Our friend Justin is the dashing mastermind behind Pioneer Goods, one of the most charming and unique shops in the South End. Part home goods shop, part interior design service, walking into the perfectly curated Pioneer Goods is like stepping into the most amazing and rustic New England cabin you could imagine.
Lucky for us, Justin is also Follain’s official Movember mascot! This month he’s growing his first ever mustache to support men’s health awareness month (check out his official Movember page HERE) and we’re documenting his mustache evolution all month long. At the end of November, we’re hosting a shaving party for all our favorite guys and we’ll be donating a percentage of all shaving product sales to the official Movember group.
To kick off the month, we sat down with Justin to talk about his shop and how he really feels about his impending facial hair.
Tell us a little about yourself and why you started Pioneer Goods.
I’m the son of an interior designer and the grandson of an engineer who paid his way through college by working as a carpenter. When my grandfather built his house on the Vineyard, he designed and literally built his house, working as a carpenter alongside the crew he hired. I learned a lot more from them than I realized at the time. When I was a kid, it was always important for me to enjoy my living space, so I was constantly rearranging my bedroom furniture. Four years ago, I had been living in the South End for years, bartending and going to UMass-Boston, and I started helping my mother refinish furniture for her interior design clients on the weekends. I felt the South End lacked a home boutique that fit the mold of what Pioneer Goods is, which is rustic and New England inspired, feels like an antique shop, but has everything from refinished and repurposed furniture to unique gifts and home furnishings.
What does Movember mean for you?
Originally, I thought I was a goof, because it's become semi-trendy for guys to grow ironic mustaches. It wasn't until now that I've realized the breadth of the Movember movement. The Movember Foundation has raised $650 million! It has funded over 1,000 programs focusing on prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health and physical inactivity. It's no joke, and an amazing charity.
What is the longest you have gone without shaving your beard?
Three weeks? Every time I've said I'm going to grow a beard, I give in and shave after feeling like I'm either too itchy or I look like a scraggly bum.
Who throughout history has had the most enviable facial hair?
Lincoln? I mean, he's gotta be the most important person to have a beard. But you said enviable, so I guess the person whose facial hair I envy most is my dad's. My dad grows a sick beard in about five minutes every winter for as long as I can remember.
If you had to have a burly beard or be clean shaven for the rest of your days, what would you choose?
Beard. I'd love to never have to shave again.
What are your favorite grooming products from Follain?
I probably don't fit the mold of the typical Follain shopper, but my wife turned me on to your shop and I've been devoted ever since. It doesn't hurt that your shop is absolutely beautiful and we're fighting the same small business fight. Anyway, I use RMS Beauty coconut cream and I haven't used soap on my face since. That stuff is really something. I'm also not really cool with putting aluminum into my body so I use Meow Meow Tweet's baking soda free deodorant.
What product are you most looking forward to use once you shave?
Well I figure the end of this month could go either way. Maybe I'll be dying to get rid of the 'stache, in which case I can't wait to use Ursa Major's stellar shave cream. There's also I chance I might fully embrace the mustache lifestyle and stock up on Crux stache wax and be one of those guys. Before you know it I'll have a handlebar stache, monocle, and top hat.