib Long||Yep, and everything else, veggie sandwiches, bagels, waters, beers. I sold everything. I worked the park. I call it working the lot and hustling the lot.|
|Jodi Katz||How old were you when this started?|
|Gib Long||I was 17, but before that I still, I can keep tapping. I was always trying to do things to make money, but it wasn't about the money as it was the journey. It's all hindsight at the time, whether it even be a Kool-Aid stand. So yeah, but I really turned it up on the Grateful Dead parking lot.|
|Jodi Katz||So you were not the only person selling tee shirts and bagels, right?|
|Gib Long||No, no, yeah.|
|Jodi Katz||Did you seek out a competitive advantage? Were you thinking about how to build that business or was it just about survival? Like, let me scrape up enough cash so I can continue on to the next stop.|
|Gib Long||It was about continuing to the next stop, but the competition is fierce. Have you ever been to a Grateful Dead concert?|
|Gib Long||Okay. You should experience it even though they are not the original band just to feel and see what we're discussing now, which is the culture of the Deadhead. It's a full traveling carnival and it's a fair. It's a farmers market of trinkets and crystals and tie dyes and necklace and jewelry and food, and you do seek a competitive advantage over your friends. That's what my fellow Deadheads were, by theatrical, like whether you're dancing with your sign that says, "Come get a veggie burrito," or whether you make a cool sign that's artistic, or any way that someone's going to buy that burrito on the right side of the parking lot versus the left side of the parking lot.
But yes, and again, subconsciously I was running a business. I had my friends that also needed to make money but didn't have the drive to fill the coolers, get the ice, make the signs. I'd do it all and then I'd delegate responsibility to them and we'd share the money, which in turn, they were my employees. Again, not at the time seeing it that way, just seeing if I don't do it, nobody's going to do it. So I'd better do it.
|Jodi Katz||And how many years did that go on for?|
|Gib Long||I did that strong until I was 22.|
|Jodi Katz||Wow. That's many years.|
|Gib Long||Yeah, and then things happened and I decided that it wasn't a good thing for me anymore in the sense of doing it. I wear myself on my sleeve. I had a drug and alcohol addiction, which I arrested at age 22, and became clean and sober, and went that route for the rest of my life. Still going to Grateful Dead, still working the parking lots, but not as intensely, not living on the road. I started to realize it still is my core and heart, but some of the things that I was doing that you find there were not good for me.|
|Jodi Katz||So was there a bottom, like you need to wake up from this?|
|Gib Long||Yeah, there was a bottom.|
|Jodi Katz||Are you going to share that with us?|
|Gib Long||Like I said, I wear it on my sleeve. It's part of my story. I know I didn't talk to you about that and then here we go. But no, I ran into trouble with, like I said, the drug addiction and the byproduct of that was the police which ended up in a situation where I was looking at a lot of trouble. And I had an epiphany in the orange suit and the blue slippers that said you're not normal. You have too much to offer. Stop it. It was that clean. And from that day forward, I never did anything. It took work. I went into AA and I went to rehab.
Even that, like anything, I threw myself into it. When I went into the rehab, I had already been clean 30 days, but I felt like I was going to use again. So I got into the rehab and then I was there and I was like, why am I here? Everybody here just is getting clean. I'm ahead of them, but I stayed humble and by the fifth, sixth day I was all in, and by the end I was voted leader the community, because they vote every week for who's going to lead the meetings. And again, I was a 22-year-old kid amongst people as old as 65, 70.
