The Story Behind Our First Bearded President

Many powerful men have worn beards on their faces throughout history, and Abraham Lincoln is likely one of the first names to come to mind. The 16th president of the United States was the first in his profession to proudly wear facial hair, but why did he do it? Being the first to break tradition is a pretty bold move, especially if you’re hoping to lead a country.

Honest Abe didn’t begin his campaign with a beard. It seems as though his plan was to follow the footsteps of the great leaders before him, but one letter from an 11 year old girl changed that.

The young lady responsible for the president’s beard was Grace Bedell of Westfield, NY. She suggested that he grow out his beard to improve his appearance and better his chances of being elected. In fact, one part of her letter read  “All the ladies like whiskers and they would tease their husband’s to vote for you and then you would be President.”

It’s safe to say that Miss Bedell was onto something, because this is true of many women today- the ladies just love the beards.

The correspondence between President-Elect Lincoln and 11-year-old Grace Bedell in 1860. Documents courtesy of the Detroit Public Library, Burton Historical Collection and the Benjamin Shapell Family Manuscript Foundation.

While we will never know for certain whether or not Abe’s beard won him the election, it’s safe to assume that it had a hand in the matter. Beards really do have great potential to improve one’s appearance. Maybe that’s why they say “beards are makeup for men.”

So, in honor of President’s Day, we hope you have enjoyed this piece of information about the first bearded president of the United States. If you already knew the history of why he grew a beard and still read this blog, we tip our top hats and thank you kindly!

Fineberg, Gail. “The Advice of a Little Girl”. Library of Congress. 2009 March. https://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/0903/letter.html





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Welcome to November

 

Welcome to November.


A few days ago you got to be scary, and now it’s time to get HAIRY!


Most of you are likely familiar with No-Shave November and Movember. If you are familiar, you know the guidelines. In case you are unaware, it’s really very simple- just let your beard or mustache grow, without shaving or trimming, for the entire month of November.


These traditions began quite some time ago. As years have passed, their popularity began to grow into what are now well-known trends, but each of them have a special purpose. The concept behind No-Shave November is to raise cancer awareness by embracing our hair and allowing it to grow wild and free. At the end of the month, you donate the money you would typically spend on shaving and donate it to spread awareness about cancer prevention and lend a helping hand to those fighting the battle. Movember is very similar, but instead of growing a beard, you grow a mustache. This organization focuses on men’s health awareness in three different areas: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health. These are all great areas in which to focus, and the goals of spreading awareness and raising funds to help those in need are more than met with each passing November.


If you are interested in learning more, we have provided links to each of the organization’s websites below.


https://no-shave.org

https://us.movember.com


If you have decided to jump in full force for the cause, you’re going to need some tools to help you along the way. Maybe you’re starting from scratch with a nice, smooth face, or maybe you’re a few steps ahead with a full blown beard. Whatever you’re working with, we can help. You’ll find the key to a face full of success below with our eight recommended products.



If You’re Going for a Beard…


Growing a beard takes patience, time and proper care. If you want to do it right, there is an order of steps that must be taken:


  1. Wash
  2. Condition
  3. Maintain
  4. Control

Let’s dig a little deeper, and explain each step and the importance behind it.


Wash

  1. Mountaineer Brand Beard Wash


You need to keep your beard clean, but you have to be cautious about the product you choose to get the job done. A lot of companies use fragrance oils, alcohol and parabens in their recipes. While the finished product may smell great, your finished product may not look so great. Those ingredients dry out the skin, and when that happens you may as well say goodbye to a smooth, silky beard. Once the skin beneath the beard is stripped of the oils it naturally produces, your beard begins to suffer. It NEEDS those oils to thrive!


Our wash is 100% natural and mild enough for daily use. We use a liquid castile soap base and quality essential oils, so your beard won’t be left dry and itchy. It will, however, be clean because this product truly delivers desirable results.


Condition

  1. Mountaineer Brand Oil
  2. Mountaineer Brand Beard Balm



Following your wash, you’ll need to condition, just like you would do for the hair on your head. The best way to do this is with a beard oil or balm.


Our oil absorbs quickly and gives your beard a smooth, soft, subtle shine. While it’s busy making the beard incredibly attractive, it’s also moisturizing the skin beneath the beard and encouraging healthy hair growth.


The beard balms works in a very similar way. It is equally effective in moisturizing the beard and skin, but a lot of people find that it also helps with the itch that sometimes comes along with the growing experience.


