Mustashed: Pinterest for Men

 

Pinterest has quickly become one of the world’s fastest growing social media sites, but its overwhelmingly female user-population has created a community which some males may feel uncomfortable joining. So where can guys go to find, share and archive content that appeals to them? The answer is Mustashed.

Mustashed is a social media content-sharing platform developed by three recent college graduates. While enamored by the concept of Pinterest, they were turned off by the countless wedding ideas, fashion photos and cupcake recipes.

Mustashed will be marketed toward males as a way to network and share content that guys find interesting. The name comes from the creators’ belief that the content is “so good, you must stash it.”

Rickey Jasper II, Connor Forman and Chris Salguero are the creators and founders of Mustashed. Jasper and Salguero both graduated from James Madison University after studying computer information science, while Forman graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in biology. Forman is also a DECA alum, having been a member of Broad Run High School’s chapter in Ashburn, Va. While each member brings his own specialty to the Mustashed team, they all share the same drive and passion for seeing their idea come to life.

Jasper came up with the idea for the site. “Last summer a friend sent me a link on Pinterest, and I thought [the Pinterest website] was a really cool concept. I talked to a developer I [knew] about how easy it was to create a site like this, and he pretty much told me that if someone had already made it, it [could] be made again,” said Jasper of the site’s origins.

From there, Jasper contacted Forman. Both reached out to Salguero, who they knew would provide the technological know-how necessary to get the site up and running, and the idea was born.

“It started in August [2012] from a white board scribbled with ideas, and look how far it’s come,” remarked Jasper.

So what can Mustashed do? Forman explained that users must first go to the site to create an online profile. Once that’s set up, users can surf the web and “stash” cool content with other Mustashed members. Similar to Pinterest’s “Pin It” toolbar button, Mustashed allows users to add a “Stash!” button to their browser.

“Mustashed is great for discovering new things, as well as for connecting with users who share similar interests,” said Forman.

Forman also explained that Mustashed has the ability to help DECA members, mostly males, find and share marketing content developed for the male demographic. 

“It will be a great place to share ideas on branding and marketing campaigns, especially in areas like sports marketing or for [brands] like Old Spice and Gillette,” said Forman.

As a former DECA member himself, Forman understands the value of a concrete branding strategy and how a solid brand can drive a business toward success.

“When I was in DECA, I worked with Macy’s on a project,” Forman said. “That experience showed me why building a brand is so important. You really have to make people aware of your brand and have a unique sense of advertising.”

So how do three college guys build a website and establish a brand in six months? It wasn’t easy.

“We had a really big idea but didn’t know where to start, so we broke it down and gave ourselves weekly goals,” said Forman.  “[We developed an] idea of how we wanted the site to look, then built the business behind it. Then we focused on having the right paperwork in, and lastly we developed the business plan to really drive the whole idea forward.”

“The hardest part of the whole process was developing the functionality of the site,” Salguero added. “We knew how we wanted it to work, but getting to that point was difficult. There were a lot of bugs to work through, and we definitely underestimated the amount of time it would take to fix all those bugs.”

While many may think Mustashed is just another version of Pinterest, the guys explained that they worked hard to make sure Mustashed stands apart from competing sites.

“[Mustashed] is engaging, and we’ve built in functionality that eliminates the need to wait for loading screens, so you’re not waiting for your content to download,” Forman noted.

The guys have yet to launch their site, but they’ve created a strong presence on social media via Facebook and Twitter.

“Our social media efforts aren’t just to say, ‘Hey, we’re here.’ It’s to get people involved and make connections with our followers and build relationships with them,” Forman said.

Forman is primarily in charge of maintaining and updating the team’s social media sites and marketing efforts, while Salguero continues to focus on technology. Jasper works on the business development side of Mustashed.

The guys never expected to create their own website and company. Looking back, though, it makes sense. Salguero noted that he’s always had a passion for technology.  Forman’s inspiration came from his parents, both of whom are entrepreneurs. Jasper started a small dog-walking company a few years ago, but he never thought it would amount to anything. Instead, he focused on starting a business headed in a different direction.

“I realized that technology could be a foundation for a business—and be able to sustain it,” said Jasper. “I really wanted to start something where social media and technology were the foundation.”

Although the guys’ main goal is to eventually make Mustashed their full-time job, the next steps in the process are launching the live site, keeping up with the analytics and continuing to build on their business and revenue model.

While the guys can’t complain about the crazy ride they’ve been on thus far, they have a few wise words for future entrepreneurs.

“This process is very humbling,” said Jasper. “Going into it, we thought we had this great idea—but there was so much we didn’t know. You really have to sit down every day and put in a full day’s work of learning and exploring to be successful.”

Mustashed will launch on March 13, 2013 so follow them on Facebook and Twitter to find out how to sign up for your own Mustashed account. 

Categories: Alumni, Profiles

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