One of our most popular features on the site has been the Man Soaps from Rocky Top Soap Shop. The shop is located on the coast of Maine, and the founder Tony makes some of the best manly soaps out there. We wanted to pick Tony’s brain on just how he makes these masculine soaps.
Exclusive limited time offer for Buy Man Things readers: 15% off your order with coupon code RTSS15
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your shop
My name is Tony and I live in a tiny town without a traffic light on the coast of Maine. I am the man behind the curtain at Rocky Top Soap Shop, a soap company that specializes in unscented varieties of soap, shampoo bars and shaving soap. When not working, I enjoy cooking, gardening and spending time with my family.
2. How did you learn your craft? (Was it something you grew up doing, learned in a class, taught yourself?)
I taught myself. There were very few books out there at the time so, I learned most of what I know from online research. There are many great blogs and soap making forums out there filled with information that I didn’t even know to look for or consider. However, I have and continue to learn the most through practice. I like to think that each batch of soap I make is, in some small way, better than the last.
After the great feedback we received on the wood business card holder
from Your Nest Inspired
, we decided to sit down with the founder Anna Ritchie to find out more about her work and how she creates such amazing wood pieces.
1.Tell us a little bit about yourself and your shop
My name is Anna Ritchie, and I am the owner, designer, and creator behind Your Nest Inspired. I started my business after coming across a selection of inspiring hardwood at my hobby store, right down the street from my home in San Francisco. I have since moved to Santa Rosa, CA, to gain more space for my business, but still order my wood through the locally owned store when I am passing through San Francisco.
2.How did you learn your craft? (Was it something you grew up doing, learned in a class, taught yourself?)
Being interested in both math and the arts, I first attended Arizona State University to study Architecture. However, after a couple of years, I realized my interest in the smaller scale. I transferred and graduated from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, CA with a degree in industrial design, emphasizing in furniture design. Since graduating, I strive to continue to learn something new whenever I can, whether it’s a woodworking television show, a you tube instructional video, or just trial and error.
Next up in our interview series is an amazing interview with Beardition founders Mark Williams and Kristin Schleihs. Beardition
is an awesome men’s facial + hair products company, and we wanted to see just what makes the minds behind this fantastic company tick.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business
Mark Williams CEO | THE BUSINESS SIDE
Kristin Schleihs CO-OWNER | THE CREATIVE SIDE
Roy (Mark’s dog) He likes to think he’s Boss
Launched Nov. 2012.
Located in Nashville, TN (USA).
Beardition proudly offers men the finest in 100% all natural grooming products, specifically targeting the bearded fellas (really good beard shampoo, even better beard conditioner, soft + sweet beard oil), but not discriminating against the beardless or not-so-fully-bearded (styling + profiling shave cream, legitimately cool after shave). Our formulas are specifically tailored to keep the more sensitive areas on one’s face hydrated and healthy, as we start with an aloe vera base (coconut oil for the beard oil) and include only the finest natural ingredients. Our goal is to not only offer an eye-catching, content savvy product from the outside, but also top notch content on the inside. We are striving to make Beardition more than just a product, a movement in fact. That men will adopt this verb (beardition (v.) to condition one’s beard) into their everyday vocabulary and live a more healthier groomed lifestyle through the use of, well, healthier products that do not contain unpronounceable ingredients. We have started here in Nashville but are continually gaining interest worldwide. We are thrilled to spread our passion for this company around the globe.
Grilling the perfect steak is an art that can take years to master. Unfortunately many men fail to grasp even the most basic fundamentals of cooking a fantastic steak. They slather on marinades, buy poor quality meats, and use improper or ineffective cooking techniques. This leads to steak that is dry, leathery, or just downright inedible. Most of us have had a fantastic steak at a high dollar steakhouse, or know someone who is a prodigy on the grill, but what is the difference between those steaks and the tough strips of leather the average person cooks? The answer is in the quality, cut, and preparation of the meat. This Ultimate Guide to Steak will give you all of the knowledge you need to cook steakhouse quality steak on your own grill.
The quality of the meat is the single most important factor in creating the flavor of your steak. There is no seasoning, cooking temperature, or technique that will save a poor quality cut of steak. One mistake that many beginners make is buying a cheap low quality cut of steak, and then buying a $5 marinade to mask the poor flavor of the meat. If you are buying quality cuts of meat then no marinade should ever be needed, spend the money on the meat, and skip the marinades. The only time a marinade should be used is if you are forced into buying low quality meats, either by financial or geographic constraints.
The grading of the meat is performed either by a 3rd party organization, or a government agency. In the United States, grading is performed by the USDA. The grade given is primarily determined by the age of the animal and the marbling, but other factors such as firmness,texture, and color also weigh in. Generally the higher the ratio of marbling and the younger the beef, the better the grade. The meat is usually graded on a whole-carcass basis, so there may be some variance in quality between the individual cuts of meat.
In the United States, the USDA provides 9 grades for beef, but there are only 3 you would find on steak:
We recently interviewed a fantastic woodworker and entrepreneur, the founder of Imaginary Signs, Ashley Rose. She creates a wide variety of custom made signs that are perfect for a man cave, office, or cabin. We recently featured one of her SEC football boards, and wanted to pick her brain about her woodshop and the process she uses for creating her work.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your shop.
I am a 27 year old stay-at-home mother to two beautiful children. We live on 5 acres with our dog and one chicken. My shop consists of hand painted wooden signs that vary for the use in the home as well as outside. I have a fine arts degree and used to mainly focus on oil paintings and portrait drawings. My talent has spilled over into making these signs and I have fallen in love with it!
2. How did you learn your craft? Was it something you grew up doing, learned in a class, or taught yourself?
Making signs is something that has always been in the back of my mind. I never knew how to begin. It started when I wanted a sign for my son’s mustache party. I wanted it for the photo booth and I wanted it to look rustic. So I raided my husband’s wood pile in the garage and got started. I aged it and beat it up pretty good. Then I got to painting. When I was done I was so excited about how well it turned out so I did a little more research on the internet about what paints and sealers to use. My husband has taught me a lot about power tools and wood which has helped me out tremendously.