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Maker Spotlight: Nature Boy

Maker Spotlight: Nature Boy

For a maker of fine beard-grooming products, nature isn’t just inspiration – it’s the heart of his business.

Maker Spotlight: Nature Boy

For a maker of fine beard-grooming products, nature isn’t just inspiration – it’s the heart of his business.
August/September 2020 issue of American Craft magazine
Author Anitra Budd
Nature Boy Combs

↑ Created by designer, maker, and entrepreneur Jacob Quetant, Nature Boy offers finely crafted grooming products for men, including beard oils, soaps, and combs.
Photo: Jacob Quetant

Jacob Quetant, 35, has appreciated impeccable finishes from an early age. “My mom’s always been a crafter. She’s a former Imagineer who helped build sets at Disneyland, and today she’s a general contractor focused on home-interior restoration and design. So that energy, the energy of a detailer, just rubbed off on me.”

In everything creative he has done – from photography and package design to music production – Quetant has, as he puts it, “a drive to make sure everything sounds right and feels right.”

Jacob Quetant of Nature Boy with his family

↑ Jacob Quetant with his family.
Photo: Jacob Quetant

That’s why, when Quetant couldn’t find any products in stores to help groom his beard, he immersed himself in the details – studying the ingredients in his girlfriend’s skincare products, learning about essential oils, and eventually developing his own beard oil. Eighteen months later, in 2016, Quetant’s homemade beard oil was the first product to be sold under his Nature Boy brand.

Nature Boy deluxe beard kit in bathroom

↑ Nature Boy's Deluxe Beard Kit features an array of handcrafted grooming products.
Photo: Jacob Quetant

Based in Southern California, Nature Boy sells a variety of natural beard and skincare products, as well as handcrafted wooden combs and brushes. The business relies on a tight-knit ecosystem of artisans and designers. “It’s a combination of things I make myself and products I’ve collaborated on with other people,” Quetant explains.

Quetant makes his balms, oils, and beard conditioners from blends of carrier oils such as jojoba, coconut, and avocado; herbal infusions such as bhringraj leaf, horsetail, nettle leaf, and oatstraw; and pro-prietary essential oil blends for scent. He also sands, stains, and finishes the handles of the Nature Boy brushes, which are made of wood by a local manufacturer, and he co-designed the brand’s combs with Joel Hornsby, an Oakland designer and fabricator.

“I connect with the practice of strengthening healthy habits and self-maintenance, as opposed to vanity alone.”
~Jacob Quetant
Screw being added to a Nature Boy brush Nature Boy deluxe kit

↑ The Deluxe Beard Kit arrives in a handmade wooden box and includes Raw Black Soap made by Ghanaian artisans using cocoa pod ash, palm kernel oil, and plantain skin.
Photos: Jacob Quetant

One of Quetant’s goals is to create grooming products for men that feel out of the ordinary. This begins with the packaging. “When I first started thinking about how to package the beard oil, I had all these horrible ideas – putting leaves in the boxes, things like that,” he says. “Then I saw how one of my mics came packaged in a block of custom-cut foam, which gave me the idea of packing our products the same way. That transformed them from an ordinary product into something special. Then, when I decided to wrap the entire box in plastic film, like a bottle of cologne, that sealed the deal. For many young men, buying their first bottle of cologne is such a meaningful experience, and I wanted to recreate that feeling with my brand.”

Beyond an extraordinary unboxing experience, Quetant also wants to give his customers something more: a connection to the beauty of nature through self-care. “When I think of beauty, I think of what exists naturally, just as it was meant to be. When I look at the wood-grain patterns in our combs and how effortless and unique they are, that’s beautiful to me. At the same time, there’s beauty in knowing how to groom yourself in a way that makes you feel good. My feeling is that when you love yourself as you naturally are, you know where true beauty comes from. Outer beauty is just a tool to magnify what you already have.”

Nature Boy branding iron with product

The packaging, which includes hand-stamped logos and custom-cut foam, is an essential part of the Nature Boy brand.

Nature Boy product collection in packaging
Leather tag being stitched onto a Nature Boy beanie
Nature Boy comb and Dremel tool

Jacob Quetant designs and produces some of his wares together with other artists, including Joel Hornsby, known for his Afrofuturistic styling combs.
Photos: Jacob Quetant

Customers seem to intuitively grasp the intent behind Nature Boy. “They’ve sent messages like, ‘Your comb is so beautiful. I had to buy two: one to use, one to hang on the wall,’ which is amazing,” he says. “It’s important to me that the combs are functional, as well as pretty. If customers want to use the combs and display them, I think that’s a beautiful, centered place to be, and I feel so blessed to have tapped into that feeling.”

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