And it was cool and it was a natural leadership that's in me that enjoys getting a group together for success, whether it's on a Grateful Dead parking lot or in a rehabilitation center. I felt like I was almost like a Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
|Jodi Katz||Well, congratulations on your sobriety and for finding it so early in your life because like you said, you were surrounded by people in their sixties. Right?|
|Jodi Katz||Who just suffered for so long.|
|Gib Long||Yeah, and part of those ... I still did everything. All my friends still party and I throw parties and I just have enough fun being clean. Yeah.|
|Jodi Katz||I'm always the sober person in the room and have been for many years. It's a very interesting point of view.|
|Gib Long||Yeah, it is. It can be ... I always make sure I have my exit. And when it turns the corner, I'm known for the Irish exit, and I don't say goodbye and I leave.|
|Jodi Katz||It's actually something because I haven't drank for many years and I've noticed that as I grow my business, it sort of is a little bit of an obstacle because I'm at events and conventions and things like that, and I see these relationships being made not at the bar at 7:00. I can sit there with my seltzer, but at like midnight, 1:00 in the morning when people are falling off their stools, that's when they're making these like deeper relationships or they think they are. I'm not doing that. I'm not playing golf. So I have to work harder and in different ways to find quiet time with people.|
|Gib Long||I know exactly what you mean, but I have a motto that I hear that nothing really true or good comes from a business after 10:00 at night. I've now moved that down to nine, sometimes eight. But you are in the beauty industry, it's fun. There's parties, after parties, all these things that go on. But I've just learned that, get done what you got to get done, enjoy when it's enjoyment time. And when it's time to Irish exit, get your rest because the next day is a biggie.|
|Jodi Katz||I'm a very great breakfast date, coffee meet up, lunch meeting, but for a host of reasons, I want to go home at night. I want to hang up my kids. I want to put them to bed. And as my fans know, watch The Real Housewives on Bravo. This is fun for me. This feels like a really complete exciting day. So I just have to work harder and in different ways to get these moments with people, moments that I want that I think are valuable, not-|
|Gib Long||[crosstalk 00:13:46] benefit of a business partner, who by no means has a drinking problem, but he's the Yin to my Yang. He can go the distance and he is able to carry the torch, whether it be with the president of CosmoProf or whoever, to be able to socialize. And we know our routine and things like, he'll just look to me and say, "You going to Irish?" I'll be like, "Yeah." He's like, "I got this," and then he goes the distance. Big Smooth and I are like peas and carrots.|
|Jodi Katz||So we're gonna get to Big Smooth, but first I think we need to go to bagels and hair feathers.|
|Jodi Katz||So I wrote that you're the Bagel King of Colorado. Did I make that up?|
|Gib Long||No. People have said that. I baked bagels here in New York. I think I told you that, and White Plains.|
|Jodi Katz||As a teenager.|
|Gib Long||Uh huh, and it was called Bagel Boy. It was authentic Jewish bagel shop. And his family also was in bagels. And I had learned how to do that, not thinking I'd want to own my own someday. And when I went west in my Grateful Dead pilgrimage style, because I'd stopped going to band, but I still had walking shoes. I love road tripping and I went to Colorado. I was there to snowboard for a couple of months and there was no bagel shops. There's a ton of us New Yorkers transplanted out there. Now, this is 20 plus years ago, and my entrepreneurial bell goes off. There's a need, fill it. You'll kill it.
And I did the venture, which wasn't easy to get started. It was the first legitimate business I've ever owned, meaning it had a tax ID number, and I opened Gib's Bagels after two years from the idea. And that was a whole journey in itself to get that open and learning podcasts, I mean SBA loans. I was trying to get an SBA loan, trying to get management experience, trying to get education, all the things the bank wanted to see for my loan.
And I got it all, and I was able to close it. 10 nos, on the 11th bank I got a yes. That's the difference between a normal person and an entrepreneur. And I call it the Deadhead Philosophy. You don't have a ticket to a sold out show? Guess what? You're still going in. You're going to figure out a way to get into that show, and you do if you're a real head.
So at the end of the day, I got Gib's Bagels open. It was extremely successful. From the day it started, there was a line down the block and I was 26 or 25. I was right on the cusp of that. And I took care of my family that way. In that process of trying to open the bagel store, I got married, had a kid. Life was happening really fast and the reality at that moment, I was a Domino's Pizza driver with an idea to open a bagel store, which doesn't look good on paper to family when you have a baby and a wife and you're a pizza delivery man. And they're like, "What else are you going to do? Because you can't take care of your family like that."
And I'm doing a Bagel store. And I got it open and it was good. I ran it for 15 years. It grew in a lot of different directions. There were tributaries to it in that process. I did other companies. I opened a juice bar, Gib's Pacific Juice. I dabbled in other things. I had Gib's Italian Ice, which we'd go to biker rallies and music festivals and set up an Italian ice, just always on the hustle. And again, it wasn't so much about the money as putting the idea to reality and watching it grow. But when I did get burnt out on food, and anybody in the food industry knows that that day comes.
|Jodi Katz||Because of the hours?|
|Gib Long||The hours, the employees. In the beginning when I was 26, 25, the employees were my age. They were my friends. When I tell you they were ... They lived in my house, literally. I'd come home, there'd be three of them there. One of them is cooking, one's taking care of the baby. We had a family. It was a cultural brand, just like GIBS Grooming. Gib's bagels, I think I told you, was not about a round piece of bread. It was a movement in the town of Fort Collins that everybody rallied around and supported it.
