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Hi gang. I am so tickled you have decided to listen in to our first episode of Mondays with Mindy. I'm here virtually with my co host co producer, copilot, Christian Brescia. Hi everybody. I can't imagine launching anything. Without the two gentlemen that are joining us today Christian is our first guest Brent ridge and Josh Coomer Purcell. Maybe you know them as the founders of their super successful beauty and lifestyle brand, Beekman 1802. Or, as the winners of season 21 of The Amazing Race. I know them as two of my very best friends. We traveled together, I chore and retreat to their incredible farm in upstate New York. They inspire me Make me belly laugh, and are two of my most Sage confidence. They are generous and kind men and I call them my family of choice. And they're stuck with me.
Getting to the nitty gritty now. Dr. Brent Ridge is a physician who trained at Columbia University and was solely responsible For the Martha Stewart center for living at Mount Sinai Medical Center where he used to specialize in geriatric medicine. Martha stole him away to become the VP of healthy living at her company Omni media.
Well and Josh Kilmer Purcell is a New York Times and national best selling author of two memoirs. The first PS I'm not myself these days. It's a darkly funny chronicle of his time as an advertising art director by day and the glittery drag queen, awkward this Yak by night. A funny little anecdote here, Christian. I actually ran into Josh many times at numerous clubs in New York during this time we're talking about while he was dressed in his infamous black latex and pleather bodysuit with cutout plexiglass boobs that he'd filled with water and live. Amazing. Oh, not to mention his five inch stiletto boots. He was a sight to behold. For sure. Well, his other well received memoir, the blue collar plague. How two Manhattanites became gentlemen farmers, it's stories from their burgeoning weekend farmers turned business moguls, who inherited a barn of kids goats. That and a llama named polka spot. They share how they reinvented themselves and started a new company, Beekman 1802. During the stock market crash and the recession that followed together, they've co authored five books. The Beekman, 1802 heirloom cookbook. The Beekman 1802 heirloom vegetable. The Beekman 1802 heirloom dessert. The Beekman 1802 style and the latest a seat at the table recipes to nourish family and friends. All of these showcase their amazing gardening and cooking skills and amazing art direction. A stylist that can be envied and copied and a love of sharing with their neighbors. We'll get more into that neighbor thing when the guys join us.
Nice. Sounds like they are the ultimate examples of creatives who are not afraid to pivot. They're superheroes have Surviving and actually thriving in a recession which is a timely topic to say the least. It only makes sense to welcome them on Mondays with Mindy as our first guests and without further ado, I'd like to welcome Dr. Brent Ridge and Mr. Josh Kilmer Purcell. Welcome to the show, guys.
Ah, we're so excited to be here.
Welcome you guys. Thank you. I cannot do anything first without you guys. So, the way we're gonna start these is beautifully provided by Jonathan Adler. We have our secrets jar. And so there's 20 questions and just at random, I'm going to pick five and just kind of get the conversation going. see where it takes us. Okay, so I want you both to answer each question. Okay.
Okay, so, okay,
who is your favorite relative and why? We won't hold you to a really
one of my or I would say both of my grandma's are my favorite. They're both still alive. And we spent so much time with my family. My sister and I spent so much time with my grandparents as we were growing up, and it really just shaped so much of my perspective on life. That's why I went into geriatric medicine to begin with because of all my time with them. So I'd have to say, my grandparents or my grandma's, I, mine would, of course, have to be my uncle Arthur, who he was a gay man. And he met his partner in World War Two and they spent the rest of their life in the south of France living the life of an expat in the south of France. And he taught me everything about how to be amazing and he was like, you know, I'm 50 almost 51 years old and when I was a kid, there weren't a lot of gay role models right? I mean, even when you watch phil donahue they were always like blacked out and their voices were changing. I know right? And so like he have a gay role model at you know, when I was a young kid was was actually a pretty big deal.
Okay, mine was not as interesting but well, mine had grandma's
and your grandma's named jewel!
The theme of Monday's with Mindy is talking to creatives about the creative process and that question kind of comes from usually that person or a couple people really influenced and I know your grandmother's have influenced your aesthetic. We'll get into that later. So I'm reaching into my fabulous…
are you saying we have grandma esthetics??
ok, next one, I'll take myself out of it as an answer. But who's the most fascinating person you've met?
Mindy...but, maybe only on Tuesdays.
I'll go with my Jane, who was one of my old bosses. Oh, just an amazing British woman who moved to America became like the mother of American advertising. She started advertising in America as we know it. And then her second chapter she like, rescued a tribe in northern Kenya and started a whole school system for nomadic tribes in Kenya.
He has all these stock answers that are really great!
