8-bit Beard Co. was founded in Ohio by Shaun and Erica in 2019.
Once old enough to grow stubble, I (continuing the unspoken family tradition) always had lots of facial hair. Sometimes it was very well groomed and other times......errrr.....not so much haha. Mainly because it takes effort and practice to achieve understanding of any skill, even growing a killer beard. And I have had over 20 years perfecting that craft....and still mess up from time to time. Because we are all human and make mistakes.
I finally decided to turn that passion into a business called 8-bit Beard Co. out of a desire to create and help others which was inspired by our youngest son.
But why 8-bit?
Well the top layer of that story is that I loved gaming growing up and still love gaming today. I was also able to share that passion with my kids as they have grown and it keeps us connected and remains a stable part of our Brand's identity.
The deeper story is a brutal one.
Our youngest, Westley, was born in 2018 with Down Syndrome, coupled with a major AV Canal congenital heart defect with a bonus leaky valve. He spent 550+ days in the hospital, to many emergency surgeries to count and fighting battles no kid should have to fight. And that path took a toll on our entire family. Trying to focus and be with our youngest in the hospital, raise three typical kids involved in so many things (that I coached as well) while my wife and I both worked full-time was to much and we were at a breaking point.
So, in April of 2019 I left my full-time job as a Staff Accountant to calm our lives down, focus on family and spend more time with our Westley. My wife's work was very generous and let her work re-mote from the hospital so she got to spend so much time with him already.
As our life became calmer, I had needed to release a more creative side of my life. A passion I wanted to share to help others. A new path in life that Westley put us on. Something that let me and my kids can share and enjoy. Something that I bonded with friends over growing up and into adulthood. Something that is fun and can bring you out of places of darkness......video games.
And I just love getting to chat with people over social media and in person at markets/craft shows about the love of gaming. There is nothing like chatting with someone and seeing that little twinkle in their eye, or their cheeks raise up slightly trying to hold back a smile, when they remember the first game or console they got. And re-living a simpler time in life and how happy they were. The problems and burdens of the world melt away for a brief moment and that calmness we sought out for our family comes alive in them.
Sadly our son passed away in 2021 at the age of 3. But our company and it's core mission to connect and have a positive impact on those around us lives on in his honor through our products and charities we support.
8-bit Beard Co.