When we think about where the latest and greatest in luxury ingredients come from, a farm is not usually the first place that comes to mind. Enter Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge, otherwise known as the Beekman Boys. As the founders of Beekman 1802, they have proven that the most luxurious and wholesome ingredients can often be found in your backyard- or farm in this case! We sat down with the Beekman Boys to discuss their line of beauty and home products, and their excitement about bringing it to the HSN customer.
H: How did the Beekman 1802 brand come to be?
BB: We were two NYC guys (Brent was a physician and Vice President of Healthy Living at Martha Stewart, and Josh was a bestselling author) and we went on a weekend trip to pick apples in rural NY in 2006. We got lost in a little village called Sharon Springs (pop. 547) and fell in love with a farm that was for sale on the outskirts of town. Shortly after we purchased the farm, we found a note in our mailbox from a neighboring farmer who was losing his farm. We took him in, along with his 80 goats, and when we both lost our NYC jobs in the recession of 2008, we began making goat milk soap to try to save our farm.
H: Can you tell us what “farm-to-skin” means to you?
BB: We believe that using real, wholesome ingredients in our bath and skincare, like goat milk, is all your skin needs to stay healthy and moisturized. We don’t add any other unnecessary preservatives to our products. And we make all of our bath products here in America, so we can source and ensure the quality of our natural ingredients.
H: Can you tell us a little bit about why you refer to your customers as “neighbors”?
BB: We were able to save our farm with the help of our Neighbors. Farmer John and his goats, Soapmaker Deb, and dozens of other neighbors pulled together to help us start our company. And now we work with over 300 local and regional craftspersons and artisans to make Beekman 1802 products. We believe that success only comes when we work together with our Neighbors, and that includes all of our customers and followers.
H: How did you discover the benefits of goat’s milk?
BB: By Googling! 😊 When we lost our incomes, our only assets were our goats, and we needed to find a use for their milk. We learned about all of the great benefits of goat milk online, and after we first started making and using our own soap, we immediately saw and felt the difference in our skin. Even to this day, Beekman Neighbors say that they can feel the difference the very first time they use our soap.
H: What does the Beekman brand mean to you?
BB: Our company motto is simple: “Work Hard. Never Quit. Help your Neighbor.” We turned our lives around using these principles, and we think they can work for everyone. After spending the first half of our lives collecting careers and “things,” we want to spend the second half of our lives collecting smiles.
H: Did you have prior experience in beauty before you launched Beekman?
BB: Brent was the youngest ever physician to lead a Medical Unit at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. His specialty was Geriatrics and Better Aging, and he uses his medical knowledge in developing every new product.
H: Why was it important to you to keep the products made on a farm and not in a lab?
BB: People have a misperception that chemicals and chemical compounds are added to products to make them more effective. But in reality, most companies add them to make products cheaper. We don’t use any unnecessary chemicals in any of our Bath & Body, Skincare, Home Cleaning or Food products. If you don’t need to add extra chemicals to your home and body, why would you?
H: Do you have a certain “neighbor” in mind when you are creating your products?
BB: Beekman Neighbors are incredibly diverse – women, men, young, mature, all skin colors & types. But we have found one thing they all have in common: they’re kind. Our Neighbors always seem to tell us about everyone they share our products with – their mail deliverers, teachers, nurses, friends, relatives. We’ve never spent a fortune on marketing, because our Neighbors spread the word through their families and friends.
H: What has been your most rewarding project you’ve worked on for Beekman?
BB: Beekman 1802 itself is our favorite project. We employ almost 50 people in a rural area that is very economically challenged. Our mail order business keeps our local Post Office open. We offer full benefits to all of Team Beekman. We’ve also given away over $80k to small farmers around the country to help grow their farm based businesses. But perhaps one of our most enjoyable projects comes each holiday when we give a bar of our soap to every child in Sharon Springs School so that they’ll have a gift to give their parents on Christmas morning. We remember how proud we were to give our parents a present, and we want our local children to feel the same.
H: What is your favorite product from your collection, and why?
BB: That’s too tough! Hmmmm…well Josh’s favorite is anything with our Honey Grapefruit scent. He claims it makes him “66% less grumpy.” Brent loves our hair care products and advanced skin care. Because of our farm connections we’re one of the only companies in the world that can source colostrum for skin care, and its reparative properties are amazing.
H: When you’re not at the farm, what do you like to do for fun?
BB: The farm is our life. There’s nowhere we’d rather be every single day. But we do travel the world because we love people and discoveries. (Some people might remember us from our time on The Amazing Race. Spoiler: we won!)
H: Why are you excited to bring your product to the HSN customer?
BB: We’ve received letters from Beekman Neighbors for years asking us to come to HSN. They love the value, shipping rates & customer service. We’re proud to have been invited to be part of HSN. But the most exciting part is that the Beekman Neighborhood will be growing even larger. And no one can ever have too many Good Neighbors!