About us

The Manual is simple – Showing men how to live a life that is more engaged. Whether it be fashion, food, drink, travel, grooming or culture, we are here to provide insight into it all. Being called The Manual, we also offer a plethora of guides from experts on a wide range of topics from how to tie a bow tie to how to cook a dirty steak.  We don’t boss you around, we are simply here to bring some authenticity and understanding to all that enriches our lives on a daily basis.


Cator Sparks is Editor in Chief of TheManual.com. Previously Cator was covering menswear, grooming, lifestyle and design for The New York Times, Details, Vanity Fair.com, Style.com and The Huffington Post to name a few. Mr. Sparks splits his time between his apartment in Harlem and his home in downtown Charleston where he escapes with his Scottish Terrier for Southern sojourns and excellent cuisine. Recently Cator was commissioned a Colonel of Kentucky by Governor Steven L. Beshear and has requested all friends and family to call him 'Colonel Cator' from now on.

Amanda Gabriele is an Editor at The Manual and Director of Content for Thirstie. She is the former JackThreads Copywriter and Managing Editor of FashionIndie.com where she spent four years covering fashion, beauty and dogmatic red carpet commentary. She can’t live without the three Bs – bourbon, barbecue and beards – and loves to cook in platforms. Amanda resides in Fort Greene, Brooklyn with her collection of vintage furs, but you can find her 24/7 on Twitter @CrystlMeatballs.

Ann Binlot is a New York-based freelance writer who contributes to publications like The Economist, Wallpaper*, Monocle, Marie Claire, T, W, Travel + Leisure, The Daily Beast, Fast Company, The Business of Fashion, Al Jazeera America and more. She is currently working on a screenplay in her spare time. In addition she enjoys a nice cup of cold brew, sipping on whiskey and devouring a good steak.

Austin Parker is a powder skier and sport climber, and is no stranger hauling heavy gear uphill in bad weather. After a less than auspicious college ski racing career, he served in the US Army as an intelligence analyst and electronic warfare specialist. Following his military service, Austin saw the light and moved home to Salt Lake City to chase deep snow and desert cracks. When not enjoying getting rained or snowed on he is probably geeking out about the latest apparel fabric innovation or obsessing over shaving the last few ounces off his backpacking load. An amateur fly fisherman and outdoors photographer, he seems to always have his tenkara rod and Gopro handy. His work has appeared with Gear Patrol, Active Junky, The Manual, MOTUS, and Carryology.

Beau Hayhoe is a fashion PR pro and freelance style writer based in Brooklyn. Beau's menswear writing work has appeared on a number of prominent independent men's style sites, including Dappered, Effortless Gent, Genteel Flair and VOUCH Mag. He also contributes to GearMoose and GearHungry. Outside of working hours, Beau enjoys all things craft beer and has a passion for live music.

Bill Roberson authors the Throttle Jockey motorcycle column for The Manual. A lifelong motorhead, velocity addict, wirehead, shutterbug and cinephile, he's a Portland, Oregon native and enjoys exploring the region and world by motorcycle. When not on his two-wheelers, he's a dedicated dad, husband and Oregon Ducks fan. He also writes, shoots product photos and produces video content for both Digital Trends and The Manual.

Brad Bourque is the writer of the On Your Feet column, retired fantasy football commissioner, and dedicated beer drinker. On the weekends, you can find him checking out the local music scene, hollering and drinking at the Timber's game, or grooming his beard.

Brandon Widder is a journalist and a staff writer for the Manual and its brother site, Digital Trends, where he covers tech news, how-to guides, and more. In his free time, he moonlights as a freelance music writer for the Portland alt-weekly, Willamette Week, and enjoys venturing around the wilds of the Pacific Northwest when he's not putting together his weekly "Trekking" column for the Manual. Follow him @BrandonWidder.

Christopher is a native New Yorker who lives and works (mostly) in Manhattan. A longtime fashion journalist, he served as North American Bureau Chief of Sportswear International for over a decade. As a freelance writer he has also contributed to Nylon, Surface, MR, West Hollywood Magazine and WeSC Magazine. He continues to lead an often unsuccessful yet ever-optimistic campaign to teach the world that automatically shortening his name to “Chris” is, well, just lazy, rude and presumptuous.

Cody Gohl is a Brooklyn-based writer who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, including travel, fashion, literature, LGBT rights, pop culture and anything that has to do with his home state of Texas. You can find him on Twitter @CodyGohl or on Insta @Pico.de.Gayo

Drew is our resident tech nerd. He’s spent most of his life trying to be James Bond, so naturally he’s developed an unhealthy obsession with cutting-edge gadgets, top-shelf liquor, and well-timed puns. When he’s not composing articles for TheManual and DigitalTrends, Drew prefers to spend his time on the outskirts of Portland, buried in neck-deep powder at Mt. Hood.

I'm a southern girl in the heart of Los Angeles, who has recently learned what an incredible food the burrito is. I've never been able to read enough history books, drink enough champagne, or travel enough.

Contributing writer and watch enthusiast Ian Schwam dons an expert knowledge of all things watches. Having spent a decade in the watch industry his expertise touches on both current and vintage timepieces. A collector himself, he is able to translate business into passion. Follow his timepiece lifestyle on both twitter and instagram @thehairywrist.