Mine, do I have to say one particular person? Or can it be a type of person? Because, as you know, Mindy, I have creative crushes on like a billion people. So if there is someone who is a great artist, or they're a great writer, or they're a great Craftsman of any sort, I'm immediately in love with them, you know, and so that's that those are the most fascinating people with anyone who can create something out of nothing… I am fascinated by…Martha, Martha Of course. Yeah.
he's always had a huge crush on me. Yeah.
But like you said, there you've met many and just are fans of their work. whomever they are, right. Okay. Number 3. I feel like that owl...THREE.
What's your favorite place to travel to? And why? And I know that's gonna be a hard one for you guys as well. Oh my gosh, cuz, like me I me, we want to go over.
This is super easy for me because my favorite place to travel is the place I've never been. I never like to go to the same place twice. Because the world is such a big place. Not your backyard is a big place. You know, I just always like to be seeing something new and being inspired by something new.
In my life, my life goal is to walk into a restaurant and have somebody say do you want the regular? Like Yes, I do.
I love that.
Yeah, yes. So for me, I mean, I love to go back to the same place myself. South of France is one of my favorites and then Africa. I mean, Africa is a giant continent, but and we've traveled many places in Africa, but it always speaks to my soul every time I go
One of the things that I love traveling with you guys is where we are is like my new favorite. And then by the time the trip ends, it's like, okay, where are we going now? So, I really, yeah, I feel it. Okay.
People have to know that we have traveled on many international destinations with Mindy...
How many has it been?
I think five…?
you list them for me?
I think five, i mean listen...let’s not test the co-host, shall we? especially right after her 54th birthday! Okay. Anyway, this is about Brent and Josh, but thanks for playing. Okay.
When was the last time you cried?
Oh, god last night.
What do you watch?
ummm...It's only the baking show.
Great British baking show always makes me cry. You know I am just turning that into that old man. It can be a commercial. It can be a sappy Facebook meme. It can be anything. I'll go to tell Brent...
what was the story I was telling you?
OH, a Facebook, a fan of ours passed away after battling COVID-19 for the last three months... and I just couldn't even I couldn't even get the word out. I mean, he was a follower for a long time. I hadn't even actually met him. But you know, and I just, I just get very weepy.
And I'm the opposite. I very rarely cry.
Exactly. So I really want to know your answer!
my grandfather passed away last year and you know, it wasn't...it was interesting with him because it wasn't, you know, he was older he had Alzheimer's disease. So it wasn't that it was unexpected. But he was a deeply religious man. And, you know, evangelical, which is how I grew up in the Evangelical Church, as you know, and you know, he had waited his whole life. And just been so devout and like walking the straight and narrow, quoting the Bible to everybody on the street. And he has spent his whole life waiting for that promise that something like the rapture was going to happen. And like all of this sacrifice, he had made his whole life to be this good person. He was going to see the reward for it…
and he was a good person...he was a great person and he never saw that manifestation.
It made me so sad to think about that.
I think at the end, I'm sure he realized that he was what he manifested in his life with his wife and his kids and you... That was what that was the reward?
Yeah, I hope you found everything that he thought heaven
was, oh, I hope he found it.
Well, he grew up really poor. Okay, so there's Southern really poor, and he thought he made it he had a job at the local department store. And he had really made it when he could bring two banana sandwiches to work ––– not one, right?
one was making it, you know, getting by, but when he could bring two banana sandwiches he was the richest man on earth.
luxury. Okay, so you made me cry. So that's good. Oh my god. Last question. Do you have a hidden talent?
Well, I have many!
or something that you don’t that you don't readily share.
Well, I used to have a lot of hidden talents! and, i have shared them!
We shared a little of that in the intro! I mean, current. hidden. talents…
I can find four leaf clovers. Like,
oh, this is a good one.
I have a third eye.
I have you ever seen him do that?
I've ever seen him every day that I'm at the farm in the morning. He comes in with eggs and a four leaf clover here have a four leaf clover! Every. Single. Day.
Well, where's all your luck, Mindy??
I don’t know! let’s go! You're looking at it, I have manifested this...
What about you, Brent?
Oh, I don't know. I think so, I think a lot of people don't, you know, people who just know us from the company or you know, you know, more of our personal life, probably don't think I'm as much of the creative person, right? Because they think, oh, you're the doctor, and so you're the scientist and have an mba and all that.
And he's the business person. He's the creative person, and he's really the only one that works!
I love that you say that.
So having been behind the curtain of the oz known as Beekman 1802. I can say that it is the first thing Oh, cheers. It is the first thing that I say to people when asked about you guys, is that they truly don't know what a rock on tour and how hilarious Josh is. And they don't know how creative Brent which is kind of where we're going to go into you know our discussion of your creative process because I'm fascinated...while I've seen bits of it and moments of it. I'm curious to know both of your where you go for inspiration whether it's a memory, a person, Pinterest, because your development of products, but then also Josh and related to your cooking or any or your writing anything else you want to share. I'm just curious about what your creative process is and how you define it. Go!
