RAYGUN- The Greatest Store In The Universe

Mike Draper: Founder/Owner of RAYGUN

RAYGUN

How did RAYGUN start?

I started selling t-shirts in college at the University of Pennsylvania in 2004 — just on campus out of a bag. In 2005, I moved back to Iowa and opened the store at East 4th and Locust. Now we’re bazillionaires and come to work via helicopter.

RAYGUN

How did you come up with the name?

It used to be called SMASH and then a clothing company in California also called SMASH threatened to sue us, so we had to stop that. I wanted a noun, 4 or 6 letters and spelled properly. RAYGUN made it on the list and we could trademark it!

RAYGUN

Where do you get all the ideas for the shirts? Do you sit down once a week with employees and just shout them out:)

We try and have regular brainstorming sessions, but sometimes get too busy. Still, a lot of the ideas come out of group idea sessions, just trying to come up with as many slogans on a topic as possible. Other times there is a just a “flash of genius” — and we use “genius” veeerrrrry loosely — where an idea occurs to someone and we start on that.

RAYGUN

Do you see the brand going nationwide? What’s next?

We’ll never go physically nationwide. We’ll keep the brick and mortar stores only in the Midwest (so Nebraska to Ohio, Missouri to the Canadian Border). We’d like to be exclusively Midwestern. So not in NYC or LA or Austin or Portland. So kind of a lame exclusivity. Like a members-only Applebee’s.

RAYGUN

What is your favorite t-shirt that has been made past or present? Why?

Des Moines: Hell Yes. is still my favorite. We sell a lot of it and you don’t pay rent with sunshine. However, it was the first shirt that started to really capture the voice of the store, and also showed that other people in Des Moines were “in on the joke.” that we all love Des Moines, live here, but no one should be THAT excited about Des Moines!

RAYGUN

Check out all the t-shirts, onesies and koozies on the RAYGUN website.

OOZZ Clothing

OOZZ Clothing. A contemporary mens brand with modern aesthetic.

OOZZ Clothing

How did you get your start?

I’ve been in the fashion industry over 8 years and after I worked for some leading Scandinavian, and British fashion brands. I decided to start my own journey last summer and launched my first AW15 collection in August.

OOZZ Clothing

What inspires your designs?

Textures, nature, deconstructed silhouettes, objects, new printing techniques.

OOZZ Clothing

You use fabric, texture, and print in an interesting way, how would you describe your designs?

 I am trying to create a new forward thinking modernity and timeless silhouettes with the combination of unconventional materials, new printing techniques, distinctive details and unusual proportions.

OOZZ Clothing

What kind of guy wears your clothing?

Bold guys into new contemporary casual-chic choice.

OOZZ Clothing

Who are your favorite designers right now? Past? Overall? And Why?

Rei Kawakubo. She is a true visionary for me.

OOZZ Clothing

Where do you see your brand in the future?

I see OOZZ in a refined international audience in the contemporary menswear industry in the near future.

Be sure to check out the OOZZ website to shop online. Free shipping worldwide!

Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project review

Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project

Crooked Stave

I have been on a huge sour beer kick lately. I guess it’s not just me, it’s the entire U.S. at the moment. Right now sour beers are the current trend in craft brew and if you haven’t ventured past your comfort zone I highly recommend you seek some out. Some common types of sours are Berlinerweiss, Oud Bruin and Lambics.Sour beer are… well sour for one and fermented with certain yeast strains that give them their characters. Lactobacillus and Pediococcus are some of the typical strains that can be found in a sour a beer. All beers that come out of Crooked Stave are fermented with Brettanomyces and aged in oak tanks, some for a year or more.

I stumbled upon these beers somewhat by accident. Our local grocery store has beer and liquor tastings every Friday and a few months back were giving out samples of Colorado Wild Sage and Surette Provision Saison. I was immediately hooked and went to find a couple bottles to take home. Not only am I on a sour kick at the moment I’m also on a Saison kick so the Surette Provision I found extra tasty. It is a golden colored beer with a bit haze and a strong smell of Brett. Sour up front, almost a lemon sour kick to the face. It may have just been my bottle or the batch but it was a bit low on carbonation. These beers are bottle conditioned so that could be the reason for low levels of CO2. The Colorado Wild Sage was just as good with a strong aroma and taste of sage that I would also highly recommend.

