Jimmy Niggles // Founder & Ambassador of Beard Season // Wearing our Panama Boots in Camel
Tell us about you and your story behind Beard Season.
Well… it’s a bit of a sad story. You see our mate Wes died from melanoma. He was only 26. We wanted to do something in his honour, so at his wake we decided to do something we called ‘Beard Season’, where we’d challenge ourselves to grow our beards for winter and then use them as conversation starters – telling everyone who asked us about them to get a skin check.
It was a bit of a joke at first, but after a while we started to literally save lives.
People were writing to us saying our beards got them to see a dermatologist, and because they did, they found something this could have killed them.
Every winter it grows bigger (excuse the pun). We now have thousands of people from all over the world getting on board. Helping us save an average of a life a week!
What’s the most important part to you?
It’s awesome watching everyone grow beards for winter, but it’s even more epic to see people going to get a skin check. It’s such a great tribute to Wes.
What’s your most favourite beard season campaign to date?
We hosted a portrait exhibition in London by a photographer by the name of Mr Elbank. It was mind blowing. Over 35,000 people attended, lining up at Somerset House to see our ambassadors on the walls of this famous gallery on the banks of the River Thames. We had news coverage from all over the world bringing so much attention to our work. It was a really special moment.
When you first started Beard Season, did you ever think it would be as big as it is now?
It has been such an interesting journey. What started as a random challenge between mates is now being enjoyed by people all around the world – saving lives in the process. I have so many more plans for it though so there’s plenty more to come.
We heard there are talks about you selling your famous beard! Is that true?
Yes, indeed. Haha. I am actually planning to sell my beard for a million dollars. I’ve been working on it for years now and we are hopefully very close to it coming off. I can’t wait. The money will help scale Beard Season to have an even bigger impact. Taking the charity to a much needed next level. Stay tuned…
Any exciting projects coming up this year or what you want Beard Season to achieve in the future?
2019 is going to be massive. Once we sell the Million Dollar Beard, we’ll be launching a free national skin check program. Providing specialist attention to beaches, festivals, country footy games, field days and places where it’s needed most. Along with stepping up our recruitment and ambassador programs. Helping people get involved.
When should we conduct a skin check?
It turns out the best time is winter. Because you’re not as tanned it makes your spots easier to see, plus if you need to get something seen to it won’t get aggravated by the sun after surgery. So we recommend at least once a year. Depending on how much you’re out and about. Or if you notice something odd. Check our ABCDE warning signs on our webpage for what to look out for.
So as The Beard Season Guru, What’s your day to day like?
I used to be a ‘creative’ at an advertising agency, doing Beard Season as a side project. But this year I’m taking a full leap of faith and working in Beard Season full time. Getting everything set to scale. It’s a bit scary, but super exciting.
Because you’re travelling a lot, what tick the boxes when it comes to a good pair of shoes for you?
I think durability and quality are important as I am always busy and on the go. I look for something versatile, something I can wear on the job and out on the town.
Any hot tips for your favourite Wild Rhino’s?
I’m really into the Panama boot, I love the rich tan colour and the rugged vibe. It’s definitely one I make sure to pack in my bag on my travels. Also, the Mannix for summer is a great call.
Thanks so much for your time Jimmy!
BANNER IMAGE OF JIMMY NIGGLES: BEARD SEASON FACEBOOK PAGE 2018