Hey OrganicClimber fans. I really haven’t been very disciplined about keeping up the blog since I moved to Austin a couple years ago and began Bearded Brothers. I have been recently re-inspired to keep up the blog as a way to talk about a number of things, including; climbing, running, health, nutrition, Bearded Brothers, and life as a new father (my wife and I have our first child in September).
I just finished attending Outdoor Retailer (OR) in Salt Lake City, Utah. OR is the largest trade show featuring product for outdoor lovers of all kinds. You will find products such as food bars, shoes, backpacks, jogging strollers, climbing gear, hammocks, and athletic wear of all kinds. If the product even remotely relates to the outdoor industry – It’s likely here.
It has been an inspiring and humbling experience being here at the show. As a small startup company (Bearded Brothers) it can be difficult to stay afloat. When you are in the early stages you wear a lot of hats; you make the product, you take out the trash, you balance the books, you make sales calls and handle distribution. There is nothing you don’t do! It can be VERY tiring, and at times you even question why you are doing what you are doing.
Then I visit a show like OR and see many amazing innovative products, and I am reminded most all the companies here were in the same shoes we stand in now. Perhaps the most inspiring companies are the fairly young companies such as CLIFF that are barely over 10 years old, and yet they are HUGE, now. I also look at even younger companies such as Luna Sandals, who are rocking out quality products with only two years under their belt. Btw, the new Luna Spring line of running sandals is AMAZING.
I also often have to remind myself why we started Bearded Brothers to begin with. Creating a business to pay the bills was only a small part of the equation. To this day, neither of us is pulling in a consistent income on the business (we have been in business over a year). The real reason behind the madness is sharing quality, organic snack foods with as many people as we can, and being a pioneer in the environmental/sustainability front. The market is saturated with overly processed crap (a lot of it isn’t even organic), and we are part of the solution to a more sustainable, environmentally friendly food system.
I’m very passionate about healthy organic foods, and a high plant based diet. I believe eating mostly organic foods is not only important for health reasons, but for sustainability reasons as well. We are called to be good stewards of the earth, and putting poisonous toxins into the ground is getting us far way from that calling. With regards to health, poisoning our foods with pesticides isn’t helping curb and fight disease. Non-organic foods is destroying our environment and our health.
Sometimes I get overwhelmed when I see large companies that push for social change, such as Patagonia. I feel like we will never rise to what they are, and not only that, I fear the responsibility it holds. But, I have to remind myself that as the company grows others will join our team and it won’t feel so much like a solo climb.
Hopefully we will soon have a fully staffed kitchen, and Chris, the other brother will be able to leave his full time job to join Bearded Brothers full time – giving us the opportunity to work side by side, along with our team to create amazingly tasty products that blow people’s mind, and is also good for the environment.
We also have the goal of joining 1% for the planet, where we donate 1% of our sales to a charity that help environmental and sustainable initiatives. We also hope to set up a family foundation one day as well that allows us to be generous with our personal finances. Our goals and dreams are pretty much endless. Personally, I have to remind myself over and over that to build something great requires hard work.I was rec
During OR, while talking to the founders of Kammok I saw a reflection of us. These are young men that have created an awesome product they truly believe in and have goals beyond just building a profitable company. Like us, they are also bootstrapping their company, and even the CEO is expecting his first child very soon, as am I. These guys are also working hard to build and expand their business and help support environmental and sustainable initiatives.
While starting up a company (as well as a family at the same time) can be tiring, I have to remind myself the end goal will be worth it. I should consider myself blessed to be working on something I am passionate about. It sure beats any job I have had in the past. I hope that moving forward I can share with you all the joys and trials of running a business and bring you content you can use and enjoy.