Bristlr Newsletter – Issue #2

Newsletter Header blog 7 apr

Hello beards and beard lovers! We’re back and here to provide a warm, fuzzy safe space for all things beardy – it’s Issue #2 of the Bristlr Newsletter!

We’ve been enjoying a month long celebration of our Dragon’s Den appearance, we’re really DRAGging that one out (see what I did there?). However, it’s time to move on to bigger and beardier things, and so we’ve now closed the #WolfInTheDen competition. But the excitement doesn’t stop there, we’ll be announcing our winner and the three competition runner-ups below!

We’d like to thank everyone that entered in to the competition, and a special thanks goes to Totem Wolf for supplying beard oils, soaps and even discounts on future purchases to our beards!


Winners

The Winners of Wolf in The Den! 

We’re excited to announce that the top Bearded Dragon of our #WolfInTheDen competition is… Oliver Kennedy! With the strongest pitch and a respectable beard to boot, we simply couldn’t say no! Oliver earns an investment of two bottles of Totem Wolf Blend 79 Premium Beard Oil, a box of Totem Wolf Beard Savon AND 10% off all Totem Wolf purchases for a year!

Coming in at a close second, Iain Dunford had a great beard and a pitch but Oliver’s was a difficult one to top. Our other two runner-up beards are Tom Ince (of the Liverbeards) and Valentino Gahide! You’ll each be receiving a bottle of Totem Wolf Blend 79 Premium Beard Oil!

Unfortunately not everyone can be a winner. We had some strong entries from a lot of beards, and we want to thank everyone that entered the competition! We’ll be running more in future for sure, so don’t hesitate to put your beard forward again in the future! We look forward to seeing you again…

To see the rest of our competition entrants, head over here.


Guest Blog 5 Rules For Dating With a Beard

Guest Blogging – Dating With a Beard Rules

Did you know that our blog is open to collaboration with beard enthusiasts worldwide? Well you do now! If you’ve got something to say about beards, we’ve got the platform for you to do it, just get in touch with our content managerSamuel. Our latest guest post comes from Victor Bertoni.

Here’s a quick extract from Victor’s post:

‘Having a beard can make you look a lot more masculine. A beard also puts you into a dating niche that can work in your favour. There are many misconceptions surrounding men’s facial hair and women’s desires, but the bottom line is that beards can be sexy and a great asset to your personal style.

When you are dating, use these 5 rules to make sure your beard works for you.’

Read there rest of Victor’s post here.


Wessex beards Men Championships

This month will see The Wesex Beadsmen’s 4th Beard & Moustache competition take place! The non-profit organisation supports a different charity each year, such as The Make-A-Wish Foundation UK and Mind. This year The Wessex Beardsmen will be supporting The Yeovil Freewheelers. So if you love healthy competition, beards, moustaches and charitable causes then get involved.


Got a story all about beards that you want to be featured in a future edition of our newsletter? Contact Samuel at samuel@bristlr.com

 

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#WolfInTheDen – The Final Day!

Bristlr The Final Day

Our #WolfInTheDen competition in association with Totem Wolf and inspired by our Dragon’s Den appearance last month will be drawing to a close tomorrow.

There’s still time!

If you think your beard has got what it takes, then you’ve got nothing to lose in entering our competition. Just contact us with a photo of your beard, and pitch it to us. Dragon’s Den style!

We’ve had some great entrants so far, with strong beards and stronger pitches! It’ll be difficult to decide on a winner, let alone THREE runners-up! It’s hard work, but we take pride in it…

In case you missed it, we recently sweetened the deal for our winner with the help of Totem Wolf. We now have five bottles of Premium Beard Oil, a box of Beard Savon Soap (contains two blocks) AND the offer of 10% off all Totem Wolf purchases for a year!!

The winner will receive two bottles of the Premium Beard Oil and the box of Beard Savon Soap, as well as the 10% off offer. Our three runners up will receive a slightly smaller, but equally respectable einvestment of one bottle of Premium Beard Oil.

So get to it! You have until Midnight GMT 31st March 17 to enter your beard and prove to us that you have what it takes to win!

Valentine’s With Bristlr at NT’s

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Is 2017 going to be the year you’ll find your own beard to fondle? If you’re really dedicated, you’ll come join us at NT’s this Valentine’s.

You can grab yourself a beer, and grab yourself a beard. But remember, please fondle responsibly (#AskBeforeYouGrasp)…

So if you find yourself at a loss this Valentine’s, head down to London. Come meet us and all the lovely beards on offer! For our Bristlr members, there’s a special 2 for 1 drinks offer!

Sign up to the event on Facebook, and why not check out NT’s on Instagram too.

