The Beekman Boys found themselves lost in rural Upstate New York one dark night in 2006. Little did they know, the small town known as Sharon Springs, NY would soon be the epitome of their Upstate Escape. After finding the dilapidated Beekman Farm, they took to their extensive professional knowledge, turning the farm into their newfound haven away from the hectic city atmosphere of the Big Apple. After the financial recession of 2008, a million-dollar mortgage transformed them from Manhattanites to Farmer Boys, spouting a new company that is bringing business back into the once-thriving tourist destination.
Josh Kilmer-Purcell, an Advertising Executive for J. Walter Thompson and a NY Times Best Selling Author and Brent Ridge, a Mt. Sinai Physician, have turned this old farm and mansion into their newest financial venture. They both had lost their high-paying jobs in New York City during the recession and took it upon themselves to make use of this beautiful farm in Sharon Springs, NY. The Beekman Boys used the community-driven attitude to turn their new goat farm into an incredible business idea.
Using the help of their neighbors, they learned the skills they use to this day to create their unique, local products which can be found in their local mercantile as well as throughout the nation in chain retail stores such as Target and Bed Bath & Beyond. Josh and Brent taught themselves to write computer code in order to create their own website while using the knowledge of the locals to learn the crafts of soap-making and farming. With a plethora of motivation and a can-do attitude they have truly brought life back into a town that has been forgotten over the years.
Once the dynamic duo had their ‘goats’ in a row, they began to spread the word, putting many demanding hours into face-to-face sales in the big-name department stores in downtown Manhattan. The idea of calling all of their customers “neighbors” brought about a community-like spirit and gave their business a small-town feel with a big city quality.
Today, you can find soaps, gardening tools, cheeses, and even furniture and home décor among their line of products. While many items can be found on their website www.Beekman1802.com, they have a store front as well, located in Sharon Springs, NY, along with a restaurant and, of course, the farm itself.
While Ridge and Kilmer-Purcell are committed to their busy schedules on the farm and in the marketplace, they have penetrated the reality television world as well. These two starred in The Fabulous Beekman Boys, a show based on the journey they took from their professional lives into the lives of goat farmers. These two were also a team on the hit-show The Amazing Race in which they raced around the world, competing for one million dollars. While the television series may have brought about a wave of new business, Brent and Josh make sure to maintain the idea that every customer is a neighbor because without the help of locals at the start of their business, it may have never developed into the thriving business model that exists today.
The idea of Beekman 1802 is to create luxury products, with the idea of keeping them accessible to all of their “neighbors”. Whether it be a bar of soap from their Mercantile, a Beekman1802 throw pillow from Target, or a $500 custom-made blanket, they have created a wide-range, superior-quality product line from a late-night discovery of a vacant farm house while driving around lost in Upstate, NY.
As far as the future of Beekman 1802, Brent and Josh host tours of the farm and have been putting on festivals to attract attention back to this beautiful town. Instead of being concerned solely with their business, they are attempting to get “new money” into Sharon Springs for both their business and those of the original ‘neighbors’ who helped them get where they are today. The Beekman Farm looks forward to bringing new classes and artisan demonstrations to their line-up of events at the farmhouse.
In case you can’t make it in person, they have even set up a live stream of the goats on their farm which can also be found on their website!