Doc Goodbeard Beard Care Products was established in 2017. Owner and founder, Jim (Doc) Dorkins is a proud veteran of the U.S. Air Force. He spent his enlistment as an aircraft refueling vehicle repairman. Working as a tractor/trailer mechanic for almost 35 years after exiting the military and he was medically retired due to injury in early 2016.
Read along as Doc Goodbeard tells Swagger Magazine his humble story from being a Proud Veteran of the U.S. Air Force to helping men get their best beards yet.
I grew my first beard shortly after leaving the Air Force. Man, it was really bad. Just a chinstrap, it was patchy and really “cheesy”. It took many, many years of growing and then shaving it off before it started to fill in and look like a full beard. I would grow my beard in the winter to protect my face when I was on the road making repairs on trucks and trailers. Come springtime, I’d groom my facial hair into a Van Dyke, which also called a goatee. I wore that style, or some variation of it for most of my adult life, when not wearing a full beard.
I have always enjoyed having a beard. Before learning about balms and oils, the beardruff and itching that comes with it were just things I learned to put up with. In 2016, I was medically retired due to injury. I attempted to find another career in the trucking industry, however, after many interviews that went nowhere, I decided to do something I had always wanted to do. Start my own business.
I had been looking into becoming a manager or supervisor of a truck shop and I had been speaking with one of my sons about the difficulty I was having finding a job at the age of 56. I mentioned that I was going to shave my beard because of the itch and unruliness of it, thinking that being clean shaven might help me land a job. My son asked why I wasn’t using beard balm. I had no idea what that was, so I asked him to explain. When I found it was the solution to the itchiness, dry skin and beardruff, I knew I had to try some!
I decided to start Doc Goodbeard Beard Care Products as a result of several conversations with my son about starting my own business. After purchasing several beard care products online and being disappointed that they all smelled remarkably similar, even though the descriptions were quite different, I felt that there had to be other options. Not wanting to have a scent that was like every other beard wearer, I looked into making my own, unique fragrances.
All of the scents we offer evoke memories for me, and the names have meaning as well. The one that stands out most is Lavender and Sage. Called Lavender and Lace, it is the first blend that I experimented with. The earthy, nutty, and herbaceous aroma of Sage combined with the camphor like, woody fragrance of Lavender. Calming and grounding, this is still one of my favorites. I came up with the name after I did some market research at the tap house of a friend of mine.
I was invited by my friend to bring in my experiments to have some of his bearded customers sample and smell. The evening that I showed up, there were about 9 or 10 men sitting at the bar and they all had beards! Some were with their wives/girlfriends and the bar owner asked them to try my products and give me some feedback. As I was passing out the different scents, one of the guys said he really liked the one he was holding. He asked what the scent was, and I told him it was Lavender and Sage. His lady (who appeared to have had a little too much to drink) leaned forward to look at me, and she said “Lavender and Lace? S**t! That doesn’t even make sense!” So, the name stuck.
I entered the market with 5 non-traditional beard balm scents in July of 2017. That lineup has now expanded to 10 balms, 5 oils, moustache wax, beard wash and a regimen kit for our customers. Our balms are formulated to provide superior moisturizing and conditioning and a noticeably light amount of hold. I have worn all of the scents that we offer in my own beard for several weeks, before bringing them to market. This allows me the same experience as my customers and the opportunity to evaluate the fragrances over extended periods of time.
In addition to all of my beard wearing customers, I have a few women that use our balms in the ends of their hair, to control split ends and fly-aways. Some ladies even use the Tobacco Pouch as a “hard cologne”. Another section of my customers is non-beard wearing men, that use our products for the moisturizing properties, and subtle, appealing scents without a long-lasting greasy feel.
The ingredients in all of our Doc Goodbeard products are the most important aspect of quality beard care. The majority of beard balms on the market use Shea butter for its great moisturizing properties. I chose Kokum butter as the main ingredient because it is better for the skin and hair. Restoring elasticity to the skin and penetrating the hair shaft to provide superior benefits to the beard and face. Kokum butter offers excellent emollient properties which promotes healthy skin and hair, and it absorbs quickly without leaving a greasy feel. Kokum is also lower in scent profile, allowing scents to last longer and unscented balms to have a very subtle aroma, with almost no scent.
The oils we provide feature Jamaican Black Castor and Hemp oils. Jamaican Black Castor oil (JBCO) is reported to restore moisture to the hair. It may also relieve dandruff and dry skin, as well as promote hair growth and control acne. JBCO has been a staple of hair care in the Jamaican community for many years.
Hemp oil is also great for the skin and hair. It is rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids and is non-comedogenic, meaning it will not clog pores. Hemp also has anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant topical properties that help soothe the skin. A 2015 study from the International Journal of Trichology found that the oil plays an “important role in protecting hair from damage”.
All of my products are manufactured by a local co-packer, in small batches. I have chosen to use this contracted packer so that the quality is maintained, and all products are consistent. I found that making them in my kitchen, it was difficult to get the same scent or texture in every batch. Now the quality remains the same.
I have gotten an enormous amount of support from many friends and organizations. The Colorado Division of Vocational Rehab provided me with a small grant to get started. I have participated in a bootcamp with Rocky Mountain Micro Finance Institute and Veterans in Residence (powered by Bunker Labs). The Zone Business Connection Center in Denver is a business incubator that provides a small retail space for my Doc Goodbeard products. Twenty Brew Taphouse is owned by a friend, and he has been wonderful by allowing me to place my product on his shelf.
Many of my family and friends have given me so much support and encouragement, that I’m not sure I have words to express my thanks. My 4 sons are always giving me their support. I am eternally grateful. My buddy Kevin is a man that I have known for 50 years. He and his family have given me much more support than I deserve. My counselor from the Division of Vocational Rehab, Robert, is still incredibly involved in assisting me in growing my business. The Connected Commerce Council has allowed me to participate in a digital makeover of my website. Now I have a very professional looking and easy to use site. One of my longest and best customers, Nick, has supported me by showing up at local events and spending a considerable amount of time speaking with customers, telling them how much he likes my product! We also support the VFW National Home for Children by donating a portion of our proceeds from sales.
I believe that beard care does not have to be difficult. Our products are easy to use, effective and all natural. Simple in formulation so you get the maximum benefit from each ingredient. Uniquely scented, offering our customers a collection of scents that are a little different. Some are spicy, some are earthy, and others are a little more cologne like, yet still subtle. All of our balms and oils are formulated to be something outside the “traditional” type of beard scents.
Unique and appealing. Stay bearded, and remember…It’s all about the beard, Man!
Visit DocGoodbead.com and get your best best yet!
Jim (Doc) Dorkins