Those who know don’t speak, and those who speak don’t know. The first lines of the Tao Te Ching are words of wisdom in deciphering spiritual insight from snake oil. Not that Hasan Hai, manager of Project Kindness and The NL Beard and Mustache Club, is here to talk to me about spirituality. He’s here to talk about the power of an individual to help others, about kindness as a way of life, and about really cute outfits.

MerB’y outfits, to be precise. Iridescent tails, adorable floral crowns, sexy gauntlets and luscious beards. Yes, you read that right. Sirens with beards frolicking in iconic settings, just having fun like it’s nobodies business.

The NL Beard and Mustache Club is producing what may be the coolest calendar ever made on this rock, benefiting Spirit Horse NL, a group who harness the connection that can form between a horse and rider to enhance the mental health and life skills of youth and adults.

Photo by Andrea Edwards

Hasan explains that the club is as much a vehicle for fun socializing and a way to come together and help the community as it as a forum to talk about face fur. That said, there is more to the world of beard grooming and culture than I had ever known till I encountered this club, and anyone who loves their fuzz will find a home here. Various local artisans promote beard appropriate balms and oils through the club, providing easy access to the best care for the facial hair.

With 3 kids, a day job and other volunteer duties, I’m curious as to what makes Hasan tick. The man seems to get real pleasure from the happiness of others, and certainly does not seem tired or downtrodden from his busy schedule. If anything, he glows.

“I’d gone through a separation and didn’t like the man I saw in the mirror anymore” he tells me. “I looked at the people I admired and decided what traits of theirs I wanted to see in myself. I asked myself how I could help people today”.

Getting kids on horses, fostering awesome mer-art that shakes up gender in a playful way, and having a time while at it. Hasan Hai is the role model we need for a new millennium, and he’s taught me the best beauty secret of all in the process. A big smile and a kind heart are the most important accessories. And maybe a slick, shiny tail.

Funds raised through sales of the 2018 Merby’s calendar will go to Spirit Horse NL. You can buy yours at:

Photo by Greg Noel