You may have noticed this chap featuring rather a lot on our social media channels. Meet Ross Smith, a regular Braid Barbers customer in Milton Keynes who recently won the Apothecary 87 beard oil competition for 2015 to feature in a photoshoot with the amazing photographer Liam Oakes.
Not only has Ross become the main man for all of Apothecary's current adverts, he even featured in FHM's December 2015 issue. We sat down with Ross to have a chat about how he made it from the Braid Barbers chair into one of the UK's best selling magazines.
How long have you been a Braid Barbers customer?
I'd say for about 15 years. A mate of mine knew the Braid boys and suggested them and my bromance with Rob started from there! ha
Were you surprised when Braid's asked you to model for their Instagram?
Rob's always very honest and at the time liked my look as I started to grow my beard long. We'd done a few shots in the past before Instagram became big. I didn't expect it to lead to this though!
How did the Apothecary 87 competition entry come about?
Rob arranged for the amazing photographer Kim Hardy to come and take shots of a few regular customers and he conjured up some really cool pictures. I was scrolling through Facebook one day and came across the Apothecary 87 photo competition. All I had to do was upload a picture and whoever had the most votes won a photoshoot with them.
Did you think that you would win?
I always try to remain positive as anything could happen, so I try and take things as they come. So basically, no! ha
Tell us a little about what happened, as winning wasn’t as cut and dried as it first appeared (if you’ll pardon the pun!).
I actually came 2nd with 157 votes, but the guy who won was already an ambassador and model for a direct competitor within the industry. He was also outside the UK and the face of a rival product so was disqualified. The competition rules stated that you had to be within the UK to enter, so I got a call inviting me to Apothecary87 HQ for a photoshoot, as I'd won by default. Imagine my excitement!
Where was the shoot with Apothecary and Liam Oakes and how did it go?
It was in Doncaster about 2 hours away from Milton Keynes. Liam met me outside, then took me on a tour of the place as they had just moved offices. I met the other guys too; all very nice and down to earth people. Liam was really pleased I won, which was a huge compliment. We were left to crack on and ended up with some awesome shots. I found out about the history of the brand; it started in Sam the owners kitchen! Before I left, they gave me some free products which was really nice of them. The pictures were sent through a few days later and Liam mentioned he may put some forward to magazines in the near future.
Who supplied the outfits?
The outfits were my own. I went on a shopping spree just for the photo shoot with a mate of mine a week prior. I think I spent about £250!
Did you know you were going to be in FHM magazine?
I was messaging Liam after the shoot about certain products and he hinted for me to buy December's issue of FHM. I called him straight away, but he wouldn't tell me which picture so I had to wait. The suspense nearly killed me!
What do you do for a living and would you ever consider becoming a full-time model?
I'm an engineer by trade and have been for 16 years. If I could make a living or just something on the side, I'd love to do it! I always dreamt as a young lad to be seen in the window of a high street shop modelling but never chased the dream.
Ross is now building his modelling portfolio and looking for any additional help or work, so if you'd like to book Ross, why not send him a message on Instagram.
We don't want to keep him all to ourselves at Braid Barbers (well, we do!), but Ross will be on the look out for an agent in the New Year to carry on with his newfound side career, but only on a part-time basis as his engineering job takes priority.