The Beard Shed chats with Dave Green from beard care brand Mariner Jack
The main inspiration was my own itchy beard and the beautiful part of the UK we live in.
Dave Green - on the start up of Mariner Jack
Who is Mariner Jack?
Mariner Jack is a small, husband and wife team based in Cornwall. We hand craft high grade beard care products, we ship to stockists and customers all over the world.
What was the inspiration behind Mariner Jack??
The main inspiration was my own itchy beard and the beautiful part of the UK we live in. I’d tried lots of beard care products and was never really happy with the ingredients or scents that were available. It took over a year to nail down our base product line and source the finest ingredients we possibly could, once we had that we drew on the rich seafaring heritage of Cornwall for our brand identity.
When was Mariner Jack launched?
Officially Mariner Jack was launched in October 2014. I’ll never forget clicking ‘Live’ to launch our online store. It was really exciting, although it was also nerve-wracking! A £17.10 order pinged up about ten minutes later, obviously not enough to cover set up costs etc but I knew then that we would be okay, we had this gem of a business that we could call ours. Little did we know what it would turn into.
It’s a proper old school craft that has been done all over the world for centuries.
Dave Green - Discussing his passion for artisan beard care products
What’s your favourite Mariner Jack scent?
That’s a tricky one as I like them all. I tend to jump between them, right now I’m using Newfoundland quite a bit but Spice Trade is never far behind in the queue.
Which product do you most like to make?
Strangely enough it’s the most labor intensive product, I love making the beard soaps. I find it hugely therapeutic in the stressful world of running a successful business. It’s something about putting on my music (normally metal or rock of some kind), chopping the ingredients by hand, heating the fats and oils, then getting the timing right to balance the temperature with the lye water so they blend together.
The next day you have a big block of soap that is sliced and cured in our blending room to allow the water to evaporate out of them. Six weeks later you hold a bar of soap that you created, that you know someone will use and enjoy.
It’s a proper old school craft that has been done all over the world for centuries. I think that’s why it appeals to me so much
What’s your best selling product?
Again, a tricky one. Consistently in the top ten for the week are Newfoundland beard balm, Cargo beard balm and Spice Trade beard oil. Our beard wash is also storming the charts since launch with more and more customers trying it and coming back to stock up. We have a job to keep up sometimes.
What do Mariner Jack customers like so much about the company and products?
The go to answer for that is the top notch products. We are also noticing a lot of messages and emails starting with 'Hey guys’ or 'Hello Mr and Mrs Jack’. That gives us a real nice feeling that yes, we hand craft these great products. Even as we get bigger though, we’re not getting forgotten, we’re not small cogs in this big machine. We’re us, I’m Jack, Nat is Mrs Jack.
Nat packs orders, writes a personalised note for every customer, sometimes she’s sat there for hours, especially around payday when the store gets really busy. We’ve both said that we’ll always do that, we don’t want to become a faceless company churning out products that people enjoy but don’t care where they’ve come from. We’re extremely proud of Mariner Jack, more than can be put into words, I think that comes through in all we do.
When did you start growing your beard and what’s your beard care regime?
I’ve had a neat, trimmed beard since about 2008. I was always in jobs that would disapprove if it was a mm too long so I never got the chance to properly grow it. When I switched to a job where I could grow my beard out, I jumped at the chance! Since then I’ve had my beard at various lengths, my beard is naturally very curly so I’ll have a big shovel type beard rather than dragging on the floor. I’m happy with that as I think it suits my face better.
My beard care regime is very important to me, I am essentially the face of the company, if my beard looks bad then it reflects on Mariner Jack. Shower in the morning, cleanse with Mariner Jack Beard wash every other day, on the off days just wash with water. Once out the shower I towel dry my beard and pop in a few drops of beard oil, then (controversially) I use a hair dryer on a low heat setting to make sure the skin under my beard is dry. Next up I use Mariner Jack beard balm to provide that shovel shape I mentioned. Rub a pea sized amount of balm over the hands so it melts like an oil, hair dyer on a low setting again.
Get a good quality beard rake or brush to drag the hair out of its curls. The reason I use a hair dryer is that it keeps the balm in a temporary melted state allowing you to use a brush to pull the hair straighter. Once its being held by the brush, give it a quick blast with the cool setting on the dryer to instantly cool the organic beeswax in the balm and your beard will stay that length. It’s a great trick to maximise that big beard look if that’s what you’re going for.
We all have frizzy beard days, I’m no exception. On days like that, I crack out the new Mariner Jack Beard Wax that’s coming out soon! Same scents as the other products so you can use it with the balm without scents clashing. It provides that extra bit of hold just to keep everything in check
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