If you’re trying to decide between the two, consider the texture of each product. In the end, it’s really about personal preference. If you really want to give your beard some TLC, we recommend using both.


Maintain

  1. Mountaineer Brand Beard and Mustache Comb



Maintain your look by keeping it perfectly groomed. Obviously this isn’t an absolute must have for someone new to the beard game, but for a man who is no stranger to it, this is essential. Your beard is no different than the hair on your head- It needs to be combed and groomed, and this convenient comb is the way to do it.


Control

  1. Mountaineer Brand Heavy Duty Balm

 



This is another product for the seasoned beard grower. The bigger the beard, the more unruly it becomes. Our Heavy Duty Balm keeps those stubborn flyaways under control while it conditions. This product is available in two scent variations, so now is a great time to add some variety to your collection. No more “bed beard” for you!



If You’re Going for a Mustache…



This process isn’t nearly as complex, but you still need to care for and style your mustache properly. Keep it clean (our beard wash is perfect for even the smallest areas of facial hair, like a mustache), keep it groomed (with the comb mentioned above), and keep it styled.

 

  1. Mountaineer Brand Mustache Wax



This product will give you the style you want, but more importantly, the HOLD you want. The hold comes from the main ingredient- beeswax. Not only does it get the job done, but it comes in a two ounce tin, so it’s twice the size of most waxes out there.


If you’re feeling adventurous and plan to do some crazy styling with your mustache, we also offer an extra firm wax.



For Your Products

  1. Mountaineer Brand Canvas Dopp/Travel Bag

Keep all of your essentials inside this convenient bag. There are several pockets inside, so if you are on the go you don’t need to worry about your products rolling around and potentially losing something. Plus, you can reduce the clutter on your bathroom counter, and we’ve been told that this seems to keep lots of significant others happy.



For all Faces

  1. Mountaineer Brand Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse



This stuff is the real deal, because it will keep your beard and mustache clean. That’s not all it can be used for, though. Your hair and skin will thank you for it as well! This gentle cleansing rinse restores the natural pH of your beard, face, hair, and scalp, With a balanced pH, your hair and skin will not lose the oils it naturally produces, which will keep everything looking healthy and feeling clean. You’ll need it at the end of the day to remove product buildup from your face, and because it’s so gentle, we recommend it for daily use.



To Sum it Up


These products are a sure way to get you through No-Shave November and Movember without a hitch. They’re so great, you may want to continue growing even after the month has passed. Who knows, maybe you’ll be asked to dress up as Santa in December.


Whatever you decide, we’re here to help you along the way. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us through our social media. One of our friendly and knowledgeable staff members will answer you in a timely fashion.


If you haven’t followed us on Instagram or liked our Facebook page, please do it now! We share informative product posts that you may find useful, and also have live videos on Monday and Wednesday each week. In those videos, we always give away a bag full of products worth $100.00 to folks who simply follow a few steps. The links to each page are listed below, as well as the steps you must follow to win the prize bag.


https://www.facebook.com/mountaineerbrand/   




https://www.instagram.com/mountaineerbrand/

https://www.instagram.com/grannyvicars/

 

 

 








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Staycation

Last week was filled with sunshine, the ocean breeze, and my toes in the sand. The sound of the waves rolling in was peaceful and therapeutic, and the seafood was absolutely divine. Sounds like heaven, right? 

It wasn't quite what I expected. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful that I was able to experience all of those things, but I found myself an anxious mess and missing home quite a bit. I told my friend that if it weren't for wanting my kids to enjoy the experience, I much rather would have had a "staycation". 

For those of you that don't know what that is, it's a vacation at home. You take some time off of work and just relax. No need to hire a house sitter or pay tons of money to send your beloved pooch off to a kennel for a week. No long drive or stuffy flight to your destination, just a lot of rest and relaxation where you're most comfortable. 

While you may not want to abandon certain duties such as laundry or dishes (or showering... please do that) you want to be sure that you are RELAXING. Certain things can wait. You wouldn't be able to mow the grass or scrub the toilets if you were out of town, right? Keep little things like that in mind. 

If you can't quite think of what to do with yourself and feel compelled to fall back into your normal routine, don't fret! Below you'll find some ideas to keep your family and yourself entertained. 

