The Texas Bucket List – West Texas Beard Company in Lubbock

Lubbock – You never know what you’ll find at farmers markets across Texas. Entrepreneurs from all over the Lone Star State rely on these weekly meetings to showcase their unique products, and in Lubbock, the West Texas Beard Company is usually there for them. Chris Lambert is the brains behind this brand, but he is not the boss. It turns out that the boss of the West Texas Beard Company couldn't make it to market because she's busy with school. “Well, it started when I was nine or ten, right?” said Piper Lambert. “I didn’t think it would be where it is today as a nice little business, which is really cool.”

Piper and her father made a big splash at the West Texas Beard Company in 2017 when a simple chore turned into a lesson in work ethic. “I was in a really bad mood that day,” Piper said. “Mom had told me to fold the laundry and I was just… so angry. Angry, for whatever reason, and I just did a bad job. Dad came into the room and said, 'You're fired for doing laundry.' You're going to do it anyway, but you're not going to get paid for it.'”

Chris saw the perfect opportunity in front of him and taught his daughter how to make a dollar while having a positive attitude. “From a father’s perspective, I want my children to know that there is always an opportunity to make money,” Chris said. “And you're either going to make money working for someone else, which is totally fine, or you're going to make money working for yourself, but the choice is yours, but you should never be able to do anything to earn. But if you want to make money with someone else, they have the keys to the kingdom, which is to say, the dollars you want to make. And if you do bad work with a bad attitude, they have the choice not to hire you and let you go.”

This lesson quickly turned into a conversation about entrepreneurship. “He said, ‘Piper, you need to learn how to make money somehow. And you either want to be your own boss or work for someone?'” Piper said. “And I said, 'Oh, I want to be my own boss.'”

“She went downstairs, chewed on it and came back up, and I said, 'What are you going to do?'” Chris said. “And she says, 'I'm going to start my own business.' And I said, 'Fantastic.' What are you going to do?' She says, 'I don't know.' I was hoping you could help me.' And that was the beginning.”

After a few brainstorming sessions, beard grooming came to mind thanks to my father's flowing facial hair. They enlisted the help of Piper's mother Holly to make beard balm and oils from home. After perfecting their product, Piper put it to the test and got her first lesson in sales skills. “We had a meeting and a lot of these guys had beards,” Chris said. “And I thought, 'Okay, Piper, here's what you do. You take this bottle, walk up to someone and say, “Hey, have you ever tried beard oil?” and they'll say no. And you're going to take out the pipette and put some in their hand and have them rub their hands together and let it flow through. And they will love the scent and buy it from you.' She comes home. She has $80 in her pocket and I was like, “How are you going to make money?” I mean, do you want to fold clothes for $7 a week, or do you want to do it for three hours and make $80? And she says, 'That's what I want to do.' I said, 'Fine.' Give me 40 of them.' You have to pay the bank back.”

After learning another lesson, this time about business capital, Piper was always ready to sell and took her West Texas Beard Company sales kit to every meeting the family attended. It paid off once again.

“She would just have it with her, ready to sell,” Chris said. “Well, a group of bikers came into the bar that day. And their beards are just awesome.”
“Braided,” Piper said.

“And I mean, it's like fishing and just seeing a line of tarpon coming down or something,” Chris said. “You think, 'Oh man, we're about to party here.' Picks up a small box of products and goes to the first man. And this guy looks at her and says, “Not interested.” And Piper looks at him, and she puts her stuff back in her box, goes to the next one, and then sells like a hundred dollars to all these other guys. Man, what a thing it is to be nine or ten years old and watch yourself being told “no” in a public place and the embarrassment that comes with it, and then saddle up and just move on to the next thing. I thought, 'That girl has the tiger by the tail.'”

The West Texas Beard Company brand has grown to include some unusual soaps. Their products can be found in stores throughout the Lone Star State and even in New York. “If you want your beard to smell good, give this a try,” Piper said.

“I mean, do you want your beard to look amazing or not?” Chris said.

The beard oil itself was created with two goals in mind; So that your beard smells good and the skin underneath is cared for. “It's for the skin under the beard to prevent itching and dryness,” Piper said. “Basically just hydrating the skin.”

There is no factory, no employees and no marketing budget, but the Lamberts get by as a family. Help build the West Texas Beard Company together. “This thing has its own heartbeat, and it's going to be here whether she chooses to be a big part of it or not,” Chris said. “But when I look at this logo, I can say ‘I’ and ‘you,’ and that’s special to me.”

Anna Harden

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