It’s the final five days of Movember and so it’s time to share some of the reactions I’ve had for life with a moustache.
My wonderful colleagues have borne the brunt of this challenge - having to take me seriously every single day this month. Nick, co-founder of Handlebars (now called Fettle), said ‘It’s surprising how quickly you get used to a woman wearing a moustache, even if a particularly bushy ginger one did have me struggling to keep a straight face during some quite serious meetings. I’m not sure if it’s going to catch on but it’s definitely been a talking point. I’m just gutted my actual moustache is nowhere near as impressive!’.
It’s obviously important to fill investors with confidence that they’re dealing with a capable person who will make sensible decisions. Thankfully, Movember is a great cause to get behind & so our investors have tolerated this otherwise ridiculous undertaking. Anthony, founder of JustPark, said that he ‘was convinced it would only last a few days. Kudos to Jeyda for following through. I still can’t help smiling when she walks in wearing one of the many different moustache colours or shapes.’ and Oren Peleg agreed that it’s a ‘Brave thing to do, especially as I could not take her seriously the entire month".
Bizarrely, wearing a moustache seems to have done absolute wonders for my romantic life – being asked on 5 dates. After one such date, I asked for feedback on how he’d found the experience. His review… ‘Although I am not into moustaches and Jeyda's fortunately did not awaken anything deep within me, the moustache did provide a tantalising hint of what might be underneath, and I remain interested enough to see how that plays out’. I think that’s a huge result for the moustache.
Corporate offices in London have taken surprisingly well to a woman in a moustache. I don’t know if this is out of fear of being sued for politically incorrect comments or simply because it adds a bit of spice to the working day. The only times this hasn’t worked in my favour has been when first entering a swish lobby and trying to persuade a suspicious security guard & receptionist that I’m not a raving lunatic but in fact I’m trying to offer their cyclists a free winter safety check. Admittedly, there’s quite a lot to take in there – a hairy woman coming in and offering something too good to be true?
One of our favourite customers, Ross, has found the entire experience particularly unnerving and has slowly backed out of the workshop on a couple of occasions. After having experimented with a few different coloured taches, we’ve agreed that the ginger one is the best so I feel that all he really wants is authenticity in a moustache.
Customers also doing Movember have loved the solidarity – and, of course, the discount we’re giving them on bicycle repair. For any cyclists doing Movember, it’s the final few days to take advantage of 50% off (with the remaining 50% being donated to Movember)! Use the code MOVEMBER on checkout & come sporting your best bushy facial hair.
It’s strangers that are the most enjoyable because most the time there’s no opportunity to explain the reason behind what I’m doing. One man at the bar did a literal double take and exclaimed that he must be ‘having a psychedelic experience!’. Another man stopped in the middle of a zebra-crossing to take a photo of me on my bike. At the leisure centre it even resulted in me getting a free badminton racquet (although sadly it appeared to do nothing to improve my form on the court).
There was a perceptible difference in reactions when I was up North for the weekend. In Shoreditch, maybe a woman in a moustache isn’t that extraordinary but in the North East I had people making a beeline from across cafes to question what on earth I was doing. Amazingly, this also resulted in lots of on-the-spot donations!
My family have largely all had the same reaction which was to offer me money to take the moustache off. Unfortunately for them, I’ve picked up the family trait for stubbornness (a quality that I’d disguise as ‘determination’ in a job interview).
Most of my friends have been relatively unphased and some have even gone as far to tell me that I suit it. This is a particularly risky compliment as I don’t need much encouragement to embark upon an absurd challenge. At least I can always rely on my housemates for a reality check – ‘It’s like riding the waltzers. Disorientating and makes you feel a little nauseous’.
For anyone who has seen the moustache in real life and wants to show their support, I’d absolutely love if you could donate just a few pounds here. I know that I look silly and I’ve found myself in lots of amusing conversations this month, but at the heart of it is a really important message – which is that no matter whether you’re male, female or anything in between, we can all pull together to raise money & awareness about mental health, suicide rates (particularly in men), testicular & prostate cancer. Movember is a brilliant charity that's done a fantastic job of getting people talking. Talking is absolutely the right first step, but sending a few pounds their way helps them to continue doing excellent work.