How To Grow A Moustache Feature Interview with The Boston Beard Bureau
How To Grow A Moustache Feature Interview with The Boston Beard Bureau
- March 6, 2013
Happy Moustache March everyone! We here at How To Grow A Moustache are very excited to be featuring The Boston Beard Bureau as part of our ongoing Moustache March celebratory postings on Moustache & Beard Clubs all around the world in an endless effort to familiarize all with the plethora of new groups opening up their doors in our backyards everyday.
The Boston Beard Bureau just threw their first event this past weekend over at Ralph’s Diner in Worcester, Massachusetts, raising $2,847.00 for The Child Life Organization! I know what you are thinking; A diner = Greasy spoons and Beards…of course. But no, be not fooled by the name, for Ralph’s Diner is actually a serious two story rock n roll venue! I was a little apprehensive on what to expect while on route, but nothing prepared me for such a gathering!
These bean town boys and girls can really throw down! Upon entering the club I was hit immediately by a barrage of sound and imagery, T-Rex’s “Jeepster” blaring through the outdoor speaker system, and retro burlesque girls shaking on the TV’s above the bar…I was home. The club must have been filled to capacity and the excitement was infectious. Never had I seen so many beards & staches cramped into one club before such as this. It was like opening up a shiny tin of hirsute sardines! Dandys, punks, steampunks, rockabillys, and bearded woman, a regular Ferris wheel fume filled reverie of a carni.
The event opened with live bearded bands and then it was competition time. Anyone in attendance that evening no doubt will be talking about this feel good, surreal happening for a long long time. Good show BBB!
Now let us pick at the fuzzy brains of Bert Mayer, president of our new favorite club, Brad Petrinec, and “Whiskerina” Christine Rock, speaking on behalf of the female members. So without further adieu, I bring you Our Feature Interview with The Boston Beard Bureau, Enjoy!
1. How long has your league been together?
Bert: I started our club April 2011 after attending a couple competitions held by other organizations.
Christine: I joined the Boston Beard Bureau about two years ago. I was technically a “Wiskerina,” which was the term for the women in the Bureau who enjoy beards and facial hair (on men). My boyfriend, Nick Peden has a beard and we linked to Bert Mayer through Facebook.
2. What is your membership criteria?
Bert: We actually just came up with our official bylaws (with some help from the Austin, TX guys):
- No money will be due to the club. Anything you would like to contribute is up to you.
– All members must attend a Boston Beard Bureau meeting or BBB sponsored event.
– All members must have participation in a beard and/or moustache contest (any will do).
– All facial hair is valid.
– All members will embody the good nature of facial hair and spread joy throughout the land.
3. Do you host events and competitions, if so how many a year and for what causes? How much have you raised?
Bert: Our club is hosting its first competition this weekend in Worcester, on March 2nd. Although we have worked with other groups (Somerville Arts Council, King Richard’s Faire, and Tall Boy Industries) to hold competitions through the city over the last couple years. Last year we raised around $800 for the Somerville Arts Council.
Brad: Whiskered Wonderland is about to happen in a couple of days…. I’ll let you know how much is raised!
4. Does your group participate in regional, national or international competitions?
Bert: We compete in/judge/help plan all local competitions, and we have competed everywhere from Detroit, to NYC, to Philly, and places in between.
Christine: In 2011, at the first Boston Facial Hair Fiasco, I entered with a spur-of-the-moment idea. There were very few who entered in the fake beard and Mustache category so I made a “Frank Zappa” styled moustache and soul patch combo and, unexpectedly came in 2nd place. The next year I entered the same contest (Boston Facial Hair Fiasco) and created a pink, blue, and purple yarn beard with some Viking braids in it. I happily came in first and have a great plaque for first place.
I thought of just ending it there, but after a week or so after winning 1st place I was coming up with ideas for how to make better and more interesting beards. I am now mustering up the courage to enter a national competition such as a New York show and maybe work from there.
5. Have you had any big wins?
Brad: I won first place in the freestyle full beard category at the Beard Fest in Somerville, MA & 1st place in Freestyle Full beard at the Boston Facial Hair Fiasco.
