Today marks a historic day for us here at Morris & King as we're proud to announce our latest partnership with the iconic St Johns Fragrance Company. It's not only a privilege for us to carry St. Johns products, but an honor to be listed amongst such stockist as J. Press, Murray's Toggery, O'Connells, and many other classic retailers. For our initial launch we're offering two of their classic fragrances: Bay Rum and 77, along with a beautiful selection of All-Natural Bar Soap that adorn the same luxurious scents. If you're not familiar with St Johns, here's a brief history from their website on how this iconic brand came to be:
Seventy five years ago, US Navy Officer Capt. John Webb, blended the local bay rum with the island’s tropical bay leaf oils and spices as the genesis of our collection of distinctive men’s fragrances. Our iconic hand woven palm frond bottles were inspired by Virgin Island fishing baskets, and we continue that Caribbean tradition today.
Bay leaf oil has always been sacred to Caribbean culture due to its healing nature and rich fragrance, and once Capt. Webb caught wind of this, he knew the whole world could benefit. Bay leaf oil plus native spices equals an unapologetically masculine scent—which is why St Johns Bay Rum® has been going strong for 70 years and counting. We know the importance of staying true to tradition, which is evident in every whiff and every handwoven Fishpot Weave® bottle. Quality like this doesn’t come along often...so when it does, it’s best to not tamper with perfection.
Keeping with tradition is no easy task. Too many brands out there will harp on fads and trends in order to keep relevant in a forever changing market. Since Morris & King hasn't been around long enough to have earned this reputation, there are brands we believe strongly in that continue to remain true to their original beginnings. St Johns is a prime example, with their incredibly rich history they've successfully accomplished the task of keeping tradition for over 75 years. My first exposure to St Johns was through the equally impressive J. Press, who many of you know as the Ivy-Style Gold Standard, and an establishment we greatly admire. Since our passion for history and tradition are the building blocks for Morris & King, being able to offer St Johns in particular is an opportunity we couldn't shy away from. That being said, we happily find ourselves in a unique position to offer a handful of the incredible products St Johns has to offer. In the same vein of admiration, I'd be remiss if I wasn't fully transparent of how this partnership came to be...
There's very few people in our social circle I purposefully seek out for their opinion on the products we carry and release before development as we tend to keep our design process in house. Typically Natalie and I will strictly bounce ideas off of each other in order to avoid having 'too many cooks in the kitchen' until we begin the sample and production process. It's a method we've grown accustomed to, and it's served us well for more than a decade. There is however one man's opinion when it comes to Morris & King products specifically that I began running ideas by late last year, and that man's name is Steve Lee. Held with high regard in the Charleston Menswear Community, Steve's extensive knowledge comes from 40 plus years of experience, and since our reconnection he's become one of our go-to resources as we continue to grow and develop the brand. Our goal since the beginning has been to pay homage to the old school 'Charleston Style' I remember as a young man in the late 80s, early 90s, and who better to take advice from than someone who worked the front line over those two decades.
During a visit with our stockist, Grady Ervin & Co, late last year, I spoke briefly with Steve about the idea of creating our own signature fragrance. I was slowly becoming enamored with the idea, but wasn't privy to the process and lucky for me Steve was. Being the historian that he is, Steve began to educate me on all the brands he felt encapsulated classic scents. As I began to overwhelm the store with scents, I immediately realized I had recognized the St Johns Fishpot Weave bottle from a visit to J. Press in New Haven, CT earlier that year. After the first spritz, I was taken back to that visit, and I knew immediately this was something I wanted to share with our customers at Morris & King. Lucky for us Steve was able to point us in the right direction to make that idea a reality. We're extremely humbled to become a retail partner with St Johns, and we encourage all of you to enjoy this incredible line up, whether you’re new to St John’s or a long time customer, as we continue to release and update this collection over the course of 2023.