ITHACA, N.Y. — The creator of The Cut Buddy, which was invented in Ithaca, will pitch to the investors on the ABC show “Shark Tank” this weekend.
Joshua Esnard, who went to Ithaca High School, invented The Cut Buddy when he was 13. The simple plastic template is used with hair clippers or other tools to help shape beards and hair between barbershop visits. He now runs the company with two childhood friends he met at Ithaca High School, Pima Mbwana and Alex Kresovich.
On The Cut Buddy website, Esnard said he invented the tool because he could not afford to go to the barber as often as he wanted.
“So at 13 years old, I began cutting my own hair,” Esnard writes. “I kept messing up, so I designed this guide to help me cut the best curves and straight lines in the world!”
Though Esnard invented the product when he was 13, he didn’t begin selling it for 15 years. Esnard told GQ in an interview, the product “technically went through 15 years of unintentional development.” During that time, he tested the product on himself, family members and college friends.
In 2016, when Esnard was in college, he decided to finally patent and produce the product and it didn’t take long for it to go viral. A video tutorial showing how to use was viewed on Facebook more than 10 millions times and resulted in 4,000 sales in less than an hour, a news release said.
The template sells for $14.95 on their website. To date, more than 70,000 units have been sold and it is a bestseller on Amazon.
Esnard and Kresovich graduated from IHS in 2004 and Mbwana graduated in 2008. None are Ithaca residents now, but said they visit regularly.
The episode in which Esnard pitches his product to the “sharks” — including Mark Cuban, Daymond John, Kevin O’Leary, Lori Greiner and Robert Herjavic — will air at 9 p.m. Sunday on ABC.
Featured image: Joshua Esnard, inventor of The Cut Buddy, introduces his product on Shark Tank. (ABC/Michael Desmond)