Bert: Our club has never been to a competition that we have not placed in. but here’s a full list:
~Brian Roy – 2nd place Freestyle Beard – 1st Annual Facial Hair Face Off in Hartford, CT (2/23/13)
~Bert Mayer – 3rd place Freestyle Beard – 1st Annual Facial Hair Face Off in Hartford, CT (2/23/13)
~Shane Maxwell – 2nd place Goatee – 3rd Annual NYC Beard and Moustache Competition in Brooklyn, NY (12/8/12)
~Bert Mayer – 3rd place Freestyle Beard – 3rd Annual NYC Beard and Moustache Competition in Brooklyn, NY (12/8/12)
~Brad Petrinec – 1st place Freestyle Beard – Boston Facial Hair Fiasco 2 in Boston, MA (12/1/12)
~Shane Maxwell – 1st place Partial Beard – Boston Facial Hair Fiasco 2 in Boston, MA (12/1/12)
~Christine Rock – 1st Place Fake Beard – Boston Facial Hair Fiasco 2 in Boston, MA (12/1/12)
~Brian Roy – 2nd place Full Beard Groomed – Boston Facial Hair Fiasco 2 in Boston, MA (12/1/12)
~Brendan Cheever – 2nd place Full Beard Natural – Boston Facial Hair Fiasco 2 in Boston, MA (12/1/12)
~Mason Barnard – 3rd place Freestyle Beard – Boston Facial Hair Fiasco 2 in Boston, MA (12/1/12)
~Brian Roy – 1st place Full Beard Natural – The All American City Beard and Moustache Competition in Somerville, MA (11/3/12)
~Becky Gosselin – 1st place Fake Beard – The All American City Beard and Moustache Competition in Somerville, MA (11/3/12)
~Brad Petrinec – 1st place Full Beard Freestyle – The All American City Beard and Moustache Competition in Somerville, MA (11/3/12)
~Bert Mayer – 2nd place Full Beard Freestyle – The All American City Beard and Moustache Competition in Somerville, MA (11/3/12)
~Jon Koppel – Winner Longest Beard – 1st Annual King Richard’s Faire Beard Competition in Carver, MA (10/13/12)
~Bert Mayer – 2nd place Freestyle Partial Beard – East Coast Beard and Moustache Championship in Philadelphia, PA (3/31/12)
~Shane Maxwell – 1st place Partial Beard – Boston Facial Hair Fiasco in Boston, MA (2/18/12)
~Bert Mayer – 1st place Freestyle (by default) – Boston Facial Hair Fiasco in Boston, MA (2/18/12)
~Christine Rock – 2nd Place Fake Beard – Boston Facial Hair Fiasco in Boston, MA (2/18/12)
~Brendan Cheever – 2nd place Full Beard Natural – Boston Facial Hair Fiasco in Boston, MA (2/18/12)
~John Tomai – 3rd place Full Beard Groomed – Boston Facial Hair Fiasco in Boston, MA (2/18/12)
~Bert Mayer – Won – Crazy Beard or Stache Contest on Booooooom.com (1/3/12)
~Shane Maxwell – 3rd place Partial Beard – 2011 NYC Beard and Moustache Competition in Brooklyn, NY (12/3/11)
~Bert Mayer – Won – Best Facial Hair Photo Contest on CrowdTogether.com (11/10/11)
~Nicole Fisher – 2nd place Pink Beard – National Ladies Fake Beard & Moustache Competition in Lancaster, PA (10/7/11)
~Nicole Fisher – 3rd place Realistic Moustache – National Ladies Fake Beard & Moustache Competition in Lancaster, PA (10/7/11)
~Nicole Fisher – 1st place Freestyle – Gansett Beer’d Off in Providence, RI (9/17/11)
~Bert Mayer – 1st place Moustache – Gansett Beer’d Off in Providence, RI (9/17/11)
~Tom Ward – 1st place Beard – Gansett Beer’d Off in Providence, RI (9/17/11)
~Bert Mayer – 2nd place Freestyle Partial Beard – Motor City Beard and Moustache Championships in Hamtramck, MI (4/16/11)
~Bert Mayer – Won – Obey The Beard #2 on ComicBlasphemy.com (4/12/11)
~Bert Mayer – 1st place Freestyle Partial Beard – The All American City Beard and Moustache Competition in Somerville, MA (3/19/11)
~Tom Ward – 2nd place Natural Full Beard – The All American City Beard and Moustache Competition in Somerville, MA (3/19/11)
~Todd Easton – 1st place Freestyle Full Beard – The All American City Beard and Moustache Competition in Somerville, MA (2/13/10)
~Tom Ward – Won – Obey The Beard #1 on ComicBlasphemy.com (7/06/09)
6. Any advice for other “growers” out there that have not joined or experienced pub club life yet?
Bert: It’s a great group of people, you really just get to put yourself out there however you want, and everyone accepts it. All facial hair is welcomed, so you have no excuse to not get your feet wet. I hear so many people say, “Yeah but I wouldn’t win,” and that’s just not the reason we are there. We all come together to have a good time, winning a competition is just a bonus.
