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Biz Buzz Encore: Traditional shaving helped him through depression and now he makes his own brushes

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.



Shaving enthusiast hoping to give men a ‘luxury experience’ at expo this weekend

Editor’s note: This story was originally published on Sept. 14, 2022. We’ve added information about a shaving event happening this weekend.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

RELATED | Local barber wants to cater to men by offering not just a haircut, but an experience

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 this weekend.

Northwest Wet Shavers 2022 is a free event happening Saturday 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 brush and bottle
Darrington’s Zen series shaving brush with the business logo on the bottom. | Rett Nelson,

shaving expo flier
Shaving expo flier | Matt Darrington


Camping and outdoor store in Idaho Falls moves to new location

IDAHO FALLS – On Top Adventures LLC, an outdoor recreation and camping store in Idaho Falls, recently moved to a new location inside the Idaho Innovation center at 2300 North Yellowstone Highway.

The new space is much larger than its previous location and will provide additional space for inventory, which includes rooftop tents, ground tents, camping accessories, off road gear and more.

OTA started out in a storage shed two years ago, becoming eastern Idaho’s first overlanding goods store. Jeff and Cynde Clark are the owners of OTA Overland Goods. Cynde also makes all-natural handmade soaps and knitted winter hats specifically for camping.

OTA offers free monthly classes to test all the products. To register or learn more, call Cynde at (256) 506-9190 or Jeff at (208) 520-6620.

New foot and ankle clinic opens at Rexburg hospital

REXBURG – Madisonhealth is pleased to welcome Doctors Eric Barton and Jordan Crafton, along with the other outstanding employees of Madison Foot and Ankle Care, to the Madisonhealth team.

As of October 1, the name of the practice is Madison Foot and Ankle. It will operate as a fully-owned subsidiary of Madisonhealth.

Dr. Barton’s successful podiatric practice has been a fixture in the Rexburg community for the past 28 years. Specializing in the treatment of foot and ankle disorders, Dr. Barton is board certified in foot surgery.

Dr. Crafton, a podiatrist specializing in total ankle reconstruction, recently moved into the area and partnered with Dr. Barton, bringing additional experience and expertise to the thriving clinic.


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