First-time exhibitor wins best display award

2017-06-01 13:45
Winners of the Pietermaritzburg Sakekamer Shield for best display by first-time exhibitors, Johan (left) and Leigh-Ann Marais from The Bearded Man, at the Royal Show.

Winners of the Pietermaritzburg Sakekamer Shield for best display by first-time exhibitors, Johan (left) and Leigh-Ann Marais from The Bearded Man, at the Royal Show. (Ian Carbutt)

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The winner of this year’s Royal Show best display by a first-time exhibitor award is The Bearded Man, set up by a Hillcrest couple after a minor argument over the husband growing a beard.

The Bearded Man, founded by Johan and Leigh-Ann Marais, is a South African business based in Hillcrest that sells beard oils, balms, and washes to keep men’s beards soft and well groomed.

Johan said the idea for the business started when he had wanted to grow a beard and Leigh-Ann disapproved as she felt beards were “too prickly”.

“Beards are in and women seem to have a love/hate relationship with them, because while they like a beard they don’t like the way it feels.

“After eight months of research, we got the product we wanted and now I have a beard and my wife is happy because it is looked after,” he said.

Johan said their business was only officially launched at the end of March this year and he was “very surprised” that so many people had come to visit their stall.

He said they were both even more surprised when they won the award for best display by first-time exhibitor. “After winning the award, we have both been extremely motivated. It shows that hard work pays off.”

Johan said the next step for their business was to move into retail stores, but they prefer to remain a small business instead of going into mass production.

He said some of the proceeds of their sales go to organisations supporting men and women with cancer as they wanted to give back to the community.

He added that none of the work would have been possible without his wife by his side.

For more information on The Bearded Man, visit

Other show winners included The Honey Hall, which won the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business (PCB) Trophy for the best small business exhibitor.

Other winners are:

First National Bank, The Royal Commercial Floating Trophy for best display in an exhibition hall.

University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, The Royal Industrial Floating Trophy for best display in an Individual building.

Pietermaritzburg Power Products, The Hulett Aluminium Floating Trophy for best display on an open site.

Subaru Pietermaritzburg, Wesbank Floating Trophy, presented by Wattle & Timber Growers’ Union for best motor industry display.

McBeans Implement Co, David Wing Floating Trophy for best display of light duty agricultural equipment.

Midlands Mascor, PCCI Agriquip Floating Trophy for best display of heavy duty agricultural equipment.

The Orange Blossom Trophy for the best display by construction/materials handling exhibitor went to Northmech.

Ndlovu Fencing T/A Stafix, PCCI Floating Trophy for best South African industrial display.

Marksman Heating & Industrial, The PCCI Award for best trade exhibit by a member of the private sector based in greater Pietermaritzburg.

South African Police Services, The Muhl Perpetual Floating Trophy for best display by a government department

Husqvarna SA, The Telkom Customer Care Trophy for the highest standard of customer care and service.

Weston Agricultural College, The President’s Trophy for special endeavour.

Farm Maintenance Services, The RAS Trophy (previously Meadow Feed Trophy for Best Large White Pig) for special endeavour.

Tramontina, Mercury Trophy for best display in the festival of fine living hall.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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