The Selvedge Yard is proud to announce a partnership with our New Zealand friends Triumph & Disaster. T&D is known for their top-notch grooming goods, and we’ve recently had the pleasure of getting to know the founder Dion Nash and some of his team. Turns out we have a lot in common– we love a great party, and getting off the grid… So we’ve decided to throw a “Greaser Getdown” party together at our shop in New Hope, PA on July 30th. And get this– the attendee wearing the best “Greaser Getup” (think pomade pompadour, leather, denim, etc… 1950s greaser / teddy style) will win a trip for two that they’ll never forget! Bonus points awarded if you happen to also roll-in on a badass bike or Hot Rod! Space is limited for the party so you must RSVP your name and email to attend and have a chance to win to: email@example.com
TSY recently sat down with Triumph & Disaster founder, Dion Nash, to chat about all things T&D, and announce “THE GREASER GET DOWN” party and trip giveaway happening at The Selvedge Yard shop in New Hope, PA…
TSY (JP): So, I’m an American with admittedly no idea what living “Down Under” in New Zealand looks and feels like, clue me in.
T&D (Dion): Kiwi’s love sport, beer and farming – at least when I was growing up that was what you would say, we are a very young country, Europeans only arrived here around 175 years ago. This means our culture and diversity is changing from generation to generation, this is sort of exciting to be part of, today NZ is vastly different to the country I grew up in – but we still love sport, beer and farming.
TSY (JP): What are your favorite memories of growing up in New Zealand, and your early inspirations & heroes?
T&D (Dion): Beach holidays, sunny long summer days getting tanned and swimming all day long. We are a coastal nation so you are never very far from the water. Early inspirations came from our sports teams, rugby and cricket heroes mainly but also The Doors and the Rolling Stones – they’re both kiwi bands right?! JK:)
TSY (JP): What do New Zealanders share culturally with Americans?
T&D (Dion): In many ways we are very similar, god fearing, hard working and believe in fairness and opportunity for all. I once read a quote in a New York hotel that said – ‘all we ever do in America is work’, I think the same probably applies to NZ. In the absence of a long lineage of traditions, our culture has been dominated by generations of people putting their shoulder to the wheel and getting busy building a nation. However, I would say in NZ we don’t love our guns quite as much as you guys.
TSY (JP): What were your musical influences and favorite bands growing up, and now?
T&D (Dion): Growing up it was initially Hendrix, Dylan, Stones, Doors, Tom Petty, then a trip into the New York punk scene, Ramones, Blondie, Joan Jett, Johnny Thunders, before I fell hard into the grunge sound which I guess through timing became the sound of my generation. I still love all these genres but today I’m listening to a lot of old Jazz and blues mixed with a few random current artists– Nina Simone, Miles Davis, Digable planets, the Roots, Robert Johnson, little Hurricane, Donald Byrd, Band of Horses. Crickey– that’s sounding a bit mixed up isn’t it?
TSY (JP): How did you get into playing guitar, and who are a few of your favorite guitarists and why?
T&D (Dion): Started playing with mates at University so I am self-taught and as a result a terrible guitarist. As an Irish friend once said, ‘I have my own sense of timing’. But I love it. I have a cherry red Gibson SG– I love it more than my car. This is my guitar of choice due to a guy called Shane Carter from a band ‘Straightjacket fits’ kiwi legends, and Shane was like our version of Hendrix. Live they were stone cold killers, check them out–
TSY (JP): I’ll be honest Dion, I have no idea WTF cricket is or how it’s played. Give me the “Cricket for Dummies” rundown.
T&D (Dion): Think baseball in old-fashioned clothes played on morphine (some games take five days and can end in a draw, true story)– that’s unkind but its very English. Basically the idea is you stand still holding a wood bat, while a guy runs at you and throws a 5.75 oz hardened leather ball at you at around 150km/hr, from 22 yards away– and you try an hit it. In my opinion it is better to be the thrower than the batter.
TSY (JP): Does every kid in New Zealand grow up playing cricket like we play baseball, football, and basketball in America?
T&D (Dion): Yeah pretty much– rugby in winter, cricket in summer.
TSY (JP): Any life and/or business lessons Learned on the Cricket field?
T&D (Dion): The longer you survive (in batting) the easier it becomes, but if you take your eye off the ball you can still lose it all– same applies to both life and business. And it pays to be your own coach.
TSY (JP): And then came Triumph & Disaster… So what was the inspiration, and how did you make the jump from sports to launching a grooming brand?
