Name: David Green
Brand name: Mariner Jack
Where do you live? Truro, Cornwall
Why did you choose that name for your brand? I wanted to reflect the rich maritime history of Cornwall, plus I thought it sounded cool!
When did you first start making beard care products? For myself, around 2011. For sale under the Mariner Jack brand, 2014.
What is your favourite thing about making and selling beard care products? Cheesy line here but it’s the bearded community. I’ve met so many awesome people at beard competitions and barber conventions.
What do you dislike about making and selling beard care? Constant cleaning. To make these products you have to have a sterile environment, cleaning before and after takes up huge chunks of making time.
How many hours do you normally spend making beard care in a week? Its myself and my wife’s full time job now. Most of the time spent is actually on admin and packing orders and it can vary depending on time of year and wholesale orders in the list. If I had to put a number on it, probably around 20 hours physical making a week. About 20-30 on admin.
Where do you make the beard care products? It’s still all done at home, although we are looking for a commercial unit to try to reclaim the house. It seems every room is part warehouse.
What is your favourite product from your brand? That’s mega hard as I’m really proud of all of them, I wouldn’t sell them otherwise. Maybe pipping some to the top spot though would be our beard soaps, they lather up really nice, combine that with an oil or balm and you’re onto a winner.
What one other beard care brand or brand owner do you admire? I’ve met so many, some are sadly no longer in business but we’ve stayed friends. Rhian at Balbo is always up for a chat, we often talk over Facebook messenger about cosmetic legalisation changes with the upcoming Brexit. Also Stuart at FineFettle and Tom at Bedfordshire Beard Co are both proper stand up Gents. It comes down to the fact I’ll always have time to chat to other brand owners who are legit, licensed and in this game for the right reasons.
What plans do you have for the brand? We’re working on some new scents alongside expansion plans and new product range launches.
What are your hobbies? I don’t have a lot of spare time unfortunately. The rare few hours I get I like to get out the office, walk around the shops or some of the great beaches around Cornwall. I’m really into computer games too, a lot of the inspiration for Mariner Jack came from Assassins Creed Black Flag, I was playing it when forming the initial ideas for scent names etc.
Are you married/in a relationship? Married, Nat, or Mrs Jack as she’s fondly known by our customers packs all the orders whilst I stick to making and admin.
What motivates you? I like my time being mine. I did 14 years of retail and have decided I can’t go back to that. I want an afternoon off because I was up till 1am making balms for wholesale? I take the afternoon off.
What are your strengths? Drive and determination not to fail. I’ll work 15 hour days and not complain if I have to because I know that ultimately it benefits myself and my business.
What are your weaknesses? Stress. I love living in Cornwall, the laid back pace of life suits me because I simply can’t handle stress. Unfortunately, its come with the territory of running a business. Stuff happens that’s out of your control and you have to sort it. I have a playlist on Spotify of music I know will chill me out, slows my brain down enough to sort whatever has happened and then the metal goes on again! That’s why I play PS4 games in my spare time, it stops my brain from wandering into work mode, did I email so and so? Did I order those bits I need etc.
When was the last time you were angry? I tend not to get angry about little things, what I class as proper angry though would be last week.
What happened? I found out that one of the big beard brands (I can’t mention names) had no health and safety licences and was selling completely illegal products. It winds me right up, I get that licences are a big expense when starting out but I had to do it, Rhian, Stuart and Tom all had to do it. It makes a mockery of the systems in place to protect you guys from rogue makers.
If you weren’t making beard care what would you want to do for a job? I’d still be working in the coffee industry. I loved roasting coffee before Mariner Jack took over, teaching people that it’s more than a jar of instant.
What were you like in high school? Completely different to what I’m like now. I was mega shy because I let my stammer define me as a person who wasn’t worth talking to. I’ve always been a gamer, I lost 8 years to World of Warcraft.
Do you talk much? Depends who I’m talking to and what about. The stammer still holds me back sometimes, I have to force myself to use the phone. Weirdly though, get me in front of a crowd talking about Mariner Jack and you wont shut me up! That’s the difference in selling a product because your boss is watching and selling something you’re passionate about.
Are you introvert or extrovert? Generally quite extrovert, depends on the situation I’m in I guess.
If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why? Dog, specifically a Labrador. We always had Labradors growing up and I like the idea of laying around, going for walks and getting fed.
How do you handle stress and pressure? As mentioned, not very well. I have to force myself to calm down and battle through. It’s better than throwing stuff around though.
What’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever done? Tricky, probably forgetting to top up the oil on a car I had. 70mph down the A30 and the engine seized, that was interesting.
What’s the best holiday you can imagine? Log cabin in the woods with Nat, a dog and a fireplace. No wifi and no phone signal for at least a week. A complete technology and business detox. We’re actually looking into doing this later this year
What is your favourite food? I was in Paris just before Christmas and discovered Southern French cooking. It tapped into exactly what I like from most things in life. Simple food done well, good quality red wine and great company.
What is your favourite alcoholic drink? I don’t actually drink much but when I do I like to try different things. I like the whole craft beer and cider movement happening at the moment. You always discover something really nice and the artwork on the cans is great.
What is your most proud achievement? It has to be Mariner Jack. I get to work with my wife and best friend every day, we travel to places we only dreamed of before and it’s building a future for us, not a massive company you work for.
What is/are your phobias? I’m a massive pansy with spiders, trouble is that Nat is too. Oh and snakes, can’t handle them.