We love putting together lifestyle pieces for glossy magazines like Reveal. Here’s three lovely chaps appearing in Reveal to celebrate their softer side.
Adam, the go-kart racing alpha-male with a side line in seam-stressing, Dave, the motorbike fanatic who could knit you a quick scarf and Tom, the surfer dude jewellery maker. Three great sports who challenge the stereotypical definition of what it is to be a man.
Have a look at Tom’s amazing jewellery range here too… etsy.com/shop/naturaljewellry
You can read more about our chaps here…
Who says macho men can’t have a softer side? These men are rebuffing the stereotype and getting in touch with their feminine side!
Dave Moger, 30, a bus driver, loves to crochet…
Revving the engine on his Yamaha Fazer, Dave rocks up at the rally ready to show off his coveted motorbike.
“I am an avid motorcyclist. I wanted to ride motorbikes ever since I was a child, but it was only last year that I got my first bike,” Dave says.
Most weekends you’ll find Dave in a leather jacket at a rally. “I just love the freedom of riding. After a 12 hour shift driving the bus, nothing beats zipping through traffic on a bike.”
By day, Dave drives a 40ft long, 8-ton bus around Southampton city centre. “I’ve been doing it for ten years,” Dave says. “It’s how I met Teresa.”
But between shifts in the staff canteen you’ll find him crocheting a blanket.
“Teresa knew about my crocheting before we fell in love,” Dave says. “It was public knowledge at work.”
And what did Teresa, 45, make of the man who pulled out his needles and wool every lunch time?
“I admired the fact Dave was never ashamed to crochet,” Teresa, a bus driver, says. “I found it attractive.”
Teresa was interested in how crocheting works, but wasn’t about to get involved. “No way,” says Teresa. “I respect the skill – from afar. It looks far too difficult!”
Instead, Teresa is waiting in line for her turn to be given one of Dave’s blankets.
“I keep meaning to make one for Teresa,” Dave says. “But other orders keep coming in. I made my first ever blanket for my nan, and now I’m making her another one. I’ve made one for Teresa’s daughter too.”
Dave learned to crochet when he was ten years old. “My nan, Silvia, taught me,” he says. “I can do blankets easily. I’m trying to learn how to do a cardigan, but the patterns are hard to read.”
Dave never worried that the skill was seen as something only women should do. “I knew it was a skill that would come in handy.”
Dave’s used to a ribbing from his male colleagues, but he knows they’re just jealous.
“One minute they’re laughing, next minute they’re putting in an order for a blanket for their new babies!”
Teresa thinks Dave’s crocheting skills make him all the more manly. “I love that he can do something I can’t,’ she says. “And the fact he doesn’t care what people think makes him all the more attractive.”
Ad Smith, 32, loves go-karting and is a seamstress.
While most couples enjoy a lie-in on a Saturday morning, Kelly and Ad are up at the crack of dawn so Ad can compete in the Senior X 30 club-level go-karting champs.
“As 34 engines rev on the start line, I’m track-side all summer,” Kelly Fisher, 30, a P.A from Bath, says.
As the karts race by at 80MPH, Kelly hopes Ad doesn’t have another crash like last summer. “It was awful – he rolled the kart and fell out. I was about to jump the fence and run to his side as he’d damaged his shoulder, but all he was worried about was the cart.”
Ad isn’t just into racing. “I love football too,” he says. “I’m a Spurs fan and footie is always on our TV, even though Kelly finds it pretty boring.”
But speed behind the wheel and a love of premier league football aren’t Ad’s only skills.
By day, he is a seamstress, embroidering T-shirts for anyone from a group of girls on a hen-do to a corporation uniform.
“I even made the go-kart team uniforms,” Ad says. “I designed our logo and stitched it onto all the jackets and jumpers.”
“I’m most proud of a bespoke table cloth I made for a friend,” he says. “I’ve never had any training, so intricate things like that make me realise how far I’ve come.”
Ad learned to use a sewing machine when he was 16. “I didn’t study textiles, I just learned through trial and error. If I went wrong, I’d unpick the stitch and start again.”
Ad’s parents ran an embroidery service called Team Schemes and it wasn’t long before Ad was on board.
