This picture was take on the very first day we stumbled into Sharon Springs on that fateful apple-picking weekend excursion.

 

It’s Brent’s birthday today. I hope you’ll all wish him a happy day because he’s the most deserving person of appreciation that I’ve ever met.

 

It’s tough for me sometimes, because I see that the world’s understanding of Brent doesn’t always line up with his actual contributions – to myself, to our community, and to the wider group of great folks who watch our show and follow our farm’s progress. That’s hard for me to witness, because I think I might be the only person who really sees how hard he works to accomplish all the great things that I, and others, benefit from. So I want to be perfectly clear:

Brent is Beekman.

When we both lost our jobs in 2008, we had nothing except two big mortgages. We mutually agreed that he would try to build Beekman farm into a business that could support itself. He had the business skills and temperament that could build something from nothing. And he has….and then some. The jobs he’s created have benefited far more people than just ourselves.

The first town festivals? His ideas. The products? All his. The Mercantile? Him.  The charity events that have raised over half a million dollars for small farms? Brent.  The partnerships with Williams-Sonoma, Anthropologie, Bendels, Bloomingdales, Sterling Publishers and our other great retail relationships…all Brent.

People would be exhausted just looking at his daily calendar.

I often find myself frustrated that people sometimes give him a hard time for his drive and unrelenting perfectionism. Because many times, those who complain about him are the very people who benefit most from his efforts. Including myself.

But what’s most amazing to me is that he doesn’t care about any of this. He’ll likely find this blog post silly. He works hard because, well, that’s what he does.

What makes him different from many driven business people, however, is that he fully understands that his success – our success – can only be considered truly successful if our friends, neighbors, and community are successful as well. None of Beekman’s growth came at the expense of anyone else. There aren’t many companies – or people for that matter – who can say the same. I would argue till I was hoarse if one single person said that they were worse off because of what Brent has built.

For his birthday I bought him a few very practical gifts. Because that’s the kind of person he is. But I’d like to get him something a little more extravagant. Something he’s never asked for, and something he doesn’t always get his fair share of.

I’d like to give him gratitude. I hope a few of you might feel like doing the same. If you feel moved, please leave your Happy Birthday greetings in the comment section below.

Brent….thank you. The day you were born is still the best day of my life. I may have only been three years old, and I certainly had no idea that my future best friend was coming into the world a thousand miles away. But I’m pretty sure it must have been a perfectly sunny day and that I couldn’t stop smiling.

Still can’t.

Happy Birthday, Beba.

xoxo, me.

by Josh Kilmer-Purcell

Reader Comments

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Patricia Friesen

Happy belated birthday Mr Beekman….Brent!
I am so glad we share birth months and I definitely recognize the Taurus in you!
You are the best! But so are you, Josh. You are so full of love and goodness. You are a perfect pair….enhancing one another. I am so happy to have participated in your gorgeous and very moving wedding and so proud to be a new Beekman artisan….such a joy and honor.
Lots of love and hugs to you both,
Pat

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Beth

I thought I had read all of the posts, but somehow this one got past me. It is beautiful. The fact that Brent is a perfectionist is probably why I’m such a fan of your products. It is also pretty incredible how quickly Beekman 1802 became something bigger than itself…an instrument to help many artisans, a call to buy locally whenever possible, an inspiration for many of us on how we would like to live our lives…to name a few. This post serves as a nice reminder that it is a good idea to take a step back every once in a while to appreciate what makes the people we love so wonderful…and not just focus on why they sometimes drive us crazy 🙂

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Johnathan Putnam

I am sure your birthday has come and gone as I write this. I was compelled to just drop you a letter so you are reminded how truly fortunate you both are to have each other. One complimenting the other, a little crazy banter, and the occasional disagreement, all gifts. I think of Paul ( my better half, and I mean better) when I read what Josh has written here. Paul has made everyone he has touched smile with his humor and overall great way about him.

You see I know I am lucky and by reading this I know you both are as well. So from one man on the coast of Maine to the both of you I say Happy Birthday. Each day is a celebration, even the hard ones. Each day is a birthday isn’t it?

Much Love

Johnathan

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Ginger miller

Happy belated birthday. You guys are both so awesome. Funny, sensitive, endearing in everything you do and say. I love your show, watched you on amazing race and think you are both great people….

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ConnieW.

Was just re-reading this, and it is still one of the most touching tributes I have ever read. Makes me cry. Brent, you are so obviously appreciated by Josh, but must also be by your family and friends and employees, co-workers, and everyone else who knows you well and knows the miracles you have pulled off in such a short time. You are owed such a debt of gratitude. You would poo-poo that statement, we know, but it’s the truth. You work tirelessly, always with the intention of helping and doing good for everyone, making life better, more enjoyable, more fruitful, more meaingful. We should all be like you, but we haven’t the energy or the drive. Therefore, we can only look to those like you who make life richer for us with our hearts full of gratitude and admiration. You have helped so many, and without ever being asked. You have everyone’s happiness in mind except your own……but maybe that IS your happiness, to improve life for everyone around you and even those thousands of miles away that you’ve never met. Life is better for us all because of who you are, who Josh is, where you are, what you believe in, and what you are doing. Thank you and God bless you both.

