By no means is Peter AKA @oldgeezerwithin, old or a geezer. After asking him what the significance of his Instagram name was, he described himself as an old soul. As a child Peter “could see the beauty in things that other kids couldn’t.” This insight eventually lead to a liking for all things vintage. A child of the 1970’s Peter grew a love for the clothes, the jewellery and the whole vibe of that decade.
Peter has always admired a “good full beard”. His father sports a grande moustache and thick side burns. He began growing a full beard when his first child was born. During the six months that he was able to spend at home with his wife and baby, Peter simply stopped shaving and grew a full beard and became quite fond of it! However, after returning to work as an IT/Software product manager, he eventually made the decision to shave his beard off.
In 2013, Peter once again simply stopped shaving. “The beard grew on my face and the feeling of being bearded grew within me as well.”
It wasn’t just the visual appeal though, growing his beard “was, in a way saying to myself, I have control.” After several months of growth, “the beard became a natural part of me.” Peter soon started reaching out to other bearded gentlemen. He entered a beard contest and met several other bearded men who felt the same way about growing a full beard. Several of these men showcased their own beards on Instagram.
In October of 2014 Peter joined Instagram and quickly became a Prospect then a Member of the Bearded Villains, the brotherhood of elite bearded men from all over the World.
Then in March 2015, he was accepted as a full member of the Swedish moustache club which meant that “my moustache is worthy and that I’m now officially a gentlemen!”
Joining these groups enabled Peter to form several relationships with other bearded men while growing his beard gave him an opportunity to redefine himself.
During this time of self discovery and beard growth, Peter had been searching for a leather bracelet to add to his personal collection of vintage mens wear and accessories. Most that Peter came across were either poorly crafted, very expensive or both. He figured if he wanted to wear a leather bracelet that was “just right” for him, he’d have to make one himself.
Craftsmanship runs through Peters family. His Father is a fourth generation carpenter so the idea of crafting a leather bracelet for himself came quite naturally. Without any “master plan”, Peter began researching and learning about different types of leather via the Internet and his local library. Eventually after some trial and error with different types of leathers, Peter found an “all natural leather” that he liked because of the way it felt and the way that it ages. It wasn’t long before Peter crafted what he had been looking for this whole time; a leather bracelet with an anchor stitched into it. After wearing it for a while, Peters bracelet began to age with him. Slightly changing color, tone and texture, this bracelet was “becoming a small part of myself as I wore it.”
Peter started getting several compliments on his bracelet. When the local Hep Cat store offered to carry them, Peter began to hand craft more bracelets with his signature anchor stitched into it. The bracelets soon grew in popularity and Peter came to the realization that it was “possible to build a brand from scratch.”
Since starting he has crafted several leather bracelets as well as a custom made credit card holder and a wrist watch carrier per request. “I’m not at the point where I am capable of crafting a leather horse saddle or something to that magnitude,” but Peter will attempt to craft just about anything you ask him too.
Through the Bearded Villains, Peter became friendly with a young man named Jade who was, himself, a craftsman and an entrepreneur. “One day I got a direct message from him because he was very fond of my bracelets and was looking to learn the craft himself.” That relationship quickly grew into a friendship and in about a month of keeping contact with him, Jade invited Peter to sell his bracelets through Jade’s company @crossbonestradingco.
He says hand crafting leather bracelets is ” something I can really identify myself with.”
“So often you are defined by your work. I’d like to be defined by my craft. As human beings we are so much more.”