Basset Hounds Inspire New Calhoun Business


Having a long beard can sometimes be a problem. According to Jeremy Reed of Calhoun, you have to be careful when you are doing yard work or using power tools.
“I usually tuck it in my shirt,” Jeremy said of his beard, “Although sometimes I forget. You’d be surprised at how many strands of beard get pulled out in a day.”
Despite the daily depreciation, Jeremy’s swath of reddish-gold beard reaches his waist. Do people come up to him and ask to touch it?
“Oh my gosh, yes,” he said. “The stories I have.”
Jeremy is a walking advertisement for the beard-care products he makes. He sells them under the name The Bearded Basset, drawing inspiration from his two pet hounds, Winston and Watson.
“I was looking for a business name that would be different, something light-hearted,” Jeremy said. “Bassets are a regal-looking dog, and smart, but also kind of goofy looking.”
Most people are polite and ask if they can touch his beard first, he said. His beard makes a good conversation starter, he said, and even stops traffic.
“I’ve had people stop and tell me ‘Dude, I love the beard,’” Jeremy said. “and I’m sitting there next to the most beautiful woman in the world — my wife.”
His response: “I tell them, ‘Thanks, I grew it myself.’”
Maintaining a beard means keeping it clean by washing it frequently, Jeremy said. Beard oil is used to keep the facial pores healthy, he said. Beard balm, like mustache wax, keeps his beard hydrated and prevents it from getting brittle. It also reduces itchiness, he said, adding that not shaving your neck under the beard will also help with that issue.
Jeremy said he first started growing a beard when he was 33 years old “because I could.” That was in 2010. At first, he kept it close and tight, he said, but after he started using beard oil, got into growing his beard out.
He’s had a beard for eight years now, he said, although the current one dates to four years ago. That’s when he asked his spouse to cut his beard off. It was the worst decision of his life.
“It had become part of my personality, part of my character,” Jeremy said. “I immediately started growing it again.”
Being a bright reddish-blond, Jeremy’s beard is an attention-getter. He inherited the coloring from his Scots-Irish ancestors — the surname Reed means “red or ruddy colored.” His grandfather and his uncles always had beards, he said, although not as red, and not as long. Jeremy hails from southern Missouri.
“My father is a retired Pentecostal minister, so the family moved around a lot,” Jeremy said.
Jeremy, his spouse and four children moved to Calhoun in 2020, a few days before Covid shut everything down. After becoming frustrated trying to find some at a reasonable cost, he said, he developed his line of beard care products, premiering them last year at a craft fair in Warrensburg.
Bearded Basset products are available at Moonlit Petrichor, 111 E. Culton Street in downtown Warrensburg, which sells small-batch bath and body products.
Petrichor is a word that means the earthy scent that emanates from the ground after a rain, especially after a spell of warm, dry weather. Bearded Basset beard oil and beard balm comes in five scents, ranging from Howlin’ Rum and Coffee Hound to Chewing Tobacco.
The best-seller is Big Paw Forest, a blend of pine, cedar, oak moss and amber. The products also come in unscented and Short Legs Mint — the name basset comes from the French for “bas,” meaning low. Jeremy has lowered the price of his beard oil and balm, down to $16 to $20 an ounce. Products are available online at The Bearded or by phone order, 660-596-9232
“I even have women customers,” Jeremy said. “Beard oil is basically hair oil.”
Either would make a thoughtful gift on Father’s Day for a family patriarch who wants to grow a lush, healthy beard. Jeremy said his Father’s Day gifts ran to hand-drawn cards and art when his children were younger. His younger daughter, Bella, graduated from Clinton High School last month and is headed to William Woods College in August. Their older son graduated from high school in Sedalia last year, and the oldest daughter is photographer Katelyn Reed, who is the mother of an almost two-year-old son.
The bassets are also related. Winston, who is 5 years old, and Watson, 4, share the same grandfather. Winston and Watson get along well with the smaller bearded residents that have the run of the Reed property, 13 Nigerian dwarf goats, one fainting goat and one a mix.
Jeremy breeds and raises goats as pets, and also keeps chickens. Go to his Facebook page to see a video of Winston and Watson, who are about the same height as the baby goats, attempting to herd them. Basset hounds, which were bred for hunting rabbits, are second only to their ancestor, the bloodhound, in the ability to “ground scent,” or follow a trail using their nose.
“The dogs are actually trying to get close enough to the goats to register their scent,” Jeremy said.
However, if any short prisoners escape from the Calhoun City jail, Winston and Watson may be the ones you want to call. To track down more information about Jeremy’s products, go to his facebook page or