Welcome to a new content series called Beards Behind the Brand! Our goal with this new series is to feature empowering stories from our community to encourage and inspire each other to be the best we can be. This week we're featuring Live Bearded Ambassador and multiple beard competition-winner, Steve Fausneaucht.
The man… the myth… the legend.
If you’ve followed us on any of our social media channels this year, you’ve undoubtedly seen the massive and glorious man mane of Steve Fausneaucht (aka “Faus”).
In fact, to date, he’s taken home 1st place in nine (9!!) beard competitions, finished in 2nd twice and 3rd place twice.
For many of us, he has the beard we all aspire to…
But it wasn’t always like that…
“I was born in South Carolina,” Faus said. “Shortly after, my dad went from the reserves to active duty in the Marine Corps where he then served active duty for 22 years. As a military brat, I had it pretty easy when it comes to the places we moved to. After South Carolina we went to San Diego, Hawaii, Southern California, back to Hawaii and then Southern California again. During that time, my dad was a Drill Instructor and also a Recon Marine. Luckily my dad never brought the bad ass mentality home. But what I did learn from my dad was the hard work, dedication and sacrifices that he made for his family and virtues that I hold on to today with my small family.”
In between his junior and senior year of college, Steve attended the Officer Candidate School for the United State Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia, with their Platoon Leadership Course. One of his greatest life achievements was completing the 10-week intensive program.
“Although I elected to not take my commission as a second lieutenant, I am forever grateful for the invaluable lessons I learned there,” he said. “Leadership as No. 1, but also the intrinsic values of not giving up when things are extremely tough and the determination to move forward when everything is seemingly going to shit around you or you're just too doggone tired to even think about what you have and must do.”
Shortly after college, he became happily married to his wife, Lisa. Needing something to pay the bills, Steve became a healthcare recruiter and was hiring and firing nurses for a Nurse staffing agency. Then 2008 hit…
“Since the state was paying the hospitals and we weren’t getting anything from the hospitals, I was relieved of my duties and had to look for something else,” Steve said. “My uncle worked for an industrial gas and welding supplier where I was able to get a job and start learning the industry. In 2012, I took an outside sales position with one of the welding supply vendors we distributed supplies for.”
And, thus, began Steve’s bearded journey…
“I was in an industry where the average age was probably 30 years older than I was at the time,” he said. “Lots of good ol’ boys, and grey hair was the norm. I had a few grey spots on where my sideburns and jaw were and I felt the greys and the beard made me more respected in that industry. Or at least listened to not as a kid in the industry. I did really well for the company as an account manager. Even being promoted to a Strategic Account Manager where I was responsible for accounts that spent over $1 million a year and with multiple locations. Then in 2015, the company was heavy in the oil and gas industry and oil at that time (like it is now) was taking a huge dive. I remember hearing the CEO say something about the millions of dollars they were going to cut and the departments they were going to cut from. My department was one that was on the chopping block. And sure as shit, three months later I was given a severance package from the company.”
The next year was one of the most difficult of Steve’s life. He wasn’t working and unemployment was only covering so much. He went into the deepest depression of my life. And for someone who normally does not suffer from depression all too often, this was a deep deep hole.
“I didn't feel I would be good enough to work again,” Steve said. “Everywhere I was applying for a job was in the same predicament of not able to hire or drastically shrinking their staff. There were many dark days of sobbing not seeing any light at the end of the tunnel. We still had a place to live and were using assistance programs for food from local food banks and churches. But the funds were getting extremely low and we would not be able to keep paying rent much longer.”
Steve did his best to make ends meet over the subsequent months. His family of three couch-surfed and stayed with family. It was a vicious cycle of trying to get a place to live with no income and no work. Eventually, prior connections from his company helped Steve land work.
“Everyone goes through difficult times,” he said. “For me, the thing that really helped see me through were the lessons I learned from my dad growing up. I knew my wife and daughter were relying on me to provide for them. Or at least to shelter them and provide food. It was by far the toughest thing I have had to do. But it was just something internal, that drive to succeed no matter how tired and down you feel and the determination to win. And winning in the matter meant being able to provide a place of living and food for my family.”
During this time, Steve’s face mane started becoming a part of his identity. In fact, it helped to shape his life moving forward.
“In some ways, I am the beard and the beard is me,” Steve said. “Using Live Bearded products and not only knowing they are taking care of my beard for its overall health and having the confidence in knowing the beard will be put together nicely when I go to business meetings definitely helps with confidence.
“If you look good, you feel good. And if you feel good, you’ll do better.”
At Live Bearded we believe Brotherhood goes beyond the beard. We believe it is our responsibility, as men, to do better every day, to learn from our mistakes, grow through our failures, and strive to be the best we can be.
Through sharing stories of the men in the Live Bearded Brotherhood, we're continually learning and growing from each other. If you are interested in being considered for a Beards Behind the Brand story, send us an email!