And it wasn't just the sandwich, it was what we brought to the town. I do live by the motto which I got from recovery, that you can't keep it unless you give it away. So you can't be sober and keep the sobriety unless you help other people achieve sobriety. And that's your obligation. And the same thing in the company, the town of Fort Collins supported me and I gave back to the town, whether it be jobs, whether it be donating high schools, to the college, helping with the handicap community, giving them jobs.
It all came naturally. It wasn't part of like a written business plan and I made a ton of mistakes. And I didn't make as much money because I was sloppy because I like to have fun. So I always threw parties. I told you I'd always throw parties for my staff. We did fun things and didn't make as much money and I think if I ran it better as, I now own a Dunkin Donuts. Did I tell you that?
|Jodi Katz||Yeah, you mentioned that.|
|Gib Long||So if I ran it like a Dunkin, I probably could've made twice as much money, but I didn't. But no regrets. One of the Gib's mottos, no apologies, no regrets. That's what built GIBS Grooming, I mean Gib's Bagels. And so I sold it to ... I put it up for sale and the guy appeared out of nowhere. That's my current business partner, who was named Mike Howland. We call him Big Smooth and he bought the store within a week. We didn't negotiate, we just talked. He dug what I had.
He was an IT man and he was miserable. He was an entrepreneur trapped in a desk job and we hit it off. I like to fish, I like to hunt, I like the outdoors, and he did. And we talked about hunting and fishing and hanging out. And I worked for him for awhile. We got to know each other. We were constantly not getting much paperwork done because we were always talking about what other ideas we could do. And then we ended up in the feathers, which one of the girls at the bagel store was wearing a feather that her father, one of our fishing colleagues, put in her hair.
It was very attractive. It looked cool. We used them for making flies for fly fishing and she just put it in their hair and then she actually dyed a couple of them. And people made comments and I kept encouraging her as she was installing them for $10 a piece, and they cost three cents a piece, that she should start a business. And she did not want to do that. So I told her I was going to. She was in school to be a school teacher. And me and Smooth pooled our money and went out and bought every feather out there for the fly fishing, this specific breed of feather. And we started a company called hairfeathers.com.
And not being from the beauty industry and being a hippie, like again, I shared with you, I didn't know what avenue to sell it in. If it was in sporting goods, I could have, if it was in outdoor gear, I could have, if it was in music I could have, but beauty was not my thing. So I Googled "hair show" and right here in New York, coincidentally a month after we started the company, was the International Beauty Show at the Javits Center.
And we came in and we opened, we blew the doors open there and walked in without any props. I'm looking where we're interviewing. It kind of looked like this. And we just had a table. We had no hairstylists with us to do the install of the feathers. You got two goons, me and Smooth, like big and he looks like Bluto from Popeye, big black beard, tough. We're the last thing that a girl wants to have touching their hair that's a stranger. So we met a couple stylists in La Guardia who were flying in just for the show. I texted them and I'm like, "Are you guys at the show? Do you want to work?"
And they came and they worked all weekend with us. We became friends with them. The booth blew up. Everybody, we were the talk of the show, and we launched the trend of seven years ago were everybody worldwide was wearing feathers in their hair. And we sold $3 million in feathers in a few months and it was awesome.
|Jodi Katz||In a few months.|
|Gib Long||Few months. Our website was blowing up. We'd sit there in Fort Collins and we'd hold our cell phone up watching our thing and it'd be like 30,000, 35,000 a day in sales.|
|Jodi Katz||How much was a feather being sold for?|
|Gib Long||We first started selling them for 50 cents apiece, then they went to a dollar. And as the demand was growing, went to $1.50. No matter what we charged for them, people paid for them. People were fighting over them. There's so many weird stories that had to do with these feathers because everybody wanted them.|
|Jodi Katz||So these were like they had a little bead on it and maybe like a little braided rope too?|
|Gib Long||No, they were like a hair extension. They're just like this thin piece of hair with the little stripes on them.|
|Gib Long||Those were called barring and then they were bred so that when a trout hit them on the fly, that they wouldn't fall apart. But when you put them in hair, they still wouldn't fall apart. You could wear them for a month as a hair extension and they would hold their integrity. You could blow dry them, curl them, and everything. And so they just became a thing, especially when Steven Tyler wore them on, what was it? American Idol. So it became a trend. But when they were all gone, they were literally all gone.|
|Jodi Katz||Because feathers come from birds.|
|Gib Long||They do.|
|Jodi Katz||Birds grow feathers.|
|Gib Long||And it takes a year to grow a 12-inch feather, a very specific feather. And so we did hatch a bunch of birds, 20,000.|
|Jodi Katz||You owned your own birds?|
|Gib Long||No, I got the farmers together because there was only three farms in the country. These aren't farmers, they were genetic doctors. They have doctorates from very credible schools and they bred these genetically, for fishing. And I could get into the science of it because I learned a ton. It was totally interesting. Anyway, I got them together and we hatched and we funded all these roosters. And when they were done growing and we were ready to relaunch, nobody wanted feathers.