Timer starts now!
Well, you know, my creative process really, it just comes from so many different places probably like you, you know, as an as an actor as well. You know, I could be looking at fine art, I could be looking at, you know, a comic strip. It just comes from so many different places, and it really just happens to be in the moment too, like I could, I could look at some sculpture. And it means nothing to me one day. And then two weeks later or two years later, I could see the same thing and depending on what has transpired during the first time I saw and the second time I saw it, and maybe what's even happening in my life at that particular minute that I see it the next time. I like the idea. And you know, that's how we're taught. I think a lot of creative people are that way. That's why creative people tend to gather around one another, because you get so much inspiration from other creative people. And you just, I mean, and you just feed off of it.
I looked like I’m slowly moving into the shadows….
I know you guys have to pivot the chairs, the sunsets. I know.
My creative. You know, you know what I...creativity is the most painful thing in the world to make...when I'm making a project I hate every second of it like I it's it's something about is the fear of failure it's yeah absolutely fear of failure like it's not going to be good it's not gonna be perfect so like I avoid it at all costs...
but, I know you torture over your projects. Yes?
Yes! And and honestly I'm at the point now in life in this next makes Brent upset sometimes where I really won't I won't try like I just I just because I know it's super painful and I won't do anything unless I'm really into it really really into it and cooking I can get really really into cooking in the moment and creating something.
also when we've talked about story ideas that you have our stories you want to write the actual sitting down and writing and creating is torturous for you but you, you are never at a shortage, my friend for I have a quip, for the right the right word.
I think that's a really good point. I have a lot of ideas and a lot of creativity and and I'm just getting to the point in life now where I'm like, you know what, it's really painful to chase all of them. So I'm just gonna wait until I'm really, really excited about one and then up, then I'll throw myself into the firing fiery pit of creativity. And I used to always have to do it. And then I would just always be in this panic mode.
Right? Is that come from the advertising you think? Or just just it's just is who you are. Period full stop no matter what you're doing...that sense of deadline or, or think it is who it is?
Yeah, I was always I was always creating something. And I was always afraid it wasn't any good. So So now I'm like, you don't always have to be creating something. Instead of I probably should have learned the lesson that it doesn't need to be good. Instead, I've learned that I don't always have to be doing something.
Well, I have to say one of the reasons I fall I fell madly in love with you as a couple. Yes, for both of you individually is very similar to what you were going off of what you said, Brent, I'd love you to elaborate a little more. But it's just like living life. Whether you're in the garden or you're traveling or you're with somebody or you're just doodling or you see something, there is this constant sense of wanting to...create.
I'm gonna unveil my theory of creativity for the first time ever, on Mondays with Mindy. All right?
It's an exclusive.
Yes, it is an exclusive and it's speak, speaking of my personal experience, but also I think of a lot of Gay Men's personal experience is that the reasons gay men tend to be more creative, just in general, is because we spend so much of our life, our early years of life, trying to convince people that we're not gay, or to come up with a strategy to show that we're not gay or, you know, somehow covering for the fact that we're gay. And I think that that just creates certain synapses and certain neurons in your brain. That always makes you trying to figure out a problem of some sort. And that's how I always look at creativity as a strategy. To figure out a problem, so it could either be how am I going to choose this right formulation for skincare product? Or how am I going to work with this artists and to create this product that I know will sell? It's always about a strategy problem. And that's really how I approach creativity. If you break creativity down into its core, that's always the case, you know, it's strategy like how am I going to communicate this message? How am I gonna convey this emotion on my face as an actor, it's, it's a strategy, you're thinking strategically.
Well, I really I relate to that. Because as not as a gay man, but as as an actor. I am very comfortable creating a parallel universe and make it very much a reality to live in. And I find comfort in it and creativity in it right and the freedom to create in that parallel universe. So that really resonated with me, I love that. But for me, it's sometimes what you guys come up with whether it's a pithy little sing about something or the deliciousness of developing instead of calling your customers, customers or guests or visitors, you came up with this “Hi, neighbor,” will you explain this? where that came from originated and how it's, it's still actually just so a part of the narrative of Beekman 1802.
so we honestly don't remember when we first started calling customers “neighbors.” We honestly we've we've tried to go back and look at different old emails and things we can't figure out.
I actually think I recall...I think it was when we first started on TV retail. And...
no, I don't think so.
I think that we had this idea of neighbors in our head. And we were always retelling the story of Beekman we would always say you know, our neighbors helped us start this company and we wouldn't be here without our neighbors. And I think it was on TV retail when we were telling this narrative and we said you know what, we consider all of you our neighbors too. And I think that's really when it became like really truly a part of Beekman 1802.
