I often brag about you.
I am proud of the fact that you like my brand. I am probably most proud of the fact that you have helped defined what the brand really
is, as we have had a group conversation over the past year and a half. The fact so many of you spread the word and participate in so many ways tells me I am doing something right. It is no exaggeration to say that you give me the energy to stay up late night after night finding new ways to:
* try to make you smile or appreciate the life you've been gifted
* provide all natural products to take care of those whiskers
* make stuff that does what is says is will do, and do it well
* create things that look awesome and bring some creativity and joy to your facial hair rituals
What I like about you:
Just going off what I have noticed in literally thousands of interactions
with you, I can say with near certainty that you appreciate traditions and rituals. You like to surround yourself with a few nice things, especially if they have a story. You help that guy whose care broke down on the side of the road, even if it makes you late to where you were going. You have a hard time letting bullies get away with it. Stories move you and fakes and frauds annoy you. Experience has taught you to be slow to trust, but once someone is "in" they are "in." If you have a beard or a moustache it is because it makes you feel better about you or shows who you are; you didn't grow it because you think it makes you superior to someone else.
I actually give a damn.
Some of you know I really mean that. Since 2012 when things kicked off, I have really started to feel like we have built a meaningful community of friends. I really love you guys, like for real. I get excited when you are excited to surprise your brother or cousin with a new beard oil. I am sad when I hear about loved ones you've lost. I feel angry when someone attacks one of you or you lose your job. I lose sleep when I disappoint one of you and send out and order late or send you the wrong thing (it happens from time to time). I love hearing that a surprise bottle of beard oil or can of wax really made someone's day or that a note I wrote really gave someone hope. (Of course, some folks have taken advantage of me and I have ended relationships and adapted over time, but I promise to always trust first and move forward without getting jaded.)
You are not like me, and I love that.
I love the fact that we have all sorts of folks that participate in our community, whether on Facebook, this blog, Instagram, Pinterest, at events or emailing and messaging me. We are made up of some older folks, some young bucks, black guys, white guys, some blend of backgrounds, Muslims, Christians, wives, girlfriends, best-men, soldiers, civilians, libertarians, communists, those with shaved faces and those with hair to down past their belt. The topic of facial hair introduced us, but our community is a group of humans that choose to care for one another.
Community is choosing to care about others, not a fraternity for those with tufts of dead keratin on their face.
My dad, who passed in '97, was career military from the time he was 18. He shaved every day. He is my definition of a "real" man. Sure, being a man and facial hair are related but being able to grow hair on your face is not predictive of being a man in any way that matters. I'd go so far as to say that there are children at heart with beards and men's men with smooth faces. Again, community is about relationships with other humans
. An attribute
of our particular community is the amount of facial hair we tend to have. Even though this should be a given in any beard related site, it is such a cool thing to me that we are a brand that seems to be known for including women in the community, not as "the wife of" or "the girlfriend of" a guy with a beard. We have managed to keep our respectful environment, for men or women, clean shaven or Gandalf beards. We all seem to appreciate good facial hair and that always seemed enough to me.
What I've made
In conclusion, when I started this business I thought success was how many cans of wax and bottles of oil I've made. Success is how many friends I've made and how much of a difference in creating some sanity and goodwill in this world I have made. Thanks for helping me learn that through your fine examples.
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