Christine: Being a female in this oddly fast rising appreciation for men’s facial hair is interesting. I love color and love to accessorize my beard. Picking an outfit for competition is fun as well, I like to match makeup and shoes and hair to what color my beard will be. I encourage any woman to be creative and create facial pieces that truly express you. This isn’t just a man’s game anymore, it’s exciting and I have at least 3 new ideas of where to go next with my bearding.
Brad: It’s all about having a fuzzy, fun time!
7. Any tips or pointers for other stache and beard wearing men or women reading this?
Bert: Give yourself at least 6 months of growth before you truly say “I can’t grow a beard,” anything short of that and you are just lying to yourself.
Brad: Never shave, and I’d recommend grooming…. You know, brushing & oiling regularly to keep a nice shine.
8. Does anyone in your group have any humorous facial fur stories to share?
Bert: The community really just brings people together. After attending my first competition and winning, I got a Facebook message asking me if I wanted to go out to Detroit in a couple weeks. Mind you this message was from someone I had just met, and barely talked to. I accepted, and got into a car with 2 people I barely knew, and drove 12 hours to another competition where I took 2nd place. After that I was hooked on the sport. Other stories include one of my cars throwing a rod on the way home from NYC and losing a tire driving home from Nationals in Lancaster, PA.
9. What are some of your group’s favorite grooming products and why?
Bert: I have about 8 different kinds of wax for different things I do: Firehouse, Count Justinian, Clubman’s, Handlebar, Big B’s, Cowboy, Oregon Wild Hair, and I think a few I am forgetting. I also like to use Verb shampoo and conditioner, which I received once for winning a competition.
Brad: I like Both Burroughs beard oil & Dream Beard beard oil.
Christine: At first I helped Nick with shaping and grooming his beard and believe me there are A LOT of different beard grooming products out there. Nick and I discovered that not all styling products are created equal. He has tried various products from creams to oils and waxes. He has about an 8” beard with a moustache. He suffered from dry, itchy skin under his beard and it created a very uncomfortable situation so he started doing research on the internet seeing what other people in the beard community where using. He found that there are a lot of men out there with this same problem. Now nick is currently using the Mane and Tale dressing crème and it seems to be doing the trick. How do you really know what kind of product to use and when? I have found that the easiest way to find the answer to this question is just to ask around, but also try different products for yourself because what could be great for one man, can be very disastrous for another.
10. What do they look for in a moustache wax?
Bert: Depends on the style I am going for. The cowboy wax I use for really tight circles. Firehouse is for general freestyle designs. Clubman’s is for English style. So on and so forth. How long do I want the style to stay in for and what look am I going for is really how I decide. Mixing waxes is actually helpful quite often as well.
Brad: A nice hold, and a nice scent, seeing as how it’s directly under my nose.
11. What do you see in the future for your club?
Bert: We keep growing and it’s awesome. I love seeing new faces at our monthly meetings and I hope it continues. We currently sell shirts and I am waiting for the day I see a random person that I don’t know on the streets of Boston wearing one. We are also working to expand our product line past t-shirts.
Brad: More traveling, promoting facial hair, good friendship around the country, and a trip to Worlds!
12. Do you see an increase in the popularity of moustache and beard clubs?
Bert: Definitely. It’s hard to tell what it’s from really. Someone brings a friend to a competition and they go home and start a club and so on and so forth. The Whisker Wars TV show probably has something to do with it as well. Sometimes it’s hard to see which clubs are actually doing things or if it’s just one guy who has made a Facebook page.
13. What do you get out of being in a club? What’s the pay off, what’s the motivation?
Bert: Being in a club is really just a good feeling. You have something to look forward to each month. You know you have friends to call on. In college I went out and partied with my friends, but they all moved away when we graduated. Now I do the same thing, but with my beard friends. The way we run our club is you get back whatever you put in. If you help pay for the t-shirts, you’ll get a cut of the profits. We aren’t big enough to have a slush fund yet, but we all help each other get to competitions whether it’s offering a seat in your car or even paying for a ticket. It’s a good group of people and I can’t ask for it to be any better.
Christine: The men and women in the Boston Beard Bureau are truly a great group. We don’t discriminate and I always ask men who I see starting to grow if they would be interested in joining. We have monthly meetings usually at a bar or pub to discuss Bureau business and to catch up with members who have recently returned from a competition.
Brad: It’s just plain fun!
Interview by Douglas Smythe & Hodges Apellido
For more information on The Boston Beard Bureau Check them out here.
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