Well introducing that notion of “hi neighbor” but Josh, I really appreciate and it's so crazy because I actually really tried to live by what you say how you describe that sense of neighbor. And where that came from.
Okay, we've all heard you know, love thy neighbor, right. And in some somewhere when I was researching the word neighbor, I realized every religion has a phrase that's, that's says, love thy neighbor. It doesn't say love all mankind love everybody you meet love all the world. It says love thy neighbor. And in if you look at the original translations and things neighbor means a person close to you, or a person who you cross paths with. And I really love the idea that we're in this world right now where we're constantly bombarded with the whole rest of the world right now. We need to worry about everyone from refugees in Syria to protesters in Hong Kong to you know, starving people in Africa. And you know, what you can't is overwhelming.
But, if we can take care of the people who cross our paths, so if you can take care of your neighbor, and that neighbor takes care of his neighbor and that neighbor takes care of her neighbor, eventually, the whole world's cover because you're taking care of the person next to you. And so to me, that's what the idea is that we've got to get rid of this idea of, and we all we're all guilty of, we all sit on on our social media and think we're going to solve the world with the right tweet right?
Or that we think we're we're connecting with people it's so interesting during this time of COVID talking to mom and dad, and I'm sure you've had this with you know, talking to your family. This sense of everyone not looking at we used to how's my neighbor doing okay, how's my block doing? And now we're just so insulated that I just think it is not just refreshing Josh, but very meaningful to have that attached to a company.
we do feel that way about our customers. I mean, you know, our neighbors, the Beekman neighbors, they see it amongst themselves and during this during this time. This endemic time they check in on each other like it. I don't wanna say it's like a cult but it's almost like a cult. They're all they're all friends they don't like they could care less about Brent I at this point...
Hell, we’re just a picture on a wall.
We’re horrible cult leaders! They don't even need us!
I think this is a good opportunity for us to sort of thank our neighbors or the guests that are watching the show right now. So want to work in a little bit of business. If you guys don't mind, just reminding all of the neighbors that if they haven't already subscribed to our podcast, they can do so by heading to MondaysWithMindy.com. There's links to subscribe on all major podcast networks. If people want to watch on YouTube, they can subscribe on YouTube as well. They can give us a thumbs up if they like what they're hearing and seeing and if they've got questions or comments, they can leave them in the comments below. Lastly, if you're interested in learning about our guests or want to know a little bit more about what we've talked about, or their background or their story, head over to the website again, MondaysWithMindy.com, you'll have information, links, episode show notes –––– all the good stuff so that you can engage a little bit more with these guys afterwards.
And let's take a moment to acknowledge our sponsor and seeing as we don't have one yet. I've decided that this episode of Monday's with Mindy is sponsored in heart and mind by Beekman 1802. the kindest company beauty company on earth and because all the very best things in life come from goats look for their newest food products launching very soon including jams, hot sauce and other condiments. You didn't even know you needed but will not be able to live without Beekman 1802
not only do we have the honor of being the very first ever guests, on Monday with Mindy, but we have the very first ever commercial on Mondays with Mindy. That will never happen again!
now heading back into just discussing creative process etc. I think most people and and if you don't know it you can Google it. It's very easy because you both have been very generous about your trajectory. And Joshua's book has stories chronicling this kind of the change and creation of Beekman 1802. But I'm more curious about just the ins and outs of it and how you have been able to pivot. And I know, Brent, you talk a lot about this too, about surviving and thriving, not only in a recession, but just in general not to be swayed by what's happening in the outside world. But that, you know, you can create whatever you want to create, no matter what's happening. But I did want to start this kind of discussion about your trajectory, and where you're pivoting now and where the company's going by asking that, is there a failure you've had, either professionally or personally, that you've learned from?
Oh, yes. Oh, yes,
can we narrow this down?!
I just I'm just gonna curious what, what the biggest lesson you learned from whatever failure was big or small?
Yeah, I think from from the business standpoint, both of us would have the same answer, which would be we, several years ago were asked by target to create a collection of food products.
Yeah, we loved it, you know, it was great. We made 43rd products and we actually we actually...in like seven months, we filled an entire four foot shelf at Target from scratch.
And and what was even better was that we in the process, we create completely reimagined the food manufacturing process in America, because we were able to figure out for the first time how to pair bottling companies with small farmers in the areas of those bottling companies so that those smaller farmers became represented on the shelves of target. And then we gave 25% of all the profits back to help those small farmers pay off their mortgages. Yeah. And you know, of course, you know, target is a great company to work with. They're, they're great marketers. And so when we were telling our story, you know, they were all in it, you know, and they're like, Oh, it's gonna be amazing. And we want to do all of these things. Well, then…
But but the truth is, you can’t tell that that complicated of a story, you know, about small farms in us when someone's shopping for groceries, you know, runs at Target, right?
