Inside Beekman 1802’s Kind-First Game Plan – WWD
When Beekman 1802 co-founders Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge first rethought their careers after the 2008 recession, relying on the kindness of their neighbors.
After giving shelter to a goat farmer with more than 100 goats, Kilmer-Purcell, a marketing manager, and Ridge, a doctor, started the Beekman 1802 by selling soap bars made from goat’s milk to people their neighbour, the couple said during their presentation at 2021 Beauty CEO Summit.
“You can’t say no to one homeless farmer or 100 homeless goats, so we said for sure, come and join us. That single act of kindness set the course for Beekman 1802,,” said Ridge.
The brand extends that ethos to every aspect of its operations, from its internal culture to its marketing and product development. “Kindness is not just a tagline for us, it is more than just a seasonal marketing initiative. That’s really our aim,” says Kilmer-Purcell.
Despite the simplicity, the game plan is paying off. “This is not a luxury, this is our purpose, this is our competitive advantage. This is our strategy. And last year, we actually hit $150 million in retail sales for the first time,” added Kilmer-Purcell.
The brand is at the forefront of the boom in microbiome-friendly skin care, as goat milk promises not to disrupt that. “If you treat your skin’s microbiome with kindness, it will be healthier and more balanced. We call this clinically kind skin care,” says Ridge. “We believe that the health of the microbiological system is the new cleanliness beauty, beauty. Now, clean beauty, of course, has no definition. And it often focuses on what a product doesn’t have, what it doesn’t contain. Microbiota Health focuses on what a product does. ”
Beekman 1802 is the first microbiological certified skincare line at Ulta Beauty and the only line at QVC and HSN, Ridge said.
Kilmer-Purcell added that the clinical effect of kindness on the human soul also has implications for beauty, calling it a “revolutionary healthcare platform” and describing how it regulates stress hormones, which can impact cell function, repair, and renewal.
The couple have also opened their farm to others. Last year, to celebrate Pride month, they held a wedding marathon for 37 couples in just one day. Ridge added: “We provide everything from music to photography, and some of the Beekman team members have actually certified themselves to operate the services.
Last year, in the early days of the pandemic, they created a socially differentiated event space for closed restaurants to revive their revenue. Now, the brand is going further, partnering with Dr Oliver Scott Curry of the University of Oxford to study the impact of kindness in the workplace and is allowing consumers to apply for a “kindness allowance”. $500 to help fund acts of goodwill.
“We spread kindness as we spread moisturizer — it’s everywhere,” says Kilmer-Purcell.
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