Age:35 (nearly 36)
Brand name:R U N E S I L K
Where do you live?Little Paxton, Cambridgeshire
Why did you choose that name for your brand?It has been my alias since I was in secondary school, it was what I used to make music under way back in the MySpace days: “Runesilk Productions”. It is my Xbox gamer profile, although now is GdCRunesilk, and I haven’t currently got an Xbox, so adding me is pointless at this stage lol. It became a brand when I was discussing what to call my wooden sunglasses, I came up with loads of really corny names like Bamoozed etc but hated them all. I turned to my Mrs and said, I’m just going to call them RUNESILK at this rate, and she said, “why don’t you?” So, I did…
When did you first start making beard care products?I’ve always thought of myself as a bit of a Del Boy at heart and used to do car boots, buy and sell, and always looking for ways to make money. I used to make soaps and even had a stamp made up which says, “Man Soap by RUNESILK”. I then played around with some oils and made some wayyy before I knew about the legalities, I never sold them, just wanted to experiment. This was probably around 2017… maybe…
It didn’t really kick off until the back end of 2018. Selling sunglasses is great when the sun is out, and I always worked away at festivals, so never really had a huge opportunity to put the effort in that was required. I closed my company – Festaxi – at the end of the 2018 season and decided to go the extra mile on the brand. We developed the pop-up wallet range, we had a metal beard comb made and I started to look in to making beard oil again. So, I started doing some research and came across beard balm, and though “ooooh that might be cool to make”, obviously it was, and I continued to experiment until I found the ratios that just worked. We launched in December 2018 and it was Zec that helped us get out there with his glowing review on Boxing Day… so thank you Zec.
What is your favourite thing about making and selling beard care products? I actually find it very calming to make the beard balm. However, I think the biggest reward is the fact that people are willing to part with hard-earned cash for something you have created, it is almost a form of art I guess. It’s also seeing the response when taking it to market and you see that smile when they check it out and say, “that’s really nice!”. But also, the community is super awesome. I came across GOTB by invitation of a friend when I was looking for people to sample my early productions. I joined posted a link and got told off haha
What do you dislike about making and selling beard care? The labelling of oil bottles! I have become pretty good at getting the balm labels centre, but the bottles, sorry guys you may just have to expect that my labels aren’t going to be super straight until I develop a technique that works – any tips, please share!
How many hours do you normally spend making beard care in a week?As we are still in the early phase and still very much still start-up, I manufacture our products in a very lean fashion. We get an order, I make the balm! My process is still very basic, I can make 3 tins at a time in my current melting pot. Maybe time for an upgrade…
I have a market stall on Sunday in East London; Upmarket, Brick Lane – I usually make a few up on the Saturday before and sometimes have some left over which to be honest have ended up being the giveaway items.
Where do you make the beard care products? I currently make them at home. Which the Mrs loves/hates. She loves because it means the kitchen is going to get a solid clean TWICE but hates because I take over the whole kitchen doing it.
What is your favourite product from your brand?As we still only have Revolution in the range, I can’t really answer it. However, I love the addition of Hemp Seed Oil to the Oil and seriously considering adding it to the balm. It just adds an element of fresh nut smell I find, and I really love it – what do you all think?
What one other beard care brand or brand owner do you admire? There are so many seriously cool independent brands out there. I love the sheer range that Balbo and the Beardy Beard Co has, I love the look of the Twisted Moustache stuff. However, I am still new to the table and haven’t really had the chance to get to know many of these people or products yet. I would love to see some brand collaborations on the go, and am more than open to working with people to create something legendary…
What plans do you have for the brand? I am currently working on the next release and I’m hoping it is going to be an absolute banger! I can’t really let on much yet – but hoping to have it ready for launch around the end of Q3 ready for Christmas… who knows maybe I’ll release it a bit sooner, but I want to build the foundation base and then go BOOM with this next set! But be excited… I am.
My issue is I have too many ideas… I may release a dark side to the Revolution, like a ‘pick a side’ type concept… this is one of the reasons I changed from the silver tin to the black tin. So, we can create a simple reverse black on white for the next phase of the Revolution. Oops I am saying too much already. Oh, but this is just something coming soon, not the Q3 banger 😉
Our sunglasses range is going see some Spring/Summer stuff come out soon. Otherwise, we will keep looking for awesome stuff we can add to the store.
What are your hobbies? I like making stuff, and if I can make money making stuff I’ll call that a hobby too. I would say side hustles are my hobby. I’m a Project Co-ordinator 9-5 and I do stuff that may or may not free me from the 9-5 at some point. I make my own biltong, this can be subscribed, if you want dried meat delivered to your door… I play a bit of musical stuff, like to freestyle to hip hop, twirling my beard hair lol… but currently I am working almost every day to support the side hustles, so sadly do not have much time for hobbies right now – ooh and I like craft beer, and just non-generic beer in general.
Are you married/in a relationship? I met the Mrs on the night of my 21st birthday, instantly clicked and we have been together ever since, have three kids and finally getting married this August. So please go and buy Revolution, because my bank account hates me right now…
What motivates you? I love helping people move forward! This then motivates me to succeed, but I have to say the ability to actually say “YES” when the kids ask for something, rather than the default “No, we don’t have the money right now”.
What are your strengths? I am a total people-person
What are your weaknesses? Kryptonite, actually queues, queues actually make me angry
When was the last time you were angry? Yesterday
What happened? I lost 7 straight games on C&C Rivals, actually made me want to throw my phone at the wall
If you weren’t making beard care what would you want to do for a job? Well I mean I also sell sex toys (Tenga UK), so I kind of have all the cool jobs…lol. I think I would really like to work with start-up companies as an advisor, help them achieve success.
What were you like in high school? Coolest kid in class obviously…
Do you talk much? 1450 words so far says yes
Are you introvert or extrovert? I am an introverted extrovert, I hate queues and busy places but love being the centre of attention
If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why? An emperor penguin, because I waddle when I walk and that what the Mrs always says I am. Obviously I think I would be a lion; fierce and dangerous… if I could be any animal, it would probably have to be something underwater like a Killer Whale that can go to vast depths and is a creature others do not mess with, I don’t want to be food.
How do you handle stress and pressure?Just have to deal with whatever gets in your way, stressing about it isn’t going to fix it…
What’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever done? Jumped from the 3rd floor of a multi storey carpark to not get caught playing man hunt. I luckily was not injured, but could have been bad.
What’s the best holiday you can imagine? Thailand with my family, just a nice chilled vibe, things to see, awesome food to eat
What is your favourite food? I cannot sum up a single particular favourite food, if it tastes good, it is my favourite
What is your favourite alcoholic drink? I am a huge fan of pineapple/mango tasting IPAs
What is your most proud achievement? Graduating twice from University after dropping out of college, having three awesome children,
What is/are your phobias? Although not really scared of, I just don’t particularly like heights.