Find us at:

NT’s Cocktail Bar
207, 1 Westgate St
London Fields
E8 3RL

See you there, February 15th, 6pm until late…

 

#BristlrPride Entrants

Pride Summary

It’s almost time to reveal our THREE WINNERS of the #BristlrPride competition!

But before we do that, let’s take a quick look back at all the wonderful photos you beards and beard lovers have sent in.

*Multiple photos has not increased anyone’s chances of winning, but we’re always happy to see more of you!

So, in no particular order, here are the many beards of Pride!!

#bristlrpride #europride2016 #thessalonikipride

A post shared by Ivan Enchev (@ivanenchev) on

Okay, actually our first entrant! And a beautiful beard at that! Now, in no particular order!

#bristlrpride #beards #manchesterpride

A post shared by Andrew Love (@andylove100) on

All those beautiful beards, but are they a winner?

A beard and achievements to be proud of! Well done, you!

Wee Glasgow Pride March selfie #BristlrPride

A post shared by simon (@strangerbythecake) on

Could this fiery red beard be our winner?

@samuelalexanderxiii 's first pride!!! #happypride #manchesterpride #celebratinghistory #bristlrpride

A post shared by Joseph (@joey_seph) on

Someone found a member of our team!

Smile, it’s Pirde! And you could be a winner!

Our only bearded queen! And a fabulous queen at that! Here’s hoping you’re a winner!

Lost at Pride @manchesterpride #manchesterpride #pride #beard #lgbt #bristlrpride #streetparty

A post shared by Robert Elkin (@robertelkin) on

There could be a reason to celebrate yet!

Good luck to you and Lil Poundcake!

Who said you couldn’t get creative? Extra points there!

Living it up and hopefully having a reason to celebrate soon!

Just look at that beard of authority!

Those are all our entrants for Bristlr Pride! Thank you so much to everyone that took part, we hope you all had a magical Pride celebration!

We’ve consulted with Totem Wolf, our prize suppliers, and the decision is ours to make.

Our three winners will be announced tomorrow, so watch this space! You could be one of them!

Post Pride Celebrations at Bristlr

Pride Summary

It’s officially the end of EuroPride month, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still be proud! So we’ll be carrying on with our Queer Beard Questions series as we find more people to speak to. So if you want to get involved, get in touch!

In addition, our #BristlrPride competition is STILL running! It’s been a busy Pride month, and we know (from experience) that when you’re caught up in the moment it can be tricky to do things like enter competitions with amazing prizes. So we’ll be accepting entries for the first week of September!

Insta send out

We’ve already had some fabulous entries, just take a look below!

#bristlrpride #europride2016 #thessalonikipride

A post shared by Ivan Enchev (@ivanenchev) on

Just look at that beard of Pride! 

#bristlrpride #beards #manchesterpride

A post shared by Andrew Love (@andylove100) on

All those beards, practically beaming with Pride!!

Lost at Pride @manchesterpride #manchesterpride #pride #beard #lgbt #bristlrpride #streetparty

A post shared by Robert Elkin (@robertelkin) on

That’s a face of pure pride right there! 

And that’s just some of them!

Thanks to the support of our amazing friends at Totem Wolf, Bristlr was able to actually attend Manchester Pride this year. Albeit on a small scale (just me!), but what an experience was had! Next year, we’re thinking Bristlr Pride float! Fingers crossed…

We saw some pretty amazing beards…

And reconnected with some old friends! Remember our #BareYourBeard runner up here? 

We even had the pleasure of meeting the handsome guys at Moody Bear

…and couldn’t resist getting some of their merch. Hopefully this won’t be the last we hear from them!

This is the personal bit – the most important part for me was attending the vigil on the final day of Manchester Pride. With so many attacks on the LGBTQ community in recent months, a community that I am proudly a part of, I wanted to show solidarity in the face of adversity. A truly humbling and moving experience.

Manchester Pride Vigil
Photo credit – Glenn Jones

So thank you to everyone that has shown their support in joining in with Pride and helping Bristlr celebrate, whether you entered the competition, spread the word, helped us raise awareness or helped us actually attend a Pride celebration ourselves (Thanks again, Totem Wolf!)! It’s been an enjoyable month for us at Bristlr, and we were proud to take part!

Don’t think it’s over though, the team at Bristlr will strive to always raise awareness for our fellow LGBTQ community all year around! So as always, watch this space for exciting things to come.

Queer Beard Questions – Andy Beard

Andy Beard

Euro Pride month is almost over, but that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to raise awareness of the minorities within our bearded community. For our second in the series of Queer Beard Questions we’ve tracked down another beardy drag artist, Andy Beard down in London, UK. Check out the flawless artistry…

Here’s what they had to say about beards, drag and gender identity.


