South Kingstown natives Louis Colavecchio and Sean Cullen are the bearded brains behind Beards With Friends, a kitschy t-shirt line that is hitting South County by storm. “We created Beards With Friends as a place for people to celebrate all that is beard,” Colavecchio says. The idea was born one night last summer on a Matunuck beach, while the two were sitting around a bonfire, spitting off funny one-liners about each other’s beards. “We thought, ‘Hey, we should write these down,’” Colavecchio recalls. At first, jotting down their quips had nothing to do with clothing; they simply wanted to amass a stockpile of “beardspiration” for when friends were thinking of shaving their beards off. After a few months, they created a Facebook page where people could upload pictures and show off their “man manes.” The t-shirts were simply the next logical step.
They came up with a logo and began printing them on shirts of various colors for men and women. Soon, beard owners and lovers of bearded men began sporting the tees around town. How bearded are the two friends? “The longest my beard has gotten is about three inches,” Colavecchio says. “In the winter, it’s wild... it’s tame [in the summer], as a businessman-chic half beard.” According to Colavecchio, Cullen’s beard has been a “majestic four inches and dwarfs what little he has on his head.” He quips that people who have facial hair tend to be very passionate about it: “The greatest thing about having a t-shirt line is the camaraderie we see through it – we love the fact that we give people an outlet to express those feelings.”