In the spirit of #NoShaveNovember we've decided to feature one of our favorite brands, Northern Fir Beard Co in this month's Brand Spotlight.
Located right here in Austin, Texas Trevor Williamson and Arlo Bush are the men behind one of our favorite (and most manly) grooming staple, Quality Beard Oil. It's made of the highest quality organic, cold-pressed, and unrefined natural oils,and is handcrafted locally in small batches. If you haven't gotten a chance to try it out yet, trust us, you and your facial hair are missing out.
Keep reading to learn more about the guys behind the beard (oil).
What is home to you?
Trevor: I've moved around a lot over the last ten years, so to me home is less about a place, and more about a feeling. Life is when I go out and make things happen. Home is when I come back from the action, put my feet up, and share my adventures with friends and family over an old fashioned or a nice home-cooked meal.
Arlo: Home is where you feel safe. Home is where you start and finish your day. It's a place of love, nurturing and growth.
How does your environment impact your craft?
Trevor: For so many reasons, Austin, TX has been the best place we could ask for to get a men's grooming company up and running. The people here are so supportive, especially other business owners that are a little further along than we are. Rather than viewing us as a competitor, everybody asks what they can do to help. The community of entrepreneurs has become a new family for me. That feeling of community inspires the way we develop, test, and market our products.
Arlo: Environment impacts my craft as much as I choose for it to. While I can find a good bit of my motivation from extrinsic factors, i.e. the people around me, the city I'm in, the weather etc. The factor that drives my motivation the most is intrinsic. I get to chase how my environment impacts my day. I choose to live each day in as much light as possible, even if we're in the darkest spot.
How did you get your start? Who are your mentors?
Trevor: I've always been fascinated by the idea of using my hands to craft something that can add value to somebodies life. Growing up, I spent a lot of time building things around the house with my dad. The most memorable was the sky deck we built on the roof of our house when I was about 10 years old. The whole process blew me away; the fact that we came home from the lumber yard with a pile of 8-foot long boards, and before you knew it, we were standing on this beautiful deck on our roof looking out at the stars. That experience really impacted me, because that's when I realized there's nothing more rewarding to me than creating something that adds value.
In that way, my dad will always be my biggest mentor. As far as other brands go, I've gotten to meet the folks behind Helm Boots and Kammok, and their stories have been a real inspiration to me.
Arlo: I got my start in the service and fashion industries. From the age of 15, I've been in working and constantly learning in professional environments. From taking call-in orders at the local burger house, to working my way through college as a Bartender, to selling high fashion for large retailers. The business I was in was people.
My mentors are the people I've met along the way. The thousands of individuals who've taught me to go for it, to strive for something better, to love with all my heart and above all do good and be passionate.
How would you describe your personal style?
Trevor: I love learning the story behind the brands I chose to wear, and I value products that are made responsibly in the USA. I like simple, classic clothing that fits well. I'll take carefully crafted, good-fitting, simple pieces over flashy and luxurious. If you put a Shinola watch and a Rolex in front of me, I'll take the Shinola ten times out of ten. I don't care that the Rolex is worth ten times as much.
Arlo: My style has it's own personality. It tends to push the fringe and blaze new trails with class, a bold voice and a lot of functionality. Let's call it Scandinavian.
House is burning down, what is the one item you would grab?
Trevor: A couple of years ago, my mom gave me an old school slide rule that was passed down from her father. I never got to meet him, but he was an engineer at heart, and spent a lot of his free time fixing up old cars and using his hands to build things. I'm sure I had some of that kind of creativity passed down from him. The slide rule has helped me feel a connection with him and it's probably my most valued possession.
The funny part is, my mom almost threw it out because she wasn't sure I'd want it, and to this day I'm not sure she realizes it means so much to me. Come to think of it, I should probably tell her…
Arlo: I'd have to grab my phone. In this age of digital everything, our mobile devices are what allow us to bride gaps and stay connected. In a moment of what most would consider not ideal, grabbing my cell would at least allow me to reach out to friends and family.
If we were in your hometown for one day, how should we spend it?
Trevor: If you only do one thing in Coopersburg, PA catch an evening baseball game at the historic and legendary Limeport Stadium. It was built in the 1930's and sits right in the middle of a corn field; it feels like a real-life field of dreams.
Arlo: If we were in Dallas, Texas for a day we'd make sure to swing by my families place for a home-cooked meal and some laughs. From there we'd have to head to hang with some of my good friends from growing up. Dallas has a growing art scene, and I think that's where I'd direct us for the evening. Cocktails, dancing and a Big D sunset.