And, and nobody thought of that. Target thought of that, because you you're just so wrapped up in the story and the storytellers that you don't think Well, okay, how am I actually going to tell this story to the people, you know, you know, with three kids on their arm trying to get their groceries…
and it was truly a lesson and we bit off more than we could chew. It was it was a giant leap forward that we didn't have the funds or the team to support there was we probably had 10 employees at that point.
well i was really looking forward to that target money to keep me in the lifestyle in which I’ve become accustomed.
I remember as soon as we told Mindy about that project. She's like, oh, you're gonna have target money!
Mindy! describe, describe to people..people always see the outside of our house and they're like, Oh my gosh, is this beautiful Southern plantation looking thing
It’s a wedding cake house!
Describe, like your bathroom. In the guest room...
I can't, I won't. Because I know the story that I would tell which honestly, I'm gonna take to my grave. just woken up by a plumbing issue throughout the home! I really I still sometimes have a little bit of a nightmare. And I missed the whole thing. I slept through half of it!
Let's just say that the walls took on a different shade!
It’s a 220yr old house!
So that we will never have that problem because you are redoing the house by redoing the bathroom. Yes, I'm so excited to not be in a plexiglass...bowl!
But I think that's You know, that goes back to, you know, what we're saying about growing as a company and and for the first first 10 years we didn't have we didn't pay ourselves $1 you know, I mean, we tried to cover expenses, but beyond that we…
Yeah. And then we got our first paycheck and and now we're redoing our, you know, our bathrooms. I mean, think about we're the fastest growing Bath and Body company in America. And, and we have bathrooms where the wallpaper was peeling off the wall and the sinks were chipped.
So truly, it's one of the things we bonded over knowing how my dad started his business, right? I mean, and, and with that business that you invest back in it.
That's right. And, you know, we always say that, you know, we, because we were born out of a recession, we were always just very conscientious about money, and that you never spent a dime until you had made two dimes. And, you know, we really did lament, you know, the past, you know, 10 years seeing this kind of Shark Tank-ification.
I know people will be like oh I have an idea for socks with you know you pay for it yeah I'm gonna find somebody to give me money to and it's to I'm like we'll just make a few try to sell a few make a few more selfie more and see if it works.
That's how you build the foundation. Yeah.
yeah test the market.
Yeah. What about Josh as far as yeah test the market as far as I don't want to I don't want to linger on failure. But, Josh, is there another story??
Um, you want to put forward I guess it's because again, while I don't want to tell the story of your your guyses trajectory because it's you've been so free and easy about it and people can read about it and and hear about it in other in other gabs that you've had. But there really is something to be said about the and I was an eyewitness to the 13 hour days, six days a week that the outside world never saw for years. All you guys out there, I can attest years and years of work and toil and yes enjoyment in aspects of that. But really being daredevils.
Yeah, I mean, we, we took our own product photography, we learned, we learned how to take photos, we learned how to code, the website, we did all of our own, you know, email marketing, we, we, for years, it was two of us, and then three of us and then, you know, eight of us, you know, we thought we had it made when we when we could get health insurance, you know,
I think that's why the books are so incredible because I, I was always kind of had the most pride about those books because they really seem to be what you to not only as businessmen, but as a couple were about and are about and your stylists that it finally got to get in there as well. You want to talk about creating them?
I mean, the cookbooks and the cookbooks, the style book, the whole sense that you were able to, I mean, that's such a different world. If you think about it. From what you guys do do day to day?
Yeah, I mean, that was that was honestly a creative way of marketing. I mean, nobody makes money off of books, right? I mean, that you don't book publishing, it's not a big industry. But we couldn't afford to place ads, we couldn't afford to, you know, create content, and you know, that So, we're like, we just needed to pay for itself, we just need to create these, these books that don't lose money. And they became our ads, you know, that's, you know, the beautiful pictures, the lifestyle and, and so just getting that out there.
And I also think that, you know, again, because we were always trying to run the company on a shoestring. And we're always trying to find the best partners to help us tell the story and help us get our aesthetic and our philosophy on life out to the public. And so, you know, when we were starting out, we always tried to make sure that we chose partners that we thought could in just just a little bit further in terms of telling who we are, so You know, when we first started with the beauty products, we started with Henri Bendel and anthropology because we knew those stores could help tell and help us to find our aesthetic. And you know the same way with the cookbooks when we first started doing the heirloom cookbooks you know we partner with crystal for the silver the print silver company because we knew that they could help us to find the high low aesthetic that people know us for. So it's always about choosing those good partnerships and and people who really see the vision that you have and see how they can integrate into that vision I think that's I think that's still today while we look for
right but I guess for me just being you know your friend and fan looking back and seeing you go from soap and foodstuffs to these books, to then pivoting you know this kind of keep pivoting and and yes, the intention is to grow bigger or more successful, but really no one could have predicted what's happening to the company...now.
