If you need some hope today, remember that 80 homeless goats and two guys from New York City wrote their success story on a farm during the last recession.
Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge found themselves in uncharted waters when the financial crisis of 2008 hit. They were rookie owners of a 100-year-old farm and had just taken in a neighbor who lost his land, giving their barn to his herd of goats. And then, just like that, Josh and Brent both lost their jobs within a month of each other.
The threat of losing everything activated a super power found in the best entrepreneurs; the ability to get wildly creative with the only resources you have.
Josh and Brent’s resources where their determination, their farm, and most importantly, their neighbors. When their new tenant, Farmer John, taught them how to milk the goats, things got interesting. When another neighbor taught them how to make goat’s milk soap, things got profitable.
After years of hustle and expansion, Josh and Brent are today the co-founders of Beekman 1802, a skincare and lifestyle brand sensation born of humble roots.
“We didn’t start because we wanted to own a fun, creative company,” Brent told us. “We started because we had to pay the mortgage on our farm.”
Pictured are the first bars of goat milk soap they started the company with. Beekman 1802 is still run from the farm and the neighbors all still play an integral role in the company.
“If we had launched during flush times, we don’t think we would have been so creative,” Brent said. He has some solid perspective for anyone out there right now trying to make something of themselves in this tough terrain.
“People grow anxious when times turn uncertain. And there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, it can be viewed as a very positive thing. If we really look deeply at anxiety, we find that it’s our brains working overtime to come up with a creative solution to get us out of whatever discomforting problem is at hand. It's our mind frantically testing out different paths forward. Most of them will wind up roadblocked by the current unpleasant circumstances, but our mind keeps looking for the one that will succeed. If we are not anxious, we are not being creative. “
Also, Brent is now our guru. Thank you for sharing your your journey with us, guys! And thanks for reminding us that we are nothing without determination and each other.
Supporting grass roots business is more important than ever. Visit www.beekman1802.com to learn more about Josh and Brent’s journey.