By Meg Kennedy
You could say that the competition has ‘grown on him’.
Ballan local Nigel Bullamore was again crowned with the Best Beard at the annual ‘Beard and Stache’ competition in Ballarat last month for the second-year in a row.
The competition, held at Hop Temple in Ballarat as part of the Ballarat Heritage Weekend on Saturday, 25 May, brings the longest and sharpest beards and moustaches from across the state and country across a variety of categories.
Mr Bullamore said his win for the second time “was definitely unexpected”.
“I was surprised because there were a lot of a bigger beards, bigger competition than last year,” he said.
“I think because the competition is getting more well-known now it’s in its fourth year, each year it goes by there’s more and more impressive beards that come along!”
Mr Bullamore said he went in with the same approach as last year but professed his entry in the popular competition is “just for fun”.
“It’s a good day out and I really enjoy it. I enjoy the crowd and get to hang out with a few mates and get to go through all the different beers they have at Hop Temple.”
With his beard coming in at 18-inches, one would assume that Mr Bullamore would be in with a fair chance at competitions around the world.
Although international beard competitions exist, such as the World Beard and Moustache Championships in New Zealand, as well as in Germany and Texas, the Ballarat competition is closer to home for the small business owner.
“Maybe one day [I’ll enter], but I’d like to even just go and visit the New Zealand championships [in 2021], which would be great.”
As well as maintaining his locks, Mr Bullamore is the owner of men’s grooming company Scruffy Fella, a regular at the Ballan Farmers Market.
The Scruffy Fella brand recently branched into the candle market with the ‘Fella Flame’, as well as a line of fragrances and a flower diffuser.
Mr Bullamore said the idea came about after previously working for a company with candles but confessed it was the partners of his customers that he had in mind.
“The honest truth of why I bought them out was not only because I loved them, but while men are having something to look at when they come into my market stall, the wives are busy looking at candles!” he said.
“I do love them, and they are a big part of my business now. We’ve chosen aromas that are what we consider ‘guy-friendly’ (candles names include ‘Man Cave’ and ‘Hay Shed’), so they are ones that guys will actually like and utilise, instead of just liking the ones that the ladies come home with!”
Candles and flower diffusers may not have once been traditionally male-targeted products, but Mr Bullamore said it is “absolutely” important to him to help break the stigma around grooming and fragrance for men.
“There’s always been this stigma with guys to the ‘masculine’ and that you don’t need to look after your skin…I come from a cosmetics and makeup background as well, so that’s where my love started,” he said.
“I’ve always seen the importance myself, and have always wanted my own range of products.”
Although there may have been a stigma in the past, he insisted that men’s grooming is now “very popular; beards are popular, and the stigma has disappeared.”
“Guys need to look after themselves and be proud of how they look as well.”
Scruffy Fella frequents the Ballan Farmers Market as well as the Gisborne and Talbot Markets, and also has an online store https://scruffyfella.com.au/.
You can follow Scruffy Fella on Facebook for more information and updates.