WW: Are you guys skiers? MH: You know, no. I probably ski once a year, but a couple of the guys involved are avid skiers.
WW: Where is Beardski based? Drew Hamilton: My line is, "based in the ski capital of the world, Dallas, Texas."
WW: Ah yes, where all the big resorts are. What kind of price point can consumers expect? MH: The price range is between $31-$40, depending on retailer mark-ups.
WW: Are the Beardskis made domestically, or are they outsourced? MH: We actually had these made in Asia. The raw materials are a synthetic that you can't produce here in America. So we'd have to ship the quota here, then ship it back for manufacturing, and that doesn't really make much sense. But we wanted to make sure we made something high-quality, because there are so many generic masks in the market place. If we didn't make it with such a high quality fleece, line it with neoprene and embroider the back of it, it would be like everything else. If we didn't put details to it, it wouldn't meet the consumer demand. This is why it commands a little bit steeper cost to the consumer, but we didn't want anything like what everyone is putting out there.
WW: What's next for Beardski? MH:I don't want to give out any secrets or anything, but we have already tapped into the Harley Davidson market. Along those lines, we have a lot of markets to tap.
WW: Is there any one beard in particular that inspires this? MH: Well, this is actually just one cut. I don't know why people always say ZZ-Top; his is a lot longer than this one. We also have over twenty different cuts. The cool thing is that it has an international draw already. We had an article come out in a few publications that people have seen, so we have distribution in the U.K., France, Japan and Czechoslovakia, of all places. Beards transcend any other kind of fashion you'd see normally, so they never go out of style.
WW: What about Beardski has been the most startling find? MH: You know, I'm really surprised that the brand name wasn't taken. That was surprising to us, because it's such a great name.
WW: Do you use it? MH: I haven't had the chance to use it yet, but three of the other guys have.