It's true. I think neighbors predict, you know, I think, you know, they tell you what they want. And then as a good business person, you give people what they want. And you know, I think even though from the very beginning, we considered ourselves a lifestyle company. You know, what people have told us is that we are a beauty company, and but a beauty company unlike any other beauty company, because it's not just about how you look or what your skin looks like, it's about how beautiful is your life? It's like a whole life beauty system. And so…
jI’m sorry I just had a look at my skin because I…
you're using your 18 plus 02 oil, so you look fabulous.
I am. Sorry to interrupt, but yes.
I just had to check myself
but and we really do think, you know, we think every step that we've made from the cookbooks to the failed, launch at Target in the food line. Like all of those things that we did, they were always the very best quality, they were always beautifully executed. And they were all leading up to helping people cultivate a beautiful life. And you know, to us, that's what beauty is. It's not just about what you're putting on your skin, or how you know, or how the world sees you. It's how you see yourself, and how you see yourself is your whole entire world. And that's our philosophy as a beauty company.
So when you two were little boys growing up, teenagers, young men, how, and if this doesn't apply to you, fine, but how does where you're come from and whom you were born to help to create that aesthetic, or did you develop it away from your family and away from your place of origin? I'm just really curious because I know that you guys have such incredible relationships with your family and your roots.
Yeah, we both we both have really wonderful supportive families. I mean, I wish I wish I had a hard luck story about my family, you know, like to pull out and show, but my family's really been great.
Well, I do think that, you know, our circumstances growing up, you know, we did have very supportive and loving families, but we were both on the lower, lower middle class spectrum growing up. And so I think when you grow up that way, you always have aspirations, and you're always looking for things that you think are prettier or more luxurious than the things that you have. And I think part of that kind of curiosity for those types of things came from our background and probably what propelled both of us to wind up in New York City for many years. And then in New York City, of course, we were both professionals. And had access to, you know, the very best of everything. And then you realize once you see the very best of everything that it's not really the very best of everything. And so then I think that's really when we came into our own. We're like, you know, some of those beautiful simple things that we grew up with. Those are the true quality and those are the true beautiful things. And then when you marry that with something that's completely exquisite on the other end of the spectrum, you know, something truly, absurdly luxurious. That's when things become really interesting when you marry those two perspectives. And I think that had we not grown up the way we had.
And we both grew up in rural areas. Yeah, I grew up in the Midwest, which is, you know, basic. Basically, the center of inferiority complex for all of America is like Midwestern gayboys. You know, like, we're like, anywhere is better than what where I am right now, which is now I know it's not true, but at the time, you're dreaming that this you know, this incredible world is out there and I have to tell this…
Mindy, you know, you know I had an obsession with TV growing up right you know like, right and every fall they would the network's would have these this shows of these like, 102 second commercials of all the stars on their network, like dancing together and singing together. And I was like, I don't know where that is. But all those people are friends in one spot, and they'd go out to parties and they must go out to lunch. And I was like, that's where I want to be. So in my head, like I was like, This is the world that I'm going I need to create...
and be a part of being a part of? See I was never that way.
I was just, you know, I used to tape. I used to film shows on our old video camera and tape record the sound. And then and you'd have to line up the tape recorder with the with the video to get the sound.
Well, I mean, going back to the aesthetic question, it's just that that's another thing I think just based on what the public public your public knows about you is certainly curated for for marketing purposes, I get that. But just on a personal level, you both have a very incredible aesthetic. You have incredible taste, and I'm just wondering if that's just a natural thing or that it developed for you or it's not just the finer things in life but your taste level when, when or how you write Josh, it's just very, I don't know, it's different from from what most people would see see as either rich or luxurious or whatever kind of word you want to use to describe the feel that you have walking into your house walking into the mercantile store. Your how your products are packaged, it's at a taste level. That is not normal.
