Why We Started 307

I've been asked why we came up with this product line, and why I grew a beard, on several occasions. These are both logical questions and worthy of taking some time to answer. The questions about why I dig pickled herring and Betty White are also worth a reply but She Who Must Be Obeyed (henceforth referred to as SHMBO) told me to stick to topics germane to our business.

Firstly, the reason for growing the beard is simple: I can. It wasn't a fashion statement. I've been called obnoxious, unprepossessing, and a lot of other things that are hard to spell. I've never been called fashionable. For most of my adult life I was subject to uniform regulations and grooming standards. Then, one snowy and blustery day, I found myself in front of a mirror with a razor in hand and realized I wasn't going anywhere that day and wasn't going anywhere in the foreseeable future where having a clean shave would matter. The razor sat on its lonely shelf in the medicine cabinet for months and slowly corroded its way to utter uselessness.

The product line is a bit more involved. I tried dozens of things to keep my beard in line. Few worked and fewer worked well. I honestly didn't know how to take care of it or how to groom it. In my mind nothing needed to be done. Men have grown beards since there have been men, right? It's a garden, let it grow. It proved to not be so simple.

First, my beard is curly. Most guys' beards are kinda curly but mine turns into a rats nest if left alone for a day. Running a comb or brush through it resulted a string of curse words and blood-curdling sounds that made the chest waxing scene in The 40-Year Old Virgin sound like the soundtrack to Mary Poppins. Something had to be done and shaving it off was out of the question. I tried everything from conditioners to my daughter's spray-in detangler. If it helped me with the act of grooming it failed to help manage it. Then I discovered oils and balms. After trying many brands of both I found some that worked and some that weren't worth the effort. A few might have performed well but they smelled odd. There is one very popular brand—who I will not name until we send them into bankruptcy after taking all their business—that was greasy, sticky, and smelled like Froot Loops. Don't get me wrong, that's my absolute favorite cereal of all time, but I don't want to smell like the stuff. I knew I could do better. Okay, my wife and I could do better. W could make the stuff work. We could make it condition a beard, make it manageable, but the scent was going to be largely her domain. My sense of smell isn't that great and if left to my own devices the scents would be Welding Shop, Sawmill, Smoked Brisket, and Bacon Bloody Mary (a highly recommended drink). Her good taste has made our stuff palatable and likable as well as functional.

So, long story short, we started this company because we knew we could do it better. We knew that more ingredients didn't mean a better product. You shouldn't need the help of a chemist to know what the heck is in the can. We decided to make it potent so it doesn't take half the can to whip your beard into shape and not charge you the netball prices some of our competition tags to their stuff. I found a 2oz can of balm that was $75. What's in there? Unicorn tears?

So, basically, we decided to not compromise. There's a lot more to say, but I'll save that for late

Posted on July 6, 2015 .