If you happen to live in the Denver area, be sure to visit this place and support it. Otherwise be sure to look for these in your grocery store, you won’t regret it. The Crooked Stave website is a bit lacking but check back for updates on new releases and event.s

Crooked Stave

Bell’s Oberon review

Bell’s Oberon

Bell's Oberon

This household thoroughly enjoys whiskey, we indulge at least once a week. I was gifted my first bottle of Crown Royal shortly after my 21st birthday on Christmas and haven’t stopped drinking Crown and Coke ever since. Irish, Canadian, Kentucky, Iowan, everything but Jack. Okay I’ll take Honey Jack but would take Canadian Club over regular Jack. But I’m also a home brewer and have been a beer drinker since my dad gave me an Old Style at an early age. Great beer BTW. This leads us to our first beer review, Bell’s Oberon. I hate to admit but I was oblivious to Oberon before I met Tiffany. Being a Michigander she grew up with this bliss on every corner and thankfully bought some our first spring together.

Bell’s Oberon is a wheat ale fermented with Bell’s signature house ale yeast, mixing a spicy hop character with mildly fruity aromas. The addition of wheat malt lends a smooth mouthfeel, making it a classic summer beer. Brewed with Hersbrucker hops for bittering and Saaz for aroma and flavor, if I’m not careful I can drink Oberon like a session beer. I look forward to brewing a clone recipe next weekend and hope it is semi close to the original. If you are in the Midwest, you must find this beer. Bell’s has a lot of good beer, for more variety and availably check out the website.

 

Bell's Oberon
Bell's Oberon

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Kaf Grooming

Anthony Vivolo, CEO with Kaf Grooming

What inspired you to start your line?

Over the years we became aware of the lack of high quality men’s grooming products, which inspired us to create the Kaf line. Here at Kaf we truly believe that your styling product of choice should not only style your hair to perfection, but also be beneficial to your hair’s overall health. Our goal was to create a product that could achieve both. That is why we developed all of our products with active botanicals to not only strengthen and protect your hair at the cellular level, but also give you the confidence and look you desire.

Kaf Grooming

How do you test your products before you sell them?

We feel strongly against the use of cosmetic testing on animals. All of our products go through skin and eye safety testing conducted by an independent laboratory. In addition to safety testing we put our products through stability testing to ensure that our products remain stable and active for upwards of two years in various temperatures and conditions. Testing the styling capabilities was the fun part, with that being said perfecting our featured styling products took over two and half years! We wanted to make certain we produced high quality products and weren’t satisfied until we were confident that our products achieved what was promised on the label.

Kaf Grooming

What do you consider the most important component of a hair product?

This is an industry that is very diluted to say the least, diluted with products that solely focus on the styling aspect and not necessarily the effects on your hair. Due to this, we believe that the most important component to any hair product is the health benefits. Our goal was to deliver a product that in addition to styling, also revitalized, strengthened, and protected your hair.

Kaf Grooming

Right now what celebrity has the best hair in terms of style and fitting their personal style?

This may not answer your question in terms of “right now” but Leonardo Dicaprio in “Great Gatsby”… that’s hair.

Kaf Grooming

How do you determine how much product to use per different style and cut?

That is the beauty of Kaf products; we like to think that we can achieve any look that you desire with our products. American Select is our “uncommonly versatile” styling cream that enables you to style your hair freely to achieve a more natural look. We suggest starting with a dime size amount for a lighter hold. Supreme Brew is our “superior hold ideal shine” pomade; we recommend this for people looking for a stronger hold and optimal dimensional sheen.

Kaf Grooming
Kaf Grooming

What styling tools can’t you live without?

For me it’s my comb. I have two, one for everyday and one for travel.

For the latest new and product updates, visit the Kaf website.

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