Who IS the man behind the Beardo? Meet Jeff Phillips: winter sports enthusiast, Canadian living (and surfing!) in Australia, and the creator of the best hat/faux-facial hair accessory we’ve ever seen.
How’d you get started with Beardo?
At first, Beardo was something we wore for fun. Lots of people thought it was really dumb and were happy to voice their opinions. Though I never thought of this as an idea that would ever catch on, I did know what I liked and stuck with my gut. I think that there is a time for everything, and the beard and mustache trend has really grown rapidly over the last few years.
Did you hit any road bumps along the way?
The biggest hurdles we have had to overcome were simply learning how to find our demographic. In todays global marketplace there are so many distractions, and lots of marketing opportunities, and we tried different things that may not have worked but we kept trying new ones and refining until we eventually found our feet.
When Beardo really started to take off, I was living in a friends garage to save a bit of money. We had no internet and things were pretty tight. Getting Beardo off the ground with trademarks, patents and web design was costly. We used to drive around and find wireless internet signals that people forgot to lock and simply sit in the car and edit from there. Looking back, a coffee shop may have been a better choice, but its those images that keep me smiling.
Did Beardo go through any major iterations before it arrived at its final form? Any other names before you settled on Beardo? Fu Manchu-O just doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.
The Beardo was always the name we wanted for the product, and what we always called it: It pretty well sums up the product perfectly for us. Though we still go by Beardowear, Beardo is the brand name that most identify with. Short is sweet—as FAB has also found!
What’s the best time you ever remember having while wearing a Beardo?
A few years ago we did a nude photo shoot on the beach, wearing just the Beardo…. not quite sure why exactly, but you can rest assured, those photos are in the vault for good!
Any upcoming plans for full-face gear for women and kids?
Our Kids Beardo line has been released recently and we now offer 5 colors/options for ages 3-10. We are definitely developing some new designs and keeping women in mind, but we also have some beardless stuff coming. Just today, we released our new ‘snowbeard’ which is essentially a beard without the hat. It was developed with helmet wearers in mind. The Beardos were always a bit too thick to wear under a helmet so we developed this to help out. Response has been awesome!
Do you have a work life balance, or is work your life or vice versa?
I have always said that once you find a job you love you’ll never have to work another day in your life, and it’s true. What I do may be a nightmare for some, but I love the challenge—the challenge of designing, promoting and everything in between! I wouldn’t have it any other way. I also get to travel a bit, which always helps break up the daily routine.
What are three things that you just can’t live without?
Those close to me (family, friends), my strong wanderlust, and my dreamer mentality.
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