It’s the final half of your school’s basketball game. All eyes beat down on the opposing team as you stand to watch them shoot a free throw. The player takes his eyes off the hoop and looks at the crowd for a moment. So many students, parents, fans…and six-foot Hillary Clinton?
Giant heads are making all kinds of similar appearances across the world thanks to companies like Build-A-Head and its creator, Bryan Price.
Build-A-Head is a website based in Phoenix that allows users to log on, upload a photo and receive a giant face cutout, shipped out the very next day.
Users can choose between two to six foot tall Huge Heads, key chains, ornaments or Big Head Slims, which are heads printed on thinner paper and attached to a stick.
Price got the idea after seeing the demand for giant heads at sports games and festivals and the amount of fun people were having with them.
The only problem was the process. Printing and building a giant head attached to cardboard, foam or poster board proved to be a weekend-long process that was costing people a lot of money.
“The cost was high, making them essentially impossible to create,” Price said.
After graduating college, he took a job delivering pizzas in Scottsdale, allowing him enough time on the side to work on Build-A-Head.
What started out as a two person ordeal in his garage has grown into a business now employing 11 people, mobile and on-site, and operating out of a warehouse.
Now, getting a cardboard head is affordable, fast and a matter of a few clicks.
And the business is still growing.
Build-A-Heads have made appearances all over the world, including Rihanna’s foundation events the past two years.
“It’s cool because, one, it’s Rihanna, and two, there’s a ton of people who attend that event,” said Price.
Social media has also helped the head phenomenon. Build-A-Head has been seen on networks by the likes of ESPN, CNBC and Sports Illustrated.
“It’s been crazy with social media, we see ourselves at events we didn’t even know we’d be at.” Price said.
It’s not just sports though. Heads have found uses everywhere from marathons, pageants, fundraisers and graduations to political campaigns, birthday parties and weddings.
While he doesn’t necessarily have a favorite face he’s printed, he thinks the different occasions at which the heads have made appearances are special.
“It’s a simple product,” said Price, “But they mean a lot to people at the events they go to, whether it’s a first birthday party or a college graduation for someone who’s the first person in their family to graduate.”
Customers are easily at the forefront of Build-A-Head. The site boasts fantastic customer service with quick shipping and an ordering process that takes minutes.
While consulting the large selection of emoji cutouts, politician heads and life-sized cutouts, you might have one question: why heads?
Price cites the instantaneous recognizability and the joy that people have seeing the faces come through as the reason for their success.
“We certainly live in a meme era,” Price said, “And the heads borderline on that. They’re a fun way for people to express themselves at events.”
Build-A-Head has consistently grown and evolved and Price believes it will continue to do so. With Christmas coming up, the site offers face cutout ornaments.
The site also recently added Larry Fitzgerald, the Cardinals’ wide receiver, to their selection of celebrity heads in support of his foundation, the First Down Fund. Price says it’s a huge step in the direction of adding other licensed entertainers and athletes.
As for those nearing their last semester of senior year with business ideas of their own, Price has only one piece of advice: “Plain and simple, work hard. When you think you’re worked hard enough, work harder.”
For more information or to order your own Huge Head for a party, game or dorm room decoration, visit buildahead.com.