Dan keeps conquering, one beard at a time
THREE bed-ridden months cooped up in his man cave gave Dan Graf plenty of time to think.
He emerged with the idea for his new business, the Beard Boutique, and from landscaping to "manscaping", he's proven once again he is "Invictus" - "unconquered".
On Christmas Eve, 2012, Mr Graf broke his neck on a waterslide at his family's property and was left in a wheelchair, unable to walk and with limited use of his arms
Last year, he started a fundraising appeal (Invictus) and with the help of friends, family and the Toowoomba community, the 23-year-old was able to attend Project Walk, an intensive spinal rehabilitation program in California.
He spent eight weeks using specialised equipment and also received electro-stimulation treatment to reawaken neural pathways in his spinal cord to help regain lost movement.
"I thought I'd go for broke," he said.
"It's helped me to gain overall stability. There's more feeling down my right leg and in my hands."
While he was happy with the results of the program, he got back to Australia with severe pressure sores from under-inflated wheelchair pads and had to spend three months in bed.
"I started thinking 'what am I going to do now?'
"Before, I was a landscaper with my family's business. I thought it would have to be an indoors job. I don't know what sparked the idea for an online store..."
And so Beard Boutique, a stockist of "man supplies" was born.
Beard balm, hats, pipes, cut-throat razors - with no business experience, the 24-year-old bearded musician has found his market.
"My family has helped, they've been my hands and feet."
His sister Bek, never far from his side, thought the idea was a good one.
"There's a definite gap in the market, especially in Toowoomba, there's nothing like that."
Check out Dan's new enterprise at www.beard boutique.com.au/