In 2013, after 5 years in corporate accounting, I got my license as a mortgage loan originator. My title was Mortgage Banker and my job was to bring in business, so my baby beard and I hit the pavement to start networking. I stood out in a crowd full of bankers, brokers and other real estate professionals by default. There weren't many other guys like me in these professional settings and the men that did have facial hair kept it at a shadow's length. In time, our industry partners began asking my colleagues, "Where's the guy with the beard?". As my relationships and business grew, so did my beard and soon the question became "Where's the Bearded Banker?". Needless to say, it stuck!
Growing up, my beard was light and patchy but as it filled in, I liked to keep it low with clean lines. In college, I landed a summer job as a busboy for a country club restaurant. The atmosphere was arrogant and the members were snobby. Typical!
The General Manager would constantly tell me to shave, even with a light beard. I would come in Saturday morning for a breakfast shift, with a fresh haircut from Friday night, and they would send me down to the employee locker room to shave. I hated it. I felt ugly and it didn't motivate me to do my best at work. I told myself, "the next time they tell me to shave, I'm walking out", and I did just that. Probably not the best way to leave a job, but it felt FU#$!NG amazing! I promised myself I would never compromise my self-esteem for a job again.
Bearded Banker was founded as a middle finger to The Man, the arrogant country club members and the corporate bigwigs who think wearing a Beard is unprofessional so they include "clean shaven" in their dress code handbook. Not us. We believe that in order for you to do your best, you have to look and feel your best and for some guys, that means having a beard. Throughout history, beards have been worn by men to demonstrate masculinity, intimidation, royalty, and status. Why change that now?
Our mission is to push beard positivity and pride by championing successful bearded men and giving them the products and apparel necessary to realize their full potential. Join us on our journey.