-What does drag mean to you?

Isn’t everything drag, some aesthetic choices are less “interesting” than others, but we’re all dressing up to fit some ideal regardless of how understated that is. To me everything is drag- from leather clad Muscle bears to queens with the highest hair and drowning in sequins. It’s all dress up.


-What do beards mean to you?

After 10 years of having a beard it’s pretty ingrained in my sense of identity- facial topiary isn’t a prerequisite when it comes to attractiveness but you’ve gotta love a nice hairy dude.


-What statement are you trying to make by mixing drag and beards?

Just because I’ve embraced my genetic predominance to being hirsute I don’t feel I should neglect my ability to embrace and radiate femininity, it’s powerful and courageous to explore all facets of yourself – I don’t feel I’m making a statement about a clash of gender so much as how a balance can be struck. These things shouldn’t be mutually exclusive.  #mascandmascara


-How do you feel about recent acknowledgements of different gender identities?

It’s too little too late, humanity’s obsession with classification is so overwhelmingly stifling. Who we are is much more than the corporeal form we inhabit, you should never limit yourself to such a small definition.


-What would you say to someone that sees beards as a “men only” zone and would force us in to little gender boxes?

I think it’s a real pity, but at the end of the day small mindedness only clips it’s own wings. Beards are for anyone who can grow them, masc or femme, male or female and the vast spectrum between.


-What words of wisdom and inspiration would you impart to anyone struggling with their idea of gender and how to present themselves?

Self hatred and despair are very easy to give in to. In a world where even our own small subculture is so cannibalistic, in terms of how we compartmentalise what is acceptable and what isn’t. I urge you sincerely to resist the temptation to become more generic and risk not fully realising your own identity. You are so much more than the body you own, start taking care of your mental well-being and the rest will follow.

You hear that? Beards are for anyone, so don’t let people put you in a box. Even if you don’t want a beard of your own, don’t let the small mindedness of other’s restrict your from being the person you want to be.

Thanks so much to the wonderful Andy Beard for these words of wisdom!

Queer Beard Questions – Ruby Rawbone

Ruby Ross
With Pride Season in full swing, we’re making a whole series of Queer Beard Questions! We’ll be seeking out various queer beards to question them on their thoughts on beards, their own expression of gender and gender identities and the progress we, the LGBTQ community, have made over the years.

Ruby Ross 2

Our first interview is with a good friend of ours, Ruby Rawbone (AKA Ross), a beautiful, beardy BABE of a drag queen based in Bristol. Here’s what they had to say:

What does drag mean to you?
Drag to me means that I can be whatever I want to, Its a beautiful and varied art form. Drag is an expression, a movement, a performance.
Drag Kings and Queens have been an integral part of the LGBTQ community and have been the key to so many successful equality movements. The art form has been around for centuries and continue to grow everyday. There are so many sub cultures within the drag community, which is a sub culture itself. It just shows how varied the art form is and to be part of something so wonderful is nothing short of an honour. Standing on stage at Bristol pride was a highlight of Ruby’s life so far and to receive the love and support that I did it made the 6am start worthwhile.
What do beards mean to you?
Beards have historically been a sign of status and masculinity. You just have to look at history and portraits to understand that… However it is very much not the case in this day and age. It is a look and they come in all shapes, sizes and colours. They are used as  a sign of expression, blue beards being my favorite so far.
What statement are you trying to make by mixing drag and beards?
When I first started being a drag performer, I loved my beard as  Ross and thought why compromise. Ruby was spawned with a beard and why change that. The mixing of the stereotypical feminine look with the stereotypical masculine look worked for me as a performer. Why should I have to do something because society says so? I took a lot of influence from several areas from the beautiful creatures that make the ‘Sink the Pink’ nights in London, to the Cabaret stunners all around the country to the artistic prowess of the Housewives of Birmingham and the #Manchesterqueens.
How do you feel about recent acknowledgements of different gender identities? 
About TIME, why should anyone be put in one of two boxes by society. There are an infinite amount of ‘boxes’ and people should be able to be who they want to be with THEIR life and jump in and out of whatever they want. Why label it? I feel some people have to compartmentalise to understand, but who cares what other people think, life is too short. Be the beautiful person you are, whatever that may be.
What would you say to someone that sees beards as a “men only” zone and would force us in to little gender boxes? 
Two words…. F**K YOU.
What words of wisdom and inspiration would you impart to anyone struggling with their idea of gender and how to present themselves? 
Be who ever you are and want to be. The people who care about you will love you for whatever you want. Just fill your life with love and positivity and you will be a very happy person leading a full life. I learned this the hard way. Ruby has shown and taught me a lot. I get so much love from strangers, friends and family so go on do your thing. The LGBTQ  community are a massive family across the world and will stand by each other regardless. Drop a friend a message tell them you’ll support them with anything big or small. express yourself! LOVE LOVE LOVE!
Thank you so much to the beautiful Ruby Rawbone! Stay bearded and stay beautiful, and keep up those words of positivity!

