When we drove the first pail of milk down the road to be turned into soap by one of our neighbors in 2007, we had no concept of what Beekman 1802 would eventually grow into. And while we’d love to boast that we had a business plan spelling out each detail of what has transpired since, the truth is that we were simply trying to pay the mortgage on our farm.
As we grew, however, our business plan began writing itself. It was “written” in each handshake with new neighbors as we collaborated to design and produce dozens of new, completely unique, artisanal products. The plan still can’t be found in a Powerpoint document anywhere. But it’s indelibly marked in the conscience of every employee and customer of Beekman 1802. It’s not a complicated plan. In fact, it can be summed up in only three values that “Beekmans” all around the world share:
Help your neighbor.
We never planned on growing as large as we have, but we’re very grateful for it – as are the over 48 artisans and craftspeople who create incredible products for us. And while most of these artisans live within fifty miles or so of our farm, Beekman 1802’s success has given us the opportunity to meet new, amazing artisans and producers around the country. Whenever we travel on our book tours, we seem to collect fascinating new American artisans and producers.
But in 2012, our world of “neighbors” expanded even further. All the way around the globe, to be precise. There’s one moment in particular that we’ll never forget. It was in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and we were racing around the world while competing on the reality show “The Amazing Race.”
In this particular leg of the race, we were dead last and facing elimination. It was over 100F and we hadn’t had any food or water for hours. While we were running down a crowded, dusty urban street, followed by a crowd of onlookers, one young man tugged at Brent’s tee shirt. He was smiling broadly.
“We made that shirt!” he boasted in very good English. “We made it right here!”
This young man (who also helped give us valuable directions) is as proud of his country’s handiwork as the Beekman 1802 soap artisan is. Given his proud "maker's attitude," we consider this young man a Beekman neighbor just as much as the Sharon Springs' blacksmith, jam maker & farmers are.
We’re proud that Beekman neighbors are spreading around the world - pretty much just by word of mouth. And handshakes. We’re committed to growing and helping as many new neighbors as we can, just as they help us.
We can only imagine what Judge William Beekman, the man who built our farm in 1802 and still inspires us today, would think of this tribe he started. But we’re pretty sure he wouldn’t be surprised at the plan we all have in common:
Help your neighbor.
To help you know which Beekman neighbors have produced our products, you’ll find these Makers Marks on every product we offer:
Local - All products marked with this seal were made either in Sharon Springs, a surrounding village, or somewhere in New York State. For further information on these artisans, please email us personally. To shop the entire Beekman 1802 Local Collection, click here.
USA - These products were made by American craftspeople, artisans, and workers. For further information on these partners, please email us personally. To shop all Beekman 1802 goods made locally and around America, click here.
Globally Conscious - All Beekman 1802 products are made by skilled craftspeople, artisans and workers. Whether made across the street or across the globe, we only offer goods from partners who uphold the highest Beekman 1802 standards, both for their products & their workers. For further information on individual items, please feel free to contact us.