Writing, reviews, interviews, photography.

Two Colognes: Juniper Ridge & Portland General Store

Posted on November 20, 2014

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We’ve recently come into possession of two very interesting colognes and gave them a spin for a few weeks to keep your knowledge and nose interested and informed. With the Holidays coming up, there’s no better way to treat yourself or someone who’s company you generally enjoy to some fine, unique scents. The first is a solid cologne, dubbed a “Trail Resin Cologne”, from Juniper Ridge in their Big Sur scent. The second is Portland General Store’s Farmer’s Natural Cologne. I’ve been a fan of both companies for a while so this is a fun review for me. I was aware of Juniper Ridge for quite a while before I met founder Hall Newbegin at Unique USA’s Camp in Big Bear, CA. earlier this year. Now I’m a full blown nerd for his stuff and was very excited to get some in the mail. We burn Juniper’s campfire incense around the house every now and again and I frequently use the Cascade Trail Soap in the shower when I want to smell like a God from the woods. I’ve been wearing Portland General Store’s Tobacco cologne for 2+ years now, though have recently run out so was excited to get some of their Farmer’s scent for testing. They claim that this was developed specifically for farmers to wear when working with cows as they find this scent particularly pleasing/relaxing. I don’t have a cow to put this through the paces with but I tested it for relaxation with our resident dog as well as my significant other. PGS has gone through frequent branding adjustments over the years so it’s tough sometimes to tell their products apart without specifically seeing the indicator on the bottom of the bottle; that being said their quality has not waned one bit and I’m very glad to present them here as well. Click here to read the full review.

Northern Grade: Los Angeles

Posted on October 24, 2014

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We visited the Northern Grade pop up as it made it’s way through Los Angeles a few weeks ago, and while we didn’t do any interviews or real reporting, it was great to shoot some new companies, make some new friends, and catch up with old ones as well. It was super neat to see Clark & Madison’s setup; they’re run by a couple who I met while at Unique CAMP earlier this year. It was also great to be able to be hands on with Miansai’s new watch collection, Bison Made’s lineup, and Almond Surfboard’s new fall wares. Finally, as always it was great to see new-Dad Karl from Rogue Territory. Enjoy the photos, big thanks to the folks at Northern Grade for putting on the show, and looking forward to seeing it next year. Click here to view the full photo set.

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Aroh Made

Posted on October 15, 2014

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I received an email from Ben Aroh of Aroh Made a few weeks ago introducing me to his company and telling me a bit about how he got started. He’s a young dude, 24 and fresh out of college, with a good eye for branding and photography as well as product design. Ben’s done some great stuff with his newly launched line and while some pieces are certainly more original than others, there’s definitely something for everyone. He has zero formal training in product design or anything related to this, though went to school for marketing so his chops aren’t unearned. His father is a professional wood worker and showed Ben the ropes; they work together in his father’s studio out of which Aroh is run. Ben sent me his Minimalist Desk Lamp for review and I’ve been thoroughly pleased.

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Field Trip: Snake Oil Provisions

Posted on October 7, 2014

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I reached out to the fellas over at Snake Oil Provisions in January about doing a writeup. I had seen their online shop, their insanely rabid Instagram following, and knew a brick and mortar store was in the works so we met in Long Beach near their current HQ for coffee and chatted all things menswear. Josh and Ben are some of the nicest guys I’ve ever met and I mean that sincerely. We meet a lot of shop owners, brand owners, and dudes that are just generally stoked on menswear but rarely do I meet a pair of guys so easy to talk to and so genuinely friendly. Josh comes from an ad industry background and Ben has spent most of his life in retail, most recently at Unionmade, so right off the bat we had quite a bit in common. Their shop wasn’t ready for shooting so we waited for a few months until they were open and ready to go for me to come back down and shoot their shop. SOP is in a quiet stretch of Long Beach near Syndicate Barber Shop and a few other small retail stores which gives them a little pocket of semi-urban walkability with plenty of local flavor. Their web shop boasts quite a large number of products and their storefront, though small, certainly shows them off very well. They were still putting the finishing touches on the shop itself when I visited but it still had a homey, warm feel with plenty of great decor. Something about the high white ceilings and flat woven rugs makes you want to hang out in the space and chat menswear all day. Their brand list right now includes Rogue Territory, Apolis, Red Wing, Filson, Shinola, Teranishi Brand, White’s Boots, Ruell & Ray, AnonymousIsm, Schott, and many more. I picked up one of Rogue Territory’s new indigo dyed jumpers while I was there and have thus far been super thrilled. They consider as Rogue Territory to be one of their flagship brands so expect to see a good offering if you intend to visit. I sent over a few questions for the dudes; here are their responses. Click here to view the full article and interview. DSC_0103 DSC_0049

Spodee White

Posted on September 25, 2014

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We’ve had a longstanding friendship with the folks over at Quaker City Mercantile ever since they sponsored our Natural Process show a few years ago. Their delicious collection of spirits, including many of our favorites (namely Hendrick’s Gin), is impressive to say the least and the marketing efforts they put forth behind each brand is equally as neat. They reached out to us to review their new “Spodee White”, the lighter version of regular ol’ Spodee and we were happy to oblige. We attended their event back in 2012 launching the brand which is a unique mix of wine with moonshine; a concoction surely meant to get you saucy as quickly and deliciously as possible. The original iteration of Spodee (“red”, we’ll call it) had a chocolatey taste that paired well things of the darker variety. Easy enough to drink straight, both iterations of Spodee have a unique feel to them. Packaged in what are effectively vintage-looking milk bottles with an easy rip-cap, these suckers are a no brainer to bring to your next summer party. The white version is a little fruitier than we tend to keep our drinks, however it’s been over triple digits here in Los Angeles for the past week so believe me this was a nice respite from the heat. The folks from QCM were kind enough to send over a few recipe suggestions including Spodee Sangria, Citrus Spritzer, Piña Colada, Hurricane, and on the rocks. We opted to test out the Sangria and Citrus Spritzer recipes. Click here to read the entire article.DSC_0024 DSC_0029