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Lupe Yvonne Burke

Happy sooooo belated birthday Brent! I know it's so belated huh? But I just happened to find this website searching to find out when it's your show coming back.. I think it's an amazing show and really miss it. Hope to see you both soon, like I said miss your happy faces!!

Love,

Lupe♥

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Keith

Happy belated birthday Brent! We can't wait to see the new show!!! We miss you both so much

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Kathleen

Happy Birthday Brent! You are truely very special, I hope you enjoy your day.

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Mary Connell Gaynor

Happy Birthday Brent! Thank you for your support of my artwork. Having my print, Sweet Silence, connected to your "Masterpiece"has given me so much joy.

Love,

Mary

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Kevin

If it wasnt through your hard work and the show we would have never known about Sharon Springs. You introduced us to an amazing town and even more amazing new friends making our wedding there truly memorable ! Thank you and have a very Happy Birthday

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Nellie

Happy Birthday Brent. Please know that the people that matter, that love you, are grateful everyday for all you do. And that the love you and Josh have for each other is amazing and can change things for the better. Look at your Grandmother. Love will always lead the way.

Happy Birthday and many, many more.

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Ronda

**********What an exceptional relationship you both share. You both are a world of inspiration to me. Sometimes I scan threw your web page and the face book pages you have. I am joyed to see a true love flourishing the way it should be. Not only is your farm a "true exemplification of heirloom quality"…….. so is the love you share. May it forever and a day continue …. ~Happy Birthday~ and many more!!! ~Ronda, Turkey Ridge Farm

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carol

Happy Birthday Brent…it is wonderful to read how well Josh really knows you…and to share the real you with us..I agree you have done so much for your town,your neighbors,and ALL of us…please don't change…we love you and your ideals just the way they are!!

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Kari

Happy Birthday Brent! What a gift to us all you are, from those in your immediate circle to those of us who have been privy to watching your show, you are a joy to watch. Your heart is so giving and your spirit so steadfast, you really are a wonder. So here's to you and a day to celebrate the fabulosity that is Brent!

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Suzanne

Brent, like Josh says, I am so very grateful that one sleepless night I came across your program and fell in complete awe of what you both were doing with your lives and consequently thousands of others. We too have fallen in love with you both and thank you daily for all your work you've done these past years. You so deserve a wonderful day, Happy Day & much Love

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Debbie Raisovich-Lai

Happy Birthday Brent. Hope your day is special. What a blessing in this world to know you are so greatly loved by family and friends. Enjoy your day.

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JoAnne colenzo

All of this reminds me of the episode where you gave Brent the stove. I think that was something that Oprah refers to as an "ah-ha" moment. I wished Brent a Happy birthday yesterday and told him he's been a life changer and I truly mean that. You both bring so much to all of us and may I give my gratitude as well. Mmmwahhhh!

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Sandy

Brent, wishing you much happiness and joy on your Birthday and always. You deserve the best. Thank you for all you do and have done for small towns across America. You have shared your life with so many and brought so much joy to all of us from Josh aka the Fabulous Beekman Boys and the wonderful products at the 1802. Have a wonderful Birthday!

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nancy DiPace Pfau

Brent, having someone like Josh in your life makes for a great every day — but I hope today is extra special!

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Lee Ann Cleary

Happy Birthday Brent! We were so very happy to meet you and Josh in Columbus at the Country Living Fair. You made our day! So on your special day I wanted to say THANK YOU for everything you do.

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Laurie Ather

Happy Birthday, Brent! You deserve all the good things that come your way!!

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Terry Corigliano

Happy Birthday Brent !! You are so loved by so many. I have followed you from the first and sent links to all my friends so they could do the same. I knew then you were going to be Fabulous. You are the 8th wonder. You deserve all the best and hope this day and all the rest of days bring it for you. HAPPY BIRTHDAY AND MANY MORE.

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Scott Mallan

Happy Happy Birthday Brent! You've built a great business and should be damn proud of it. That and the fact you have a wonderful partner!

Scott

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Rosie McCoy - Cherok

So what exactly is it that you do, Josh? Lol…

Happy Birthday Brent! Thank you for sharing your life with us. Watching your struggles, triumphs, and love with Josh has blessed all of us who adore your show and your efforts. While you may be all "awww shucks" about it, your accomplishments are inspiring. BTW – sorry NC let you guys down. But you know there are those of us here, at home, that support you.

You've created quality products, and they speak volumes about your dedication and standards. Love them.

here in Cherokee, to say I love you is "gvgeyu" – so gygeyu Brent! And you too, Josh…

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