By Jessica Holdman
The Bismarck Tribune, N.D.
Beards are nothing new in North Dakota. But how men are wearing their beards is changing.
In an effort to cater to a growing beard culture, local store owner Ryanne Pappa has started Burleigh Beard Co., which sells a homemade beard oil and clothing line in Bismarck.
Pappa bought Annex 208 in downtown Bismarck in the fall, turning it into Exposure Boutique and Studio E. She got interested in beard culture from following another beard oil maker on Instagram and decided to make some oil on her own.
“When I had a storefront to sell it, I decided I was going to do it,” she said.
Pappa has scents she sells year round as well as several seasonal scents, including her best seller, Whiskey Lumberjack. Other popular choices are Northern Experience and Missouri Midnight. She worked with local microbrewer Laughing Sun to make a Feast Like a Sultan IPA oil out of the brewer’s hop oils.
“It smells a bit like beer with a hint of citrus,” she said.
Pappa started selling the oils in December and said they are the most popular item in her store. Around Valentine’s Day, she had six women come in specifically to buy it.
“Men’s grooming has grown rapidly in the last few years,” said Andrea Birst, owner of Glance Salon & Spa in downtown Bismarck, which carries a hair and skin product line for men.
Pappa took Burleigh Beard Co. a step further, expanding to clothing.
Burleigh was a play on words, as the products are made in Burleigh County and are suited for burly bearded men. The scents are outdoorsy and the clothing line follows that with lots of plaid and denim.
“It’s very lumber-sexual,” Pappa joked.
Recently, the owners of D&N Cinematics, who liked Pappa’s product, helped her take Burleigh Beard Co. a step further, producing a video of lumberjack-like men sawing logs and swinging axes at Cross Ranch State Park.
The video has become part of a contest on Exposure Boutique’s Facebook page, with fans sharing photos of their beards in an effort to win prizes, including beard oil, a belt buckle, soap and a hat from another locally produced clothing line, PLOW.
Burleigh Beard Co. products are only available at Pappa’s boutique, 208 E. Broadway Ave., and on a website, www.exposure701.com. She said all of the sales she has made have been in North Dakota, but she has considered wholesale or marketing to local hairstylists.