Urban Beardsman – Beardbrand

urban beardsman Eric Bandholz, founder of Beardbrand, will introduce the Sharks and the world to the “Urban Beardsman” in episode 609 on Halloween night. He wants an investment in his Bearbrand website where he curates and sells the finest accessories for the aforementioned urban beardsman. Bandholz started his business by creating an online community of like-minded urban beardsmen when he started the online publication “Urban Beardsman Magazine,” a website that discusses all things related to beards.

He knew his bearded brethren were sick of comparisons to  “ZZ Top,” “Grizzly Adams,” and “Duck Dynasty,” so he set out to educate the world at large about what an urban beardsman is. As he states in this post, these are the qualities of an urban beardsman:

Having a beard doesn’t mean we’re lazy, unkempt, or rough and gruff. It’s just one thing about us. Our beards help us stand out in the crowded world of 9 to 5ers and paper pushers. The beard symbolizes a passion for independence and the drive to stand out from the crowd. It’s not the safe play, but when combined with individual style and family and community involvement, it evolves into an awesome combination.

That combination of awesomeness is the urban beardsman.

A beardsman is a man who builds his own path; who understands the value of looking good; who has confidence and leadership to get shit done. There have always been men like this, but no one has bothered to unite them or to tell their stories-until now. We’ve been telling the stories of incredible beardsmen for years and will continue to share with the world what it means to be an urban beardsman.

Our goal is to help men become the man they want to be. I’m talking about all those societal pressures that sway us to make decisions that aren’t really who we are – like shaving our beard, or dressing conservatively, or not leading a project at work that we are passionate about.

That’s what I love about this movement – we aren’t trying to change who you are on the outside, but help you show the world who you really are on the inside. That my friend is an urban beardsman.

What Mr. Bandholz is trying to say is having a beard makes a statement about who you are and what you stand for. He realized his growing community – he has over 40,000 followers on Facebook – has certain needs, so he created the Beardbrand store to cater to his fellow facially follicled fans.

Bandholz combs the earth for the finest grooming accessories for guys with beards. He sells beard oils which condition beard hair, mustache wax, combs, brushes, grooming tools, soaps, and “all-inclusive” beard grooming kits. You can also get Beardbrand tee shirts, belts, wallets, suspenders, and more. Bandholz doesn't personally manufacture anything, he finds and tests for the best in class stuff and brands them so the products all carry the Beardbrand name. The products are available on Amazon and in over 40 retail locations nationwide. Mr, Bandholz is on Shark Tank to “grow our footprint dramatically this year.”

My Take on the Urban Beardsman

As a “sub” urban beardsman myself, I get what Bandholz is trying to do. Building a community is a great way to sell product, whether it's beard related products, kid's toys, or women's clothing. I think Beardbrand's marketing is quirky, clever and on point. I sport a trimmed Van Dyke style beard myself – I used to only grow it in the winter, but it's been hanging around for about 18 months now. My son hasn't cut his hair or shaved since last February, he'll shave it all off for the New England Collegiate Swim Championships in February 2015. My daughter's boyfriend hasn't shaved since freshman year of college – he's a senior now. We have a bearded gang hanging around our family. We joke that it's a display of added testosterone among the estrogen overload that is four daughters!

I'm not sure when beards became cool again – it's only been within the past few years the wild, full beard has become a hipster thing. I started growing my beard each winter back in the 1990's when the Boston Bruins started sporting Van Dykes during the playoffs. All the guys at work decided to jump on the bandwagon to show their support for the team. I'd never had a beard before and I got a lot of complements on it, so I started growing it every fall. I use special grooming tools to keep it looking sharp, though I must confess I've never used beard oil. I think the oil is for the long full beards, not the close-cropped style I wear.

I am going to pick up some Beardbrand products for the two bearded boys in my life; they'll make great stocking stuffers this Christmas!

Do Sharks Have Beards?

The short answer to the headline question is, no, none of the Sharks wear beards. The Sharks will want to hear about sales and profits, not how hip it is to sport a beard. Unless Beardbrand is knocking it out of the park, I think the Sharks will drop out one by one. Even though Lori strokes Bandholz's beard while cooing approvingly during the segment, I don't think she's the beard type. Robert will sit this one out too. Mr. Wonderful will probably make some cracks about the scruffy look, but he'll ultimately think the business is “too niche” for him. Mark doesn't have a beard, so he'll be out too.

The only Shark taht might bite is Daymond, because he's all about branding. Bandholz has done a good job branding his business and Daymond could appreciate his efforts enough to invest. He'd bring value by introducing Beardbrand to high-end retail outlets. Ultimately, I think the best Mr. Bandholz can hope for is a solid 8 minute commercial for Beardbrand and the urban beardsman lifestyle.

About Rob Merlino

Entrepreneur, auteur, raconteur. Rob Merlino is a blogger and writer who enjoys the Shark Tank TV show and Hot Dogs. A father of five who freelances in a variety of publications, Rob has a stable of websites including Shark Tank Blog, Hot Dog Stories, Rob Merlino.com and more.

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