It's, I don't think it's any better than lots of other people. There's certainly lots of beautiful things out there. I think for us, and probably what resonates with you and is that we're just very, I know the word authentic is way overused these days, but we're just ourselves. We're never trying to impress anybody else other than ourselves and making sure that we create something that we think is beautiful, and that people like it. We never set off creating something for the purpose of making someone else like it
we also know, like, what truly beautiful things are to us. Like, and I truly because because we lived in New York City, we've had we've seen the best of the best, you know, and, and we've also, you know, and we also grew up in Wisconsin, and you know, we didn't have much like the perfect ear of corn to me is as beautiful as...sculptural…yeah, as you know, a diamond necklace. It's it's, but but it has to be the perfect ear of corn, you know, there's there's perfection no matter what it is, and I think that's what we try to capture,
and you know, I think we're free to do that is because we have been for the amount of time that we've been, quote unquote, in the public eye. We've always been completely honest with ourself with with our struggles, you know, with, with the wars and everything that there's never been no artifice into anything that we're doing. And I think that comes through in the product like there's a very there's a truthfulness to the product. And I think that's, I think that's fortunate that we had lived our lives in a very open and honest way. And I think that came from, honestly from the very beginning of social media, like before social media became a career. You know, you were just putting yourself out there and you were showing what you were doing, you know, and, and we just, we came about at a time when social media was much a different place than it is and actually reality TV. We came into reality TV when it was in a much different place than it is now, when it was about the more documentary than the script, the scripted reality and I think that
I mean, I think I think, you know, I consider myself I think it's amazing one of our biggest accomplishment is that we haven't canceled yet, you know, like, all canceled culture. It's like, they'll find one thing that then just unravels everything you've ever done and hate you.
but I've always been afraid of, you know, if you're, if you're not honest about something, I think some people learn that some people don't if you if you start creating a web of artifice, eventually, you know, somebody pulls out a strand, it all comes apart. So I think we've just always been like, scrupulously transparent from the very beginning. And I think that's what, that's why we've been able to, you know, we've never been super famous. We've never been super successful. We've never been super unsuccessful. We never give up...
I'm going to take this moment to take another sponsor break. I look so forward to having a real sponsor soon so I can lend my voice over artistry, expertise them in the meantime, check out Beekman 1802 products. My personal top five favorites are the cleansing face wipes. The goat milk primer with sunscreen. The luxurious Beekman 1802 facial oil, the oh so necessary hand balm that I also use for my heels and elbows, FYI and of course my first love the all natural lip balm please visit Beekman1802.com to shop or use the link posted on our website MondaysWithMindy.com , Beekman 1802 not only the kindness company but my home away from home and whose logo is also tattooed on my ankle. No really. I have made it so I am the property and belong to these men for the rest of their lives. Beekman 1802.
I love it!
Kick up your ankle! Throw it up!
She’s very bendy!
You know what? That’s private!
and you know what we'll do is I'll take a photo and it will be up on the website when the when the podcast on on the website so all my glory…
I want to take this, you know last few minutes that we have together and I don't want to share too many secrets but something that isn't talked about enough in my humble opinion and I'm also just really curious about how you want to protect your privacy. I mean what I love about you as well which I we also talked about copious amounts is to be public figures in a way and and be out there all the time and have so many people know your business but also you have retained a sense of privacy. But I'd love to just have you speak on the two of you as a couple and not just as I'm you spend 24 hours a day together. And another reason I'm madly in love with you both, is that I grew up with a couple that is very similar to you both that is they’re, the beginning, middle and end of each other, and they don't need a lot of others. And that's very unusual. And so I wanted you guys to as much as you want to share about it, I find it I find your relationship to be one of the most beautiful I know and I've ever been a witness to and I just wanted to give you the freedom to sort of talk about it cuz you're not really asked a lot about the ins and outs and days day to day living of the two of you guys.
Well, that is a good question. We've never been asked that. And first let me say that we're completely honored to be compared to your parents because your parents are an amazing couple. And when Mindy is at the farm, she calls them like every day, and it's so nice. It's so joyful. Just Listen to her talk to them. It's just such a joy in it. And you know for
First of all, we're not brothers.
Does that drive you crazy?
It drives me nuts, I can only imagine what it does to you guys!
You know, I think for us, well, you know, we are completely fine being together 24 seven for the past 10 years we have been together 24 seven I know this pandemic and we're like what?? this is easy.
and here I think for me the reason Josh is just such a just a natural part of my like he is my other my other were attached is because, you know, I had moved to New York City to do my medical training. I had never dated a guy. Josh was the first guy I ever dated. And we've been together ever since. So my whole gay identity is Josh. Like I don't I don't have a gay world. Except, Josh.
Wow. Sad for you!
He has been able to become my gay world is because before me, he already had way all through the whole gay universe. Yes. And so he brought me all of those experiences. So I don't I don't need anything more. And, you know, I think we we come so cliche to say we complement one another, but we really do and...
well, you know, Brent...
his answer will be better than mine.
I mean, here's, I mean, the truth is, I don't know how to say this without sounding terrible, but I think we're both very competent people. I think we both, you know, have achieved a lot in life before we even met we achieved a lot in life. And I really respect Brent. I will never tell him that.
He’s not listening...until monday!
I know he can't hear.
Oh, these aren't earplugs.??
And he's really one of the few people that can tell me something that goes completely against what I've just said. And I'll actually listen to them. Yeah. And think, Oh, well, maybe maybe there's some truth to what he's saying. Again, I will never let him know in the moment that I'm listening to him. But he's one of the reasons really true truly one of the few people that that can have the opposite point of view of me and, and I'll give them the time of day. That make me sound terrible.