It's humbling. That's being an entrepreneur.
|Jodi Katz||Did you lose a lot of money at that stage?|
|Gib Long||Well, it's all relative. The project, we made money. That was a hemorrhage part. I look at it like the extra 20 dozen bagels at the end of the day that you either have to give away or throw in the dumpster. Did you lose money there? No, it's part of the whole equation.|
|Gib Long||So the venture was successful and in hindsight, I'm a big hindsight guy, it got me into the beauty industry.|
|Jodi Katz||Right, right. Because now you knew you needed [inaudible 00:26:02] hair stylist to help bring this idea to life.|
|Gib Long||And I knew that I walked into the Javits Center and I think I shared, I always say this, the energy of that Javits Center with the artistry, and the people, and the music, and commerce, and people making money, and the hustle was Grateful Dead land and the beauty world was the Grateful Dead world. Only one shampoos and the other doesn't even shower. But the energy was the same.|
|Jodi Katz||Right, like the frenetic quality in the air. Right? Like there's just so much happening.|
|Gib Long||It was happening and exciting. I had Gib's Insurance at one point. That was the death of me. That's not exciting. You sell a product people hate. I have to sell what I love.|
|Jodi Katz||Oh my God, yeah.|
|Gib Long||So that got me in the rooms of beauty. Feathers are over. I licked my wounds. I say, "Okay, but how do I stay in this carnival environment and enjoy it and make a living?" It spawned the idea with my friend Tom, like I shared earlier. There was no product in the beauty industry called hair feather. And there was no product in the beauty industry called beard oil.|
|Jodi Katz||So what was Tom seeing as he's a beard wearer.|
|Gib Long||He had a big beard. He's a whole other thing. He died a week ago, which was sad.|
|Jodi Katz||I'm so sorry.|
|Gib Long||Yeah. He was the inspiration behind the brand and he knew on the lower east side where he lived, that these barbershops, and again, this was years ago, like five, six years ago, were mixing their own beard oils and he used them in his beard. I used to use Moroccan oil in my beard and he inspired me to take this to a level because he went through the Javits Center because I was going there annually. And he asked everybody if they had beard oil and they said no, we have hair oil that you could use in your beard, but there is no beard oil.
So I like to bring something new to the table. And I then started to develop the beard oil under the name with the help of the people I met in the beauty industry, under feathers. And they started to put my dream team together for everybody that could do what I couldn't, which was formulate fragrance, create the legal labeling and put a bottle on the shelf called Gib's Beard Oil. And this dream team is still intact today. And we went from creating a beard oil, it was like the bagels, which were, it's more than a piece of bread. It's more than a bottle of oil.
It was the brand because the people that we assembled are having so much fun. We're productive, we're working, but everybody wanted to be a part of it. And then we call our brand a cultural brand. And it resonated with the kismet happenings of men's grooming exploding. I did not know men's grooming was exploding. I just wanted to make a beard oil. Right place, right time. I had a brand.
So the biggest distributor in the world that we distribute with, the president called us in and said, did we want to build a brand, build a men's grooming line under the brand GIBS with Donna Federici, who is the captain of my ship. And she's done a lot of reputable things in the beauty industry with Big Sexy Hair being one of her opuses. And so they said, "You keep Donna at the helm," all these barbers that have organically come to you that are world famous, they cut all the professional athletes, the rockstars, Hollywood, and they're GIBS guys. They wear this shirt that I'm wearing that no one can see.
