If Manready Mercantile had a maxim, it would be "Work Hard, Live Well." Travis Weaver is the man behind the newly minted brick and mortar store in Houston that is arguably changing the way men buy goods, and the way women buy goods for men. The store, which seems all things masculine at first glance, actually seamlessly caters to nearly everyone. Seriously, you could probably do all of your Christmas shopping here and your grandpa, crazy aunt, mom, younger brother, and everyone who deserves a gift (even yourself) would be happy.
Below Travis talks about how buying local is better, why his grandpa is the second best man to walk the earth, and how every man needs a good pair of boots. A really good pair of boots.
Can you tell us a little about Manready Mercantile and what you'll be bringing to Feliz?
Manready Mercantile is a unisex apothecary and small goods line that's great for men. We take products that are typically only marketed for women, and we make them unisex like they should have been in the first place - like candles. We make them by hand with soy wax and essential oils and put 'em in reusable whiskey glasses! How's that not for a guy? Or a woman? The difference is that our products don't come in pink bottles and smell like flowers. [We are a] Houston, Texas based company that also specializes in other made in the USA goods from smaller, lesser known makers. We collaborate with different folks for custom pieces that make great gifts for those who have everything, or will. You just can't find these sorta things at other places. With us, you know and trust that you're buying something that's not only made with great pride and attention to detail, but something that's made to last!
This is our second year to attend Feliz in the great city of Austin and couldn't be happier! We don't wanna give away all our secrets, but we're bringing an amazing variety of bar and cocktail accessories, camping supplies, and rare vintage finds. The really good stuff is something that you'll just have to come and see for yourself.
What do you think the main characteristics of your regular customer are?
Our typical customers are women looking to find something for that hard workin' man in their life. Something they know none of his buddies own, and something that he never knew he needed. When guys buy from us, it's typically the savvy shopper that knows good quality from made in China crap. Our consumers are well versed in supporting local businesses and are proud to shop made in the USA goods.
Give us the top 5 things every guy needs to look good/feel good.
Guys need to focus on these top five items to look and feel good:
1. Buy something that's made to last. Buyer's remorse sucks.
2. Buy something that's made local. When you put that jacket on, or that small batch beard treatment in, you instantly feel awesome because you know that you did your part to support your community.
3. Every man needs a good knife (...and boy do we have em).
4. All guys need a good whiskey glass. We hand dip ours in a black polymer for a dripping wax look that outfits any mans bar. There's nothing better than coming home to a well made Old Fashioned to wind the day down.
5. A man needs a good pair of boots. We're on our feet all day and work hard for a living. Boots are not only an investment, but tell a lot about where a fella has been. That's why we carry Chippewa made in the USA leather boots. There's nothing better out there!
One more top 5 - top 5 favorite dudes of all history.
1. Steve McQueen - he was the king of cool after all!
2. James Dean - who doesn't love a rebel?
3. Robin Williams - it's important to laugh. He was the man to make it happen.
4. Theodore Roosevelt - any man that can come up with a slogan like "Speak softly, but carry a big stick" is a dude to look up in my opinion.
5. Lawrence Crutsinger - you've never heard of him, but he was my grandfather. He worked harder than any man you've ever met. He taught me the value of a dollar and to never give up. He never raised his voice, never swore, was a farmer, rancher, family man, and was a true Christian. He was the second best man to ever walk this earth. That's a guarantee.
Lastly, how does living in Texas influence what you make?
Living in Texas drives me to work hard. That's just how we do it here. In my pastime, l enjoy driving down rural roads and picking through barns to uncover old junk and bring it back to life. During my travels, I constantly find myself inspired to find a new way to do something, a way to make something better or more functional. There's inspiration everywhere you turn here. I love to work with my hands and dream big..really big. Texas has that way of doing that to ya. After all, everything is bigger in Texas right?