The original Bearded Man, Martin Archer, on vikings, beard oil and patience

The beard is back like it hasn’t been since we walked around on our knuckles and hunted mammoths. Well, maybe not that far back. But the modern man has more facial options now than it feels like he has in many, many years. The Bearded Man Co knows the importance of sustainability and style and have built a company upon those pillars.

We caught up with the original bearded man himself, Martin Archer, to discuss his business, beard woes and beard heroes!

Be sure to swing by The Bearded Man Co for inspiration, great deals and some much needed facial encouragement!

1. Can you tell us a bit about the origins and philosophy behind The Bearded Man Co.?


The Bearded Man Company was born after I decided (way before it was hipster and trendy by the way) to grow a full beard about five years ago. At this exact moment my wife of 25 years had just finished an intensive cosmetology course.  We couldn’t  find anything on the market in the UK for grooming men’s beards – which was both astonishing and bewildering to us. The Bearded Man Company was born, we started as a kitchen table start up, to now having stockists in over 54 countries, production has scaled to a dizzying 5000 products daily, we often struggle to keep up with demand. Having a small team around us now full time with invisible angel wings help us through each extremely busy day.

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Image credit: The Bearded Man Co

2. Who in the world has the strongest beard game right now? Your ‘beard heroes’ as it were?


This is a hard question to answer, as there are so many awesome beards that pop to my mind immediately. Having now moved to the bearded side, and don’t waste my time shaving any longer, these are my personal thoughts. To be honest I think all bearded men are heroes in their own right. Beards are beautiful and a natural part of a man’s face. I cannot fathom fighting a daily battle against something my own body does naturally ever again. It enhances masculine qualities instantly. The fact that men can grow beards is a characteristic that nature has given us to distinguish ourselves from the female gender, is a beautiful thing.

3. How long have beard oils been popular, what’s the history there? 2 years? 10 years? More?! Did the Vikings use beard oil?


As mentioned before we established in 2012, there where no other Beard Oil Company’s in the UK at the time. The thing is men have had beards since the beginning of time, and as long as there are men there will be beards. I think it took someone to be a billboard for men with beards, for the industry to take notice.

Did Vikings use beard oil? Although the popular image of the people of the Viking Age is one of wild-haired, dirty savages, this is a false perception. In reality, the Vikings took care with their personal grooming, bathing, and hairstyling. History has found combs fashioned from Ivory during from Viking age, they used a variety of tools for personal grooming and cleanliness. So they could have more than likely fashioned their own form of beard oils.

4. Would you ever consider expanding the brand to create grooming salons exclusively for facial hair? 


This is our dream to have real bricks and mortar exclusive grooming salons.  We have just tried a similar pop up shop concept, and it was went down a storm, welcomed by bearded men and the beauty industry as a refreshing change, as we feel male grooming products are still in their infancy compared to women’s beauty products.

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Image credit: The Bearded Man Co

5. What’s the most rewarding part of running BMC?


There are many, but have to say our customer feedback and reviews are phenomenally rewarding. We are determined not to become complacent as the feedback we get daily is astounding, it is what keeps up getting up each morning. The inversely rewarding part that we did not expect as a company is the customer interaction with each other on social media. It’s like we have inadvertently built this bearded community of men from all over the world interacting with each other, all for their one common cause, their love affair of all things beard.

6. What advice can you spare for the guys out there (myself included) who can’t even get even stubble, let alone a magnificent face-bush?


Persevere. A lot of men get frustrated after the first few weeks and they can’t make it past to even stubble stage. We hear from a lot of guys like this from all over the world with the same problem. Be patient it will come, you just have to get through the first few weeks, preserve and you will get past that hurdle. The key thing to keep in mind is your first few weeks growth may not be completely even, be patient and work past this stage. In fact, we are launching a new product in the next few months specifically for this problem we been working on for the last two years and it is finally coming to fruition after much work. We are super excited to launch this new product very shortly based on the thousands of emails we get from guys who have the same problem. Watch this space.