The story of Nicholas Karnaze’s beard begins in Afghanistan and ends with a men’s facial care product line called “Stubble and ‘Stache.”
Karnaze was a special operations Marine, when a fellow leatherneck, Justin Hansen, was killed during combat operations. In Hansen’s memory, Karnaze grew out his beard.
Karnaze told this story last week to a mostly male audience at the Washington DC Jewish Community Center, during a program called “Curls and Beards Night Out” and sponsored by EntryPointDC, a program for Jews in their 20s and 30s.
While Karnaze was describing how he developed a two-in-one beard conditioner and facial moisturizer into a business, across the room, two representatives from Bubbles Salon in Washington were telling their mostly female audience how to maintain their curls. That was followed by a haircut demonstration.
The event, which drew 25 participants, was inspired by the holiday of Lag B’Omer, the 33rd day between Passover and Shavuot, said Stacy Miller, manager of EntryPointDC. The days before Lag B’Omer traditionally are a solemn time. Among the activities avoided are weddings and haircuts. Lag B’Omer is a break from the solemnity, and the perfect opportunity for an event about haircare.