Recommend Your Barber for Totem Wolf!

Barbers

Our pals over at Totem Wolf are looking for barbers to stock their beard products!

If you’re a local barber in Manchester and you want to stock some quality beard oils, soaps and more, we can’t recommend Totem Wolf enough! We’ve even been gifted with our own, unique blend! So, if you feel that the oils on offer aren’t for you, drop a message. Perhaps you could have your own blend.

Not a barber yourself? No problem! There’s still an offer for you if you think your barber is interested in Totem Wolf products.

If you recommend a barber and they choose to stock Totem Wolf’s products you’ll be gifted with your own 30ml bottle of Blend 79 beard oil!

To recommend your barber, just drop Totem Wolf a message and get your barber to do the same. Then, if your barber says yes, we’ll say yes to gifting you with your free bottle of Blend 79!

So get recommending!

 

*currently UK only!

 

 

Post Launch – Totem Wolf

Cover

Last week I was delighted to hear the Bristlr team had been invited to Totem Wolf’s Premium Beard Oil Launch. I couldn’t have said yes faster.

I left with a specially selected cake, my very own bespoke blend of beard oil and full of cheer (in part courtesy of the beautifully blended, beard oil inspired gin cocktails).

Take a look at all these beautiful beards!

Beautiful Beards

And that’s only a handful of them!

With a lovely welcome from Totem Wolf’s founder, Philip and a warm, fuzzy and friendly atmosphere, a great time was had by all! Over 100 samples of Blend 79, the latest scent by Totem Wolf, were given away. No one left empty handed!

And did I mention the gin cocktails? The Font Manchester created two cocktails, with ingredients found in Totem Wolf’s oils, specifically for the night. It might sound a little odd, drinking beard oil cocktails, but I couldn’t get enough of them!

The party may be over, but the gifts are still coming!

Beard Oil

Head over to Totem Wolf’s website before the 16th of June to get 25% the new Blend 79!

The Bristlr beard gang would like to send a huge thank you to Totem Wolf for the great party and the generous gifts! We look forward to enjoying more of your beard oil blends.

Thanks from your friends at Bristlr!

A Bristlr Success Story – Reinier & Emma

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We’ve had another heartwarming success on Bristlr! An unlikely match between Reinier in the Netherlands and Emma in Australia, and we couldn’t be happier.

Here’s Reinier’s story:

“After being an enthusiastic Bristlr user for a couple of months I matched with the most beautiful girl in Australia. Being Dutch myself I just thought “some lucky bastard is going to be her man some day.”

Thankfully she remained interested and we kept chatting. Not long after that we exchanged numbers and started calling each other every day. We called each other for hours on end, our longest call lasting for about 15 hours straight.

It didn’t take long to discuss the elephant in the room; namely the 14000 km between us…

She offered to come visit me around Easter and we were happy and excited! Unfortunately something came up at her work so she couldn’t make it. We had to reschedule for July.

Truth be told, I couldn’t wait that long and risk some bloke coming in and sweeping her, so I decided to take the plunge and go Down Under myself.

We booked my tickets while calling and the countdown timers were set for April 15th. The nerves didn’t set in until I was cleared by Australian Customs and the only thing standing in our way was a door leading out to the arrivals hall.”

Emma was delighted to finally meet Reinier:

“As soon as I saw him, I knew it was right. It was as if the missing pieces had fallen into place. I knew then and know now that he is the only man for me.

We have spent two amazing weeks together, although he wasn’t the biggest fan of the Gnomesville forest!

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I’ll be counting the days until we are together again; this time for good. Thanks Bristlr for helping us find each other!”

Reinier’s got some preparation before the pair can be together permanently:

“All that’s left for me  to do now is go back to the Netherlands and start wrapping things up with work and sell my house. The next plane ticket I buy will be one-way to Perth. Without Bristlr we would’ve never found each other across the globe, so you guys can take all the credit for this one!

Lots of love and gratitude, Emma & Reinier.”

We couldn’t be happier for you and we wish you nothing but joy. We’re so happy to have brought the two of your together, especially from so far away!

All the best from Bristlr!