1. Take a nature walk. Leave the cell phones behind so you can truly enjoy your surroundings. 

2. Go to a nearby amusement park. Most states have a few, so you'll likely be able to find one somewhat closeby and make it a day trip. 

3. Invite friends over for a BBQ. Food+friends= fun. 

4. Go to a local pool. 

5. Go kayaking or canoeing. 

6. Take a trip to a nearby day spa, and get the total package. It will cost a small fraction of what you would pay to vacation out of town. 

7. Visit a local farmer's market or pick fresh fruit at a nearby orchard, then come home and enjoy your goodies. 

8. Take an art class as a family and reveal each family member's creativity. 

9. Go see a movie matinee as a family. 

This next one is my favorite... 

10. Have the kids spend the night with a trusted family member or friend and SLEEP IN the next morning! 

These are just some ideas you can fall back on. Use your creativity. A staycation can be just as fun and relaxing as a vacation (and doesn't cost nearly as much). Just make sure you are getting the much needed relaxation that you deserve!

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What's Around The Corner?

Spring is in the air and summer is on the way! I like to call this the happiest time of the year. There's just something about sunshine and warm weather that makes me want to get up and go with lots of extra pep in my step.

As a matter of fact, the whole team here at Mountaineer Brand has been hit with spring fever (in a good way). We've been putting our heads together and have come up with some really creative ideas that we think you'll love.

Now, I can't completely spill the beans, but I can drop a few hints. Father's Day is right around the corner, so we'll have some awesome stuff to keep your gift giving covered. Since summer is almost here we'll be launching a brand new kit, and there will be some sales to go along with it. Finally, as a way to show how much we appreciate all of you, there will be some contests with prize giveaways!

This stuff is right around the corner, folks, so keep your eyes peeled. The happiest time of the year is upon us!

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Once Upon a Fall

Fall beards. If you haven’t heard of this phenomenon yet, I’m sure you’re not alone. For some, it’s kind of a new thing. However, I will caution you against confusing the Fall Beard tradition with a current trend (think manbun). As long as I can remember, men in my family have grown beards in the fall, only to cut them off later in the year--some did so at the immediate end of hunting season (with no-so-silent urging from the wife), while others waited until spring. Still, year after year the beards showed up and disappeared as if on some sort of schedule.

This is the tale of one very lucky Fall Beard. This seasonal habit--or maybe a tradition if you want to split that hair--is the one that changed Eric’s life (and mine for that matter). In the fall of 2013, Eric’s Fall Beard is what drove him to formulate and bottle our first Mountaineer Brand beard oil. Eric said that he had always wanted to keep his Fall Beard, but eventually got frustrated and shaved it. Frustrated with what, you ask?  Frustrated with trying to make his beard look good. His beard became unruly after a while and he always ended up looking like he had been wrastlin’ a bar and pert-near wun (that’s WV speak for wrestling a bear and almost winning--that’d be one messy beard, huh?).

Beard oil was beginning to make its way to the market and there was a little bit of a buzz beginning to surround the beard trend and the accompanying beard oil market; the market, at the time, was very different than it is today. In 2013, there were only a few companies who were making and selling beard oils and conditioners and they were doing so at boutique prices, making this search for a solution to a bristly beard an uphill climb.

Determined to keep the beard, the exasperation and the economic constraints were just enough for Eric to focus his energy in another direction. In the end, he concluded that if given enough research and experimentation he could come up with a product that was every bit as good, or better than, any already on the market. So he did. What luck for everyone of us that Eric tends to be single-minded and focused when he makes a decision.

I saw a few articles that debated the merit of a Fall Beard; a few bearded gents weighed in on the pros while others chimed in on the cons. Of course, what it comes down to is preference (and that of your spouse or the one who has to kiss your face). But I would like you to consider this. Is it possible that a Fall Beard can be lucky? You tell me.   Mountaineer Brand sprang to life from this perfect storm of events and has been gaining speed since with no signs of slowing down. And to think, it all started Once Upon A Fall...

Our evolution from the baby steps in Eric's kitchen to our current space has been thorough and will never be complete. We are in a constant state of change. Some of the changes are easier to trace than others. Take a look at some of our first labels:

 

Without changing our labels from this, our first attempt, Mountaineer Brand would not be what you know it to be today.

After adopting our iconic logo (below), we added stories to our first 3 oils (Timber, Coal, and Barefoot). The labeling requirements left little room for the stories, but we're still fond of them.


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