The humble beginnings of Beardo and the World famous Beard hat
Growing up in the Canada, I always loved the snow and simply liked being outdoors in the winter. My parents had a hard time getting me and my brother inside sometimes. Dad used to blow all the snow from around the house into one big mound in the backyard, and this is where we first learned to ski. As I got older we wanted to start from a higher level, and that is where the roof came in. Eventually I took up cross country skiing and then snowboarding in my early teens.
Thinking back about all of this, its clear to see how all my experiences were slowly culminating to one pivotal moment that lead to the development of our first product.
It was 2007 and some friends and I were in Whistler for a Snowboarding trip. We were riding the '7th heaven' run, which is One of the highest ski-able sections of Blackcomb Mountain. I, unlike my friends was not prepared for the volatile conditions of that altitude, and had only brought a thin beanie, scarf and thin gloves. That was a big mistake, but one which I am glad I made.
As the wind started to gust and the visibility went to hell, we stopped at a small overhang to rest and get out of it all. My nose felt like it was falling off, and my cheeks were burning from the cold wind. I reached in my bag and brought out an old brown knit scarf and tied it around my face. I put my goggles on and made a hole in the scarf for my mouth. That silly moment was all it took. my friends were chuckling and pointed out that I looked like I grew a beard. A beanie with a beard… not a bad idea and definitely functional!
I got back to the accommodation later that day and trimmed the scarf up a bit. and the first Beardo beard was born! I used it a few more times until we got some better prototypes knit, but I did keep the original and that beard mask now sits framed in my lounge room. It has been severely changed over the years but that was the humble beginnings of the product we have today!
Once we launched online it was a pretty quick growth, and we sold out within the first month of business. Since then I am proud to say that we have now sold to over 100 countries, have hundreds of retailers, 12 product patents and have been featured in television commercials, music videos and have even been a presenter on the show 'Dragons Den'. We were also featured in the 2014 'Ripley's believe it or not' book have way too much press to mention. We also now have a warehouse in Canada, USA and Europe as well as multiple production houses for our full range of over 100 skus. What started out as a silly design has lead us to a full range of outdoor products and accessories, and international exposure that simply couldn't be paid for.
All this from a smooth faced kid from Canada!