Credit: Liam Oaks
As longtime readers of the Zeus Beard Blog may recall, Steven Benson is one of our first Beard Profiles ever! Since we spoke with this bearded butcher over a year ago, things have changed significantly, from a big move across the pond (for a special lady, to whom he is now engaged) to a surprising occupational jump. Last July when we featured Benson, he was co-owner of San Francisco butcher shop Gambrel & Co. and had been butchering for 13 years. (See his original Beard Profile here.)
We love hearing good news and updates from our bearded community, so we recently caught up with Benson to learn all that’s going on from the man himself. Read on for our interview!
1. Steven, catch us up! Last time we spoke, about a year ago, you were based in San Francisco, CA. Where are you now?
I am actually no longer in San Francisco. I decided to move overseas and have relocated to London, where my fiancée is from. Although I seem to go back in San Francisco quite often.
2. You owned a butcher shop called Gambrel & Co. Are you still butchering?
Before the big move I got out of my half of the business and decided to move on from it. I have butchered a bit since being over in the UK and it’s been quite an experience. But I’m phasing out butchering a bit and have started getting into property development.
3. Why property development? It’s quite a different field from butchering!
I've always been good with that sort of stuff. I flipped my own house a few years back and have always wanted to do it more. An opportunity has arisen and I'm kinda taking a leap of faith.
4. Do you think you’ll ever go back to butchering at some point in the future?
I'll always have those skills and can fall back on them at anytime. And I hope one day that if I have a son, I can show him the trade. It was a dying profession for many years and has made such a huge comeback and I've loved being a part of it all. But I definitely don't miss the sore back and wrists!
5. What made you decide to move across the pond to the UK?
I guess the quick and easy answer is a woman haha. It just seemed like a good time to move and experience more of the world. It’s been quite an experience and I’m very grateful it’s been something I’ve been able to do.
Credit: Gilbert Pereda
6. Do you have any advice for guys who want to maintain a thick, full beard like yours? How do you keep it all in line?
Just take care of it. See a barber regularly and keep it clean. I wash my beard more than my head hair 10/1.
7. Why did you decide to grow a beard?
I’ve always had some sort of facial hair and have always hated shaving with a passion. I had a job where I used to have to shave every morning at 6 AM for work. I always said the day I could grow out my beard I would. I guess that was where it all started.
8. What is one interesting thing about yourself?
I’ve trained in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for 8 years now. I originally started because I wanted to fight MMA. Then I realized I’m not a huge fan of being hit in the face. So I stuck to Jiu Jitsu and absolutely love it. I compete as often as possible and will train until my body no longer lets me.
9. What is your greatest fear, and have you conquered it?
Dang that’s a deep one lol….. I would say regret. I fear not living my life to the fullest and regretting that. But so far it hasn’t been an issue. So yes, I would say it’s a conquered fear.
10. Where do you see yourself in the next year?
Growing some roots and a family wherever that happens to be, in London or the States. Sitting on a porch stroking my ‘stache and sipping a whiskey….that’s happiness.
Right now, I’m obsessed with: Country pub tours around the UK countryside.
I’d love to visit: Whistler B.C. for the epic snowboarding.
Rule I live by: “Take it one day at a time” and “Every day above ground is a good day.”
Follow Steven on Instagram @the_mad_butcher.