Entrepreneurs of Bentley is an article series profiling the latest innovations and startups from the Bentley University community. Know someone who should be featured? Tell us about it at Bentley.edu/story
Entrepreneur: Christopher Fevry
Hometown: Providence, Rhode Island
Major: Management, with an entrepreneurship concentration, and Liberal Studies, with a Global Perspectives concentration
When I was in high school, I wanted to do things, but I didn’t see the people around me doing what I wanted to do. Rhode Island is very small. There aren’t a lot of big businesses there. I told my mom, “I’m not staying here. I don’t care if I have to take loans—I’m leaving.” I wanted to be in the right school so I could grow.
And when I came to Bentley, everything was here. We have clubs. We have events. I have access to huge companies that visit the school, and I get to learn about things I’ve been passionate about since I was a kid. Everyone has been really helpful and really willing to mentor me. Bentley has provided the tools to really help me succeed and to build the person I want to be.
How did you get the idea for MyBarber?
I was studying abroad in Colombia last year and wasn’t able to find any ratings on barbers nearby. That initially got me thinking of starting a rating service. But it really didn’t become apparent to me until I was interning at Google last summer.
One day I went up to San Francisco to get a haircut. I went to multiple barbershops and spent two hours and about 60 bucks. I thought, this is a problem that I know could be solved through technology. Rather than spend so much money on a haircut, I might as well call the barber to come to my house.
I bought the domain and called it MyBarber, because the connection that you have with your barber is personal. I know people who wait hours just to get their specific barber. But there’s a lack of information in the barbering industry about great barbers and great barbershops.
What exactly does MyBarber do?
The application seeks to make the haircutting process easier. No one should have to go through that struggle to get a haircut! Through the app, people can search for barbers and rate them. They can hire a barber to come to their house or book an appointment at a barbershop.
People call us the Uber for barbers, but we’re not exactly like Uber. When you use Uber, a random driver comes to you. We don’t work like that. No guy is going to have someone they’ve never seen before and never even seen ratings on show up at their house to cut their hair. With our on-demand service, users can select from a curated list of barbers that are available. We vet the barbers through interviews and background checks to ensure customers have the top experience.
Learn more about MyBarber in this article in BostInno.
What areas will MyBarber serve?
We’re releasing primarily in Boston first to work out the kinks and build the base. Then we plan to take it nationwide.
Tell us about your partner, Clynton Caines.
I lacked a technical person on my team, and I don’t know a thing about coding. So I went in search of a chief technology officer (CTO). Clynton was just as passionate about the idea as I was, and he’s been coding for two decades. He joined my team. My goal for next semester is to raise funding so that Clynton can quit his job.
How much time per week do you work on MyBarber?
MyBarber is completely ingrained in my classes and my life. It’s practically 24/7.
I switched my major from finance to management/entrepreneurship so I could take a lot of entrepreneur classes in my senior year.
Check out the Bentley degree in management.
One of the classes I took last semester was Writing a Business Plan, where students pitched their businesses in every class. People would hack away at my idea, and it really evolved in the class.
I took another class called Entrepreneurial Thinking, where we had to make a mock business-launch plan. My group did MyBarber.
Next semester I’m taking a class called Launching A Business, for which you literally have to launch a business by the end of the semester.
So I’m constantly thinking about MyBarber. I dream about it. Anytime someone engages in conversation with me, MyBarber comes up. My roommates now call it “Our Barber” because I talk about it so much.
Have you always wanted to start your own business?
Yes. My first great business idea was when I was 3. I wanted to buy a ton of houses. I was like, “I’m going to buy a house and rent it out, and when I get the rent, I’m going to buy another house, and then another one.” Then I got older and realized, “There are taxes, Chris!”
What qualities do you possess that have served you well as an entrepreneur?
People say I have a huge appetite for risk. For example, I had laser eye surgery while studying abroad in Colombia. I’d been wearing glasses since third grade. Laser eye surgery cost three or four thousand dollars an eye or so here, but it was like $400 or $500 in Colombia. It was the scariest thing I’ve ever done in my life.
Before I did it I called my mom, and she was like, “That is not going to happen! I’m going to come to Colombia and get you before you do something stupid like that!” But I did my research, and Colombia was one of the first places to do laser eye surgery. There’s a 97-percent success rate. So I went forward. The day of the surgery, they said, “Don’t panic, but you might go temporarily blind during the surgery.” Well, I panicked, but it all worked out!
I really like risk. You learn a lot from it. Risk is fun—as long as you don’t risk your life!
I also love talking to people. I love persuading people. I love sales and negotiating. Those are my strengths.
What advice do you have for other young people who want to start their own business?
Just go for it! No matter what, you’re going to make mistakes. But if you have the vision and the passion and you really like the idea, that will guide you through.
Creating the right team is important. Seek people who are way smarter than you. Don’t just throw all your friends on the team. Everyone has varying levels of motivation. You really want to find people who are passionate about your idea.
Don’t be afraid to share your idea. It’s going to take a lot of work for someone to steal your idea. So share it with your friends, because they’ll be able to see things that you don’t, and that’s very valuable.
Finally, keep moving forward. If you talk about it too much and plan everything out, you’re not going to get anything done. You have to just do something to take steps forward. And know that whatever you plan is going to change!