“Now, Mum and I run Team Schemes together. She’s in charge of the admin, I do the designing, sewing and embroidering,” Ad says. “My mates are all electricians and builders so they find my job hilarious.”
Kelly and Ad met five years ago through online dating.
“I remember writing my profile,” Ad says. “Funny, well dressed seamstress. I was wary of any women just asking me to fix all their clothes.”
But Kelly was different. The pair got chatting about rescuing a cat from a tree and the rest is history.
“Kelly likes to tease me about being a seamstress, but at least she left it a few dates before she asked me to patch up her jeans,” Ads says.
Kelly doesn’t use a sewing machine herself. “Ad fixes all my bags and clothes. When we go shopping, I’ll go to buy a dress without even looking at it closely. Then Ad inspects the seams for loose stitches. He knows it’ll be him sewing up holes a week later.”
Back in his single days, Ad was used to his friends winding him up.
“My mates used to introduce me to women by saying: ‘This is Ad, he’s a seamstress motor-racer.’ Women weren’t interested in the motor-racing, they just wanted me to hem their skirts,” Ad says.
Ad’s friends have never asked him to teach them how to sew. “But they don’t mind asking me to sew up holes in their clothes,” Ad says. “Usually when we’re all on holiday. They think I carry a portable sewing machine around with me!”
As far as Kelly and Ad are concerned, the definition of what it is to be a man has changed.
“Men and women are all capable of doing anything now,” Ad says. “Men can be nannies, women can be firefighters. As a man who can embroider, I can testify that it’s a changing world.”
Tom Richardson, 35, transferred the skills he learned as a builder to jewellery design…
Paddling out to meet a wave, Tom takes to his feet and surfs towards the shore. “Nothing beats a good surf,” he says. “The adrenalin rush, the salty sea air, the exercise – I love it.”
Tom has been a keen surfer ever since he met Jodie, 34, nine years ago. “Jodie’s dad taught her how to surf and she taught me,” Tom explains.
Before meeting Jodie, basketball was Tom’s sport of choice. “I played five a side until an ankle injury forced me to retire.”
Tom and Jodie used to surf several times a week, before the arrival of Noah, now two. Combined with their busy careers as academics, it was a wonder Tom had time for anything else.
But another hobby was taking shape.
“Back when I was at Exeter University 15 years ago studying biosciences, I’d work as a builder in the holidays, just to earn some cash. I liked construction but the skills I learned soon developed into a fascination with making jewellery.”
Tom realised that construction and jewellery design required similar skills. “Both needed patience, dexterity and precision. But making jewellery required a lot less space.”
At first, Tom’s jewellery making was just a hobby. He’d fit it in at weekends or in the evening. But in the last two years, business has been booming.
“Thanks to my Etsy site, NaturalJewellery, I’ve been taking commissions from around the world,” Tom says.
The honing of Tom’s craft has been met with approval from his wife. “I love Tom’s designs,” she says. “I’m always borrowing things from his collection. I commissioned Tom to make my mum a pair of earrings for her birthday as I knew it would be better than anything I could find in shops.”
Jodie doesn’t share Tom’s skill though. “I wouldn’t know where to start,” she says. “So I leave him to it and reap the rewards!”
Tom and Jodie met while both studying for a PhD at the Cornwall campus of Exeter University. As soon as Tom knew he wanted to pop the question he started designing Jodie an engagement ring.
“It was beautiful,” Jodie says. “It has an sapphire stone with intricate gold leaves either side. Naturally, I said yes!”
Tom made Jodie’s wedding ring too. “He’s also made me some hoop earrings with birds, and a copper ring with little fish. It’s great having a jewellery designer on demand!”
Jodie is an academic researcher and Tom runs a PhD student training course. “Our lives are full on,” Tom says. “And we’re about to have our second child. Making jewellery is my outlet – it’s relaxing.”
As for little Noah – he’s already fascinated by Tom’s hobby. “I keep him out of my toolbox,” Tom says. “He loves to take things apart but hasn’t quite mastered putting things together yet. He’s got the makings of a mechanic or a builder – which would make him an excellent jeweller.”
Tom is used to the raised eyebrows when people hear of his skill. “I have a PhD in politics – people are always surprised to hear I also make wedding rings. But I think the definition of manliness is changing. A good man these days knows how to put up the shelves and make his wife a beautiful piece of jewellery.”