From Afghanistan to Esquire

by Nicholas Karnaze November 25, 2015

From Afghanistan to Esquire

Earlier this month, Esquire magazine awarded Stubble & ‘Stache a 2015 Grooming Award for our f*ing amazing Beard Balm. While that, in and of itself, is a huge honor (thank you Esquire!) for me, it is a bit more personal.


Esquire Grooming Award Beard Balm | stubble & 'stache

Every combat veteran knows, far too well, the need to relax and decompress after a mission. We retire to our “hooches” and try to find something to take our minds off of our current situation. For most, it is a form of media that teleports us away. For me, it was Esquire. I’d get lost in its pages. At times forgetting that I was even in Afghanistan, and that “break” was exactly what I needed to recharge and get my head back into the game.

Stubble & ‘Stache was born in combat. I started the company following the death of one of my close friends, who I served with in Afghanistan, where I religiously read Esquire. To see one of our products on the pages of Esquire brings that part of the story full circle for me.

Nick Reading

Back when I was still in the Special Operations Community, never in a million years did I imagine I’d ever start a men’s grooming company, let alone see that company on the pages of a magazine I respect so much.

As we enter the holiday season, I want to express my gratitude to all of you for helping make Stubble & ‘Stache what it is today. There are many exciting things on the horizon, but right now I want to pause and thank all of you for your support. Without you, we wouldn’t be here. We are forever grateful that you decided to undertake this journey with us.

Semper Fi, 




stubble & 'stache was founded by a former Marine Corps Special Operations Combat Veteran in memory of his fallen comrade. We donate a percentage of profits to organizations supporting those men and women suffering from the mental wounds sustained in combat.


Nicholas Karnaze
Nicholas Karnaze


Warfighter turned entrepreneur. Founder, stubble & 'stache. Grooming expert. Skincare nerd. Marine Corps combat veteran.

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