T&D (Dion): Basically I am unemployable due to not taking direction very well, so it was either do my own thing or go to the beach and learn to surf. Truth is owning my own brand and starting a business scared the shit out of me and to some degree still does, but it’s the same feeling that keeps me alive. So I sort of had to have a go. Skincare was a more natural calling that you might think, its actually very close to a cricketers heart because when you stand in the sun and wind everyday for hours on end you learn to appreciate the finer points of a moisturiser, sunscreen and the joy of exfoliation. So I felt like I had an industrial knowledge of the category, and I had learnt some skills I wanted to put into practice.
TSY (JP): What’s the story behind the Triumph & Disaster name? It’s got a cool ring to it, and people dig it right away.
T&D (Dion): At about 13 years of age my father gave me a framed poem called ‘IF’ by Rudyard Kipling. The poem is advice from a father to his son on how to be a man. It is about humility, honour, risk and reward. Values that would help mould a brand capable of reminding us that acts of ritual and preparation are worthy endeavours and that being well presented is something of which to be proud. So when I read the line, ‘if you can meet with Triumph & Disaster and treat those two imposters just the same…’ well, the deal was done and the brand was born.
TSY (JP): Sounds like T&D has it’s own All Star Cricket team on-staff, literally. True?
T&D (Dion): This has happened accidentally but its true we are some what of a landing pad for washed up sports stars – watching us type is quite humorous – all thumbs.
TSY (JP): What sets T&D apart from most of the grooming products out there these days, and what are you most proud of?
T&D (Dion): We use a lot of native NZ and pacific region ingredients, these make our formulations entirely bespoke and unique in the world, but also they make for incredibly effective ingredients that we have drawn from Polynesian traditional medicine and culture. Below are a couple of standouts–
Horopito– an ancient herb that grows only in New Zealand. A sturdy shrub that has survived 65 million years by developing chemicals that resisted not only animals and insects but also microbes like fungi and bacteria. The plant also contains powerful antioxidant flavonoids, including quercetin and taxifolin. Indigenous Maori used Horopito to treat wounds, as a tea tonic, a poultace and they chewed it for toothache. We use it to treat blemishes as a sterilizing agent in our Gameface moisturiser.
Oil of Tamanu-– Used for centuries in Vanuatu and Tahiti. Often referred to as ‘miracle oil’ Tamanu oil possesses a unique capacity to assist the formation of new tissue, thereby accelerating wound healing and the growth of healthy skin. Tamanu oil is employed by Polynesian women for promoting healthy, clear, blemish-free skin, and is also used on babies to prevent diaper rash and skin eruptions we use it in our Face Cleanser as it is a great treatment for skin irritations and mild acne.
Ponga Fern– polysaccharides extracted from the fern when applied to the skin in lotion form have been clinically proven to have an immediate mechanical tightening effect that decreases wrinkles and increases tonicity and firmness, so we think it makes for a killer ingredient in our Gameface moisturiser.
ANNOUNCING TRIUMPH & DISASTER x TSY | THE GREASER GETDOWN GIVEAWAY
TSY (JP): We are really excited to host Triumph & Disaster’s first US bash! The Greaser Getdown is going to be just that—hot rods, bikes, rock ‘n’ roll, and folks dressed in their best greaser getup all getting down and having a blast. It’s an honor that you partnered with us… WTF were you thinking? Seriously. Why TSY, and why New Hope, PA?
T&D (Dion): When I first started my tumblr blog way back in 2011 people used to say to me ‘check out The Selvedge Yard– you will love them,’ and I did and they were right. So way before we met you guys we were watching from down under. Then chance kind of led us to you– at T&D we have always said ‘fate’ is one of the pillars of our brand – so here we are today. We are very excited– its going to be some party!
TSY (JP): So people are pretty blown away when I tell them what one lucky party-monger at The Greaser Getdown is going win! Share the details on the super-generous getaway you are giving away.
T&D (Dion): Ok, so we are sending two people (one winner and their partner of choice) down to New Zealand in February of 2017!
Actually they are heading to Waiheke Island specifically, which is a beautiful destination about half an hours ferry ride from downtown Auckland. It’s full of beaches, restaurants, vineyards, cafes – so pretty terrible! you can see images of the island here– http://www.newzealand.com/int/waiheke-island/ and you’ll stay here– http://www.havenwaiheke.co.nz/treehouse/
The trip includes pick up at the airport and transport to accommodation on the island, five nights at Pie Melon bay – you will need to google this – it’s worth it. The tickets will be open ended so if the winners choose they can stay on for longer at their own leisure (and cost).
We are certain we will have fun in New Hope, so the T&D team will do our best to return the favour.
TSY (JP): What’s next on the horizon for Triumph & Disaster?
T&D (Dion): We have a few things cooking, a few new products, but the goal is just to keep getting better at the things we do. We have a lot of work to do in America to get the brand better known and into the hands of influential Americans like you guys, so work, work and more work. It’s just as well we love it– right!
Triumph & Disaster founder, Dion Nash