But it does, it's a fun shirt with the skulls and roses. And they're GIBS people and they help make the products. I'm not a barber, I am not a stylist. I'm Gib and I know what I can't do, but we have a brand and I have the ability to bring people together and get organized to create a movement for fun, but to make money and to ... We've created a company. It's awesome. This is the best one I've ever done. Yeah, by far.
|Jodi Katz||So I've been to hair shows where you're presenting and everything you're talking about, being in the parking lot at a Grateful Dead concert is really, I see it in your booth. So there's a lot of energy, there's a lot of movement, there's a lot of animation. It's like, how do we create the show that we need to create in our own little space? The way that you're talking about making a better sign or shaking the sign or whatever it was when you were 17 years old. You've recreated that in the style of the GIBS in your booth. I would imagine that's where a lot of the new people come to meet you, right? Like they are just entranced by what's happening there.|
|Gib Long||Yeah, and like the president of the people at CosmoProf said to us, they're like, "We go to your booth," they see what you saw, and they're like, "And then we see all the people from the other brands like Paul Mitchell, American Crew, and all these big brands, their people, when they're on break or whatever, are hanging out in your booth with your people." It's a natural magnet and they're like, "What are you doing over there? What Kool-Aid are you serving?"
And it's just a good vibe and it's good people. And I call all the brands my brethren, and they've helped me. The guys from American Crew, the founder congratulated me on what I've done. I listen a lot and even in the bagel business, I never ... If you were a mom and pop shop, it's friendly competition. If I need a bag of sesame seeds, I could call Rocky Mountain Bagel Works and be like, "Kyle, I need a bag of seeds." He's like, "No problem. You want me to bring them up or are you going to pick them up?"
Meanwhile, we're down the road from each other and we're competitors. And I create that just like on the Dead lot. It was fun to have my brethren, he's selling food, I'm selling food. It's a balance. I believe my first barber, his name was Mikey Sharp, and he's out of Philadelphia, and Mikey Sharp had a phrase that said, "We can all win together." And I run with that. I always knew that, but I never knew how to phrase that. I like that. We win together.
|Jodi Katz||Beautiful. So the last thing I want to talk about it is, what is your dream for GIBS? Like where does it go from here?
Well, that's a good question because everything's happened so fast. I didn't even know I was gonna have a line. I thought I was going to create beard oil, swing some beard oil, open a Dunkin Donuts, just keep moving. Right now, we're just growing so fast. We're trying to maintain growth, drink in, and digest, and learn what's happening. The vision for the company is to, I want to be the next Paul Mitchell. I want to be the next American Crew. I want to be the next brand in the beauty industry. Why? Because I can and it will be cool to leave that legacy as my ... I say this as my opus. People have and I've done a lot ...
So I see myself, even if the company will organically take on a life of its own, that I will always be around as long as I am relevant. I won't be like I was at the bagel store where I was creepy and I hung out because I had nowhere else to go because that was my identity, but I want to stick with this brand because I love it and it's fun. And it's what I do and it's taken my life's works of mistakes and learning and now I've put that all to use in this project.
So this is the ride to retirement, whether my two sons who are grown now-
|Jodi Katz||How old are they now?|
|Gib Long||21 and 25. They're awesome and they're not business people. My younger one is intrigued by it, and there's that whole natural progression of well then, your boys come in, but I don't think they will. I think they're going to keep a healthy distance from dad's crazy creation. And they like to ride on the outskirts. They come to events and get to meet, we met Shaquille O'Neal a couple of weeks ago in Austin. And he came in and we put the GIBS shirt on him and filmed them.|
|Jodi Katz||You had a big enough GIBS shirt?|
|Gib Long||Nope, but I made it go on. Did I send you that video?|
|Gib Long||I have a video of me putting it on and it was like putting a wet suit on and it was a 4X. I wanted it on him because they were going to put the clip on ESPN, that he was in our pop up barber shop at Austin City Limits. It's a big music festival and that's just one of the many cool byproducts of having this success keep growing. And my younger son was with me like, "Shaq's with my dad." It was cool.|
|Jodi Katz||Well, thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with our listeners. I appreciate you being here.|
|Gib Long||Yeah. Very cool.|
|Jodi Katz||And for our listeners, I hope you enjoyed this interview with Gib. Please subscribe to our series on iTunes and for updates about the show, follow us on Instagram @wherebrainsmeetbeautypodcast.|
|Announcer||Thanks for listening to WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY™ with Jodi Katz. Tune in again for more authentic conversations with beauty leaders.|