It’s official! Bond has partnered with Squire to bring the Squire Card to a traditionally under-served (dare we say under-shaved, even?) community and industry — barbers and barbershops.
The Squire Card is built on Bond’s platform and helps barbers get paid faster, pay bills and track expenses easier, as well as withdraw cash based on future bookings. Here’s the full Press Release.
Bond's platform enables any company to elegantly and invisibly deliver personalized financial services to their customers and communities, including digital deposit accounts, virtual and physical debit and credit cards, and money movement.
With Bond as their partner, Squire was able to introduce the new card in just a few short months, compared with 18-24 months had they built it directly with a bank themselves. Squire has astronomical growth and is fresh off a recent fundraise and so many brands like them are growing too fast to deal with the legacy systems associated with old fashioned bank integrations.
We sat down with co-founders, Dave Salvant (Squire President) and Songe LaRon (Squire CEO), to share the founding story, why now is the time for the SQUIRE Card and the dent they want to leave in the world.
Below are three key takeaways from our conversation with Dave and Songe.
How to build a lasting brand
Squire has focused on brand building from the start. Building an authentic brand came naturally to the pair of co-founders due to formative moments of their own inside barbershops. “We wanted to solve a problem that we understood and create something that we would actually use,” Songe explains.
Dave and Songe’s personal experiences put them right in the midst of the culture that they wanted to impact. They’ve focused on building a brand that they love and that they knew would translate into a brand that fit perfectly into barbershop culture.
Dave shared that barbers generally have a chip on their shoulder; they have something to prove and “Squire was the only brand that looked at them and treated them like a Squire” — like someone that will take the time to help you look your best in every detail.
Dave goes on to explain. “We know they’re not banked correctly. We know they get hit with fees. We know they’re not cared for. We know banks don’t really know how they operate on an intimate level...we are connected to customers in ways where we can see what they do, see where they spend their money, and add value where the other banks cannot.”
Eat your own dog food...or cut your own hair
Squire started as a B2C brand. Songe and Dave were building a system to solve their problem as customers. They realized that the barbers and the barbershops were the ones with the migraine level pain point.
So they decided to own and operate a barbershop to fully understand their customer’s problems and get a full view of how a barbershop functions. They found that they needed to “own the whole experience,” and act as a SaaS Chief Operating Officer of the Barbershop.
Squire Capital and the Squire Card are another step in that vision; it’s a logical next step to build financial products tailor made for this unique market. “This idea has been five years in the making,” says Dave. “We’ve just been waiting for the technology to catch up to our aspirations.”
Dave elaborated that the Squire team is “happy that we found a partner like Bond that has the infrastructure, that really helped us along the way, took our feedback, and made modifications based on our needs. We don’t think we’d have been able to do it with anyone else.”
Strive for something bigger than you
Every founder has a mark that they want to leave in the world. Sometimes it’s selfishly motivated, sometimes it’s altruistic, and sometimes it changes as both the company and founders grow along with it.
Dave shared that much of the initial motivation for starting and growing Squire was economic. Makes sense. Founding a company without economic motivations generally doesn’t work out in the long term. Dave continued to explain that his motivations have shifted now that Squire is almost a unicorn (I think we are calling them “soon-icorns” these days!) and much economic value has been created.
“It’s more so a lighthouse for folks — from the investor side and the entrepreneur side. To start something that can point to Squire; investors can point to Squire. That has become more important to me than monetary gain.”
If you’re interested in learning more about Bond, we’d love to hear from you.
Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our careers page and let’s chat!