But do you think that has been was that from love at first sight or that as a reason? or because that is respect that is earned?
For you know, because for many, many years, I thought, Oh, no, you're just wrong. And I'm gonna have to show you why you're wrong. And I'm gonna teach you But now, like I 99% of the time, if you say something, I believe it.
Well, you you both have also just been through so much together and I've had to trust each other's views, opinions, how to move forward, how to pivot, all that stuff. By the way, the last time I cried, right Now, I love when you guys talk about each other. I really do. It's my most favorite thing anyway.
Let me just say, here's how I knew that, that we had had a good life was that when I turned 40, and I just turned 47. I knew at the age of 40, that if I died the very next day, I would be completely content. Like, because I knew in my soul that I had been with a person I loved more than most people, even if you are in love with someone, you don't get to spend 24 seven with them. So all of the minutes so many other people have to spread out over 20-30 years, we've already spent, you know, we've traveled all over the world. We've seen things that 99.9% of people will never see. And that's how you know you've done it right.
And that's when I took out the life insurance policy.
So romantic to talk about your 40th birthday and death!
Yeah, exactly no
it's not it's not just dead is contentment.
no I it's beautiful the way you said that and it's so it's so rare and also I just think it just you guys fight fair you're honest with each other you trust each other and then yes the love and all of that stuff but it really is something that based on your business and that the fact that you are the faces of part of it. I don't think people know about you and it's to me the most attractive thing about you both is each other, you know, and I'd love just being the throuple when I insert myself which sounded incredibly dirty. And so what happened on the farm stays on the farm.
People might not know we’ve all gone skinny dipping...multiple times.
I mean, not Christian. Sorry Christian.
We started, we started skinny skinny dipping at the farm. Because we didn't want to get we didn't want to clean the wash our bathing suits.
And where is the company going in the next year, anything you want to share or for nothing. Just putting it out there.
I mean, we have a major retail partner that we're announcing in July.
And if we if we weren't the very first guests on Mondays With Mindy we would be able to
welcome back we'll come back for the big announcement.
you know what, what is the next year look like for any of us? It's, you know, it's exactly it's really, really tough and we have an amazing team. Working with us at the
And you guys have been amazing to that team because everyone is still employed, am I correct in that?
we didn't lay off or furlough a single or single employee.
Yep. You know, we don't know what the next year is going to look like, but we're in as good a shape as we can be. And we always, you know, we started our company in the midst of the last big recession and we'll get through this one our company motto work hard, never quit help your neighbor. And we think if you do those three things, you get through anything.
Yeah. Great. Well, you guys, thank you so much. I you know how much I literally like, I need five versions of love. The word love like the, you know, Alaskans have five or 15 words for snow. For love. We do we should. God, here comes the musical portion of Mondays With Mindy, but but I want to thank you so much for gabbing about your creative process you continue and will always inspire me and I'm just so happy to be the tangential Trudy hanging Chad, on your life. Christian, maybe you have a little bit more understanding of what I just brag and fell as the Jews like to say over these two individuals.
I certainly do.
Wow, we just want to say we're honored to be the first guest on Mondays with Mindy it was it's great and I can't wait to hear other people's creative process and I hope they have them slightly more defined than ours.
Oh I I enjoyed this knock it off. Where’s that ego of yours that healthy ego oh my gosh, no one talks to me the way Brent Ridge talks to me. Right anyway, I love you both. So much. Send love to your families, please for me, do you know certain staff people that I have a certain affinity for?
We’ll pass it one.
when are you coming out, when's your next visit to the farm?
Hopefully this summer we're gonna see as far as like the travel bans and all of that I just really want to respect everything but I can't wait to get behind that mower.
and Mindy is a good push mower. And we have we have record another episode of Monday's with Mindy from the farm.
Oh my gosh...
gosh follow up follow up
definitely done. Oh have to have to be on location. And you know whether this makes it on or not. I do just have to give Brent a little shout out that Doug Friedman will be coming on Mondays with Mindy from his ranch at Marfa. Oh, we might have to one up him going on the farm. I think he needs to come to the farm to do his follow up too.
Yes. Anyway, I love you both. Thank you copious amounts. All right.
Thanks, congratulations on your first show.
Thanks for coming in. We appreciate it. All right, Mindy. That's season one. Episode One in the can and I think we did a pretty great job. What do you think?
Want to say a special thanks to Josh and Brent one last time, Beekman 1802. We'll have all the links all the show notes. Everything will be on the website that's MondaysWithMindy.com. If you haven't subscribed yet, please head to the website. Subscribe on your favorite podcast app or on YouTube and we will see Next week thanks, everybody.