News Article

At 19, this WCTC student is already onto his second business venture: A way to do a fade haircut at home

Hannah Kirby
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

WCTC student Hunter Perock, 19, created Surf Lake Country and the EZ Fade Haircut Guard.

At 19, Hunter Perock of Sussex is already onto his second business venture. And this one is a product of the pandemic.

Perock usually got his hair cut at a barbershop in Milwaukee. Once COVID-19 hit, he said his mom didn't want him leaving the house to get it done.  

They purchased a standard hair clipper set, and his mom tried giving him his usual 'do — a fade — but it didn't turn out.  

For a fade haircut, a stylist uses a clipper and blades to gradually work the length from long to super-short, according to Supercuts

When Perock looked online for a product to help give him a fade, he said he couldn't find anything. That inspired him to try making one for himself.

"I was always into creating new stuff and doing hands-on work," said the 2019 grad.

In May, Perock downloaded Autodesk Fusion 360 CAD software — which he learned in high school — and watched "a ton" of YouTube videos to get more comfortable with it. 

He purchased a 3-D printer and printed about 50 models before finding one he was happy with. 

"It took a long time to really perfect the size, the proportions and stuff like that," he said. 

The product

Perock's EZ Fade Haircut Guard has two pieces: the guard and the attach.  

The attach clips onto a standard pair of clippers, and the guard is slid onto the attach, he explained. There's a ring on the side of the guard that the hair cutter's finger goes into. 

"As you work your way up the head, you just slide your finger into the ring to expose the guard more and more," he said. 

At the end of September, he got a provisional patent for his product. 

Hunter Perock used Autodesk Fusion 360 CAD software and a 3-D printer to create the EZ Fade Haircut Guard.

Plans to retail 

Perock plans to retail the EZ Fade Haircut Guard, and launched a Kickstarter campaign earlier this month to help him fund it. 

"My goal is to help get it in barbershops and also to help with at-home haircuts," he said. "Right now, I'm sure a lot of people still don't want to go out to get a haircut ... because they're worried about COVID." 

Since creating the EZ Fade, he said he's been cutting his friends' and family members' hair. He also does his own sides, and his mom helps out with the back of his head. 

Perock plans to launch a website to sell the EZ Fade after his fundraising campaign ends in mid-November. Whether he reaches his fundraising goal or not, he said he still wants to move forward with the product. 

"I think it's a good idea, so I'm going to go for it either way," he said. 

The guard will retail for $35 online, he said. He also plans to offer a combo pack, which will come with the guard and professional cordless clippers; and a starter pack, which will come with the guard, the clippers, cape and a fade brush. 

Hunter Perock's EZ Fade Haircut Guard has two pieces, the guard and the attach.

His first business

Perock's first business venture was more of a service rather than a product. When Perock was 17, he had the idea to turn his love for wake surfing into a business. 

"I wanted to start a company to spread my love for the sport," he said. 

During Surf Lake Country's first official season this summer, Perock and his older sister, Carly Perock, taught about 30 students how to wake surf. 

Prices are dependent on how long a group wants to be out on the water. An hour for up to five people costs $125 total. 

The siblings ended their season a few weeks ago, but plan to start it back up in early June 2021. 

Always wanted to start businesses

"I always wanted to start up businesses," Perock said. "That's what I like doing. I like having a new idea or a problem thrown at me, and having to solve the problem."

Perock is studying business management at Waukesha County Technical College in Pewaukee, and has also taken classes in its Small Business Center. 

Perock said Russ Roberts, executive director of WCTC's Corporate Training Center and Small Business Center, has helped him get both of his businesses off the ground. 

"He (Perock) has a lot of those intangible qualities — persistence, desire, passion, motivation — those are things you can't teach," Roberts said. "He's eager to get out there; he's eager to make his businesses grow." 

Roberts helped launch WCTC's Small Business Center in 2001 after starting and running his own financial planning company in Waukesha for 12 years and serving in the Navy for 20. 

He said working with entrepreneurs like Perock is one of his passions. 

"I know the things they need help with because I've kind of been through the same thing they're going through," Roberts said. "I know how important it is to be able to have somebody you can call or talk to." 

WCTC's Small Business Center offers a variety of services, including noncredit courses, certificates and networking opportunities. 

"It's teaching them all the things that go into starting and growing a business," Roberts said. 

Perock is on track to graduate in spring 2021.