Jay Nouri started in the men’s cosmetic industry back in 2011 in the United States, when the market for good-quality retail grooming products for men was slim to none. Finding a brand they could work with, Jay and his brothers took on the Americas. They aim to elevate the barbering industry and help barbers and barbershops grow and increase their revenue by adding retail products to their shelves.
“We went to barbershops door to door across America. In the beginning, it was tough. In the states, most barbers back then had no retail presence at all, and a lot lacked that level of professionalism. It was a lot of booth-rented chairs with no owner. We thought, ‘Oh God, what have we done to ourselves?’ We had sold our cars, our homes, and everything we were all in. So, we quickly had to transition our strategy, and it was around that time that social media was starting,” explained Jay.
He continued, “soon enough, we met Yahia Jaber, better known as Mr. Official, and Carlos Estrella, AKA, Los Cut It, two barbers who were huge at the time and still huge today. Mr. Official has a shop that was one of the first shops we started working with, and he introduced us to Los. I started talking to Los about the barbering industry, and he expressed the frustration he had had in the past with brands, explaining that none of them cared about the actual barbers. But for me, it has never been about the brand and being a corporate hotshot. I wanted to work with barbers as my equal, building mutual respect between us both.
“So, we started working with Los, and because of his social media following at the time, he was able to introduce us to this whole community of barbers through social media. In no time, we were gaining followers and got introduced to exceptional barbers like A-Rod. We built this amazing team of barbers, who I now see as my family, including A-Rod, Los, Official, Bengie Candelario, and Sky Salon.”
They were able to build this great strategy based on mutual respect, and lifting each other, which is rare for a brand the size they were. Jay firmly believes that at the end of the day, people will follow people over a product. One has to respect the professional, or else how can people expect them to endorse that product. Unfortunately, the brand they were working with at the time did not see eye-to-eye with them about this.
2020 brought along with it the Covid-19 pandemic that hit the world hard. All the events planned for the year got canceled, and everything came to a halt. For Jay and his team, if there was ever a time to start fresh and start their brand, it was now. So, in representing their final level and a fresh start, they named the new brand L3VEL3. Jay explained himself as the founder, along with A-Rod. L3VEL3 started taking all the barbers who stuck with them through all the madness. They were creating a brand that everyone could all share as their own.
Together, A-Rod, Bengie, Sky, Mr. Official, Los, and Anthony Reyes, are all equity owners in L3vel3 @lv3pro lv3.com
So, behind the brand, they have a team of industry-leading professionals. These considerate individuals care about the products and care about the barbering industry as a whole. Over the pandemic, while keeping everything under wraps, they formulated more than 100 products. They were able to use their experience and the collective consumer feedback to create a diverse range of products ideal for both the barber station and the retail.
They launched the range on Black Friday 2020. It was a lot of pressure because Jay had many people interested in investing their trust, time, and money into the brand. In the end, they were happy to say that they already exceeded the sales expectations and the products started to get sold in 30 countries worldwide.
Jay, and his team’s newfound freedom of owning their brand, led to many opportunities that they had not had before, including branching into the UK and Irish market. With the help of Mark Gaye, Irish barber and L3VEL3 co-owner and VP, they built a network in the UK and are already available through Chris and Sons. Jay added: “The UK is the first place I thought of when we started the new brand. We are working on expanding at full speed!”
So, what can a barber and barbershop gain from bringing in L3VEL3 products? Jay explained that the whole ethos behind the brand is to lift the overall barbershop. We want to encourage high-quality service in barbershops, from the treatment in the chair and the products used to the products they leave the shop. The first thing that L3VEL3 brings to the barbershop is a complete range, A to Z of products specially designed for barbers’ stations and retail. Secondly, L3VEL3 offers a diverse and inclusive range of products for every client, hair type, and service. Finally, L3VEL3 offers you a protected brand that barbers can make money from. These are professionally driven products made especially for barbers to use and sell in their shops and would not be turning up on supermarkets’ shelves.
L3VEL3 offers barbers the opportunity to cut out the middleman. They work directly with barbers and offer competitive prices for larger quantities. It opens up an opportunity to retail products and turns a profit. They want to show people how offering a retail range can impact the barbershop for the better. They are also about to build the shelves for the barbershops, so they have no reason not to better their shop.
For Jay and L3VEL3 as a company, their ethos is on trust, loyalty, and respect. “If you think about it,” says Jay, “many barber-client relationships last longer than most marriages. This industry is built upon loyalty, and that loyalty gets based on trust. Clients should trust their barbers to advise them on the best products for their hair type and style, and in turn, barbers need to trust their brand to offer that. So, that is why we have created L3VEL3 as a brand that is created and owned by barbers, for barbers.”
Jay talked about some of the L3VEL3 hero products, “Right now, I would say that our Styling Powder is our number one bestseller. It is super easy to apply and offers a matte finish without any residue. It is offering a great hold as well.”
Another game-changer is their clear shaving gel. When barbers want to do details or clean, sharp beard lines, people need to see what they are doing! For a long time, barbers have either been dry shaving in these instances or using hair gel— both of which irritate the skin. So, they developed a dedicated shaving cream that is clear, so that one can see and focus on precision.
So, what is next for Jay and his L3VEL3 team? Jay explained that his ultimate dream is to get the first barbers on NASDAQ. He would love to see A-Rod ring the bell one day. Ultimately, they plan on continuing to build the brand upwards. The thing about their position is that they have done it all before! It is an opportunity for them to redo things in their way. Additionally, it is also a chance to learn from the past and be better than ever.
Already for 2021, they have scheduled themselves for a few shows, including the CT Expo in August. The goal now is to grow back to the same base they had before. They are also looking forward to expanding their presence around the world. They are so happy to be in the UK and Ireland and working with the UK barbering community. They are currently working on building two factories. Jay now dreams of implementing a manufacturing facility in the US to cater to barbershops, where owners can go to the website to create their brand through his brand.
For Jay, life is not just about the brand; it is about the connection. “Our main goal is just showing barbers that they can keep elevating themselves and building their business, and just be there for them as they grow.”
Follow them on Instagram/FB/TikTok @lv3pro and check the website https://lv3.com/
Company Name: L3VEL3
Contact Person: Jay Nouri
Email: Send Email
Phone: (855) 899-8499
Address:2250 Western Ave
City: Park Forest
State: IL 60466
Country: United States