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Biz Buzz: Idaho Falls man shares his love of traditional shaving with customers

Biz Buzz

Do you want to know what’s happening in the eastern Idaho business scene? We’ve got you covered. Here is a rundown of this week’s business news across the valley.

BIZ BUZZ

IDAHO FALLS

Shaving enthusiast hoping to give men a ‘luxury experience’ at expo next month

IDAHO FALLS – For Matt Darrington, wet shaving is one of life’s simple luxuries, and the practice of keeping a well-groomed beard is an important part of his daily routine.

“I am a man of modest means, so I can’t afford luxury vacations and luxury vehicles, but I can have a nice shave every morning. To start your day off with this Zen-like experience is something that doesn’t take a lot of effort financially — just a little bit of effort in planning and know-how,” Darrington tells EastIdahoNews.com.

The Idaho Falls man’s enjoyment of the grooming experience led him to create his own line of shaving brushes, which he launched as a business in 2019 called Teton Shaves. Customers all over the world purchase his products online. He also sells them locally at Snake River Barber Co. and Idaho Falls Barber Co. See what his brushes look like in the video above.

razors
Darrington’s collection of razors highlights their evolution over the years. On the right is one of the first razors dating back to the 1920s, the one in the middle was developed in the 1960s and on the left is the modern razor. | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

But in the beginning, Darrington, 34, never intended this to be a business, and his passion for shaving is an acquired taste. He shared with us his initial attraction to it.

“I started in my garage as a way to battle depression,” Darrington recalls.

RELATED | Mike’s Makers: Crafting the perfect shaving brush

Darrington has had a lifelong struggle with depression and has often found respite in activities that require a lot of focus.

“Something spinning at 4,000 RPMs at your face demands all of your attention and focus,” Darrington says, laughing.

Shaving first became a daily ritual for him during his years as a student at Brigham Young University-Idaho. He used an electric razor at that time, and it was something he did out of necessity because the school’s honor code requires all men to be clean shaven.

It was a task that “felt like a chore.”

“If I was going to do it every single day, I might as well have it be something I enjoy,” Darrington thought.

He discovered wet shaving and was hooked right away.

shaving brush and bottle
Darrington’s Zen series shaving brush with the business logo on the bottom. | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

He started making brushes and gave them away as Christmas presents. They were a hit with friends and family and later became a popular purchase for customers.

Today, Darrington is in the beginning stages of having a long, bushy beard. His efforts started as “an indicator that he’s no longer at BYU-Idaho” and later evolved into an “intentional, luxurious experience” to help promote his business.

Darrington is not alone in his bearded lifestyle. Long beards and wet shaving have made a comeback in recent years. Walgreens, Walmart and other retailers now carry traditional wet shaving products.

Though men have historically had long beards, Darrington says it became unfashionable at some point because society had an unfavorable view toward it.

The resurgence of beards means it no longer represents the stereotypical negative qualities it once did, he says.

“It’s a changing of the definition of what manly is,” Darrington says. “Masculinity can now be something where you choose style or aesthetics (without it being something people are scared of).”

As a business owner, Darrington has rubbed shoulders with others in the shaving industry, and he’s hoping to capitalize on this renewed interest with a shaving expo next month.

Northwest Wet Shaves 2022 is a free event happening Oct. 15 in Idaho Falls. The idea is to bring industry experts under one roof to provide a “one-stop-shop” educational experience for men in eastern Idaho. Multiple vendors will be on-hand to give live demonstrations. Raffle prizes and food will be available as well.

“Nobody’s going to walk away empty-handed,” says Darrington. “If you’re a total newbie (to wet shaving), this is an opportunity to talk to experts and enthusiasts.”

The shaving expo will go from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Residence Inn at 635 West Broadway.

To longtime users of the electric razor who view shaving as a chore to get over with, Darrington invites you to give traditional shaving a chance.

“Some mornings, I’ll wake up and I don’t feel like getting out the straight razor and doing all of that. But it’s a very small sacrifice for a relatively large payout,” he says. “It’s an extra five minutes in the morning for something you’ll enjoy all day.”

shaving expo flier
Shaving expo flier | Matt Darrington

BIZ BITS

Local bank donates $1,000 to foodbank

RIGBY – Zions Bank in Rigby has donated $1,000 to the Giving Cupboard to help provide essential non-food items such as toiletries and warm clothing to Jefferson County residents.

David Hosmer, manager of Zions Bank’s Rigby branch, presented the check on Tuesday.

Outdoor expo happening in Idaho Falls this weekend

IDAHO FALLS – Outdoor and off-roading enthusiasts are invited to Idaho’s largest overland show on Saturday at Snake River Landing.

The Teton Overland Show will kick off at 9 a.m. The event will include a variety of product demonstrations for those interested in outdoor recreation. There will also be guided trail runs, classes, a ladies’ lounge and kids activity area, along with raffle prizes.

This annual expo will be happening all day at 2194 Snake River Parkway.

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