POE BUSINESS: THE DEVIL'S BEARD CO.

PORTRAITS OF EDMONTON - THE DEVIL'S BEARD CO// ©ALLISON DRAGSTEN 2016

Leela and Cody started making beard oil in 2014. Thanks to an excellent product and word of mouth they’ve created The Devil’s Beard Co. But they don’t just make beard oil. Under the umbrella of their company AstroCake Naturals, they also make crystal-charged soaps and mists and have a tattoo aftercare line coming soon. Leela and Cody both manage working their own jobs with running a home-based business and raising two pretty awesome kids. I sat down with the Ring family to talk about their home-based business.

PORTRAITS OF EDMONTON - THE DEVIL'S BEARD CO// ©ALLISON DRAGSTEN 2016

POE: Why did you choose beard oil?

The Devil’s Beard Co:

(Leela) “It’s actually really funny. We have this friend named Ben. He’s one of our main ambassadors. He’s the guy with the big Viking beard that’s always braided. He was super into beard oil and I had been making natural products like oils for my face and my own hair oil. And (Ben) was like ‘Yeah, I’ve been using this beard oil and it’s making my beard all nice and soft’. And I was like, I could probably whip some up for you. So I did, and it was awesome, and he loved it and said it was the best he had ever used. So he said that I should market this stuff. I remember it was 2014 and it was a super hard year for us financially. We just got hit left, right, and centre with so many things and we were super broke. I was like, well we really have nothing to lose by whipping up a couple of bottles and then we did and it kind of just took off from there.”

(Cody) “We gave it to people we knew used that kind of stuff and everyone who used it really liked it.”

(Leela) “It was just a very organic step-by-step process that bloomed into what it is today.”

(Cody) “The main thing was that we kept making it for people and then their friends kept asking for it.”

PORTRAITS OF EDMONTON - THE DEVIL'S BEARD CO// ©ALLISON DRAGSTEN 2016

POE: What other stuff are you making aside from the beard oil?

DBC:

(Leela) “We have several different lines. We’ve got The Devil’s Beard Co. which is our dude grooming line – but not just for dude’s! I mean, some ladies have facial hair that they want to tame too. Then we’ve got Old World Mystic under our umbrella of AstroCake Naturals and that’s actually a line of natural spell craft that I make. “

(Cody) “That’s where the soaps and stuff come in.”

(Leela) “Yes, everything is an intent-based product. We have crystal-charged soaps and most of my mists and things are crystal charged as well. All for the occult and witchy folk. We also have the AstroCake holistic tattoo aftercare and that’s coming out this fall. It should be ready to go and Health Canada approved by the time September roles around.”

PORTRAITS OF EDMONTON - THE DEVIL'S BEARD CO// ©ALLISON DRAGSTEN 2016

POE: How do you make the beard oil?

DBC:

(Leela) “It was a lot of trial and error of figuring out which oils were the best absorbing but luckily because I had been making my own body oils, I just grabbed avocado oil and apricot oil and mixed them together. The scents were a little more difficult because I didn’t just want it to be heavily perfumed. A lot of the beard oils I had come across were just fragrance-based. Eventually I want to make the jump to fair-trade but for now we’re sticking with all-natural and cruelty free. We source all of our oils from Canadian suppliers. We really believe heavily in putting back into our own economy that supports us. It’s a very thoughtful product. We really did our research into what wasn’t going to clog the pores and what wasn’t going to work for various things. That’s why we decided on cinnamon and citrus, which is the base of our original oil. And even some of our other blends, you’re getting into more exotic oils but still sustainable. Instead of using sandalwood, we’re going to be doing cedar oil because sandalwood is endangered and super expensive because it’s really shitty for the environment. We’re just trying to make those eco-conscious decisions in everything we do.”

PORTRAITS OF EDMONTON - THE DEVIL'S BEARD CO// ©ALLISON DRAGSTEN 2016

POE: How do you guys balance business life with your personal partnership and being the parents to two kids?

DBC:

(Leela) “Having kids and having two regular jobs was in itself really difficult. We made the decision where we wanted one of us to always be home.”

(Cody) “We switched off half-way through the year.”

(Leela) “With who was working full-time and who was staying home with the kids. It’s hard even most days just getting the house cleaned. And then having a home-based business on top of it.”

(Cody) “We manage pretty well. I only work 4 days a week but between 11 and 13 hours a day. But it’s not so bad. Thursdays are the days that we’re together which breaks up the monotony. The rest of the week is pretty hectic.”

(Leela) “Essentially, I’ll make the products and Cody will put on all of the labels and all of the physical aspects that I can’t do anymore with my hands.”

PORTRAITS OF EDMONTON - THE DEVIL'S BEARD CO// ©ALLISON DRAGSTEN 2016

POE: What do you see for the future of the business?

DBC:

(Leela) “A slow expansion. It’s been a big learning curve, from when the whole seed sprouted to what it currently is now. We have to be really kind to ourselves and accept our limitations and what we can and can’t accomplish in a day. So I think we’re going to keep expanding the beard-side of things.”

(Cody) “In the long-term we plan on having our own farm land and to have bees. I’ve been studying (bees) pretty passionately with library books and different forums on the internet. Because you get a lot of grants from the government to do it because they’re going extinct. We could use beeswax for days for the stuff we’re making so to have it locally sourced would be awesome. Leela would also like to grow her own herbs off her own land. Although some of the stuff we’re getting is locally sourced, if we could do it ourselves, would be one of out long-term goals. But for right now, I would say we’re just going slow and steady on the path we’re on to reach those goals.”

PORTRAITS OF EDMONTON - THE DEVIL'S BEARD CO// ©ALLISON DRAGSTEN 2016

I can’t thank Cody and Leela enough for taking the time to chat with me. Knowing how much they have on their plates makes me truly appreciate them taking the time for Portraits of Edmonton. You kind find The Devil’s Beard Co. online at www.thedevilsbeardco.com and via Etsy. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram to see where else they’ll be selling. Like at my vintage sale on August 21st. Check out the info here. You can also follow their blog here.

Thanks for stopping by!