Where is Northern Fir headed next? What new projects can we look forward to going forward?
Trevor: So far, we've focused heavily on beard care products. In a few years, we hope to provide a full line of all-natural men's grooming products to give men an alternative to all the synthetic chemical-packed products out there now. We believe that the grooming products a man chooses are a reflection of the way he takes care of himself. We always want our products to have that handmade feel, to connect the consumer to the manufacturing process.
Recently, we've also started to give back through a No-Shave November fundraiser, Fir Coalition, benefiting Livestrong. We look forward to seeking more opportunities to give back in the future, and is definitely an area we'll look to grow in.
Arlo: Norther Fir is headed to the moon. We'd love to invite any and all to come on this rocket ship. Our goal is to foster good people and good vibes. We support local and believe strongly in the entrepreneur spirit of life. We also love giving back to our community. So I'm currently most excited about premiering in Birchbox Man this month and starting our NPO Fir Coalition with Weathered Coalition geared at raising funds and awareness for cancer.
Fir Coalition & No Shave November Events
We're also proud to announce that we've teamed up with Northern Fir Beard Co to create Fir Coalition, a fundraiser to raise money for cancer awareness.
We have a whole month of events you can check out and some cool prizes up for grabs. Winners in two categories will each win over $2,000 in a selection of manly prizes donated from our generous sponsors. All proceeds from the event go directly to the local Austin charity, Livestrong.
How to Participate:
- Head to https://www.crowdrise.com/fircoalition to join the fundraising team. (A $10 donation is required to sign up)
- Ask your friends, family, coworkers, and anyone else in your network to help you kick testicular cancer in the balls by donating to your cause.
- On November 1 (or whenever you join the team), shave your face completely, post a picture of your clean-shaven face to Instagram and use #fircoalition (pictures of the shaving process are a bonus!)
- Let your luxurious beard grow untrimmed throughout the entire month of November, continuing to document your progress with #fircoalition.
- Attend as many of our fun-packed events throughout the month as you can. You can expect free food, drinks and good times. If you can't show up, don't worry- it won't count against your odds of winning.
The first 40 participants to sign up with a minimum donation of $10 will receive a bottle of 9 Banded Whiskey (must attend the kick-off event to claim this prize)
2 Grand Prize winners (announced at the end of November) will win all of the following items provided by our awesome sponsors:
$50 Juiceland Gift Card & Limited Edition White Snapback
$100 Finley's Gift Card
1 Box of GoodPop and Hat & T-shirt
$1500 in Coolsculpting and a Sunless Body Blend
Northern Fir Gift Set (Beard Oil, Keychain & Pocket Combs)
A bottle of 9 Banded Whiskey
Jigger & Aromatic Bitters
Limited Edition ATX Hat - Burnt Orange/Cream
LIVESTRONG Hat & Water Bottle
How to Win:
Two Grand Prize winners will be determined based on the following criteria:
- The person who raises the most money by 11/30/16
- The person who helps us raise awareness for this deserving cause by getting the most social engagement via social channels using the hashtag #fircoalition
November 1, 2016
Event: Kick Off Event
Location: Weathered Coalition
Time: 6:30pm - 9:30pm
We will randomly select 12 participants to receive a free straight razor shave from Finley's. There will also be complimentary beer from Austin Beerworks, cocktails from 9 Banded Whiskey and a popcorn bar provided by Austin Gourmet Popcorn.
November 10, 2016
Event: Shave the Fat, Not the Beard
Where: Laurel Corrinne Studios
Time: 6:30pm - 8:30pm
We've partnered with Laurel Corrinne Studios to "Shave the Fat, Not the Beard". We'll have DJ David Garza on the 1's & 2's, a popcorn bar from Austin Gourmet Popcorn, popsicles from GoodPop and featured cocktails from 9 Banded Whiskey, and last but not least, a live Coolsculpting procedure!
November 19. 2016
Event: Pump the Beards
Time: 10am - 1pm
We've partnered with FastFolks Cyclery & Juiceland to "Pump the Beards". Austin Gourmet Popcorn and GoodPop will be sponsoring swag bags for all riders! We'll start at the Juiceland on Veterans --> Barton ---> 3rd & Brazos ---> Manor ---> Cesar Chavez ---> and end at Fast Folks!
November 30, 2016
Event: Closing Event
Where: Weathered Coalition
Time: 6:30pm - 8:30pm
For the closing event, there will be 12 participants randomly selected to receive a beard treatment. Also, we will announce winners of the grand prize packages.