Milwaukee is a little big town
Milwaukee is a little big town
Geoff and I met during undergrad at UWM. I was thrilled to see his name, not just once but 3 times in Shepard Express's reader driven BEST OF Milwaukee 2020!
I took some time to visit the store, holiday shop and catch up with him.
TELL ME ABOUT BEARD MKE
Where'd it come from? and where do you see it going?
Beard MKE is my naughty little brain child that was conceived by my desire for a store catering to people like myself! I felt there was a void in MKE for stores that cater to men, and also stores that cater to the queer community- since this space didn’t seem to exist, I decided to create it! My goals for the future are to first & foremost still be around post covid. In addition to that I want Beard MKE to be THE shop in MKE that people think to seek out for any unique, quirky, edgy products or gifts- remaining unique amongst all of the other local shops is very important to me! We also want to be known as a safe welcoming space for our entire LGBTQ+ community!
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU TO BE AUTHENTIC WITHIN YOUR BUSINESS & YOUR LIFE?
My whole goal for Beard MKE is to be a truly genuine and authentic space in every way- we don’t bullshit here- The shop is essentially a curation of my crazy personality and I want my customers to feel that when they walk in the door! I frequently reference this idea of a “retail veneer” that many shops seem to employ & I personally do not subscribe to. I want my customers to get to know ME, not the put on retail employee version! You can see that play out on our social media often- I want my messaging to sound as though it has come straight from my busted mouth- because it has!! So I don’t hold back when writing my posts- deal with it! Lol
IT'S A CRAZY TIME WE'RE LIVING IN. WHAT HAS THIS, I HATE TO SAY IT" UNPRECEDENTED TIME TAUGHT YOU?
I have learned SO much throughout this covid journey- both good and bad, however I choose to focus on the good. One thing I have learned is how to shift the focus of what I do & hope to offer to suit the needs of my customers and the world we are currently living in. I’ve also learned more than I’ve ever cared to know about loans & grants etc but that knowledge has been invaluable in navigating this shit storm of a year! And one of my favorite take aways from 2020 has been this little mantra that I came across waaaay back in the spring, that resonates with me now more than ever- it simply says “Do not hold yourself to the standards of last year, for that world is gone now...” It is just a gentle reminder to myself to worry & stress less over things that I cannot control & focus my energy on the things that I CAN change.
2021 is gonna be the year of...
2021 is going to be the year of positive change! That is how I am trying to look at it at least- I feel as tho 2020 has brought out the worst in everyone, & 2021 will be the year of self reflection & leaving all of the negativity and petty bullshit behind us- if 2020 has taught us anything it’s that tomorrow is not promised to anyone & I feel that we should all act accordingly.
& because I'm obsessed with "INSIDE THE ACTOR'S STUDIO"
I had to ask
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WORD?
Fuck- sorry but it is....
WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE WORD?
No- hate hearing it & hate having to say it!
WHAT TURNS YOU ON?
Confidence & a sharp wit/sense of humor. I am also drawn to kooky characters- ask my exes...
WHAT TURNS YOU OFF?
Arrogance & elitism- just because you are attractive does NOT mean that you get to treat others poorly.
WHAT SOUND OR NOISE DO YOU LOVE?
I love the sound of my mom laughing- nothing beats that for me!
WHAT SOUND OR NOISE DO YOU HATE?
I HATE the sound of people chewing!
WHAT PROFESSION OTHER THAN YOUR OWN WOULD YOU LIKE TO ATTEMPT?
I am about to say something brave yet controversial- I have ALWAYS wanted my own reality tv show or late night talk show- fight me.
WHAT PROFESSION WOULD YOU NOT LIKE TO DO?
I would never want to work in any office job where you are expected to act appropriately & sit & stare at a screen for 8 hours a day only to do it all over again the following day. I need variety & thrive on chaos sooo the corporate world just ain’t it for me!
IF [YOU BELIEVE] HEAVEN EXISTS, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO HEAR GOD SAY WHEN YOU ARRIVE AT THE PEARLY GATES?
You made it!?! Here’s your double Titos & tonic my friend- the drag show starts in 15 minutes...