The office is sick, yellow, has a Japanese sword in Chases's office, and my fate in question with how well I can communicate this interview. A couple hundred yards from Chase Wilson's homegrown wave nests Byrd. Why doesn't Byrd's pomade sting your eyes like other products? Well, I'm not the person to ask considering I have a buzzed egg, but that's the reason this whole thing began.
I feel like Chase might be the most fascinating and slickest cat around. As I sit across from him listening to his story and the origin of Byrd, I feel like a fucking loser. The dude used to ride professionally for Quik, started geeking on hair products after his first fade haircut freshman year of college, started Byrd, is now having a kid, and I'm here stoking on the smell of my ass after using the Byrd soap on a rope. But hey, no complaints here. My ass smells great.
The nest is filled with some A1 people. Walk in and kick it with Nichole Taylor (one of the nicest barbers around with some sick streak silver hair), Trevor Syrek (someone you could easily picture yourself grabbing a beer with after your cut), Josh Ochoa (unbelievably talented barber that could hook an actual bird up with a fade), and if you make it to the back you'll bump into Elle Zielinski (a bright smiling chick in a very yellow office who always has something interesting going on). If you aren't keen on a haircut, just pop in and hangout. That's what I do, and it feels just as good to chat it up and kick it with the crew. Here's what Chase and I caught up on if you're curious about it all, like if Byrd can be used on pets. But you won't be able to find this out ANYWHERE ELSE, unless you keep reading :)
Chase, what'd you have for breakfast?
My wife made me some oatmeal. Coconut on top, orange slices... can't beat it.
And you went to Harbor right?
Yep! Graduated in '09. Born and raised right here in Newport Beach.
Sick. Tell us how all this got going!
For sure, well we started out in 2012. At the time I was surfing professionally for Quiksilver. It kind of all started with a need for a product that didn’t sting my eyes when I went and surfed. So, I started with a lot of gels and water-based pomades. I geek out on products like these and couldn’t find any that I loved. So, I just set out to create my own formula which started with our classic pomade, wax-based formula that wouldn’t rinse out and sting my eyes. I started selling out of the back of my truck pretty much to surf shops and barber shops up and down the coast. Pretty much from then on out it grew organically!
Yeah, dog named Zander, labradoodle.
Do you put Byrd in his hair? .... ;)
Haha I should! He’s got mad hair, I’ve sprayed some surf spray in there. He’s not like a typical doodle, he’s got like really just straight kind of wavy hair so he’s just this big goofball. It worked! It gave him some sick texture.
There you go, Byrd even works on your pets! You guys don’t miss.
Alright, for our readers who need some inspiration, what’s something you’ve learned about yourself while starting your own brand? There are often times of self doubt when you build something from the ground up... so maybe something along those lines?
Totally, and you go through that all the time, you know, asking yourself “am I doing this right?” “Should I be doing this?” You go through those highs and lows where you’re questioning yourself, asking if you’re the right person to do this. But I think for me, the biggest learning lesson throughout the 8 years of being at this is like, I feel like my strong suit is being able to juggle different things and being able to multitask. Being the owner of a business, you sign up for a lot of shit, you’ve gotta do a lot of shit, you’ve gotta eat a lot of shit. When there's something to be handled in one area, you’ve gotta pick up and do that, be creative, know your numbers, and be confident in that. You have to know how to pivot instead of being laser focused on one task. It helps to be open minded and be flexible, and not let the details get to you and focus on the bigger picture.
That's great, totally agree. Alright rapid round.
Coffee or tea?
Longboard or shortboard?
Favorite bar in Newport?
Ahh god! There’s too many good ones. I’ve really been liking Helmsman, before COVID. Might have gotten covid there but we’re not too sure haha. Malarky’s, there’s too many…
Favorite street to surf?
I think the expected answer for you would be 54th street because that’s where I grew up, but I think I’d have to say 28th. It’s been so fun, winter swells, North West. It just gets super peaky and it’s right out front. You can’t beat it.
Dude, you're the man. Excited to see what Lame and Byrd will do together.