August 01, 2013


When our team at Fulton & Roark was designing our solid cologne, we spent a great deal of time thinking about what we call “the pre-plastic era,” and we found a great deal of inspiration in doing so. Sometime after the Second World War, man’s ability to make just about anything cheaply and easily with plastics led to many objects that at one time were prized possessions—to be seen by many as disposable. The era of Zippos, and well-made clothing gave way to the age of disposable plastic lighters and cheap  polyester suits intended to last only a season or two.


Retail changed during that same time too. General stores were replaced by supermarkets, which eventually led to giant big box stores. Sure, shoppers had more choices on the shelves at the  "Mega Marts", but wide selection isn't always as good as it seems. During an era when the performance of a man's tools was often critical to his survival, variety was far less important than quality, and inclusion in a good store  was often a mark of quality in itself.

Mast General Store opened in 1883 in Valle Crucis, North Carolina and since then, it has been a perfect example of what a good general store should be. As times of changed, so have its offerings. You're not going to find a good two-furrow plow at Mast anymore, but if you're looking for trustworthy outdoor gear, durable clothing or handcrafted furniture, Mast is just the place. And in the past couple decades, they've grown from their original store in Valle Crucis to eight stores throughout North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Mast General Store's reputation for doing good business has resulted in a 130 year run, and it has earned them a spot in the National Register of Historic Places. For their long and proud reputation of  "quality goods, fair prices, and  old fashioned friendly service," we are proud to call Mast General Store a retail partner.

July 13, 2013


282 East 4th StreetWinston-Salem, NC 336.917.9446

Not surprisingly, men’s stores have personalities as distinct and varied as men themselves. Some seem reminiscent of a good businessman – quiet but smart and professional, with everything perfectly in place. Others seem like a jerk bartender – more a monument to all things cool than an actual store. The type of place where you get the sense you’ll be asked to rattle off the indie bands you’re into before being allowed to try on a pair of pants.

But then there are men’s stores like Centennial Trading Company in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Run by Johnny Smrdel and Erik Stephens, this store – appropriately – wears its passion on its shirtsleeve. Whether you’re a fashion enthusiast or just want a great pair of well-made jeans that you won’t have to replace for years, Erik and Johnny are always ready to help you find exactly what you’re looking for – and their enthusiasm is contagious. Ask them where a shirt is made, how the stitching on one pair of jeans compares to another, or what type of metal a hair comb is made of and they can both answer your questions and – more importantly – explain why it matters. Of course, if you just want to pop in to see what’s going on in their 4th Street neighborhood, they’ll be happy to fill you in on that, too.

Centennial’s passion for its customers, its merchandise, and its community is what makes Fulton & Roark so excited to call them a retail partner.


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