Pioneer Profile - Robert Watkins of The Mailroom Barber Co.


When Robert Watkins was 17 or 18 years old, he took his head in his own hands. That is to say, he got tired of the salons and barbers in his town not understanding how he wanted his hair cut. This lead to him first to grabbing the scissors and fixing their mistakes, and soon after he was foregoing the salon experience altogether and cutting his own hair.

His friends started asking him where he got his hair cut, so naturally he was soon cutting theirs too.

What started out as an annoying necessity soon became a passion. He started falling down Youtube rabbit holes of barbering videos, getting wrapped up in the classic barbershop culture. Robert soon left school, where he was studying photography, to apprentice at a local barbershop. Thusly armed with a licence to cut, Robert struck out on his own, traveling from one end of Florence, SC to the next to cut hair in his clients homes.

After gathering enough of a clientele to make it inconvenient to continue making house calls, Robert connected with a friend who had recently opened a business in downtown Florence. Setting up a one-chair barbershop in the back of the business, the two dubbed it “the Mailroom.” Out of that one-room operation, The Mailroom has now grown to two multi-chair operations in two South Carolina cities (Florence and Greenville) with sights set on more in the near future.

But that’s only half the Mailroom’s story.

Once The Mailroom got started, Robert started to notice that haircare products that were available weren’t living up to his professional expectations. Either loaded down with chemicals, pushed by shady corporations or just largely ineffective, he figured he could do better. He sourced the ingredients he needed and made a batch in his kitchen. Right off the bat, he knew he had something great. The Mailroom product line has expanded to include multiple pomades as well as mustache wax, beard oils and even candles.

In both cases, Robert saw a need and made moves to fill it. His embodiment of the Pioneer Spirit is the innate drive in a person that causes them to push boundaries. The thing that allows people to feel empowered to never settle for the lot they’ve been handed.

The Mailroom Barber Co. exists to help people feel good about their hair, and by extension, themselves. No matter who you are, you are welcome. If you’re in Florence or Greenville, South Carolina, I encourage you to stop by for a haircut or shave.

You’re going to look great.

Until next time,

- John, Founder of IGWM

Pioneer Selects:

Currently Reading: Ideals of the Samurai

Currently Listening: IDLES - Joy as an Act of Resistance.

Current Inspiration: “Finding joy in the simple things in life - a clean home, pictures, greenery. I’m inspired by a drive to find peace and security in the world.”

Favorite IGWM Product: “I wear my Tag Necklace almost every day. I love it.”