“The beard population is really starting to grow.”
That’s not just a bad pun, but a quote from a 21-year-old Algonquin general arts and science-introduction to music industry arts graduate who has started making beard oil as a business.
Tim Kealey graduated from the program in 2012, and toured several countries with a local band for two years before leaving the group this past fall.
Since then Kealey has made the jump from musician to entrepreneur starting up his own company called Liquid Smoke Beard Co., selling a line of hand-made beard oils.
Beard oil is a grooming product made to moisturize, protect and heal your beard and skin.
“Beard oil is a natural blend of carrier oils and essential oils, and not at all made with actual liquid smoke,” said Kealey. “That’s horrible for your skin.”
Originally Kealey started making beard oil for himself after having a hard time finding a product that worked well enough on his own beard. After having successful results on himself he decided to expand his product to the public.
“Now it’s becoming more and more popular to have a beard so I figured now is a good time to bring it to the public,” said Kealey.
Although beard oil is mainly aimed toward men, its smell and moisturizing qualities have caused women to have an interest in beard oil as well.
“I bought the Koala Bear’d scent,” said Celeste Raymond, former Algonquin student and friend of Kealey’s. “I smelled it on him once and just thought: “You know what? Let’s try it.’”
For Kealey starting the company and getting it off the ground hasn’t been too difficult, the real challenge has been getting the public’s attention. As of right now business is fairly light, but with a true passion for beards and dedication to his company, he is hopeful business will start to grow.
“It’s an interesting idea, and from someone at such a young age it’s really impressive,” said Dominic McGarry, second-year police foundations student and prospective client of Kealey’s. “He’s really interested and passionate about it and it makes me want to buy it.”
Having a good support system of family and friends also make Kealey hopeful that word about Liquid Smoke Beard Co. will start to spread.
“I bought it in support of Tim,” said Raymond. “And if it works that’s just a bonus!”
Right now the company only sells beard oil but if things go in the right direction, Kealey hopes to expand his company to a wider selection of oils, other men’s grooming products and possibly clothing.
“I’m currently working on moustache wax and getting some wooden combs,” said Kealey. “But if it works out I’d like to maybe open up a store in Ottawa and sell grooming products for men and clothing since we don’t really have any men’s stores like that in Ottawa.”
The upcoming months will be busy as the young entrepreneur plans out his product expansion for his company. But with an always increasing beard population Kealey is confident that Liquid Smoke Beard Co. will continue to be a big part of his future.