August may have already been and gone, but John Augustus (also known as John Grant-Mackie) is just getting started!
Based out of Wellington, John is a passionate musician, comedian, Uber driver and advocate for mental health awareness.
We are proud to have such a wonderful character onboard as an official Manuka Essentials brand ambassador.
We recently got together with John to find out a bit more about him, and this is what he had to say:
John Augustus, born in Hamilton, therefore immune to Chlamydia.
Grew up in Wellington's Wild Western suburb, Ngaio. Aside from Nintendo 64, my main passion was Cricket, and before I discovered the Guitar, professional Cricket was my steadfast goal.
I discovered the glorious music of Led Zeppelin when I was 13, and that all changed.
My father was a well-respected NZ Musician and Guitar teacher, and under his caring tutelage, I grew an intense connection to the instrument, that I know hold as my dearest passion.
I acted a lot throughout high school, even filling-in male roles for Wellington East Girl's production of Jane Eyre. My main takeaway from that was my first pash. T'was a delightful time.
My affinity for performance, both musical and comedic, has lead me to transition from my 9 to 5 and pursue it fully. While an incredibly hard decision to make, due to the financial comfort full-time work provides and my history of ill-mental health preventing me from having the confidence in myself to follow my dreams, it's been a decision that, once made, has made me infinitely happier and more fulfilled.
I have diagnosed depression and anxiety. While supreme weights on my mind for the last 10 years, I'm grateful for what these things have taught me about life and about myself.
I have very specific routines in place to maintain my mental health, which I'm excited to share in due course. One massive part of this is to maintain my physical appearance. While a seemingly shallow aspect of health, caring for my appearance sub-consciously reinforces my self-worth; something that can sink quickly when I'm in times of struggle.
I'm a hirsute fellow, and I enjoy having a beard immensely. With that comes necessary care. While knowing how recommended beard oils are, I never felt one appeal to me. They were mostly overly pungent, old-manish, or just so overtly masculinised it was cringe-worthy.
NZ made, from gorgeous native oils of Aotearoa. Sweet, natural smells, yet extremely classy; not the naturopathic essential oil smells normally associated with aroma-therapy haunts of elderly hippies, baked in the sickening musk of incense and murr.
Manuka Essentials have created something I'm immensely proud to wear. It's the scent of why I'm proud to be a Kiwi. The loving scents of Lemongrass and Sweet Orange, with the boldness of Manuka, Eucalyptus, and Peppermint.
To find out more about John, or connect with him, you can find him on Instagram @JohnAugustus
. We are teaming up with a number of organizations during October and November to raise awareness for mental health in New Zealand. Stay tuned for more info!