Welcome back to Shop Talk, where not only do I have the opportunity of featuring new businesses, but also get to really discuss what has allowed them to thrive. Recently I was approached by an exquisite business, Mercer + James. This marriage duo has taken a refreshing perspective on timeless men’s grooming and accessories. From quality to new trends, they seek the finest products for their clientele. Not only do they provide quality products, their website is also catered to how to get the best results with their products!
As Mike and I looked through their product line, he pretty much highlighted the whole thing as idea hints for future gifts (he doesn’t drop subtle hints). It’s my great pleasure to share that not only will Mercer + James be here on Shop Talk, they will also be helping me celebrate my upcoming three year anniversary next month with some fantastic posts! Please enjoy their simplistic sleek view.
Q: If you could give a brief overview of Mercer + James and how it began.
A: Mercer + James is a luxury line of men’s grooming and accessories, but it really evolved out of my husband’s search for a great shaving set. The market seemed to be full of either low-quality products that would break quickly, or overpriced “high-end” brands. We decided that if we couldn’t buy what we wanted, we’d design it for ourselves. Before we knew it, our home was filled with samples and drawings, and our kitchen was brimming with concoctions as we searched for just the right elements to represent what we think men’s grooming should be. Designing is a fun thing that we can do together, and it’s an added bonus that we get to share what we find with the world.
Q: What is your creative catalyst?
A: Many designers and stores want to redefine a person’s look, or take over their whole routine. Our creative impulse is to enhance. Whether that’s switching out a single grooming tool to make the morning shave more enjoyable, or adding a dapper hat to someone’s normal outfit to elevate their natural style, it’s all about making little enhancements that improve the daily experience.
Q: What makes Mercer + James so unique? (This could be from your creative perspective, how you engage your clientele, who your clientele is, etc)
A: While other shops and brands like to run after fads and create throw-away fashion, we are ultimately into simplicity. We think that basics, when created with great precision and high quality, make for the best style. You’ll never see products from us that run after a fad or are covered with embellishments; we’d rather create beautiful shaving sets, hats, and other items that will look fantastic for years to come.
Q: How do decide what products to incorporate and what not to use?
A: Everything we make and sell are things that we ourselves use. Sometimes we designed them, and sometimes they were a great find from our travels together. Either way, we let the collection be an extension of our own tastes – if we think a trilby hat can turn jeans and a t-shirt into something more, then we go about designing the best trilby hat possible. If we ourselves can’t wait to use a product, we know it will be good for Mercer + James.
Q: What are your inspirations for your line? (fashion, era, etc)
A: We don’t want to get stuck in nostalgia, but there is certainly something magical about the style and objects from the Roaring 20’s. Shaving tools especially were a wonder to behold – made with incredible care for both quality and design. In a modern world where everything is disposable, we like to draw inspiration from a time when each object was made like and heirloom piece. We also collect vintage shaving objects, which we sometimes showcase in the “Vintage LTD” section, and they provide huge inspiration for material and detail in the shaving sets we design.