Jennifer Ryan Jones is a fashion and grooming expert who contributes regularly to The Manual and AskMen.com. Her past experience includes overseeing all of the men’s style and grooming content for Playboy magazine. Her projects include features that showcased artists such as Iggy Pop, Daft Punk, Flaming Lips, Duran Duran, MGMT, Pharell, Bryan Ferry, Diplo, Michael Buble, and Cee Lo Greene; celebrity fashion shoots with Neil Patrick Harris, Jason Segal and Josh Radnor from How I Met Your Mother, Dana White and top UFC Fighters, and Mac guy Justin Long from He’s Just Not That Into You; features set in exotic locations such as, Ibiza, St. Barth’s, and Turks and Caicos; adventure-style shoots on location in Sao Paulo at the Grand Prix and lifestyle fashion features in New Orleans. Pro Snowboarders, skaters, and most recently extreme sports legend Travis Pastrana have all been part of the mix. She has worked with a “who’s who” of top photographers, including Harry Benson, David Bailey, Gavin Bond, Timothy White, Danny Clinch, Tony Kelly, Nigel Perry, Fabrizio Ferri, Nino Munoz and Mick Rock. Ryan Jones graduated from New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology. She lives on Long Island where she tests all new grooming products on her husband and two teenage boys. Only the dog is safe.

Jesse Jernigan is a contributing writer for The Manual. He covers everything from sports to menswear. Hailing from the heart of Pirate Nation in Eastern North Carolina, Jesse graduated from East Carolina University with a degree in Marketing. He can best be described as southern bred with a keen sense of style all wrapped into one. Jesse has a tremendous passion for experiencing what life has to offer through travel, food, family and friends, and diving into the unknown. He’s always down for grabbing a beer and checking out the local food and bar scene with friends. When he’s not busy searching for the latest and greatest in menswear or planning his next destination, you can find him glued to the television cheering on his Tar Heels. Follow Jesse on Instagram, @jessejernigan.

Katie Dickens is a Manhattan-based beauty and grooming writer. She has held staff positions at Glamour, In Style, People StyleWatch, and Nylon/Nylon Guys magazines. As a freelancer, she has contributed to CNTraveler.com, Style.com, Maxim.com, plus Marie Claire, Town & Country Travel, and Self magazines. When she's not pounding away at her keyboard, she globe-trots, runs, and coaxes her husband into being her grooming human guinea pig.

Lee Heidel is the managing editor of Brew / Drink / Run, a website and podcast that promotes brewing your own beer, consuming the best craft beer in the world and then running off the calories. Based in beautiful Savannah, GA, he's documenting his town's growing beer scene at SAVCraftBeer.com. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter @brewdrinkrun.

Marla Hardee Milling is a full-time freelance writer living in a place often called the Paris of the South, Sante Fe of the East and Beer City U.S.A., but she just calls Asheville, N.C. home. The History Press in Charleston, S.C. published her first book, "Only in Asheville: An Eclectic History," in June 2015. She's working on a second book now due out in the fall of 2016. She is a former news producer at WLOS-TV in Asheville and former Director of Communications at Mars Hill College in Mars Hill, N.C. More than 750 of her articles and essays have appeared in such publications as Luxury Living, American Style, NICHE, Charleston, Denver, WNC, Blue Ridge Country, Health, Smart Computing, PC Today, New Orleans Gourmet, and many others. Follow her on Twitter @marlamilling

Mike Richard is a Rhode Island native, professional web designer and travel junkie. Since 2006, he has edited, written for, and kept the gears running behind the scenes at Vagabondish.com. His travel advice has appeared on the websites of industry leading publications for Forbes, Travel + Leisure, USA Today, VanityFair.it, CNET, and National Geographic. He enjoys speaking in the third person.

Miles has degrees in business and communications from Boston University. His first passion is the auto industry, but he also runs his own specialty food business - Reduction Ready®. Miles has built and raced a Spec Miata (because racecar) and loves compact hatchbacks and supercars equally. Oh, and he can recognize a vehicle from 1000 feet away by its taillights.

Rick is a staff writer for The Manual, covering everything from men's fashion and accessories, to the best new brands and products debuting across the country. A Portland native, Rick moved to the "big" city after graduating as a proud Beaver from Oregon State University. When he's not talking shop for The Manual, Rick also writes for its brother site Digital Trends, and is known to enjoy Oregon's beautiful outdoors as well as its tasty craft beer scene.

Ryan Waniata is an audio engineer, musician, composer, and all-around lover of all things tech, audio, and cinema. Hailing originally from Montana, Ryan received his bachelor degree from the University of Montana in composition and technology. He later studied audio engineering at the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences in Tempe, AZ, then packed up for Nashville, where he spent a couple of years playing and recording music in various studios and local venues. Ryan now makes his home in Portland, OR. Feel free to contact him on twitter, or check in with him at Digital Trends to get the scoop on all the latest in tech, film, and music.

Sam Slaughter is the Spirits Writer and also the author of When You Cross That Line, God in Neon (Fall 2015), and Dogs (January 2016). His work has appeared in a variety of other places including McSweeney's Internet Tendency and Midwestern Gothic. He's worked as a winery intern, craft bartender, and helped start a brewery among other service industry jobs over the past decade. He once drank whiskey out of a muskrat skull. He believes firmly that Bloody Marys should be consumed on Sundays and he frequently brings his own mini bottles of bourbon on flights. He can be found online at www.samslaughterthewriter.com or on Twitter & Instagram @slaughterwrites.

Steven John is a writer and humorist living just outside NYC, by way of 11 years in LA, by way of growing up in DC. (Also there was that stint in Boston.) He can occasionally be found climbing mountains, is sometimes spotted in a canoe, and can most often be found home with his wife and son. His writing can be found spread across much of the internet, and his novels can be found here: www.StevenJohnBooks.com

Terence Praet contributes to The Manual’s New Music Monday column. He studied Philosophy and History at Skidmore College, where he was also the music director at the school’s radio station. He has worked in the music industry since graduation. Though he became a Portland, Oregon resident in 2014, Terence is a proud New Jersey native. He can often be found singing along to Bruce Springsteen songs and roaming the streets of Portland in search of Taylor Ham.

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